Real Passing Yards per Attempt

Through Week 1 of the 2011 Regular Season

About Real Passing Yards Per Attempt. The Cold, Hard Football Facts constantly use passing yards per attempt as a way to measure the effectiveness of each quarterback at getting the ball downfield. Longtime CHFF readers know that a quarterback’s average per attempt has an incredibly high correlation to success.
Real Passing Yards Per Attempt is a little more advanced and a team-wide indicator. It doesn’t just reward a quarterback for throwing the football. Instead, as a team indicator, it also includes the impact of sacks. We use only NET passing figures to determine yards per attempt. This is gross passing yards, minus yards lost via sacks. But we also divide it by total dropbacks – that is, not just pass attempts, but sacks as well. This formula yields a team’s TRUE average per pass attempt, its Real Passing Yards Per Attempt.

Week 1 Passing Yards Per Attempt Overview
The Patriots top Passing YPA after Week 1, behind Tom Brady's historic 517-yard passing performance against the Dolphins (as we noted yesterday, though, it was only the ninth-best effort of Brady's career based upon average per pass attempt.

But that's not the big story this week for the Mighty Cold, Hard Football Facts. Nope. The BIG story is that Arizona and Carolina, behind Kevin Kolb and Cam Newton, are Nos. 2 and 3 after Week 1.

It's a compelling storyline for two reasons:

One, because Kolb has long been seen as a guy with potential, but has yet to fully display it, while Newton was merely a rookie in his first NFL game, and one that many people said wasn't yet equipped to play pro-style QB.

And, two, becuase these were both the worst passing teams in football last year. Arizona ended 2010 No. 31 in Passing YPA (4.76 YPA). Carolina was No. 32 (4.29 YPA). But both teams exploded out of the gates in Week 1.

Arizona's 28-21 win over Carolina provides another valuable lesson for CHFF Insiders. Newton generated most of the headlines, thanks to his incredible record debut output of 422 yards. Kolb passed for 309 yards.

But the Cardinals actually boasted the higher average per pass attempt. This is important! Remember, teams that win the passing yardage battle barely win more than 50 percent of the time; teams that win the YPA battle win up to 80 percent of the time.
RankTeamAttPYdsSacksYds LostRPYPA
1   New England485171110.53
11   Miami494164267.36
32   Minnesota15392111.65
19   Jacksonville241752156.15
31   Kansas City361192142.76
5   Houston24220138.68
24   Indianapolis311973255.06
4   Detroit33305009.24
7   Green Bay353122168.00
15   N.Y. Giants322684286.67
9   New Orleans494193237.62
17   N.Y. Jets443354206.56
29   Oakland22105164.30
27   Philadelphia321873204.77
20   Pittsburgh412804345.47
16   Los Angeles48335256.60
18   San Francisco20124006.20
30   Seattle371975423.69
28   Los Angeles352095284.53
12   Baltimore29224197.17
23   Atlanta473195445.29
22   Denver463045325.33
2   Arizona2730921410.17
21   Tampa Bay46266275.40
25   Cincinnati271734185.00
8   Chicago323125237.81
14   Washington343054476.79
3   Carolina374224199.83
13   Tennessee342632146.92
10   Buffalo26208177.44
6   Dallas363424168.15
26   Cleveland402132114.81

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