There are some standards that NFL broadcasters are always saying that I always like to challenge just to see if they are telling the truth. One in particular started back in the 1990s when the talking heads used to tell us that if Emmitt Smith had 20 carries then the Cowboys always won. I could never appreciate that stat (even if it was true) because I thought there was no correlation between that and winning. If you want to say when Emmitt gets 100 yards, I would believe it. Getting 100 yards has all sorts of winning attributes, but merely calling running plays would not lead to winning unless they were effective. The number of carries is obviously not as important as what he does with them. Otherwise, couldn't they hand him the ball on the first 20 plays, he takes a knee, loses 40 yards in the process, and the Cowboys win? It just didn't compute to me.
Am I crazy?
Emmitt Smith Career
|Year||Rec W/ 20+ Carries||Rec W/ 100 yards+|
|Totals||93-26, .781||59-19, .756|
Wow. The talking heads were right. According to my math, the Cowboys actually had a better record with Emmitt getting 20+ carries than when Emmitt ran for 100+ yards. I guess that means controlling the clock is more important than rolling up yards? By the way, Emmitt had 78 (Edit: Oops) 100 yard games according to my research - so that should blow your mind. This is why we need to put theories to the test.
So, that caused me to find stats that have meaning. 100 yards for a Running Back is actually a meaningful number across the NFL. In 2008, 131 teams had games in which they had a runner go for 100 yards. The record was 102-29 (.779 win percentage). We will track these numbers all season long right here:
100+ Yard Rushers in Week 1:
300 yards QBs? Based on the idea that teams that are playing from behind generally throw more, you would expect that this number would be much lower. And it is. 74 games had 300 yard passers in 2008, and QBs who threw for 300 yards brought home just 46-27-1 record (.630 win percentage).
300 Yard Passers in Week 1:
I have been obsessed with numbers for years. And I have been looking for that magical statistic that always correlates to winning. There is one in the NFL. And I don't think that it has a rival. Turnovers. Turnovers are seemingly the single most telling statistic in the NFL to find a winner. Point Spread favorites don't matter the same. Home Stadium doesn't matter the same. Yardage advantage doesn't matter as much. Turnovers matter most.
I have been tracking turnovers for every game in the NFL for 4 years. 2008 was the least convincing year in the turnover ratio. Usually, the turnover winners in each game has won before 82-85% of the time. In 2008, it dropped to just 157-41 for 79.2%.
Here is the sliding scale of winning for turnover winners from 2008:
And then, Week 1 - 2009 results:
Turnover Winners through week 1 are just 75%. That will improve, but already, 2 teams won at -2. Not easy to do.
These numbers in all categories will be far more interesting as the season goes on. After week 1, too early to read any meaning into it. But, since I keep these numbers (With intern TC's help) I want to share them with you as we go...
RANDOM FOOTBALL EMAIL OF THE WEEK:
Hi Bob (been a few years since we spoke last),
You are right about Football being the ONE true judge of a college to a degree, in Texas anyway. So, “Here Come the Bears!” Great clip below on his interview after Wake Forest win and human highlight film, fastest QB in the nation and sophomore player that wants to graduate like Mike S. did….being the largest Baptist school in the world gets us one All Pro every two decades looks likeJ
Enjoy, com’on give Griffin some air time (or maybe you did and I missed it)……..
I'll be honest, I have not given Griffin enough time or attention yet. A quick look at the two videos below demonstrate that Baylor appears to have a rare talent for sure. The dude won the 400m hurdles? As a freshman? And he plays QB? Geez.
A quick scan of the Baylor Schedule suggests that UConn this weekend should be good, but I don't see it on TV. Therefore, my first good look at the young man this season will be his trip to Norman on October 12. I can't wait.