49ers-Cowboys: The Best Sports Rivalry in The 90’s.

49ers-Cowboys: The Best Sports Rivalry in The 90’s..

49ers-Cowboys: The Best Sports Rivalry in The 90’s.


The chart below looks at 5-year periods in NFL since the 1978-82 period and how much the two best teams dominated during the 5-year period.  Their dominance is measured by the average number of wins those two teams achieved during the period; playoffs wins are included.  For example, if Dallas won 60 games and Denver won 50 games during the 5-year period, then the chart would read 55.

The 'Boys and Niners were the most dominant until Brady and Manning surpassed them in 2007.



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NFL: Does Offense Take Longer To Gel Than Defense?


New Kickoff Rules: Are They Necessary?


Breakout or Fakeout? Which Breakout Seasons Predict Future Success?

NFL: What Happens When Top Offenses Play Top Defenses? (Part 1 of 2)

About the tables:  

Compares all games, 1991-2010, where a top 3 rushing offense plays against a top 3 rushing defense.  Table 1 shows the top ten rushing games for the offense and Table 2 shows the top ten rushing games for the defense.

Run Off:  Average Rush Yards Per Game for Offensive Team
Run Def:  Average Rush Yards Allowed Per Game for Defensive Team
Expected:  Average of Run Off and Run Def
Actual:  Rushing Yards Allowed By The Defense
Difference:  The Percentage Difference Between Actual and Expect

Notables: (These facts are not on the tables, but were in my research; I couldn’t reasonably fit them on the table.)

When a top 3 rush offense plays a top 3 rushing defense, the offense has 18% fewer rushing yards than expected, on average. 

In the ten best rushing games, the offensive team had a relatively diverse rushing attack (during the season, the team’s leading rusher accounted for only 48% of the total rushing yards on average, while the average of the yearly top 3 rushing teams (1991-2010) was 61%).  On these same teams, the quarterback accounted for 16% of the team’s total rushing yards while the average was 10%.

In the ten worst rushing games, the offensive team had a less diverse rushing attack.  The leading rusher accounted for 62% of the team’s rushing yards and the quarterback accounted for only 9% of the total rushing yards.

The statistical significance of these results was not measured, but these results do suggest that this topic might benefit from further study.

NFL: Does Offense Really Take Longer To Gel Than Defense?

The conventional wisdom says that defense is ahead of offense during the early part of the NFL season. I have always doubted that assertion, or at least the absolute confidence that NFL analysts have in the assertion. The table below compares total yards per game during the first two games of the regular season to rest of the season’s total yards per game. If during the first two games of the season, the league averaged 600 yards/game and during the rest of the season the yards/game was 500, then the score would be 1.20. A score of 1.00 means there’s no difference.
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NY is the source of the photo.

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The NFL’s New Kickoff Rules: Are They Really Necessary? (Click Image to Enlarge)

Moving the kickoff spot back to the 35-yard line, where it was before 1994, may not be necessary to ensure NFL players’ safety on kickoffs. As the graph below displays, the percentage of kickoffs that ended up as touchbacks has been steadily increasing since 2003. The graph also shows that the touchback percentage had increased sharply from 1977 to 1993 because the kickers, like all other players, were getting stronger. 

You can be sure that NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue noticed this trend when the league decided to push the kickoff back 5 yards to the 30-yard line. The league wanted to encourage more kickoff returns, and their wish was granted. In 1993 the touchback percentage was at a post-merger high of 26.5%; within one season it dropped precipitously to 7%. However, decrease was short lived. The percentage increased steadily through 1998 before beginning a decline in 1999, which lasted until 2004. The decline between ‘99 and ‘04 is something that surprised me. Kickers get stronger as time goes by; so maybe returners had just become bolder and more willing to run from deep in the end zone.  From 2004 to the present, another era of increasing touchbacks began. Since touchbacks have been becoming more common without the new rule, the rule seems unnecessary for ensuring safety and an overreaction to the injuries that happened in 2010. The pattern is clear; kickers will continue to get stronger, which will lead to touchbacks continuing to increase and/or new kickoff strategies.

Mens’ Tennis: Serve/Return & 1st Serve/2nd Serve Tendencies.

Serve/ Return Ratio is Serve Rating Divided By Return Rating (Is The Player A Better Server or Returner? 1.00 = Neutral)
1st Serve-2nd Serve Difference is 1st Serve Rating Divided By 2nd Serve Rating ( How Much Better is 1st Serve than 2nd Serve – Compared to Other Players? 1.00 = Neutral)

Mens’ Top 50
Tomas Berdych
Novak Djokovic

Mens’ Tennis: Top 50 Players (As of August 1, 2011)

 A rating of 100 denotes average ability. Ratings in bold are in the top 10.

Tomas Berdych

100 = Average of Top 50 Players