Instead we will be examining those that remain in even greater detail and looking at some players you may not have heard of before. This time around in the 32 Teams, 32 Observations (now rather the 4/32), we dig deep to give you eight looks for each team playing on Sunday.
Read on for another round of database nuggets as you prepare for Championship weekend.
New England Patriots
● Last week Tom Brady had an accuracy percentage of 82.3%. This is the most accurate game he has had in the 2011 season.
● Running back Danny Woodhead has averaged at least 4.9 yards per carry in 10 of the 15 games he’s had a rushing attempt, yet his longest run of the season is just 12 yards.
● Wide receiver Deion Branch averaged 111 yards per game in the first two games of the season, but has averaged just 38 yards per game from Week 3 on.
● Right guard Brian Waters didn’t allow any pressure in seven of his 17 games, including last week’s matchup.
● Cornerback Devin McCourty is one of two players to allow more than 1000 receiving yards in the regular season over the last four years, but last week he didn’t allow a catch.
● Over the Patriots’ first seven games, strong side linebacker Rob Ninkovich had just one game with more than one stop. In the last 10 games, he’s had multiple stops in all but one.
● From Week 1 to Week 15, defensive end Shaun Ellis brought pressure on one in every 17 pass rushes. Over the last three, he has increased the frequency of his pressure to one in every seven pass rushes.
● Punter Zolton Mesko had opponents pinned inside their 20 yard line for 42.1% of his punts, which was the second-highest percentage in the league.
● Quarterback Joe Flacco had an accuracy percentage of 63.8% after the first 12 weeks of the season. In his six games since then, he has had an accuracy percentage of 75%
● Running back Ray Rice has averaged 5.8 yards per carry in road games compared to 3.8 yards per carry in home games.
● Over the last eight games, starting tight end Ed Dickson has had just 15 catches compared to 40 catches over the previous nine.
● Center Matt Birk has allowed zero sacks, zero hits, and just three pressures in the 163 pass plays he has been a Raven in the playoffs.
● Defensive end Cory Redding has a 10.2 stop percentage, which is the second-highest for 4-3 defensive ends.
● Middle linebacker Ray Lewis had a stop percentage of 13.1%, which was the fourth-highest for middle/inside linebackers, and is his personal best in the past four years.
● Since Week 11, Ed Reed has more big plays in coverage with two interceptions and five passes defended than catches allowed with five.
● From Week 1 to Week 11, two-thirds of Billy Cundiffs kickoffs were touched back. Since then, just 38.5% of his kickoffs have been.
San Francisco 49ers
● Quarterback Alex Smith took a sack when he was under pressure 22.8% of the time, which was tied for fifth most frequent in the NFL.
● Wide receiver Michael Crabtree has improved by every receiving standard from his first eight games of the season to his last eight. Most dramatic was his catch rate where he improved from 58.5% to 72.6%, and his average yards after the catch which bumped from 3.9 to 6.2.
● The 180 receiving yards Vernon Davis had last week is the second-most receiving yards a tight end has had in a game in our four years of grading players (Dallas Clark, Week 2 in 2009, 183 yards is No. 1).
● In the last eight games, left tackle Joe Staley has allowed just two sacks, no hits, and eight pressures.
● Middle linebacker NaVarro Bowman led all players with a 14.3 run stop percentage.
● Over the last seven games, Carlos Rogers has allowed just 43.6% of passes thrown his way to be caught.
● Inside linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis allowed 8.9 and 9.0 yards per catch respectively, which was fourth and fifth best in the NFL for inside/middle linebackers.
● Kicker David Akers had our highest PFF rating on field goals/extra points at +13.6. Not only has he been a perfect 31 for 31 in field goals within 40 yards, but also was tied for the most field goals beyond 50 yards at seven.
New York Giants
● Quarterback Eli Manning led the league in many categories under pressure. This included dropbacks (244), attempts (210), completions (114), and throw aways (25)
● From Week 1 to Week 13, Brandon Jacobs averaged 3.1 yards per carry. From Week 14 on, he’s been averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
● In the last seven games, Hakeem Nicks has 39 catches for 700 yards and seven touchdowns.
● In the Giants’ last matchup with the 49ers, they didn’t allow a sack, and allowed just two hits.
● In the regular season, Jason Pierre-Paul brought pressure on one in every 10.3 pass rushes. In the playoffs it has been much less frequent; with pressure on one in every 22.25 pass rushes.
● The Giants were the only team to have a defensive lineman lead their team in stops. That was Jason Pierre Paul with 51. The next highest is Mathias Kiwanuka with 41.
● Safety Kenny Phillips had an overall PFF rating of +8.1 from Week 1 to Week 3, but just a rating of -0.2 from Week 4 on.
● The Giants with Lawrence Tynes as their kicker made just seven field goals beyond 30 yards, which was the lowest in the league.