The problem was doing something with them.
That led to us ditching the spreadsheets some of us had collected (painstakingly) and creating what has since become known as our Signature Stat section. We took some of our unique data and mixed it with a touch more of our hand-collected statistics, and the results were some numbers that had more context than anything ever seen before.
Here’s a snapshot of the best of them:
Pass Rushing Productivity
The very first Signature Stat debuted all the way back in 2009. We were sick and tired of sack numbers being all that mattered in conversations about pass rushing. The simple sack stat doesn’t factor in how often a player rushes the quarterback, or the hits and hurries that also impact a passer. So we decided to add some context and look for the most productive pass rushers. Here you can see how some positional groups fared.
Some backs break tackles and pick up yards after contact. Some don’t. Our Elusive Rating uses a formula designed by Sam Monson to assess which backs truly are the best when it comes to getting more yardage than they should.
Pass Blocking Efficiency
If you’re going to create something for pass rushers, you’ve got to do it for the man trying to protect the quarterbacks too, right? We reversed the formula to see which offensive players were giving up the most pressure on a per-play basis.
If there’s one thing receivers don’t want to do it’s drop the ball and those with high drop numbers are constantly mocked for their butterfingers. But it stands to reason that it’s not just about drops, but how many catches a guy makes. So we looked at how many balls a player dropped as a percentage of all catchable balls.
Yards Per Route Run
Yardage isn’t everything for a receiver. What about the players who don’t get to play as much? They’re at a disadvantage with how many opportunities they have to pick up yards if they’re not even on the field running routes. Our YPRR changes all this; looking at the average amount of yards a receiver picks up on each route he runs. The results? Fascinating.
Passing Under Pressure
Life’s easier for a quarterback when you have all the time in the world. But who is coping with defensive linemen breathing down their necks? We looked at the quarterback statistics solely for passers when they were put under pressure by the opposition.
If Player X missed 10 tackles, and Player Y missed 5 tackles, then surely Player Y is a better tackler? Well not so. How many tackles did each attempt, did they happen in coverage or in run defense? We looked at the efficiency of tacklers.
Run Stop Percentage
You think tackle numbers tell you which defenders are the best? We disagree. Our grading does that, but if you want some hard numbers, how about you look at the number of defensive stops (a play that results in a failure for the offensive) a defender made? Then how about you look at that number relative to how many snaps he’s on the field. Mind boggling data awaits.
That should get you started. If you want a look at the whole host of Signature Stats, your access to the PFF Premium Statistics is but a click away.