2014 Regular Season OTD Recap and Leaderboard
Mike Clay explores each player's scoring opportunity with his 2014 regular season OTD analysis.
2014 Regular Season OTD Recap and Leaderboard
I’ve written at length about opportunity-adjusted touchdowns (OTD) in the past. If you’re new to the stat, be sure to check out the original introductions to rushing and receiving OTD. This past offseason, I also improved my methodology and you can read the rushing, passing, and receiving articles via the provided links. In a nutshell, the OTD metric weighs every carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s scoring opportunity.
Scroll down for the updated 2014 OTD leaderboard.
Regular Season Recap
With a mark of 14.3, Demaryius Thomas paced the league in receiving OTD during the regular season. Thomas scored 11 touchdowns, which was actually well below expected. Thomas racked up 23 end zone targets, which was tied for most in the league with Kelvin Benjamin. You may recall that, despite scoring 14 touchdowns, Thomas was not targeted near the end zone nearly as often last season. He managed only 11 end zone targets with Peyton Manning relying more on Eric Decker and Julius Thomas. His OTD was 7.5. With Decker in New York and Julius Thomas struggling with injuries, Demaryius Thomas was Peyton Manning’s favorite target near the end zone.
Rounding out the top five were Antonio Brown (13.0 OTD, 13 TD), Jordy Nelson (11.6, 13), Kelvin Benjamin (10.3, 9) and Alshon Jeffery (10.3, 10). Brown, Gates and Evans each caught a league-high 10 end zone targets for touchdowns. Only Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. had a higher OTD than Jeffery from Week 10 on.
No player had a larger gap between his receiving OTD and touchdown total than Dez Bryant. Bryant scored 16 times but had an OTD of 8.8. Bryant caught nine of his 15 end zone targets but was targeted only six additional times inside the opponent’s 10 yard line. Bryant was 10 of 21 on end zone targets in 2013. Julius Thomas (5.4 OTD, 12 TD), Rob Gronkowski (7.1, 12), Dwayne Allen (3.6, 8) and Torrey Smith (6.7, 11) also overachieved in the touchdown department. I doubt that it’s a coincidence that dominant players like Bryant, Thomas, Gronkowski and Allen are at the top of this list. Mike Evans and Antonio Gates are also in the top 12 of the category. That’s something I will dive into further in the off-season.
On the other hand, Andre Johnson’s 8.1 OTD was a league-high 5.1 above his touchdown total. Despite finishing sixth in the league with 141 targets, Johnson managed only nine end zone looks. He caught three for touchdowns. Johnson’s OTD got a big boost from targets within 10 yards of the end zone. He failed to score on 13 targets in the area. Vincent Jackson (7.0 OTD, 2 TD), Rueben Randle (7.5, 3), Charles Clay (6.5, 3) and Jordan Reed (3.5, 0) round out the top five among underachievers in the touchdown department.
2014 Regular Season end zone target leaders:
23 – Demaryius Thomas, Kelvin Benjamin
22 – Antonio Brown
19 – Antonio Gates, Mike Evans, Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson
18 – Odell Beckham Jr.
17 – Randall Cobb, Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall
15 – Dez Bryant, Torrey Smith, Vincent Jackson
14 – Mike Wallace, Malcom Floyd
13 – Martavis Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Larry Donnell, Michael Floyd
12 – Charles Clay, Rueben Randle
Despite missing a handful of games, Mark Ingram (10.6) paced the NFL in rushing OTD during the regular season. Ingram scored nine touchdowns on the ground thanks to an NFL – high eight carries from the opponent’s 1 yard line and 20 within 5 yards. Scoring on only three of 10 carries within 2 yards of paydirt, Ingram definitely left a few touchdowns on the table, but he made up for it by scoring on four of seven additional carries from 3 yards away.
DeMarco Murray (10.3) and Marshawn Lynch (9.5) finished second and third in the category. Both scored 13 rushing touchdowns during the regular season. Murray was absurdly efficient at the goal line, converting all nine of his carries within 3 yards of the end zone into touchdowns. Last year’s rushing OTD champ, Lynch scored on only one of five carries from the opponent’s 1 yard line, but he did score 8 additional touchdowns within 6 yards of the goal line. Lynch is now 14 of 32 in converting carries from 1 yard out we started tracking the stat in 2008. That’s a slightly below average rate.
Matt Forte (8.6 OTD, 6 TD) and Alfred Morris (8.1, 8) round out the top five in rushing OTD.
No player’s OTD exceeded his touchdown total by a larger margin than LeSean McCoy (7.7). McCoy’s 314 carries were second-most in the NFL, but he scored only five times. Sharing with Darren Sproles and Chris Polk, McCoy managed only three carries from the opponent’s 1 yard line. He scored on two. McCoy was six of seven in the area last season. The good news for McCoy’s dynasty owners is that, despite the dip in touchdowns, McCoy’s 2014 OTD was only 1.1 below his 2013 mark. Bernard Pierce (4.6 OTD, 2 TD), Matt Forte (8.6, 6), Rashad Jennings (6.3, 4) and Tom Brady (2.2, 0) round out the top five underachievers in the rushing OTD department.
Isaiah Crowell’s eight rushing touchdowns exceeded his rushing OTD by a league – high 5.7. Incredibly, the Browns offensive dysfunction led to zero carries for Crowell from the opponent’s 1 yard line. Crowell well was unsustainably effective in the touchdown department on his additional carries. He scored on all three of his carries within 5 yards of the end zone. His five other touchdowns came from distances of the nine, 11, 14, 15 and 26 yards. Additional overachievers in the touchdown department include Darren Sproles (1.6 OTD, 6 TD), Jamaal Charles (5.2, 9), Marshawn Lynch (9.5, 13) and C.J. Anderson (5.0, 8).
2014 Regular Season leaders in carries within 5 yards of the end zone:
20 – Mark Ingram
17 – DeMarco Murray
15 – Marshawn Lynch, Matt Asiata
14 – Chris Ivory, Jeremy Hill, Lamar Miller
13 – Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy
12 – Joique Bell, Steven Jackson
11 – Rashad Jennings, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Andre Williams, Alfred Morris
10 – Trent Richardson, Le’Veon Bell, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce, Knile Davis
|2014 OTD LEADERBOARD|
|Rk||Rusher||Att||TD||2014||Wk 17||Rk||Receiver||Targ||TD||2014||Wk 17|
|1||Mark Ingram||226||9||10.6||1.1||1||Demaryius Thomas||178||11||14.3||2.4|
|2||DeMarco Murray||393||13||10.3||0.3||2||Antonio Brown||178||13||13.0||1.0|
|3||Marshawn Lynch||280||13||9.5||0.1||3||Jordy Nelson||146||13||11.6||0.7|
|4||Matt Forte||266||6||8.6||0.2||4||Kelvin Benjamin||142||9||10.3||0.1|
|5||Alfred Morris||265||8||8.1||0.2||5||Alshon Jeffery||135||10||10.3||0.4|
|6||Joique Bell||223||7||8.1||0.1||6||Randall Cobb||125||12||9.6||0.5|
|7||Eddie Lacy||245||9||7.8||1.2||7||Odell Beckham Jr.||129||12||9.3||1.3|
|8||LeSean McCoy||314||5||7.7||0.7||8||Antonio Gates||98||12||9.1||0.8|
|9||Lamar Miller||216||8||7.6||0.2||9||Jimmy Graham||121||10||9.0||0.1|
|10||Matt Asiata||164||9||7.4||1.0||10||Emmanuel Sanders||140||9||8.9||0.7|
|11||Steven Jackson||190||6||7.4||0.0||11||Dez Bryant||135||16||8.8||0.3|
|12||Justin Forsett||234||8||7.2||1.1||12||Mike Wallace||109||10||8.4||0.0|
|13||Jeremy Hill||222||9||7.2||0.3||13||Mike Evans||116||12||8.2||0.7|
|14||Andre Williams||216||7||6.8||0.9||14||Calvin Johnson||124||8||8.2||0.9|
|15||Chris Ivory||198||6||6.8||0.5||15||Andre Johnson||141||3||8.1||1.1|
|16||Arian Foster||260||8||6.6||0.0||16||Brandon Marshall||101||8||7.6||0.0|
|17||Rashad Jennings||167||4||6.3||0.0||17||Rueben Randle||122||3||7.5||0.4|
|18||Le’Veon Bell||289||8||6.3||0.1||18||Steve L. Smith||130||6||7.4||0.3|
|19||Giovani Bernard||168||5||5.6||0.0||19||Larry Donnell||87||6||7.2||0.3|
|20||Jamaal Charles||205||9||5.2||0.3||20||Malcom Floyd||86||6||7.1||1.3|
|21||Trent Richardson||158||3||5.1||0.3||21||Rob Gronkowski||124||12||7.1||0.0|
|22||C.J. Anderson||179||8||5.0||0.7||22||Vincent Jackson||138||2||7.0||0.1|
|23||Jonas Gray||89||5||4.9||0.0||23||Julio Jones||156||6||6.8||0.2|
|24||LeGarrette Blount||125||5||4.9||0.2||24||Sammy Watkins||124||6||6.7||0.3|
|25||Ben Tate||119||4||4.8||0.0||25||Jeremy Maclin||140||10||6.7||0.3|
|26||Bernard Pierce||93||2||4.6||1.3||26||Torrey Smith||89||11||6.7||1.0|
|27||Knile Davis||134||6||4.5||0.2||27||T.Y. Hilton||123||7||6.6||0.0|
|28||Terrance West||171||4||4.4||0.5||28||Brandon LaFell||115||7||6.5||0.3|
|29||Frank Gore||255||4||4.3||0.3||29||Charles Clay||81||3||6.5||0.2|
|30||Cam Newton||96||5||4.1||0.6||30||Roddy White||122||7||6.4||0.6|
|31||Shane Vereen||96||2||4.1||0.0||31||Martellus Bennett||126||6||6.1||0.3|
|32||Fred Jackson||141||2||3.8||0.4||32||Michael Floyd||93||6||5.9||1.2|
|33||Darren McFadden||154||2||3.8||0.1||33||A.J. Green||109||6||5.8||0.2|
|34||Jonathan Stewart||175||3||3.8||0.1||34||Riley Cooper||91||3||5.8||0.1|
|35||Russell Wilson||99||6||3.6||0.0||35||Hakeem Nicks||68||4||5.8||0.9|
|36||Branden Oliver||159||3||3.6||0.6||36||Martavis Bryant||48||8||5.7||0.3|
|37||Lorenzo Taliaferro||68||4||3.6||0.0||37||Terrance Williams||62||8||5.7||0.5|
|38||Andre Ellington||201||3||3.4||0.0||38||Julius Thomas||60||12||5.4||0.0|
|39||Ahmad Bradshaw||90||2||3.4||0.0||39||Coby Fleener||86||8||5.3||0.7|
|40||Stevan Ridley||94||2||3.4||0.0||40||James Jones||108||6||5.2||0.1|
|41||Andrew Luck||50||3||3.3||0.0||41||Mohamed Sanu||97||5||5.2||0.0|
|42||Ronnie Hillman||106||3||3.1||0.4||42||Eddie Royal||86||7||5.1||1.4|
|43||Chris Polk||46||4||3.1||0.7||43||Julian Edelman||123||4||4.9||0.0|
|44||Alfred Blue||168||2||3.1||0.7||44||Michael Crabtree||102||4||4.9||0.0|
|45||Carlos Hyde||83||4||3.1||0.0||45||Marques Colston||96||5||4.9||0.5|
|46||Geno Smith||56||1||3.0||0.0||46||Robert Woods||98||5||4.9||0.6|
|47||Shonn Greene||94||2||3.0||0.1||47||DeAndre Hopkins||120||6||4.9||0.1|
|48||Toby Gerhart||102||2||2.9||0.0||48||Heath Miller||89||3||4.8||0.4|
|49||Tre Mason||179||4||2.8||0.1||49||Jordan Matthews||98||8||4.7||0.3|
|50||Andy Dalton||46||4||2.8||0.0||50||Zach Ertz||86||3||4.6||0.4|
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