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The Mother of All Stats - Part 3


In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at which stats most directly correlated with points scored and points allowed. Here, in Part 3, we will take a look at the statistics which most clearly were related to offensive and defensive succes, and see which ones most directly correlated with wins.

For each of the 9 statistical categories, I will list the 6 highest ranking teams, and the number of wins each team had. Then I will list the overall wins for the top 6 teams in each statistic to see which statistical category is most related to wins.

Offense Points

Passing YPA

Passing Yards

1st Downs

Defense Points

Defense Passing YPA

Defense Passing Yards

Defense 1st Downs

Rushing YPA

1

GB - 15

GB - 15

NO - 13

NO- 13

Pitt - 12

Pitt - 12

PITT - 12

PITT - 12

SF – 13

2

NO - 13

NE - 13

NE - 13

NE– 13

SF - 13

Hous- 10

Clev - 4

SF - 13

Balt– 12

3

NE - 13

NYG - 9

GB - 15

SD – 8

Balt - 12

Balt - 12

Hous-10

Jack - 5

Miami-6

4

DET- 10

NO - 13

DET- 10

Phil - 8

Hous-10

Tenn -9

Balt-12

Balt-12

Seat-7

5

SD - 8

Pitt- 12

NYG - 9

GB– 15

Clev-4

Clev-4

NYJ-8

Hous-10

Jack-5

6

CAR - 6

SD - 8

SD - 8

Atl/Det – 10

Miami-6

NYJ-8

KC-7

NYJ-8

Minn-3

Total

65

70

68

67

57

55

53

60

46

Analysis:

Offense wins games (and championships, btw!). Of the final 4 teams in the playoffs this year, 2 were statistically excellent on offense (NYG and NE), and two were statistically excellent on Defense (Balt and SF). Which 2 won??

Looking at the stats, it is clear that having a dominant offense leads to a winning record. The average number of wins for the 4 offensive categories were all between 10 and 12 wins per team. On Defense however, only one statistic (1st downs) had an average win total equal to 10.

Another interesting thing to observe was that none of the dominant offenses (NO, NE, GB, DET, SD) were in the top 6 in any defensive category. These teams won games solely because of their offensive prowess.

One can also look at this data and note that dominant defenses do not necessarily lead to wins. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Sand Fran and Houston were all successful teams. But many of the other teams that were top 6 in these categories were not playoff contenders. Jacksonville made the top 6 in 2 categories – 5 wins. Miami made the top 6 in 2 categories – 6 wins. The Jets made the top 6 in 3 categories – 8 wins. And Cleveland made the top 6 in 3 categories – 4 wins!! Simply put, unless your team fields one of the top 3 or 4 defenses in the league, you cannot guarantee that your defensive strength will result in wins.

Another interesting fact: the top 4 offensive teams, and top 4 defensive teams all made the playoffs. And, with the exception of Denver and Cinci, every team in the playoffs was on the list in at least one of these categories. However, in the end, the teams that made it to the Big Dance were both teams who fielded a particularly dominant offense (NE in every offensive category, and the G-Men in Passing Offense).

So, clearly for the Bills to win more games, we need to become an ELITE offense. An offense that strikes fear into the opponents we face. An offense that racks up points and passing yards. An offense capable of winning championships.

Stay tuned for part 4, which will tackle the following questions…

- how do the Bills rank in each of these categories? (hint: we’re not in the top 6 in ANY category.. bummer!)

- What can we do to improve?

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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