Y/A: Part 2 of Goals for EJ: Statistical analysis of 2012 & 2013 passing offenses

I have been looking at data from 2012 and 2013 to try to find a sweet spot that EJ needs to be in to produce high victory totals in the NFL. What stats were most predictive of success and where does he need to be to help the Bills achieve a 9+ win season?

In my previous post discussing TDs and Yards, a couple people suggested the most important category for EJ – and all QBs – was the Yards per Attempt figure. My analysis of this figure over the past two years suggests that the evidence largely corroborates their claims that Y/A is indeed a good predictor of wins with a significant positive correlation. It is too early yet to tell whether it's the most important though. But let's take a look:


Taken yearly, the Y/A statistic shows a positive correlation, with many of the lower tier teams under the 7 y/a benchmark. Though not all teams with high win totals have a Y/A figure above 7, including the 2012 Vikings (Adrian Peterson) and the 2013 Colts, Chiefs, and Patriots (surprisingly).

Additionally, it should be noted, although no bottom dwelling team could, a number of 7-8 win teams were able to achieve sizable Y/A figures. This means a good Y/A figure would prevent a top-10 pick but would not guarantee playoffs for our Buffalo Bills.



Larger Pattern

It’s not until you combine 2012 and 2013 and average Y/A by win total do you really get a feel for the huge discrepancy between the lower tier teams and the upper echelon. Three tiers become apparent: the Bottom-dwellers (2-6 wins, 6-6.5 Y/A); the In The Hunts (7-8 wins, ~7 Y/A); and the Januaries (9-13 wins, 7.4-8 Y/A).


So where does EJ need to fall?

Considering 7 win teams averaged over a 7.1 Y/A, and we’d like to see conservatively 9 wins for a chance at the second wildcard spot, I would like to see EJ exceed the In The Hunt crowd at 7.1 Y/A for the upcoming season and get into the 7.2-7.4 range that many 8-12 win teams are able to see out of their passing offenses. Unfortunately, that would mean a big increase in production from last year’s level:

Bills QB


EJ Manuel


Thad Lewis


Jeff Tuel


Goals for EJ

So to continue the running tally of 2014 EJ goals (aka baseline playoff production):

Yards: 3000
TDs: 20
Y/A: 7.2

Next: Completion percentage and INTs

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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