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The (In)complete Brady-Manning

22nd January 2016

On the eve of Brady-Manning XVII, perhaps the last matchup ever in this historic rivalry, we wanted to take a moment to collect some of the notable facts and stats from one of the defining matchups of the last 15 years of football. Read the rest of this entry »

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Help Us Find Out Who Threw The Most Pick-Sixes

20th January 2016

UPDATE: Thanks so much for all your help! We have matched up every pick six that we were missing to a QB with 2 exceptions. The two missing games are:

Willie Buchanon's vs the Chargers on Sept. 24, 1978

Joe Beauchamp's vs the Broncos on Sept. 24, 1972

If you know who threw either of those pick-sixes, leave a comment here or hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or email!

The original post is below, but do not worry about the Google Sheet anymore. Thanks to everyone who submitted responses so far!

Like Matt Schaub and Jake Delhomme before us, Pro-Football-Reference wants to build a substantial library of pick-sixes. However, since we're not football players, we have to settle for the next best thing: creating a list of who threw every pick-six in the NFL since 1970. We have complete play-by-play starting 1994, so the last 21 years are all filled in. We also have box scores going back to 1960, so we have a list of every pick-six and who scored, but there's one problem: the box scores don't say who threw them.

In most cases, we can use the info that we do have to figure this out. For example, in this game from 1987, the Chargers had a pick-six. Since John Elway was the only QB to throw an INT in that game, we know that he was the culprit. However, not every game is that simple. More specifically, there are 159 games that aren't that simple.

For example, in this Lions-Vikings game from 1993, the Vikes had a 63-yard INT for a TD. But the Lions had 2 players who threw an INT in that game. Since we don't have information about who was playing QB at what point in that game, we can't know for sure whether the INT TD should be "credited" to Andre Ware or Rodney Peete.

This is where you come in. We've created a Google Form with all 159 where we're missing the data we need. Do you have a gamebook or old newspaper story that mentions who threw the INT that went for a TD? Were you at that game or watching it on TV? Just happen to have all of Kelly Stouffer's pick-sixes committed to memory? Whatever it is, any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

You don't need to know or fill out all 159 on the form; even filling in one or two would be tremendously helpful! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to hit us up on e-mail, social media, or here in the comments. Thanks!

Again, here is the form! Let's go get some pick-sixes (said no coach, ever)

Posted in Announcement, | 7 Comments »

What to Watch in the Divisional Playoffs

15th January 2016

The Divisional Playoffs is typically the best football weekend of the year and this time is no exception. Every QB playing this weekend is either a #1 pick, a Super Bowl champion, or (hi, Peyton) both. Who will win? I know the answer, and I'd tell you, but I don't want to spoil it. So, instead, here's some storylines, stats, and general things to watch out for this weekend: Read the rest of this entry »

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Introducing the Field Goal Finder

14th January 2016

We're proud to announce the newest addition to the Pro-Football-Reference Play Index: The Field Goal Finder. While previously, you've been able to use the Play Finder or the Game Finder to look up some FG data, the Field Goal Finder allows you easily search every field goal kicked by an NFL or AFL kicker since 1960. With this addition to the Play Index, you can answer questions like: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Announcement, | 2 Comments »

Find NFL Yards Per Target Leaders Since 1992

14th January 2016

We'd like to announce a recent addition to the Pro Football Reference Player Season Finder tool in the Play Index. We've added the ability to sort player seasons by receiving yards per target.

Former Saints field stretcher Devery Henderson owns the two best seasons since 1992 in terms or yards per target among receivers with 50+ targets.

If you adjust the minimum to 100 targets, Greatest Show on Turf-era Torry Holt is the leader.

With a minimum of 150 targets, Calvin Johnson's 10.64 yards/target in 2011 takes the cake.

And only one player with 500+ targets since 1992 has averaged over 10 yards per target. That would be Jordy Nelson, who leads receivers with that minimum number of targets with a career mark of 10.25 yards per target.

Check out the career Yards/Target leaders (min. 500 targets) since 1992 below:

Games Receiving
Rk G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt
1 Jordy Nelson 105 57 596 400 6109 15.27 49 58.2 67.1% 10.25
2 DeSean Jackson 112 108 793 442 7814 17.68 42 69.8 55.7% 9.85
3 Malcom Floyd 121 77 570 321 5550 17.29 34 45.9 56.3% 9.74
4 Rob Gronkowski 80 69 579 380 5555 14.62 65 69.4 65.6% 9.59
5 Julio Jones 65 64 648 414 6201 14.98 34 95.4 63.9% 9.57
6 Antonio Brown 86 59 790 526 7093 13.48 38 82.5 66.6% 8.98
7 Marques Colston 146 106 1099 711 9759 13.73 72 66.8 64.7% 8.88
8 Vincent Jackson 150 132 1003 525 8907 16.97 57 59.4 52.3% 8.88
9 Calvin Johnson 135 130 1312 731 11619 15.89 83 86.1 55.7% 8.86
10 Henry Ellard 102 89 645 329 5688 17.29 22 55.8 51.0% 8.82
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/13/2016.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Play Index, | Comments Off on Find NFL Yards Per Target Leaders Since 1992

Touchdown Percentage Added to Player Season Finder Search

14th January 2016

We have added the ability to search by Touchdown Percentage to the Player Season Finder in the Pro Football Reference Play Index. Among passers with 150+ attempts, the single-season record is Sid Luckman's 13.9% in 1943. However, you can also sort by Adjusted TD%, which makes era adjustments. By that measure, Peyton Manning's 2004 season is the best.

Posted in Data, Play Index, | 1 Comment »

Tricks You Didn’t Know about Sports Reference: Domain Names

13th January 2016

Today, we finalized the purchase of from the folks at Rotowire (thanks guys!). This really doesn't do much for you as an end user, but I thought I'd also mention that there are some domain name tricks that can help you.

The main one is that each site has a shortened url of 5-6 characters that can save some typing on your end. This is especially useful on your phones. => => => => => => =>

Posted in Announcement,,, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Olympics at S-R, | 1 Comment »

Provisional 2015 Approximate Value Release

8th January 2016

With the AP releasing it's All-Pro teams today, we have an important piece of information for constructing our 2015 Approximate Values for NFL players. These numbers will change as Pro Bowl rosters change, but these values give a strong estimate of what the final 2015 AV numbers will look like (since All Pro nods have a far greater impact on AV than Pro Bowl nods do). At this time, the provisional leader in 2015 AV is J.J. Watt, with 21. For the time being, Watt's 88 AV through 5 seasons are the most in NFL history (we calculate AV back to 1960). The previous record had been 84 by Thurman Thomas. Something to ponder is that Watt was drafted between Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder in 2011.

As a reminder, Approximate Value is our method (developed by Doug Drinen) for putting a single numerical value on any player's season. You can read all about it here. You can see the all-time leaders in career AV here and the single-season leaders here.

The rest of the top 5 in 2015 Approximate Value can be seen below:

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.46.11 PM


Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Data, | 2 Comments »

Wild Card Weekend

8th January 2016

At Pro Football Reference, we tend to deal in the factual, objective historical record.  Our website contains tables of things that really, actually happened already. This blog post will not involve that. Instead, today we're going to take a look at the hypothetical. Here's what could happen this weekend, in the four Wild Card games, and why: Read the rest of this entry »

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Catch Percentage Added to Receiving Stats Table

7th January 2016

We made a small enhancement to our NFL Receiving stats table by adding "catch percentage" as its own column. You can sort the data by that column to see which players caught the highest percentage of their targets. If you leave the "hide non-qualifiers for rate stats" box checked, it will only sort players with 30+ targets. Please bear in mind that targets are an unofficial category. Our numbers for targets are based on play-by-play descriptions from official accounts, but may slightly differ from numbers seen elsewhere. Our unofficial target data goes back to 1992, so you can run searches across multiple years for catch percentage via the Player Season Finder in the Play Index. For instance, Larry Fitzgerald's 2015 was the highest catch percentage on record by a 100-catch WR not named Wes Welker.

The best catch percentage by any qualified player since 1992 (regardless of position) was Cleveland Gary's 52 receptions on 55 targets in 1992.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Play Index, | Comments Off on Catch Percentage Added to Receiving Stats Table