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PFR Player Splits

Posted by Neil on September 6, 2012

If you want a variety of detailed splits for a player's stats, check out the Splits [+] option on his player page. By mousing over "Splits [+]", you can access career splits, as well as the numbers for any individual season of his career.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement, Features,

Things I Learned From the New PFR Play Finder: QBs in the Clutch

Posted by Neil on September 5, 2012

Might as well face it -- most people are going to use our new Play Finder tool to search for clutch stats on quarterbacks. How do I know this? Because, when Basketball-Reference rolled out its Play Index+, the most popular searches (by far) involved some combination of Kobe Bryant and clutch/late-game shooting splits.

And if there's anything fans love more than the fabled NBA "closer", it's the crunch-time QB.

So let's do this. Much like I did in the clutch receivers post, I'm going to dig up clutch stats for QBs from a variety of different angles. There is no one single, unifying definition of "clutch", but we can at least try to get close to a consensus by using the splits most people would think about when looking for clutch performances.

4 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features, Play Index,

Oracle of Baseball

Posted by Neil on September 4, 2012

Want to find a chain of teammates between any two players in MLB history, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style? Then check out our Oracle of Baseball, which can help you find things like this:

Chain from Mickey Mantle to Mike Trout

Mickey Mantle played with Bobby Murcer for the 1965 New York Yankees
Bobby Murcer played with Otis Nixon for the 1983 New York Yankees
Otis Nixon played with Torii Hunter for the 1998 Minnesota Twins
Torii Hunter played with Mike Trout for the 2011 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement,, Features

Things I Learned From the New PFR Play Finder: Which Teams Chewed Up the Most Rushing Yards by Half?

Posted by Neil on September 4, 2012

One old football aphorism was always that teams needed to "establish the run" -- running early, as the theory went, would set up the pass later in the game. Often it was cited that "Team X is 10-1 when they run 30 or more times in a game," or some such number that failed to see the difference between correlation and causation.

Later, researchers like Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz would point out that teams have such great records when they rush so frequently because the running game is used to run out the clock late in games by the team in the lead. Teams run when they win, not win when they run.

Using our new Play Finder tool, you can illustrate this by looking at rushing yards by half. Here were the teams who had the most rushing success in the first halves of games a year ago:

Team G Plays Yds Avg
CAR 16 218 1369 6.28
DEN 16 271 1325 4.89
MIN 16 249 1260 5.06
OAK 16 247 1225 4.96
HOU 16 262 1200 4.58
PHI 16 228 1145 5.02
CHI 16 230 1125 4.89
ATL 16 237 1064 4.49
BAL 16 223 1064 4.77
PIT 16 193 1029 5.33
SFO 16 227 1026 4.52
JAX 16 222 1015 4.57
MIA 16 237 988 4.17
NOR 16 180 979 5.44
KAN 16 246 969 3.94
DAL 16 206 960 4.66
STL 16 224 952 4.25
BUF 16 191 938 4.91
WAS 16 220 913 4.15
SDG 16 207 896 4.33
NYJ 16 225 896 3.98
IND 16 220 865 3.93
SEA 16 225 857 3.81
CIN 16 217 801 3.69
NWE 16 193 789 4.09
CLE 16 221 782 3.54
GNB 16 161 721 4.48
NYG 16 184 707 3.84
DET 16 165 696 4.22
ARI 16 176 695 3.95
TAM 16 176 671 3.81
TEN 16 170 592 3.48

And here were the most successful rushing teams in the 2nd half:

Team G Plays Yds Avg
HOU 16 284 1247 4.39
DEN 16 258 1233 4.78
NOR 16 248 1138 4.59
PHI 16 221 1129 5.11
MIN 16 199 1057 5.31
CAR 16 227 1033 4.55
SFO 16 269 1006 3.74
MIA 16 230 987 4.29
BUF 16 200 984 4.92
CIN 16 238 978 4.11
NWE 16 245 975 3.98
JAX 16 267 956 3.58
BAL 16 236 932 3.95
SDG 16 220 915 4.16
KAN 16 234 906 3.87
ARI 16 201 900 4.48
SEA 16 218 900 4.13
CHI 16 224 883 3.94
OAK 16 217 879 4.05
PIT 16 241 875 3.63
TEN 16 206 847 4.11
DAL 16 198 842 4.25
GNB 16 234 838 3.58
DET 16 191 825 4.32
NYJ 16 218 796 3.65
TAM 16 172 784 4.56
ATL 16 215 772 3.59
CLE 16 192 732 3.81
IND 16 162 731 4.51
NYG 16 227 722 3.18
WAS 16 178 698 3.92
STL 16 184 696 3.78

If you look at how those numbers correlate to winning percentage, total 1st-half rushing yards have a Pearson coefficient of -0.090 (meaning there's practically no relationship -- and whatever relationship there is is negative!), while yards per rush in the 1st half have a 0.179 correlation with winning. 2nd-half total rushing yards have a correlation of 0.289 with winning percentage, and yards per carry in the 2nd half has a correlation of -0.303.

These are small correlations, but the point is that total 2nd-half rushing success is much more correlated with winning than 1st-half rushing (which has practically no relationship with winning whatsoever). In other words, so much for "establishing the run."

More interestingly, per-play rushing success in the 2nd half has the strongest correlation of any of the variables I looked at above... and it's negative! This makes sense, because teams running out the clock are often calling safe, straight-ahead plunge plays, while defenses with the lead are willing to concede effective runs to the trailing offense.

Because of those factors, the most telling numbers of all are simply that 1st-half rushing attempts had a -0.312 correlation with winning, while 2nd-half rushing attempts had a correlation of 0.612.

Which basically proves once again that teams need to establish the pass early, not the run, and use rushing to run out the clock once they have the lead.

2 Comments | Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Play Index,

Things I Learned From the New PFR Play Finder: Clutch Receivers

Posted by Neil on August 30, 2012

For the few week or two, I'll be looking at a different example search from the new PFR Play Finder tool. Today's topic: Clutch Receivers...

Who was the best clutch receiver in the game last season? Obviously any definition of "clutch" is going to be pretty arbitrary, but let's use the Play Finder to look at this from a couple of different angles.

First, who were the best receivers in the 4th quarter or OT? Here's who had the most yards:

Player T C Pct Yds TD
Victor Cruz 59 39 0.661 692 6
Larry Fitzgerald 62 32 0.516 682 5
Steve Smith 35 22 0.629 457 0
Calvin Johnson 43 29 0.674 452 5
Wes Welker 43 31 0.721 418 2
Reggie Wayne 47 29 0.617 411 3
Dwayne Bowe 49 27 0.551 393 2
Rob Gronkowski 32 26 0.813 392 4
Jimmy Graham 36 26 0.722 380 2
Pierre Garcon 56 30 0.536 370 2

1 Comment | Posted in Announcement, Features, Play Index,

BBR: “Sticky” Menus on Player, Team, and Season Pages

Posted by Justin Kubatko on August 30, 2012

I have modified the player, team, and season pages to make it a little easier to navigate the site.

On the player pages there is a gray menu bar that will "stick" to the top of the page as you scroll down. You can use this menu to access the various tables within the page (totals, per game, etc.) and to jump to a player's game logs, splits, shot charts, and finders. I have also added some extra tables to the player pages. Previously there was a basic table with playoff totals & per game stats and an advanced table with advanced playoff stats. Now there are four playoff tables: Totals, Per Game, Per 36 Minutes, and Advanced.

There is also a menu bar on the team pages. From this bar you can jump to a team's roster & stats, schedule & results, transactions, game log, and splits. Also, if you hover over the team name you will see a dropdown list with links to every season in the team's history.

The menu bars on the league and playoff pages contain links to the various season pages (summary, schedule & results, etc.). If you hover your mouse over the league name, you will see a dropdown list with links to every season in the league's history.

Although some may find these menus obtrusive at first, I think that with time you will appreciate the improved functionality, in particular when using the player pages. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions, either here or using the feedback system.

16 Comments | Posted in Announcement,

The Stumble to 500,000 MLB Errors

Posted by admin on August 30, 2012

This is utterly random, completely meaningless and less than 100% accurate, but earlier this summer I noticed, that MLB was nearing 500,000 errors since 1876. We track all all-time stats on our seasons index. So as the half million mark approached, I decided to add a counter to the front page of the site. We'll also try to pinpoint the offending player on the day the milestone is broken.

Are we 100% certain this will actually be the true, honest-to-god, real 500,000th error since 1876? No, it undoubtedly isn't as there are lots of accounting discrepancies in the "official" record, especially in the fielding stats. I'm sure Elias has a different number and in our case our player-by-player and team stats don't even match up on error, putout or assist totals. For pre-1970's results, fielding records were mostly an afterthought and no effort was made to make sure they balanced at the end of the season. But it's a fun milestone, so we're going to track it.

UPDATE: One other issue that may affect things is that some errors are overturned at a later date, so even on the night we deign an error the 500,000th it may actually move up or down the last next week when mlb reviews borderline scoring calls.

So always remember this milestone is for fun and is accurate to the best of our ability, but in no way 100% accurate.

12 Comments | Posted in Announcement,, Expire30d

Introducing the PFR Play Finder!

Posted by Neil on August 29, 2012

Thanks to a lot of hard work by our programmer Mike Kania, Pro-Football-Reference is proud to introduce the PI Play Finder, which allows you to query play-by-play data from every NFL game since 2000. Here are a few of the things you can use this tool for:

...You get the idea. With this feature, you can find events and calculate splits where the only limit is your imagination.

So enjoy the new Play Finder, and as always, let us know via email if you find any bugs or have any suggestions.

6 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Play Index,

NBA Referee Pages on BBR

Posted by Justin Kubatko on August 27, 2012

This is just a short announcement to let you know that I have added a referees section to The main index lists each referee and includes a link to his or her page. Please note that the personal fouls columns on these pages include all fouls, not just fouls called by a particular referee.

Referee data is available for the 1988-89 through 2011-12 seasons. There are 13 games from the 1990-91 season and one game from the 1995-96 season that are missing referees:

  • Jan 15, 1991, CHH at LAL
  • Mar 2, 1991, ORL at DEN
  • Mar 2, 1991, SAC at SEA
  • Mar 23, 1991, MIN at UTA
  • Apr 27, 1991, HOU at LAL
  • Apr 27, 1991, GSW at SAS
  • May 4, 1991, SEA at POR
  • May 10, 1991, LAL at GSW
  • May 11, 1991, BOS at DET
  • May 11, 1991, POR at UTA
  • May 18, 1991, LAL at POR
  • May 25, 1991, CHI at DET
  • May 26, 1991, POR at LAL
  • Dec 19, 1995, POR at SAS

If you can can find a source that lists the referees for any of these games, please let us know in the comments section or by sending us a message through our feedback system.

Comments Off | Posted in Announcement,, Features

New Injury Information at PFR

Posted by Neil on August 20, 2012

We're happy to announce that we've added new injury information to Pro-Football-Reference:

  • Current-Season Injuries - The 2012 team pages now have "Current Injuries" tables that pull from the NFL's most recent injury report.
  • Team Injury Grids - Dating back to 2009, we have team injury grids that display the injury-report status for every player on the roster for each week of the season.

Hopefully these will help you in your research and with your fantasy teams!

3 Comments | Posted in Announcement, Features,

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