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New Punting Stats Added to Pro Football Reference

29th November 2022

Thanks to some research from Pete Palmer and Ken Pullis, we've been able to add several new categories of punting statistics all the way back to when they were first officially tracked in 1976 to Pro Football Reference. The addition of this new data is substantial enough that we have also decided to split out a separate punting stats table from the kicking stats. This means that these statistics will now be in separate tables (rather than merged together) on player, team, league, season, etc pages. A good example of the change is Craig Hentrich, an NFL punter from 1994-2009, who also spent many seasons of his career handling kickoff duties (and occasionally kicking field goals and extra points). His statistics will not only now be more detailed, but hopefully more digestible, as well.

To complement the punt stats we've always carried (punts, punt yards, yards per punt, long punt and punts blocked), we've added return yards against, net punt yards, net yards per punt, touchbacks, touchback percentage, punts inside the 20 and percentage of punts inside the 20.

In addition to appearing on a seasonal level, these new statistics are also presented on a game-by-game level. For instance, here are Hall of Famer Ray Guy's game-by-game punting statistics in 1976.

We hope you enjoy these new additions.

Posted in Announcement, History, | No Comments »

NFL Point Spread Data Added Back to 1952

18th November 2022

Thanks to our friends at SportsOddsHistory, we've added NFL point spread data that is 100% complete back to 1969 and nearly complete back to 1952*. This data includes AFL games and allows us to expand our point spread searches in the Stathead Team Game Finder all the way back to 1952.

This new data produces some of the largest point spreads we've seen in NFL games. The largest regular season point spread in our dB is now November 13, 1966 when the Baltimore Colts were favored by 28 over the Atlanta Falcons (they did not cover).

The 1960s also included a pair of 20-point dogs that won outright (Vikings over Packers in 1967 and Dolphins over Oilers in 1966).

Additionally, we have added point spread data for a smattering of games between 1941 and 1951, including every championship game (including AAFC) from 1941-51. However, these pre-1952 games are not searchable in Stathead and will just be presented in the box scores for now.

We'd also like to add that while this data expansion gives us point spreads back to 1952, our over/under data is still only complete back to 1978 (except for Super Bowls).

*The data is nearly complete (as opposed to fully complete), because we are missing lines for the following number of games: 1968 (4), 1967 (1), 1965 (2), 1964 (3), 1963 (4), 1962 (3), 1961 (2), 1960 (4), 1953 (2), 1952 (9).

Below is a list of these missing point spreads:

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, History,, Stathead | Comments Off on NFL Point Spread Data Added Back to 1952

New Sack Data Added for Quarterbacks

11th November 2022

Entering the 2022 NFL season, the NFL Record and Fact Book (the official record book of the National Football League) listed Ben Roethlisberger as the all-time leader in 'Most Time Sacked, Career' (as it is listed in the guide) with 554. Tom Brady was listed second with 543. Above this list is the note 'Times Sacked has been compiled since 1963."

Subsequently, Brady made a bit of news when he recently passed Big Ben to become the 'all-time' leader in Times Sacked.

Entering the season, Pro-Football-Reference would have listed the same leaderboard as the Record and Fact Book, though our statistics for this category went back to only 1969. However, thanks to the expert research of T.J. Troup, and some consultation with the great John Turney, our updated all-time 'Times Sacked' leaderboard also has a new leader. But it's not Tom Brady. It is Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, History,, Statgeekery | 1 Comment »

New Bot Filtering and Content Delivery Network for Sports Reference Sites

7th October 2022

Our devops department finished our move from AWS's Cloudfront Content Delivery Network (CDN) to Cloudflare's CDN this week. This will be undecipherable technical jargon to most of you, so I'll explain what it means.

When you request a page or file from the site, the request first goes to a CDN that is located geographically close to you and if a neighbor of yours (within several hundred miles) has requested the page earlier in the day, you'll get a cached copy of that page much faster than you would otherwise. If your neighbors are lame and don't use our site or just haven't visited that page, then the request will be passed on to our servers and we'll send you the page.

This has many advantages in that it takes a load off our servers and also makes things faster in general for our users the more the sites are used.

Cloudflare also includes bot filtering with this offering. It actively searches for badly behaved bots and proactively blocks them from our site. We are now utilizing this feature because we get scraped. A LOT. And if your bot is badly behaved then we don't want you impacting the performance of the site for our other users. We've gotten a number of emails around this this week as people who have been scraping us have found themselves blocked.

As of today, this filtering will remain in place for our:

  • Soccer/Football
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • College sites

We are turning off the active bot filtering on our baseball and pro football sites at this time. We will re-enable bot filtering the week after the end of their respective seasons.

What is a well-behaved bot? Please see our Data Use page and our Bot Traffic page for guidance. Note that if you are blocked by our servers, the blocks reset after 24 hours, so with some more polite settings on your bot you may be able to try again the next day.

We can not provide an API (per our data licensing agreements), and you should not view as a data provider (on par with SportRadar or Genius Sports). This is a role that we do not and can not support with company resources.

Posted in Announcement,,, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, Data, expire120d, FBref,,, Stathead | Comments Off on New Bot Filtering and Content Delivery Network for Sports Reference Sites

We Added Advanced Stats to Stathead Football!

6th October 2022

We're very excited to announce a new update to Stathead that incorporates a wide range of new advanced stats from Pro Football Reference. Previously, these stats were available on the season, team, and player pages of PFR, but now you can use the searching ability of Stathead to discover the answers to more questions using that data. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, | Comments Off on We Added Advanced Stats to Stathead Football!

New Tool Added to Stathead Football!

22nd August 2022

We're excited to announce a brand new tool on Stathead Football. It's called the Team Season Finder and, as you might guess, you can use it to look up team stats over a single season, a range of seasons, or the entire history of the NFL. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Stathead | Comments Off on New Tool Added to Stathead Football!

Stathead Update! Check out the New and Improved Football Team Game Finder

6th July 2022

We're excited to let you know about the latest update to Stathead. This time, we've upgraded the Football Team Game Finder. This tool, which lets you search through Pro Football Reference's database of game stats, has gotten some new features, under-the-hood improvements, and a lot more. Let's take a look. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Stathead | Comments Off on Stathead Update! Check out the New and Improved Football Team Game Finder

New Updates to the Player Game Finder on Stathead Football

1st June 2022

After last week's exciting news about the Player Game Finder on Stathead Hockey, we're pleased to announce that we're dropping the same sort of update to that tool on Stathead Football!

Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Stathead | 1 Comment »

Sports Reference Promotes Three to Director Roles

7th April 2022

Since the start of the year, Sports Reference has promoted three team members into director roles.

Jaclyn Mahoney, Director of Operations and Strategic Planning, leads our work on internal operations including our policies, procedures and our strategic planning. She started with SR as a data developer in early 2018.

Adam Darowski, Product Director, will lead Sports Reference's product development and product team. Adam was previously our Head of User Experience joining SR in late 2020.

Mike Lynch, Data Director, will lead Sports Reference's data work. He will lead both our internal data team and also independent contractors and our data vendors. Mike was previously our Stathead product manager. He joined SR in 2014.

Posted in Announcement,,, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, FBref,, | Comments Off on Sports Reference Promotes Three to Director Roles

A Plethora of Historical NFL Awards Data Added to PFR

4th March 2022

Thanks to the research of John Turney, we have made a big addition in our coverage of historical awards given to the NFL's top players. With this addition, more context can be given to which players were considered the best in various categories. Here follows a list of the latest additions we have made:

Again, a big thanks to John Turney for collecting and providing this data. Turney's name may be familiar as we have also credited him in our addition of AP award voting breakdown data as well as pre-1982 sacks. If you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to contact us directly via our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, Features, History, | 2 Comments »