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Postseason Point Spreads Now Available Back to 1966 on PFR

15th January 2019

People have been betting on football for decades, and the data surrounding that industry can give us valuable context by informing who was favored at the time and by how much. Because of that, Pro-Football-Reference included all Super Bowl point spreads in the big game's history, as well as all regular season and postseason games since 1977. And now, with a big thanks to, we have now extended our postseason point spread data to cover the full Super Bowl era (since 1966).

That covers a lot of historic playoff matchups that PFR previously did not have point spread information on. For example, the 1967 NFL Championship, known today as The Ice Bowl, had the Packers favored by 7 going into the game; that game-winning sneak by Bart Starr was not enough to cover. There's the 1972 AFC Divisional matchup between the Raiders and the Steelers, who were actually 2-point underdogs at home but escaped with the win thanks to the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris. And then there's the 1975 Vikings, who were favored by 8 points when they fell to the Cowboys in the 1975 divisional round thanks to Roger Staubach's Hail Mary to Drew Pearson.

This newly added data is searchable in the Team Game Finder section of the Play Index. One search you could look for is biggest home underdogs in the playoffs by point spread, and that search would reveal that the 1966 Cowboys, who were 7-point underdogs at home in the 1966 NFL Championship, held that mark until the 2010 Seahawks took their place atop the leaderboard. The 2010 Seahawks covered, while the '66 Cowboys ended up pushing.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Data, History, Play Index, Playoffs,, Trivia | No Comments »

Starting and Relief Stats Now Searchable on PFR’s Player Game Finder

11th January 2019

One of Pro-Football-Reference's Play Index tools is the Player Game Finder, which can do many kinds of game-level searches. A new filter we've just added to the form is searching just for games where the player started or games where the player did not start. We have this information back to 1999 for offensive and defensive players.

Some examples of searches you can now do with this new feature:

Derrick Henry had a monster 47.8 fantasy points (standard scoring) in Week 14 against the Jaguars this year, but Dion Lewis was the starting running back for the Titans that night. Since 1999, Henry's game is the most fantasy points by a non-starter.

Amobi Okoye started the first game of the 2007 season for the Texans at 20 years and 91 days old, while Tremaine Edmunds' first start this year, also a Week 1 situation, came at 20 years and 130 days old. Those two are the youngest players to start an NFL game since 1999.

Elvis Dumervil has 105.5 sacks in his career, 42 of those coming in games he didn't start. He edges out Robert Mathis for most sacks in relief since 1999.

If you want to weed out QBs brought in for trick plays and only focus on QBs who were targeted as a receiver in a game they started at QB, you can do that now. Drew Brees leads with 9 QB starts where he was targeted, and Donovan McNabb with 8 such starts.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, Play Index,, Trivia | No Comments »

Provisional 2018 Approximate Value Live on Pro-Football-Reference

8th January 2019

With last week's announcement of the 2018 All-Pro teams, we're pleased to report that we've added 2018 Approximate Value (AV) numbers to the site for all NFL players. Note that these numbers are just provisional right now; the final numbers will be released after the Pro Bowl rosters are finalized. However, there's already some interesting preliminary information to take a look at.

As of now, Patrick Mahomes is the clear AV leader at 22, with Jared Goff, Tyreek Hill, Mitchell Schwartz and Darius Leonard tied at 18. Leonard currently has the second-highest AV by a defensive rookie since 1960, only trailing Patrick Peterson's 20-AV season in 2011. As for Mahomes, his AV is second only to Priest Holmes' 2002 season in Kansas City Chiefs history.

Not sure what AV is? To learn more about PFR's attempt to put a single number on each player-season since 1960 (for the purposes of comparing players across position and era), check out this link. For this year's full AV leaderboard, go here.

Posted in Advanced Stats, Announcement, Features, Leaders, Play Index, | 1 Comment »

Multiple Positions Now Searchable in PFR’s Player Game Finder

31st October 2018

Pro-Football-Reference's set of Play Index tools includes a Player Game Finder that is able to do many kinds of searches for single-game performances. One of the filters you're able to use in the Player Game Finder is position, which is available at the single-game level back to 1999. Previously you were only able to search for one position at a time, but now we've instituted the same checkbox system used by the Player Season Finder so that you can search across multiple positions at a time.

An example of a search that is now possible is games in which an offensive lineman or defensive player got a receiving touchdown. Leonard Wester in Week 14 of 2017 was the most recent player, and frequent end zone visitors like Donald Penn and J.J. Watt also show up in the search.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Play Index, | No Comments »

Game-Level Forced Fumbles/Fumble Recovery Data Added

25th October 2018

We recently announced an addition of a variety of defensive statistics to Pro-Football-Reference. Now, we have also added game-level forced fumble and fumble recovery data to the site. These statistics are from the same source as the other recently added defensive statistics and are available back to 1999 as well. Forced fumbles and fumbles recovered can be found in player game logs, box scores and are searchable in the Player Game Finder and Player Season Finder in the Play Index.

Since 1999, Charles Tillman is the single-game record holder with 4 forced fumbles on November 4, 2012. In that same time span, Rod Woodson in 2002 and Brian Young in 2003 are the only defensive players to recover 3 fumbles in a game.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Play Index, | 1 Comment »

Offensive Line Penalties on Pro Football Reference

22nd October 2018

Offensive linemen stat pages are usually barren due to the lack of official individual statistics for that positional group. One of the few objective ways we have for evaluating offensive lineman is to look at penalties committed, and for that reason we've added a special section on offensive line player pages to break down holding, false start, and total penalties committed in a season. This penalty data is available back to 1994 when we first have play-by-play data.

We have also added a section to our season pages with a full table of offensive linemen sorted by penalties committed. Going to the 2017 season page, we can see that Seahawks tackle Germain Ifedi "led" the league with 16 accepted penalties. So far this season, Julie'n Davenport of the Houston Texans and Desmond Harrison of the Cleveland Browns are at the top with 6 accepted penalties, in addition to 2 declined/offset penalties. Jason Peters of the Eagles leads the league in just accepted penalties, with 7 of them this year.

Also, this is a reminder that we have penalty data since 1994 for all players, regardless of position, in the More tab of a player's page. So if you want to look at Jadeveon Clowney's 6 accepted penalties this season, you can go to his Career Penalties page.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, | No Comments »

New Defensive Stats Added to Pro Football Reference

17th October 2018


Officially tracked statistics in football often do a poor job of describing or summarizing events on the field. This can be especially true for defensive players. To help rectify this, we've added some new defensive statistics to the site. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, Play Index, | 8 Comments »

Kenny Jackelen Joins Sports Reference

11th October 2018

Kenny Jackelen has joined Sports Reference as a web developer. Kenny will be working on our baseball site and elsewhere. He brings a long history of software development to Sports Reference. He previously worked as a software developer at Epic, and lives with his family in Minnesota where he cheers on the Twins and will be leading the Joe Mauer for Hall of Fame election bandwagon. He's on twitter at @kennyjackelen.

This brings us to eleven full-time employees. We don't have any open positions at this moment, but any future opportunities will be advertised both here and on social media accounts.

Posted in Announcement,,, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire10d, FBref,, | 3 Comments »

Combined Penalty and Penalty Yard Searches on PFR

7th September 2018

Another addition we've made to Pro-Football-Reference's Team Game Finder tool are searches for combined accepted penalties in a game, as well as combined accepted penalty yards in a game. Previously, you could already search penalties on either side, but now you can have a fuller look at games by searching for those combined figures.

This addition comes just as the first game of the 2018 season finished with a combined 26 penalties. While it's a common refrain that Week 1 is particularly penalty-happy due to teams shaking off rust, here's a look at how high Thursday's matchup finished among Week 1 games in the post-merger era (since 1970).

Query Results Table
Pena Pena Pena Pena Pena Pena
Rk Tm Date Opp Week Day Result Pen Yds OppPen OppYds CombPen CombPenYds
1 TEN 2003-09-07 OAK 1 Sun W 25-20 11 111 17 173 28 284
2 PHI 2018-09-06 ATL 1 Thu W 18-12 11 101 15 135 26 236
3 STL 1996-09-01 CIN 1 Sun W 26-16 11 61 15 96 26 157
4 ATL 1990-09-09 HOU 1 Sun W 47-27 16 139 9 70 25 209
5 OAK 1977-09-18 SDG 1 Sun W 24-0 13 105 12 103 25 208
6 OAK 2011-09-12 @ DEN 1 Mon W 23-20 15 131 10 91 25 222
7 KAN 1998-09-06 OAK 1 Sun W 28-8 9 63 15 134 24 197
8 WAS 2012-09-09 @ NOR 1 Sun W 40-32 12 127 12 107 24 234
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/7/2018.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Play Index, | Comments Off on Combined Penalty and Penalty Yard Searches on PFR

Dan Hirsch Joins Sports Reference

4th September 2018

Dan Hirsch joins Sports Reference today as a web developer. If you are a baseball fan, you likely know Dan's name from his work as the creator of The Baseball Gauge. At the Baseball Gauge, he's done a great deal to promote Negro League History, the History of Ballparks, and also the comparison of various sabermetric uber-stats. We are excited to have him on board. Dan lives in Omaha with his family and follows the Tampa Bay Rays and Florida Gators. He's on Twitter at @DanHirsch.

Posted in Announcement,,, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire21d, FBref,,, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »