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Archive for the 'Trivia' Category

Coaching History Added For All Head Coaches in NFL History

18th November 2019

With 6 new debuts this season, there have now been exactly 500 people in NFL history to be credited as head coach of a NFL team. Many of those coaches had to work their way up the ranks or prove their success elsewhere before getting their chance at the top position in the NFL. For a while, Pro-Football-Reference had full coaching history on the pages of modern coaches such as Bill Belichick, so you could trace his rise from a special assistant on the 1975 Colts to where he is today. However, we did not include that information for many historical coach profiles until now, as we have now filled in the coaching history of every head coach in NFL history where applicable.

While in today's environment it's more common to hire a coach with NFL assistant experience over a college coach, in the past many great coaches jumped directly from college to the NFL. Paul Brown rose from nearly a decade coaching at Massillon Washington High School to three years at Ohio State, and following two years coaching the Naval Station Great Lakes team got the call to coach the nascent Cleveland franchise. Sid Gillman was a head coach at Miami of Ohio and Cincinnati before getting his first NFL head coaching spot with the Los Angeles Rams.

The addition of this information also helps fill out NFL coaching trees, as displayed by the Employed and Employed By tables on our coach pages. Looking at Brown's Employed table, he employed future Hall of Fame coaches Weeb Ewbank (as a tackles coach) and Bill Walsh (as a QB and WR coach). A common narrative today is how the assistants of Bill Belichick have not gone on to solid head coaching careers, and similar things were said about Vince Lombardi's coaching branches, which included folks like Bill Austin, Norb Hecker and Mike McCormack.

Assistant coaches did not become the norm until around the 1940s, although even in the early days of the NFL there were cases such as Dim Batterson of coaches assisting before rising to the top post. In those days player-coaches were common, and most of them never went on to a different coaching position, which is why those coaching history tables will mostly remain bare. There were exceptions, such as Bob Dove who was a player-coach for the Chicago Rockets and would go on to take assistant positions with the Lions and Bills before becoming a long-time assistant for Youngstown State. College coaches were also common in the early days of the NFL, such as Ed Robinson, who began his coaching career way back in 1896 with Nebraska before eventually coaching the Providence Steam Roller for one season.

We give thanks to the Professional Football Researchers Association and the work of John Maxymuk who had done extensive research on NFL head coaching history, along with additional newspaper verification by Alex Bonilla. In the future we may also fill in the coaching history of offensive and defensive coordinators we are currently lacking that information for. If you have any corrections or additional information to share or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form or Pro Football Reference's official Twitter account. Thanks for following PFR!

Posted in Announcement, Data, Features, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | 1 Comment »

PFR Adds Preseason Over/Unders and Super Bowl Odds

6th May 2019

Pro-Football-Reference has added preseason Super Bowl odds back to 1977, as well as preseason over/unders on win totals back to 1989. This information can be found on a team's season page in their information profile. For example, you can go to the 2011 Eagles page and quickly spot they were +800 to win the Super Bowl before the season, and that the over/under for their win total was set at 10.5. (They would go on to finish under that year.)

You can also see the preseason Super Bowl odds and over/unders for all teams in a season by going to a league season page, and then following the Preseason Odds link located in the Other tab. Here's a link to the 2018 odds table, where you can spot the Super Bowl-winning Patriots having the best odds before the season and the highest-set over/under (which they pushed on).

One question that can be answered with this information is: who were the unlikeliest Super Bowl winners based on these preseason odds? Here's a look at the top 10 longest odds since 1977.

RAM 1999 +15000
NWE 2001 +6000
SFO 1981 +5000
PHI 2017 +4000
RAI 1980 +3500
WAS 1982 +3500
NYG 2007 +3000
RAV 2000 +2200
NYG 2011 +2200
NOR 2009 +2000

Also, here's a look at the teams since 1989 that outperformed their preseason over/unders the most.

O/U Wins Over by
RAM 1999 5.5 13 7.5
SDG 2004 4.5 12 7.5
PIT 2004 7.5 15 7.5
ATL 1998 7 14 7
MIN 1998 8.5 15 6.5
CLT 1999 6.5 13 6.5
ATL 2008 4.5 11 6.5
CAR 1996 5.5 12 6.5
CAR 2015 8.5 15 6.5
CHI 2001 7 13 6

A special thanks to sportsoddshistory.com for contributing to this addition to our site. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form. Also, please keep your eyes peeled for similar content coming to our other sites in the future.

Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Super Bowl, Trivia | 1 Comment »

“First x QB Starts” Searches Now Possible on PFR’s Player Game Finder

28th January 2019

A couple of weeks, Pro-Football-Reference added a feature to its Player Game Finder tool where you can now filter games by whether a player started or came in as a substitution. While we have that data available for all offensive and defensive players back to just 1999, we actually have data for starting quarterbacks all the way back to 1950. So with that information, we have now added another section to the Player Game Finder where you can search for a range of QB career starts. Most statheads will likely use this for searches involving a QB's first career start or to find cumulative statistics through a QB's first x starts.

Here are some examples of searches you can now execute with this new addition:

Patrick Mahomes has made 17 career regular season starts at QB and continuously set "first x QB starts" records in 2018. Right now, he has a 6-TD and 587-yard lead over Kurt Warner's first 17 starts at QB. He is also just ahead of Warner and Dan Marino for best passer rating in a QB's first 17 starts.

Lamar Jackson appeared in several games in the first half of 2018 but didn't get his first start until Week 11, when he dazzled with 119 rushing yards in a win over Cincinnati. That day he set a post-merger record for most rushing yards in a player's first start at QB, passing Randall Cunningham and Tim Tebow.

Nick Mullens made his first career start on Thursday Night Football and torched the Raiders for 3 TDs and a 151.9 passer rating. That's the highest passer rating of any QB who's made their first NFL start in a non-Sunday game. Honorable mention goes to AFL-era Patriots primary punter Tom Yewcic, who got his first start at QB at the age of 30 on a Friday night and posted a passer rating of 152.6 in a win over the Bills.

Check out our Player Game Finder and see if you can find any other interesting statistics to share! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Features, History, Play Index, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | 1 Comment »

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 SportsOddsHistory.com, 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, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | Comments Off on Postseason Point Spreads Now Available Back to 1966 on PFR

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, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | 1 Comment »

Ejection Totals and In-Game Tendencies Added to Manager Pages

24th October 2018

For manager pages on Baseball-Reference, we have added a column for ejections to their primary Managerial Stats table. Bobby Cox's career 162 ejections make for a nice finishing piece on his collection of accolades. We have ejections data for managers all the way back to the 1889 season, so even classics like John McGraw are fully accounted for. We'll also take the opportunity to mention that if you want to dig into what the cause for these ejections were, Retrosheet's Managers section will have that for you.

We have also added a new Managerial Tendencies table to managers' pages, showing how often their teams employed certain strategies and how their rate compared to the league they were managing in. We show a manager's tendencies in stolen base attempts at 2nd and 3rd, as well as how often their teams attempted sacrifice bunts, issued intentional walks, or made player substitutions.

Using one recent example, in Dusty Baker's final year with the Washington Nationals, his players attempted to steal 3rd base on 2.9% of the chances they had. Using 100 as the league average, Baker in 2017 had a league-adjusted rate of 180, meaning that Baker's team was attempting this almost twice as much as the average NL squad that season.

We have intentional walk tendencies back to 1955, while the other managerial tendencies are available since 1925. If you have any questions about this new feature or any other section of Baseball-Reference, feel free to contact us through our feedback form.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Features, History, Statgeekery, Trivia | 3 Comments »

Full Coaching Histories Since 1990 Added to Pro-Football-Reference

16th July 2018

On Pro-Football-Reference, while the majority of our statistics are for players, we also have a good amount of coaching data, including team ranks during a coach's tenure as well as coaching history. One of our offseason projects at PFR was to fill out the coaching history of every head coach and coordinator since 1990, and we have pushed that data out for the public eye today.

Some examples:

Tom Cable is currently an assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks, and he's been on the West Coast for the grand majority of his career, ever since he started off as a graduate assistant for Idaho and San Diego State in the late 1980s.

David Shula had an ignominious head coaching tenure for the Bengals of the 1990s, but now we've added in his 1991 year as a WR coach that got him promoted to head coach the ensuing season.

Lane Kiffin has been out of the NFL for a while, but we've added in his latter-day college experience as an offensive coordinator for Alabama and a head coach for Florida Atlantic. Never forget he got his head coaching gig with the Raiders from a college offensive coordinator position, so anything is possible.

To get at least one actually successful coach in here, Dick Vermeil now has his 1970s stints with UCLA as well as his 1969 season as the Los Angeles Rams' special teams coordinator included in his history.

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

Posted in Announcement, Data, History, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | 2 Comments »

Postponement and Cancellation Info Added To Baseball Team Schedules

24th April 2018

Thanks to the efforts of David Vincent (R.I.P.), Baseball Reference has added originally scheduled dates of games that were made up later in the season or unplayed due to other circumstances. We have now incorporated that information into our team schedules from 1877 up to 2016, with the 2017 and 2018 seasons coming later on.

This information, which is part of the Retrosheet database, also includes the reason for the postponement or cancellation of the game. So now it's easier to know the 2007 Indians played their first "home" series in Milwaukee due to snow in Cleveland. In addition to weather-related postponements, we also mark games that were pushed due to more tragic events, such as the 1968 Pirates and several other teams that season delaying their openers due to the funeral for Martin Luther King Jr.

As a final note, a reminder that the reason there was a second game that had to be forefited on Disco Demolition Night was because of a rainout for a game previously scheduled on May 2, 1979.

For more information on the source and other contributors to this project, please refer to Retrosheet.

Posted in Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Data, Trivia | 3 Comments »

A Discussion of WAR Wherein I Ardently Attempt to Avoid any WAR-Related Puns

21st November 2017

This article assumes a lot of prior knowledge about the discussion of Wins Above Replacement, you can catch up here

First off, none of us are here without Bill James. We are all at our very best merely Chaucer or Joyce to his Shakespeare. All sabermetrics predating him flowed into his work and all sabermetrics after him carries echoes of his work.

To the discussion at hand.
Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Academics, Advanced Stats, Baseball-Reference.com, Stat Questions, Statgeekery, Trivia, WAR | 9 Comments »

Find Players Older Than You Are

17th February 2015

With the retirement of Jason Giambi I've seen some talk from people that there are now no longer any MLB players older than them. Since I'm never one to pass up on the opportunity to make a relatively useless tool, I've added a quick Pro Football Reference page to find active NFL players as old or older than you are. Basically, we just need to hope that Adam Vinatieri keeps kicking.

Posted in Announcement, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Trivia | 2 Comments »