SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all PFR content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing PFR blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Pro-Football-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Chase and Jason, check out their work at Football Perspective and The Big Lead.

Archive for January, 2010

Checkdowns: Warner to Retire

Posted by Neil Paine on January 29, 2010

ESPN is reporting that Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is retiring from the NFL after 12 seasons. Everyone knows he's one of the all-time great human beings in the league, but this also closes the book on one of the most bizarre, roller-coaster careers any quarterback has ever had...

All that's left now is to fire up the Hall of Fame discussion... Are 3 great years and 3 good ones (sandwiched around 5 injury-plagued ones) enough to punch his ticket to Canton?

55 Comments | Posted in Checkdowns

Terry Bradshaw & Joe Montana – Playoff Mortals to Playoff Gods

Posted by Scott Kacsmar on January 28, 2010

by guest blogger Scott Kacsmar

The only two QBs in NFL history to go 4-0 in the Super Bowl are looked at as two of the best playoff performers of all time.

They won multiple Super Bowl MVP awards. Joe Montana has the record with three, and Terry Bradshaw won two in his final two appearances.

39 Comments | Posted in History, Player articles

HOF 2010: Floyd Little

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 28, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe; Jerry Rice; Richard Dent; Emmitt Smith; Dick LeBeau; Rickey Jackson

Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau are the two Seniors nominees for induction into the Hall of Fame Class of 2010. Unlike the discussion surrounding other candidates, where a voter may want to downplay the career of a Cris Carter in the hopes of getting a Tim Brown inducted, the Seniors' selections do not invite much criticism. If the player is inducted, great; if not, no one else will take his place. The player is debated on an island, with voters simply choosing whether or not to increase the size of the HOF's membership. Unfortunately, I think human tendencies are likely to allow borderline candidates to get in, as there's little harm in allowing the player to be inducted; no all-time great will be forced to wait because of Floyd Little. Even if you think Little might be the 15th most deserving candidate among all players who have been retired for 25 years, you can't get the other 14 in by shooting down Little. As a result, I think there's a good chance Little get in. But will he deserve it?

Before moving on, a quick thanks to all the great comments we've received during this series. Little is the lone finalist remaining to profile, and we've had a blast profiling all of the candidates for this year's class. Thanks for being a part of this series.

Little has his legion of supporters, and their support for his HOF candidacy usually breaks down into two arguments. Let's address them before analyzing his case in the usual way.

48 Comments | Posted in HOF, Player articles

HOF 2010: Rickey Jackson

Posted by Jason Lisk on January 27, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe; Jerry Rice; Richard Dent; Emmitt Smith; Dick LeBeau

He has a most common name, but even then it gets misspelled quite often. Perhaps if he had a catchy nickname or unusual last name, Rickey Jackson's Hall of Fame chances would have materialized before this year. He was no shrinking violet and often spoke his mind, but Jackson's career can be characterized by always being overshadowed--by teammates, contemporaries, and by playing for a franchise that didn't have a whole lot going for it when he arrived.

It began at the University of Pittsburgh. Jackson was a star high school player from Florida, and headed north to Pittsburgh, where he played on some of the most dominant defenses and some of the most talented college teams of all-time. Jackson was in the shadow of his fellow defensive end, Hugh Green, who finished second in the Heisman voting in 1980 as a a defender. When Pitt met South Carolina in the 1980 Gator Bowl, it was supposed to be about Heisman winner George Rogers versus runner-up Hugh Green. Jackson stole the show, making 19 tackles as the Panthers won in a rout, 37-9. He followed up that performance by being selected the MVP of the East-West Shrine game.

Still, after those great performances to end a stellar career for an elite program, Jackson fell to the 2nd round of the draft. He was not only overshadowed by his teammate, but also by the most dynamic linebacker of a generation, Lawrence Taylor. In most years, a player with the eventual career of Rickey Jackson would be the best linebacker from his class, but not in 1981. You could basically write LT's name in at one of the two all-pro spots for the next decade, during both Taylor and Jackson's primes. While LT joined the illustrious history of the New York Giants, Jackson was the first defensive selection of the New Orleans Saints by new coach Bum Phillips for his 3-4 defense. How bad was New Orleans as a franchise when Jackson was drafted? The franchise had been in existence since 1967, but had never made the playoffs, and had never even had a winning season in the fourteen seasons before Jackson was drafted. Jackson made an immediate impact with the Saints, and before the preseason was through, it was clear that Jackson was a playmaker and a steal in the second round. He finished with an unofficial rookie franchise record of 8 sacks in 1981 (the sack became an official statistic the next season, so those 8 are not included in his official career totals). Jackson led the Saints to 7-7 upset of eventual Super Bowl runner up Cincinnati in October of 1981, when he recovered a fumble on the opening drive and spearheaded a defense that held the Bengals to 205 yards of offense.

Still, Jackson toiled in the relative of anonymity of New Orleans early in his career. The Saints rose from the depths to the achieve mediocrity during Phillips' tenure, going 19-22 over a three year span from 1982-1984. During that time, the defense ranked in the top 5 in yards allowed (but lower in points due to the offense continually ranking near the bottom of the league). Jackson was named to his first pro bowl in his third season, and would be selected four consecutive seasons. Despite the Saints having a defense that ranged from average to above average over this time, the only other defensive Pro Bowler was Bruce Clark in 1984. During what we might consider his prime, from ages 25-28, Jackson was the clearly best player on a team without any stars, and made the defensive unit into an overall productive one.

Toward the end of the 1986 season, Jackson stated that he thought the Saints were on the verge of a defensive breakthrough and could turn into a Chicago Bears-type dominant defense. The team was in its first year with head coach Jim Mora, who had previously coached in the USFL with the Philadelphia Stars. Mora had brought with him two linebackers from the USFL, Sam Mills and Vaughan Johnson, and the team had also drafted Pat Swilling in 1986. Swilling and Johnson weren't starting full-time yet. When he said it, Jackson's prediction seemed borderline insane. By that time, the Saints were in their twentieth straight non-winning season, and he was suggesting they could be like the Bears defenses that were dominating the league at the time?

The Dome Patrol was born in 1987, and easily ranks as the best group of 3-4 linebackers in the league's history. The funny thing is, again, Rickey Jackson was overshadowed. He is the most likely member of the Dome Patrol to get enshrined in Canton, but if he had actually received more individual honors while playing as a member of the Dome Patrol, his case would be iron-tight. From 1987 to 1991, Jackson was not selected to a single pro bowl. In 1989, he missed the first two games of his career, as a result of a late night car accident in September that was expected to keep him out much longer. He played the remainder of the season with wires in his jaw.

Each of his three linebacker mates, meanwhile, were selected pro bowlers three times over that span. Perhaps he was taken for granted since the others were new and the additional impact they added could be seen. Clearly, he didn't have to do as much and carry the team like he did before 1987. With another outstanding edge rusher in Swilling, he may have had more responsibilities in coverage than before, when he was the pass rushing option. Jackson intimated as much in an interview before the 1991 season, when he groused that pro bowls were based on sacks, and he had slimmed up so he could get back to rushing the passer more. While he didn't make any pro bowls over that five year span, I think you can give him credit for what the group accomplished in terms of honors as a whole. He may not have won an award like the Defensive Player of the Year that Swilling won in 1991, but he should get an assist Swilling's 17 sacks and the DPOY Award, as teams couldn't just gameplan against Swilling.

Jackson returned to the pro bowl at ages 34 and 35, recording 25 sacks over those two seasons. 1992 is notable because every member of the Dome Patrol was selected to the pro bowl. Swilling went to Detroit as a free agent before the 1993 season, and Jackson kept on plugging, while the guy that replaced Swilling, Renaldo Turnbull also made the only pro bowl of his career.

At age 36, Jackson couldn't come to a contract agreement with New Orleans, and then signed a below market deal with the San Fransisco 49ers for a chance to win a Super Bowl ring. It paid off, as Jackson won a ring as starter on the 1994 San Fransisco 49ers. He retired after two seasons in San Fransisco, with 6 pro bowls to his credit, 128 sacks (plus 8 as a rookie), with well over 1,000 tackles, and 227 games played (the only two he missed were after the car accident in 1989). He was never selected as a first team all-pro by the Associated Press, which is likely their oversight and not an indictment of him, considering that a) LT occupied one of those spots for a decade and so their was only one up for grabs, and b) he did make multiple all-pro teams from other selecting groups.

Let's put Jackson's career up against other players who were never selected first team all-pro by the Associated Press and are currently in the Hall of Fame. There were lots of players pre-1950, but this is everyone who started their career since 1950.

position first last pro bowl starter career AV All Pro Other
LB Rickey Jackson 6 15 111 4
QB Troy Aikman 6 12 97 1
DE Elvin Bethea 8 14 89 0
LB Harry Carson 9 13 94 2
QB John Elway 9 16 138 1
RB John Henry Johnson 4 8 58 0
OT Mike McCormack 6 10 80 7
WR Tommy McDonald 6 9 68 3
QB Warren Moon 7 15 119 1
OT Jackie Slater 7 13 93 3
TE Jackie Smith 5 15 77 0
OT Bob St. Clair 5 11 80 5
QB Roger Staubach 6 8 104 0

Elway and Staubach both had Super Bowl MVP's on their resume as well, while Moon was selected as the AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1990. Comparing him to the other non-QB's on the list, Jackson rates very well. He is higher than everyone in AV (and significantly higher than several). He had more seasons where he was named to an all-pro team than everyone but St. Clair and McCormack, two offensive tackles who played the majority of their careers in the 1950's and had more selecting groups naming all-pros than in Jackson's era.

When we compare him to other linebackers using the Approximate Value method, his career total of 155 (which is different from the 111 listed above because it is just the raw sum of every season played, with no peak season weighting) ranks very favorably for induction. He is 9th all-time, and everyone ahead of him is either in the Hall of Fame or will be soon after they become eligible. He ranks ahead of thirteen linebackers already in Canton. Remember also that AV uses AP All Pro Selections as one of the weighing factors, and since he is the anti-Zach Thomas and was not favored by the Associated Press, he is arguably undervalued.

One of the great things about AV is that it identifies players like Jackson who were likely undervalued by things like just looking at pro bowls and all pros. So what is it that AV "sees" about Jackson? When he was on teams that had very few good players, the defense still performed at an above average level and Jackson was recognized as the best player. When he was on teams that had multiple stars on defense, those teams were elite with Jackson in the lineup. A player who seemed to always make the defensive teams he played with better seems to indicate a Hall of Fame talent to me. He was the underappreciated teammate playing opposite of the rare Heisman trophy defensive player runner up in college, and a defensive player of the year in the NFL a decade later. I don't think that was just coincidence. In 2010, he's finally getting recognized as a finalist, and it seems fitting that it is occurring in a year when the franchise he helped change from doormat to respectable NFL franchise is making its first appearance in the Super Bowl. The only thing that should keep him out in 2010 is the fact that three spots are effectively open for several players who have Hall of Fame resumes. He should be in eventually, if not this year.

Chances Rickey Jackson will make the HOF in 2010: Average

Chances Rickey Jackson will make ever the HOF: Very Good

11 Comments | Posted in Approximate Value, HOF, Player articles

HOF 2010: Dick LeBeau

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 26, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe; Jerry Rice; Richard Dent; Emmitt Smith

Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little are the two Seniors nominees for the HOF Class of 2010. The HOF increased the number of potential senior candidates per season to two beginning with the Class of 2004; the candidates since then are listed below.

2010: Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little
2009: Bob Hayes, Claude Humphrey
2008: Marshall Goldberg, Emmitt Thomas
2007: Gene Hickerson, Charlie Sanders
2006: John Madden, Rayfield Wright
2005: Benny Friedman, Fritz Pollard
2004: Bob Brown, Bob Hayes

So far, only Claude Humphrey and Marshall Goldberg have been turned down, although it took Hayes two tries to get in via the Senior's route. Officially, LeBeau is up for induction as a player, but it seems like some (a few? a majority? who knows) of the voters will take into account his career as a coach. We'll analyze both in this post.

27 Comments | Posted in HOF, Player articles

Checkdowns: Colts-Saints common players

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 24, 2010

The Colts and Saints do not have an illustrious history of players who played for both franchises. The complete list, with the player's career Approximate Value and the list of seasons during which he played for each team, below:

name av pos Colts Saints
Dave Rowe 52 DT-NT 1978 1967-1970
Ashley Ambrose 52 DB 1992-1995 1999; 2003-2004
Joe Federspiel 48 LB 1981 1972-1980
Sean Dawkins 48 WR 1993-1997 1998
Billy Newsome 46 DE-DT 1970-1972 1973-1974
Don Morrison 38 T-C 1978 1971-1977
Craig Heyward 38 RB 1998 1988-1992
Qadry Ismail 38 WR 2002 1998

8 Comments | Posted in Approximate Value, Checkdowns

Checkdowns: Colts offense uniquely successful

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 24, 2010

With the AFC Championship game just an hour away from starting, here's a stat I bet you haven't heard all week: the Colts set the NFL record this season for most passing first downs gained minus rushing first downs gained. Below are all the teams in league history to average eight more passing first downs than rushing first downs per game, along with their regular and post-season records:

tm year             fdp             fdrsh           diff/g win             loss             tie             pw pl
IND 2009 241 69 10.75 14 2 0 1 0
SDG 1985 259 92 10.44 8 8 0 0 0
ARI 2005 224 58 10.38 5 11 0 0 0
MIA 1986 250 84 10.38 8 8 0 0 0
NWE 1994 243 83 10.00 10 6 0 0 1
ARI 2008 231 72 9.94 9 7 0 3 1
DET 2006 208 53 9.69 3 13 0 0 0
ATL 1994 218 63 9.69 7 9 0 0 0
HOU 1990 251 97 9.63 9 7 0 0 1
GNB 1995 235 84 9.44 11 5 0 2 1
IND 2004 238 94 9.00 12 4 0 1 1
ARI 1996 214 70 9.00 7 9 0 0 0
STL 2002 219 76 8.94 7 9 0 0 0
SDG 2009 222 80 8.88 13 3 0 0 1
GNB 2007 210 69 8.81 13 3 0 1 1
MIA 1988 218 77 8.81 6 10 0 0 0
OAK 1964 186 63 8.79 5 7 2 0 0
IND 2008 220 80 8.75 12 4 0 0 1
ARI 2007 210 70 8.75 8 8 0 0 0
DET 1995 230 91 8.69 10 6 0 0 1
HOU 2009 231 93 8.63 9 7 0 0 0
ARI 2009 215 77 8.63 10 6 0 1 1
NOR 2007 232 94 8.63 7 9 0 0 0
CAR 2000 201 63 8.63 7 9 0 0 0
SDG 1980 244 106 8.63 11 5 0 1 1
HOU 1991 236 99 8.56 11 5 0 1 1
STL 2000 247 112 8.44 10 6 0 0 1
ATL 1996 202 67 8.44 3 13 0 0 0
DAL 2007 217 83 8.38 13 3 0 0 1
SDG 1984 240 106 8.38 7 9 0 0 0
CIN 2007 213 81 8.25 7 9 0 0 0
STL 2001 236 104 8.25 14 2 0 2 1
MIN 1995 223 91 8.25 8 8 0 0 0
ATL 1995 216 85 8.19 9 7 0 0 1
DET 2007 203 73 8.13 7 9 0 0 0
GNB 2005 206 76 8.13 4 12 0 0 0
GNB 2004 228 98 8.13 10 6 0 0 1
CAR 1999 208 78 8.13 8 8 0 0 0
SDG 1982 145 72 8.11 6 3 0 1 1
NOR 2008 232 103 8.06 8 8 0 0 0
IND 2006 241 112 8.06 12 4 0 4 0
STL 2007 193 65 8.00 3 13 0 0 0
BUF 2002 218 90 8.00 8 8 0 0 0
MIA 1984 243 115 8.00 14 2 0 2 1
SFO 1982 121 49 8.00 3 6 0 0 0

Few teams have ever used the passing game to move the chains like the Colts under Manning's reign. This year, the Colts took things to a new extreme, becoming the first team to ever gain 170 more first downs through the air than on the ground.

Their opponent in the AFC championship game? The only team in the NFL this season with more rushing first downs than passing first downs.

tm year             fdp             fdrsh           diff/g
IND 2009 241 69 172
SDG 2009 222 80 142
HOU 2009 231 93 138
ARI 2009 215 77 138
MIN 2009 220 99 121
WAS 2009 191 72 119
PIT 2009 210 96 114
NWE 2009 222 114 108
SEA 2009 184 80 104
NOR 2009 215 115 100
CHI 2009 170 71 99
GNB 2009 201 102 99
PHI 2009 182 87 95
DAL 2009 203 110 93
NYG 2009 194 103 91
DEN 2009 186 95 91
ATL 2009 192 105 87
DET 2009 168 82 86
STL 2009 159 79 80
BAL 2009 187 115 72
TAM 2009 148 80 68
SFO 2009 137 77 60
MIA 2009 188 129 59
JAX 2009 170 114 56
CIN 2009 159 109 50
OAK 2009 131 81 50
KAN 2009 139 91 48
BUF 2009 126 81 45
TEN 2009 154 115 39
CAR 2009 152 123 29
CLE 2009 118 102 16
NYJ 2009 131 132 -1

The 2009 Jets are pretty unusual in their own right; in modern times, nearly every team gains more passing first downs than rushing first downs. The table below shows the percentage of teams in the NFL each season that gained more first downs via the pass than via the run:

year perc
2009 97
2008 100
2007 100
2006 97
2005 100
2004 97
2003 100
2002 100
2001 97
2000 97
1999 100
1998 100
1997 100
1996 100
1995 100
1994 100
1993 100
1992 95
1991 100
1990 96
1989 100
1988 89
1987 100
1986 89
1985 89
1984 93
1983 89
1982 89
1981 80
1980 88
1979 75
1978 57
1977 57
1976 54
1975 56
1974 58
1973 42
1972 50
1971 77
1970 77
1969 85
1968 77
1967 76
1966 92
1965 82
1964 82
1963 93
1962 84
1961 95
1960 76
1959 50
1958 67
1957 58
1956 38
1955 25
1954 75
1953 42
1952 58
1951 42
1950 38

15 Comments | Posted in Checkdowns

#1 vs. #1 In the Super Bowl

Posted by Neil Paine on January 22, 2010

At the Hall of Fame's website, I came across a post that reminded me of a little research project I had wanted to do but never got around to it... As you probably already know by now, the #1 seeds from each conference have not faced each other in the Super Bowl since 1993, when the Cowboys beat the Bills in SB XXVIII, and in the 19 full playoffs since 1990 (when the league expanded the playoffs to the current 12-team format), the 1-vs-1 matchup has only taken place twice -- 1991 & 1993. Much has been made about this phenomenon, almost to the point that certain people said it was actually a bad thing to be a #1 seed (that HoF page said "there was a slim chance of the Colts and Saints meeting in South Florida in February"), so I wondered, is there something about the current format that discourages #1 seeds from facing off in the Big Game (i.e., what we're seeing since 1990 is to be expected), or are we in the midst of a random stretch where the #1 seeds simply haven't happened to make it very often, and a correction is to be expected in the future?

21 Comments | Posted in Statgeekery

HOF 2010: Emmitt Smith

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 21, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe; Jerry Rice; Richard Dent

Much like the Jerry Rice post, let's begin by running down a list of Emmitt Smith's accomplishments in his outstanding, Hall of Fame career:

Part I: Emmitt the Great

  • The career rushing leader with 18,355 rushing yards, Smith outgained Walter Payton by 1,629 yards and has a 5,865 yard edge on the current leader, LaDainian Tomlinson. He may have looked like a compiler by the end of his career, but he led the league in rushing yards four times and ranked in the top five in rushing during three other seasons. He also led the league in yards per carry with a 5.3 average in 1993.
  • Smith's the career leader in rushing touchdowns with 164; #3, Marcus Allen, only ran for three-fourths as many touchdowns as Smith did, while #2 (Tomlinson) is still 26 scores back of the Cowboy great. Smith ranked in the top five in rushing touchdowns an incredible nine times. He trails only Rice in total career touchdowns.

21 Comments | Posted in HOF, Player articles

Tecmo Super Bowl NFC Championship Game: Vikings at Saints

Posted by Neil Paine on January 21, 2010

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe and the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository, here's your Tecmo Super Bowl NFC Championship Game, featuring the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. The highlights:

(How did we do this? Matt and the other dedicated folks at the Knobbe.org message board have spent a lot of time over the years updating this classic Nintendo football game, including the introduction of a 32-team ROM a few seasons ago. Sounds complicated, but don't worry, it's easy for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor: just get yourself an NES emulator, download the 2009 version of Tecmo here, and play to your heart's content. And be sure to check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

12 Comments | Posted in Tecmo Super Bowl

Super Bowl III Play by Play

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 20, 2010

With another championship game coming up between the heavily favored Colts and the brash, young Jets (with a coach named Ryan on the sidelines), I decided to pop in my Super Bowl III DVD and provide a running play by play of the game. This blog has never done a full play-by-play report of a game before, and I think it's fitting that we start with a game that was played over 40 years ago. I'll warn you in advance that this is not intended for those who crave short, thought-provoking or exciting reading. In fact, this post is almost certainly bad. If you're okay with that, grab your popcorn.

Super Bowl III Boxscore

"NBC Sports presents the third AFL/NFL World Championship Game.... the Super Bowl. The American Football League champions the New York Jets against the National Football League champions, the Baltimore Colts.... at the Orange Bowl."

Your sponsors for the game: Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge, Schlitz, Gilette (selling the new adjustable, Techmatic razor) and TransWorld Airlines.

72 degrees, 15 mile per hour winds, 20% chance of rain.

7 Comments | Posted in Rant, Totally Useless

Tecmo Super Bowl AFC Championship Game: Jets at Colts

Posted by Neil Paine on January 20, 2010

Courtesy of Matt Knobbe and the Tecmo Super Bowl Repository, here's your Tecmo Super Bowl AFC Championship Game, featuring the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. The highlights:

(How did we do this? Matt and the other dedicated folks at the Knobbe.org message board have spent a lot of time over the years updating this classic Nintendo football game, including the introduction of a 32-team ROM a few seasons ago. Sounds complicated, but don't worry, it's easy for you to enjoy the fruits of their labor: just get yourself an NES emulator, download the 2009 version of Tecmo here, and play to your heart's content. And be sure to check back at Matt's site for roster updates and more Tecmo-related goodness all season long.)

5 Comments | Posted in Tecmo Super Bowl

Fifth Down Blog Post

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 19, 2010

With all of the fun we're having debating the Hall of Fame candidates this season, P-F-R teamed up with the New York Times' Fifth Down blog to answer the question: how is Super Bowl XLIV going to impact the Hall of Fame? Which players may earn busts with reat performances the next two games? And is there a 50% chance the QB that wins Super Bowl XLIV will become the new frontrunner for the answer to the question, which quarterback is the greatest of all-time?

Full post

Comments Off | Posted in Announcements

Feature Watch: League Total Pages

Posted by Neil Paine on January 19, 2010

Have you seen our league totals pages? If not, here's what you can find on them:

In addition to the NFL pages listed above, we also have the same stats for the following non-NFL leagues:

And if you want to look at professional football as a whole, we also have a page for All Leagues Combined.

3 Comments | Posted in Site Features

HOF 2010: Richard Dent

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 19, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe; Jerry Rice

Joe Namath. Larry Csonka. Lynn Swann. John Riggins. Marcus Allen. Those men aren't the first to pop into most minds when they think of Richard Dent, but that's my implicit association when hit with the question "Richard Dent: Hall of Famer?" All five men capped careers that were squarely "Hall of Very Good" with incredible playoff and/or Super Bowl performances that made them "Hall of Famers." They were the MVPs of Super Bowls III, VIII, X, XVII and XIII, respectively, and without those rings all of them would have had tough times making it to Canton. One day, we might remember the MVPs of Super Bowls XXXII (Terrell Davis) and XL (Hines Ward) the same way, as both of those players are still in the "HOVG" in most people's eyes.

How does this relate to Richard Dent? In the playoffs following the 1985 season, Dent recorded six sacks and five forced fumbles in three playoff games, culminating in being awarded the Super Bowl XX MVP trophy. Dent's fantastic performance isn't as fondly remembered as the men above, as his team's games were never in doubt. Chicago blew out all three opponents en route to being crowned champions; the Bears would score all the points they needed in the first quarter of each game. But while it lacked a dramatic flair, Dent's performance was still impressive. I noted that Terrell Davis set the single-season rushing record (regular and post-season combined) in 1998; well, Dent set the single-season official sack record (regular and post-season combined) in 1985, with 23 sacks. His 1985 season was one of the best in NFL history, as he also chipped in with 12 forced fumbles (regular and post-season, combined), scored a touchdown on an interception return, and was named first-team All-Pro on one of the greatest defenses of all-time.

6 Comments | Posted in HOF, Player articles

Support Pro-Football-Reference.com, Sponsor a Page

Posted by Neil Paine on January 18, 2010

Sponsoring a page is fun, fast, and easy way to support what we're doing here at Pro-Football-Reference. With a sponsorship, you can:

  • Show your support for your favorite player or team.
  • Drum up traffic for your own site & draw in fans with a common interest.
  • Get some well-deserved recognition for your support of PFR.
  • Make your voice heard by the tens of thousands of people who visit Pro-Football-Reference every day.

Here's all you have to do to get involved:

  1. Create a membership account.
  2. Find the page(s) you'd like to support, and click "sponsor" (available pages).
  3. If the page you want is already sponsored, click "Alert Me!" to be informed when the current sponsorship expires.
  4. Follow the instructions to create your message and make your payment.
  5. Your message and links will be visible on the page after we approve them (usually in less than 24 hours).

And who knows, if you're clever enough, your message might end up on lists like these.

1 Comment | Posted in General

Quarterbacks and fourth quarter comebacks, Part III

Posted by Scott Kacsmar on January 15, 2010

By Scott Kacsmar (posted by Sean Forman)

Last time I wrote out my methodology in gruesome detail for tabulating comebacks and game-winning drives. What's changed since then? Now that data can be found on every QB's page at Pro-Football-Reference in it's own table.

20 Comments | Posted in General, History, Site Features, Statgeekery, Trivia

HOF 2010: Jerry Rice

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 15, 2010

Previous HOF 2010 Bios: John Randle; Roger Craig; Russ Grimm; Steve Tasker; Aeneas Williams; Art Modell; Terrell Davis; Dermontti Dawson; Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Andre Reed; Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley; Cortez Kennedy; Don Coryell; Ray Guy; Cliff Branch; Shannon Sharpe

What can I write about Jerry Rice that hasn't been written before? The short answer: not much. Doug covered some of the more original things that one could write about Rice in a couple of blog posts at the end of 2006. I'm going to reproduce updated versions of Doug's those posts in Parts II and III below, but let's first take a look at the records he holds and the leaderboards he tops.

26 Comments | Posted in HOF, Player articles

Feature Watch: Super Bowl Section

Posted by Neil Paine on January 14, 2010

If you haven't seen the Super Bowl Section of our site yet, you should head over and check it out right now, because I'm sure you're going to refer to it often in the weeks leading up to the Big Game. Here are some of the features you'll find once you get there:

And, in my opinion, maybe coolest of all is the Super Bowl Play Finder tool. It's similar to the Play Index Touchdown Finder Tool, but instead of being limited to just TDs, it can actually search through every play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history to find events matching your criteria. Want to know the longest non-scoring plays in the first 10 Super Bowls? We can find that. Or the longest 3rd-down passes that didn't result in a 1st down? We have that, too. Or maybe even the longest 4th-quarter runs against the Steelers in a SB? You get the picture. Play around with it for long enough, and you'll unearth all kinds of crazy Super Bowl records.

So go ahead and try the Super Bowl Section right now -- it's free, easy to use, and best of all, with it you'll be able to dominate anyone who challenges you in Super Bowl trivia over the next three weeks.

4 Comments | Posted in Site Features

Checkdowns: 2009 All-Pro selections by the Associated Press

Posted by Chase Stuart on January 14, 2010

Today, the AP announced its selections for the All-Pro roster of 2009. All-Pro selections are a big component of the Approximate Value system here at P-F-R, and always play a role in Hall of Fame debates. You can see the voting breakdown here, but the results are:

21 Comments | Posted in Checkdowns

Page 1 of 212