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Let’s Have Some Fun With Numbers Part II

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Spoiler Alert: This post is going to discuss some simple math and stats. It’s going to use spreadsheets and charts. If you want to bail now, I understand. I hope you stay with it.

“Mean” in mathematics is “Average”. “Regression To The Mean” is a statistical process used to even out the data. It basically states that if a variable is extreme the first time you measure it, it will be closer to average the next time you measure it. In technical terms, it describes how a random variable outside the norm eventually tends to return to the norm.

http://www.statisticshowto.com/regression-mean/

In the first post, I focused on Miami’s entire offense statistics.

http://www.thephinsider.com/2017/5/26/15691800/miami-dolphins-offensive-statistic-rankings-average-more-snaps

This 2nd post will focus on individual players on Miami’s offense.

As I did in the first post, I broke Miami’s season into Games 1-5 and Games 6-16 for the individual players. Keeping that consistency is important because you will see differences in stats between those seasons within a season for individual players as well.

Let’s start with the least controversial player on Miami’s offense, Ryan Tannehill. For Ryan’s 13 games played, here is where he ranked for the league:

· 24th in the league averaging 230.0 Passing Yards / Game.

· 6th in the league in Completion % at 67.1%.

· 8th in the league in Yards / Attempt at 7.70.

· 12th in the league in QB Rating at 93.5.

Now, if we break down Tannehill’s stats by Games 1-5 and Games 6-13 (he missed the last 3 games), this is what you get.

With the exception of passing yards and yards / attempt, every meaningful “stat” for Tannehill went up in Games 6-13 compared to Games 1-5. He threw fewer passes / game (2 fewer) in Games 6-13, but maintained the same number of completions. Completion % up, QB Rating Up, Average TD Passes / Game Up, Average INT’s / Game Down.

If Tannehill could have used the “stats” from weeks 6-13 over the entire year, his overall ranking in the NFL would have looked like this:

· 26th in the league averaging 215.4 Passing Yards / Game.

· 4th in the league in Completion % at 69.1%.

· 13th in the league in Yards / Attempt at 7.40.

· 6th in the league in QB Rating at 100.1.

QB Rating, for me, is a good indicator for the overall performance of the offense. It’s hard to have a poor offense when the QB is efficient and that is what QB Rating is attempting to put a “stat” too, QB Efficiency. Being 6th in the league with 100+ QB Rating is VERY GOOD. In Games 6-13, where Tannehill maintained an average of 100+ QB Rating, Miami was 7-1. In the 1 game where he wasn’t efficient, Baltimore, Miami suffered their only loss in that stretch.

I’ve said repeatedly that this was Tannehill’s best year as a Pro. The stats over Games 6-13 point to that. Top 10 in Completion % and QB Rating are very telling stats. Being in the top half of the league in Yards / Attempt is a very telling stat. Those are stats to monitor in 2017.

Fun With Numbers For Ryan Tannehill (13 Games):

· (2) 300+ yard passing games for a total of 706 yards in those games. The 706 yards in 2 games make up 23.5% of passing yards on the season.

· 3 Passing TD’s in 3 Different Games. That’s 47.4% of Tannehill’s total passing TD’s (19) on the season. Miami was 3-0 in those games.

· 2+ INT’s in 4 Different Games. Miami was 1-3 in those games.

· Miami was 5-1 in games without an INT from Tannehill.

· Miami was 3-4 in games with an INT from Tannehill.

Let’s now look at my favorite player on Miami’s offense, Jay Ajayi. IMO, he was the glue that held the offense together, especially in Games 6-16 when Miami’s offense (and team) took off. As I showed in the Team Post, Miami’s offense ran the ball more in Games 6-16 than they did in Games 1-5. The main reason for that was the success of Jay Ajayi. Here are Ajayi’s ranks for his seasonal stats in the NFL:

· 4th in the league Total Rushing Yards at 1,272.

· 7th in the league in Yards / Attempt at 4.9.

· 4th in the league in Yards / Game at 84.8.

· Tied For 11th in the league in Rushing TD’s at 8.

Here is Ajayi’s stats breakdown:

Look at the explosion of stats in Games 6-16!! To put this in perspective, if Ajayi maintained his stats from Games 6-16 over the entire 16 game year, he would have been 1st in Attempts and Yards in the league.

When Gase says he wants to get Ajayi more carries, like he has this offseason that he wants Ajayi to get more carries, this is why. The only thing I would like to see improvement from Ajayi is in TD runs. I’d like to see him get a minimum of 12 TD’s in 2017. That’s Top 5 in the league.

Fun With Numbers For Jay Ajayi (15 Games):

· 12+ Carries in 12 games. Totals are 242 Carries for 1,197 yards in those 12 games.

· 4 of those games accounted for 109 carries (45%) and 735 yards (61.4%). That’s 6.7 yards / carry

· In the other 8 games, 133 carries for 462 yards. That’s 3.5 yards / carry.

· Had a Rushing TD in 7 games.

Now let’s look at who I consider the most interesting player on Miami’s offense, Kenny Stills. Why is Kenny Stills the most interesting player on Miami’s offense? Because his stats are ridiculous and in some aspects historic. Here are Stills’ ranks in the NFL for his season stats:

· 56th in the league Total Receiving Yards at 726.

· Tied 104th in the league in Receptions at 42.

· Tied 76th in the league in Targets at 81.

· Tied 6th in the league in Receiving TD’s at 9.

Kenny Stills game stats are as follows:

If you look at Tannehill’s stats, his passing attempts as a whole went down in Games 6-13 (and the numbers continued to go down with Moore in Games 14-16). Yet with Kenny Stills, his Targets went UP in Games 6-16. He is the only player on Miami’s offense that saw his passing targets go up in this time period. Landry’s, Parker’s, the group of TE’s, all of their targets decreased in Games 6-16. Not Stills.

In the entire NFL there were 11,526 receptions on the year. In the entire NFL there were 786 TD receptions. That’s a league wide ratio of 786 TD’s / 11,526 Receptions or 6.8% of all receptions result in TD’s. For Kenny Stills, that is a whopping 21.4% of all his receptions resulted in TD’s. Of all the players in the league with a minimum of 40 receptions, Kenny Stills is BY FAR the number 1 player in the league with his 21.4%. In fact, I could not find a higher TD / Rec % EVER in the NFL for a player with a minimum of 40 receptions (if anyone can find a player, let me know and I’ll update the post).

Combining Stills’ TD Receptions (9) and 1st Down Receptions (30), that means 39 of his 42 Receptions (92.9%) resulted in either a TD or a 1st Down. Again, ridiculous.

Fun With Numbers For Kenny Stills (16 Games):

· 0 or 1 catch in 5 games.

· In 2 games, his only catch was a TD.

· 5+ Receptions in 3 games.

· 3 Receptions of 50+ yards for 192 yards. That’s 26.4% of his total yards.

· Caught a TD in 9 games.

· Of Players with a minimum of 40 Receptions, Stills’ 17.3 Yards / Rec was 2nd in the league behind DeSean Jackson’s 17.9 Yards / Rec.

One of the players expected to “break out” in 2017 is DeVante Parker. So what did he do in 2016? Let’s take a look at where Parker’s stats ranked in the NFL:

· 54th in the league Total Receiving Yards at 744.

· Tied 66th in the league in Receptions at 56.

· Tied 66th in the league in Targets at 88.

· Tied 48th in the league in Receiving TD’s at 4 (37 players had 4 TD’s).

Looking at this spreadsheet, you will start to see a common theme in the passing game. In Games 6-16, Targets are down, yards are down, yet Receptions remain approximately the same. That’s the theme of the passing game, fewer opportunities, yet more efficient. Parker’s stats are no different.

If Parker is to become a true #1 WR, improvement across the board is needed.

Fun With Numbers For DeVante Parker (15 Games):

· 5+ catches in 5 games for 31 total receptions for 361 total yards in those games. That’s 55.4% of all receptions and 48.5% of all yards.

· Caught at least 1 pass in every game played.

· 10+ Targets in 2 games for a total of 23 Targets in those games. That’s 26.1% of all Targets.

· 3 Receptions of 50+ yards for 162 yards. That’s 21.8% of his total yards.

I think it is safe to say that Miami’s TE’s with Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano will be better in 2017 than the group of TE’s Miami had in 2016. Instead of charting individual players, I made the TE’s a “group” because there wasn’t one TE in 2016 that really stood out in the stats, but the “group” wasn’t too bad overall. Here are the stats for the TE group in 2016.

What somewhat surprised me with the TE stats was how consistent the group was over the entire year. Basically, receptions and targets are the same while average yards are up in Games 6-16. I would expect that with Thomas and Fasano this year, the stats for the TE’s will climb across the board. I’m hoping for more TD’s. 10+ TD’s as a group for the TE’s should be a target, IMO.

I know what you are thinking. Where is Jarvis Landry in all this? Well, I intentionally saved the best for last. Landry’s stats were unexpected to me. They don’t fit the narrative that we all have of Landry. Before we get to all of that, let’s look at where Landry ranks in the NFL:

· 10th in the league Total Receiving Yards at 1,136.

· Tied 7th in the league in Receptions at 94.

· 17th in the league in Targets at 131.

· Tied 48th in the league in Receiving TD’s at 4 (37 players had 4 TD’s).

On the surface, these are really good stats for Landry. Top 10 in yards and receptions. 17th in targets on a team that threw the ball fewer times than all but 1 team in the league. And because he is a slot WR, TD’s are “average” for the most part when compared to other slot WR’s in the league (Julian Edelman had 3 TD’s on the year).

Here is Landry’s season breakdown:

Again, Landry’s stats follow the overall trend of the offense. In Games 6-16, when Miami threw less, all of Landry’s stats declined. Fewer receptions, fewer targets, fewer yards are all expected. If you take Landry’s stats for Games 6-16 and project them over the entire year, here is where he would rank in the NFL:

· 16th in the league Total Receiving Yards at 1,066.

· 13th in the league in Receptions at 88.

· Tied 23rd in the league in Targets at 120.

· Tied 36th in the league in Receiving TD’s at 5.

Again, based on the number of overall passing attempts (Miami would have been last in the league attempting fewer pass attempts than any other team in Games 6-16), Landry’s production would be expected to drop.

Because of the narrative surrounding Landry, I did a little deeper dive into his stats. The narrative is that while he doesn’t catch a lot of TD’s, Landry is a 1st down machine, right? Well, not exactly.

Overall in the NFL, Landry was tied for 14th highest total of 1st down receptions at 52 (Doug Baldwin & Pierre Garcon). That’s seems about right, especially if you remember that Miami ranked 31st in the league as a team in getting 1st downs. But if you look at the % of 1st down receptions / overall receptions, you get a different narrative.

Of the players in the league with at least 70 receptions, 35 in all, Landry would have ranked tied for 27th out of those 35 players for 1st Down Receptions (52) / Overall Receptions (94) for 55.3% of his receptions gained a 1st down. The narrative, would suggest that his % should be higher. But the stats say what they say. So is Landry really a 1st Down Machine?

Fun With Numbers For Jarvis Landry (16 Games):

· 10+ catches in 2 games for 21 total receptions and 222 total yards in those games. That’s 22.3% of all receptions and 19.5% of all yards. Miami was 0-2 in those games.

· 0-4 catches in 6 games. Miami was 5-1 in those games.

· 10+ Targets in 6 games for a total of 71 Targets in those games. That’s 54.2% of all Targets. Miami was 1-5 in those games.

· 593 Total YAC. That’s 52.2% of his total yards.

· 593 Total YAC is the best of any WR in the league with a minimum of 70 catches. The only players with at least 70 catches with more YAC are Travis Kelce (TE), David Johnson (RB), and LeVeon Bell (RB).

· 27.5% off all Miami’s pass attempts (477) targeted Jarvis Landry (131).

There you have it. Some fun with numbers on Miami’s individual players. 2016 was a pretty remarkable year when looking at the stats. There were some incredible individual games that greatly changed the overall stats for those individuals.

For the early games in 2017, use these numbers in these posts as the “Mean” for players and the team. See if you can spot trends. Are players trending up or down? Is that good or bad?

After all, numbers without context (or narrative) are just numbers.