The NFL football season is a long way away from beginning. The old season ended just a month ago. Nevertheless, there is never a bad time to do homework and study up for the next season. Learning some important football statistics, as measurements of genuine quality, is something sports bettors should try to do at any point in a season… or an offseason.
Offensive Yards Per Carry
The glance at a box score and its raw totals of carries and yards can offer one picture of how well a running game is performing, but the key metric is yards per carry. Football’s physical punishment means that running backs generally have a short shelf life. They take a very severe pounding, so each time they touch the ball, they need to make it count. If running backs aren’t averaging a solid amount of yards per carry, especially relative to situations such as third down and two or fourth down and one, their productivity must be questioned. Even when running backs don’t break loose for huge gains, it is also important that they consistently get three or four yards. If they always get a decent amount of yardage, they set up manageable passing situations for the quarterbacks on their teams. They prevent long-yardage situations and reduce the ability of defenses to expect the pass on given plays. This is how yards per carry wields a great deal of influence in NFL circles.
Offensive Yards Per Pass Attempt
This operates in a way which is similar to yards per carry, only with the passing game, attempts don’t guarantee completions. This is a mixture of attempts and completions. When a pass is incomplete, it obviously gains zero yards, so when passes are completed, they need to gain a lot of yards. The yards-per-attempt metric is therefore more revealing than the yards-per-completion metric. Yards per attempt measure how deep down the field a quarterback is trying to throw the ball. It measures how much a passing game is testing the opposing defense and stretching the field in search of big plays. There is a lot of context bundled inside this measurement.
Average Offensive Starting Field Position
This is fundamental to winning football – it has not changed and it will not change. If an offensive unit has to drive only 45 yards to score a touchdown instead of 80, its chances of scoring a touchdown are much better. The wear and tear on the offense, and the pressure on the quarterback to make a certain amount of big plays, are both reduced by significant degrees. It is essential to underscore how much this matters. Driving 30 fewer yards means a lot to an offense.
Time Of Possession
This is a statistic which can mean a lot, or absolutely nothing. For teams which have a weak offense and are playing opponents with a strong offense, it is important to control the ball and keep it away from the opponent’s stronger offense. For teams whose offense is best, it doesn’t matter if a team scores quickly. It wants to have more possessions and collect as many chances to score as possible. This is a very contextual detail.
This is much more important than time of possession. Third-down conversions separate elite offenses from ordinary ones. Third-down conversions demoralize the opposing defense and enable the offense to finish scoring drives. Few realities in football matter more than this one.