Around the NFC West: Numbers crunching

Around the NFC West: Nov. 28, 2012

On my mind this fourth Wednesday in November:

  • Yesterday I noted that Seattle, with its 24-21 defeat at Miami, had become the eighth team since 1940 to lose a game despite committing no turnovers, forcing at least one and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. I also noted that the Seahawks are the 14th team over that span to lose with no turnovers and a kick-return score, regardless of whether the opponent committed a turnover.Great, but how many teams have won games under those circumstances? That's an important part of the equation. The answer is 60 times with no turnovers, one kick-return score and at least one turnover forced. The other answer is 65 times with no turnovers and one kick-return score regardless of how many turnovers were forced.

  • Matt Maiocco notes that the San Francisco 49ers brought in kickers for tryouts amid David Akers' struggles. Akers did miss from 50 yards (indoors) and have a 33-yarder blocked at New Orleans. But if you compare his stats from last season to this season, you'll see my Akers premise from earlier in the season holds up still. Akers' overall percentage is down mainly because he's had far fewer attempts from inside 40 yards. He's still making better than 90 percent from that range, but he has only 13 such attempts this season, down from 32 last season. He's still making a higher percentage from 40-49 yards this season compared to last. His long-range accuracy is way down, but 2012 was an abnormally strong season for him in that category. His touchback percentage is up slightly, although opponents have made hefty gains in average return length.

  • Darren Urban's piece on Arizona Cardinals rookie Bobby Massie is definitely worth a look. Massie attributes recent improvements to an unlikely source: negative reviews of his game in the football media. There's little question Massie has become less of a liability, at the very least. That is a positive development for the Cardinals during a down season. They need Massie to project as a long-term starter.