Stats & Info: Mike Shanahan

Top stats to know: NFL coach firings

December, 30, 2013
This wasn’t quite the firing outburst that followed a year ago at this time, but five NFL coaches were let go in the last 24 hours.

Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins
Shanahan’s firing concluded a tenure that looked like it was going to be pretty good just a year ago.

But the struggles of Robert Griffin III in returning from injury as well as a porous defense combined to do Shanahan in.

Griffin went from a season in which he had 20 touchdown passes, seven touchdown runs, and only seven turnovers, to one in which he had as many turnovers (16) as touchdown passes, with no touchdown runs. His Total QBR dropped from 73.2 in 2012 to 40.1 in 2013.

Even with the slower, less mobile version of Griffin, Shanahan tried to make his quarterback a running quarterback.

Griffin had 86 designed rushes through Week 14 this season, which was second most among quarterbacks at the time.

Griffin was on pace to take more hits this season than last. He was sacked, hit while throwing or contacted on rushes 104 times this season, only two fewer than in 2012, in two fewer games than last season.

The Redskins defense allowed 29.9 points per game, the third-highest total in franchise history, surpassed only by 1954 (36.0) and 1947 (30.6).

According to salaries compiled by Forbes, Shanahan was one of six coaches paid at least $7 million in 2013. He had the fewest wins among that group, one that featured four coaches who took their team to the postseason.

Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions
A 6-3 start, followed by a 1-6 finish crushed the Lions playoff hopes and ended Schwartz’s tenure with the team.

He had the second-worst coaching record among those who had coached in the last four seasons, better than only Shanahan.

The Lions had the NFL’s second-highest payroll this season and were the only team among the four with the highest payrolls not to make the playoffs.

The Lions were hurt by an inability to protect the football. They had a plus-1 turnover margin in the first nine games of the season, but that plummeted to -13 in the final seven games (in which they committed 21 turnovers).

The Lions failed to capitalize on what was an easy schedule, relatively speaking. Their .457 opponents’ winning percentage was the lowest opponents winning percentage for any non-playoff team.

Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers failed to capitalize on missed opportunities throughout 2013, and that may have cost Greg Schiano lost his job after two seasons as an NFL head coach.

They finished with a +10 turnover margin, but managed only four wins. Each of the six other teams that were +10 in the turnover department won at least 10 games.

Schiano’s work on the defensive side also came up lacking. The Buccaneers allowed the most passing yards (8,564) and the fourth-highest Total QBR (64.2) in his two seasons as head coach.

Schiano was never able to maintain what he started. He earned six wins in his first 10 games as head coach, but only five in his next 22.

Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings went from 10-6 in 2012 to 5-10-1 in 2013 and management decided it was time to let Leslie Frazier go.

The Vikings went from allowing 21.8 points per game last season to 30.0 in 2013, with their turnover margin dropping from -1 to -12.

The Vikings haven't had strong quarterback play under Frazier (note the chart on the right), but they also haven't done much to stop opposing quarterbacks.

Their 67.4 opponents’ Total QBR over the last three seasons, which ranked highest in the NFL in that span. The defense allowed the most points in the NFL this season and forced the sixth-fewest turenovers.

Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns acted quickly on Rob Chudzinski, letting him know that he was let go late Sunday night.

It continued a run of three straight seasons in which an NFL head coach was let go after coaching for only one season (the other two were Hue Jackson with the 2011 Oakland Raiders and Mike Mularkey with the 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars).

The Browns couldn’t figure out a way to win when someone other than Brian Hoyer was their quarterback this season. The Browns went 3-0 in his starts, but were 1-12 in games started by Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden.
Michael Vick
In the 40-year history of Monday Night Football, never before had a team scored as many points as the Philadelphia Eagles did Monday. Led by Michael Vick's four touchdowns passing and two touchdowns rushing, the Eagles beat the Washington Redskins, 59-28 at FedExField. The Eagles racked up 592 total yards, their most in franchise history. It was the first game in NFL history with a 59-28 score.

Vick completed all but eight passes for 333 yards and rushed for 80 yards. It was Vick's third career game with four touchdown passes and he became just the third player in NFL history with 300 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Of all the crazy events, facts and statistics about the Eagles–Redskins game on Monday, we liked this one the best: the Eagles had 332 passing yards and 260 rushing yards. There’s been only one other NFL game over the last 30 seasons in which a team had at least 300 passing and 250 rushing yards, and it featured the same head coaches as Monday’s game. On Oct. 30, 2005, in the only game before this season in which Mike Shanahan and Andy Reid had faced each other, Shanahan’s Broncos threw for 309 and ran for 255 in a 49–21 win over Reid’s Eagles.

FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Michael Vick’s 88-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage was the longest TD pass in the opening minute of a game in just over 41 years, since Roman Gabriel threw a 93-yard touchdown to Wendell Tucker in the opening minute of a 41–30 Rams win over the 49ers on Nov. 9, 1969.

At the center of this evening’s Monday Night Football contest between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles will be quarterback Donovan McNabb. Fresh off a 5-year extension that will reportedly pay him $40 million guaranteed and could be worth $88 million if all the incentives are reached, McNabb’s name is now in the spotlight once again. As if playing his former team and the memory of his benching by Redskins coach Mike Shanahan aren’t enough McNabb will now have the additional pressure of trying to dispel the idea that he’s a quarterback in decline.

Statistically, 2010 has arguably been McNabb’s worst season as a full-time starter. His numbers are down across the board, including completion percentage, passer rating, interception rate and touchdown rate. Despite these indicators, the Redskins have opted to extend him for several seasons beyond 2010 for a significant amount of guaranteed money.

There is one area where McNabb has struggled that might have particular relevance tonight against the Eagles. McNabb in particular, and Washington as a whole, have struggled mightily on third down this season. The Redskins have the lowest third-down conversion percentage in the NFL this season at 23.8, well behind the second-worst team, the Chicago Bears, at 28.7. McNabb has struggled on third down himself this season, registering the second-worst completion percentage on third down.

In addition, this season’s struggles on third down have continued a downward trend for McNabb in that area. In 2010, McNabb has posted a 44.9 completion percentage mark on third down, with a 62.8 passer rating in such situations. In 2009, it was a 55.0 completion percentage with an 86.4 passer rating. And in 2008, it was a 59.2 completion percentage coupled with a passer rating of 96.4.

However, the Eagles could present a prime opportunity for McNabb and the Redskins to get back on track in this department. The Eagles defense ranks 18th in the NFL in third down completion percentage allowed (39.6), 18th in yards per attempt allowed on third downs (6.92) and 25th in pass TD percentage allowed on third downs (6.5). Needless to say, if McNabb is going to turn around his season, and start justifying his new contract, improving upon a personal and team-wide weakness against a team vulnerable in those situations would be a great way to do it.

A first in the Brady, Moss and Welker era

October, 5, 2010
• The latest example of how there are many ways to skin a cat: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for less than 200 yards, WR Wes Welker didn’t score a touchdown and WR Randy Moss didn’t catch a pass, yet the Pats put up 41 points in a win at Miami. This is the first time in their New England careers that those three played in the same game and all failed to reach those thresholds.

• In Week 4, more than half (33) of the 62 games played to date have been decided by seven points or fewer. That’s the most such games through four weeks since 1988 when there were 34.

• What a difference a year makes: The Indianapolis Colts were 6-0 vs. AFC South rivals and are now 0-2 in the division. The Washington Redskins were 0-6 vs. NFC East foes and are now 2-0 in the division. The Cincinnati Bengals were also undefeated in the division in 2009 but lost at Cleveland on Sunday. And despite the fact that they were a playoff team last season, the New York Jets are already 3-0 vs. AFC East opponents this season (2-4 in 2009), including road wins at Miami and at Buffalo.

• It’s early, but it seems like the Seattle Seahawks are going to be a team that thrives at home and struggles on the road. At home they beat the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers by a combined 58-26, and have lost at Denver and St. Louis by a combined 51-17.

• The 2-2 St. Louis Rams, who have already doubled last season’s win total and equaled 2008’s output, look like a different team with rookie QB Sam Bradford. But the real pub needs to go to St. Louis’ defense. Steve Spagnuolo’s club has held all four opponents to 17 points or fewer. A season ago, the Rams held four-of-16 opponents to fewer than 18 points. This season, the Rams have outscored their opponents 77-52. Just a year ago, the 0-4 Rams were outscored 108-24.

• Sounds astounding but true: On Sunday, the Redskins totaled 35 running plays and 20 passing plays in their 17-12 win at Philadelphia. It was the first time since Week 1 of the 2008 (while with the Broncos) that a Mike Shanahan-coached team totaled more rushing plays than pass plays, ending a streak of 18 games (last 15 with Denver in 2008, first three with Washington in 2010).