Stats & Info: Andy Reid

Top stats to know: NFL Awards preview

February, 1, 2014
Feb 1

Getty ImagesPeyton Manning and Richard Sherman are among the favorites to win Player of the Year awards.
The NFL will hand out its annual awards tonight for MVP, Offensive Player of Year, Defensive Player of Year, Coach of Year, Offensive Rookie of Year, and Defensive Rookie of Year. Here’s what you need to know in advance of the announcement.

MVP/Offensive Player of Year
Peyton Manning is among the favorites to win his fifth AP MVP award, which would be two more than any other player.

He’d be the first player to win the AP MVP award for more than one team.

Manning set the NFL single-season records for passing touchdowns and passing yards this season. He was at his best in the red zone, where he ranked first in completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and Total QBR.

Jamaal Charles could give Manning a run for the AP MVP or the Offensive Player of the Year awards. Charles led the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing yards, receiving yards and total touchdowns this season, the first player to lead his team in all three categories since Marshall Faulk for the 1998 Indianapolis Colts.

Defensive Player of Year
Robert Mathis is among the frontrunners for Defensive Player of the Year after leading the NFL with 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He’s the first player since the NFL officially began tracking sacks in 1982 to have at least 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles in a season.

He also broke the Colts single-season sack record set by Dwight Freeney in 2004 and was the first NFL player to record at least 19 sacks in his age 32 season or older.

Richard Sherman, who had a league-best eight interceptions this season, is another favorite for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Sherman led a dominant Seahawks defense that ranked first in the NFL in points allowed, Total QBR, passing yardage and interceptions.

Coach of Year
Andy Reid is one of the main contenders for Coach of the Year after leading the Chiefs to an 11-5 record in his first season as their coach.

Last season, the Chiefs finished 2-14. The nine-win increase is tied for the third-largest in NFL history from one season to the next.

The Chiefs also became just the third team in NFL history to win at least 11 games following a season with two or fewer wins, joining the 2012 Colts and 2008 Miami Dolphins.

Offensive Rookie of Year
Eddie Lacy is among the favorites for Offensive Rookie of the Year after setting a Green Bay Packers rookie record with 1,178 rush yards. After coming back from a concussion in Week 5, he ranked second in the NFL in rushing the rest of the way, trailing only LeSean McCoy.

Defensive Rookie of Year
Kiko Alonso, one of three defensive players to play every one of his team’s snaps this season, headlines a group of strong candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Alonso’s 159 tackles ranked third in the NFL this season and were the third-most by a rookie in the last 10 seasons.

Smith-to-Avery connection keys Reid return

September, 20, 2013
Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia was a triumphant one.

The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 3-0 by beating the Eagles 26-16. The Chiefs became the first team to start a season 3-0 after winning two or fewer games the previous season (in a non-labor-shortened season) since the 2002 Panthers.

Mr. Smith goes to Kansas City … and wins
Alex Smith became the first Chiefs quarterback to win his first three starts with the team since Joe Montana won his first four starts with the Chiefs in 1993.

Smith won with the short passing game, going 21-for-31 for 258 yards on throws of 10 yards or fewer.

Smith was 7-for-7 when throwing to Donnie Avery, and was 4-for-4 (for 107 yards) when throwing to Avery on third down.

Avery had 80 yards after the catch on four third-down receptions.

Justin Houston dominates on ‘D

Justin Houston had 3.5 sacks for the Chiefs, giving him 6.5 through three games this season. He’s the third Chiefs player to have at least 3.5 sacks in a game, joining Derrick Thomas (who did so twice, including the single-game record of seven) and Neil Smith.

Houston may actually have had 4.5 sacks in the game (one was initially ruled a sack, then changed).

If the NFL were to rescore the play and rule that a sack, Elias tells us that Houston would be the first NFL player with at least 7.5 sacks through three games since Mark Gastineau had eight for the New York Jets in 1984.

Eagles offense working fast

Chip Kelly’s offense has been operating faster and faster in each game this season.

The Eagles’ average time of possession in between plays against the Chiefs was 19.9 seconds, half-a-second faster than in Week 2.

The person for whom the offense is working best is running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 158 yards, the third-best single-game total in his career. Two of his top three rushing performances have come this season.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that McCoy’s 395 rushing yards through his first three games are the most through the first three games of the season in Eagles history (Wilbert Montgomery held the previous record of 346 in 1981).

Michael Vick also had a 61-yard run, the longest of his career. But Vick struggled against standard pass pressure, going 10-for-23 for 158 yards and an interception (along with three sacks) when the Chiefs sent four or fewer rushers at him.

Vick was 26-for-39 for 219 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions and one sack against standard pressure in the first two weeks of the season.

Elias Sports Bureau Note of the Night
Reid is the fourth head coach in NFL history to start a season 3-0 after missing the playoffs the prior season with a different team (Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves, George Allen).

Analyzing the relationship of NFL couples

February, 14, 2013
Today is Valentine’s Day, when the thoughts of young football fans turn to ... well ... more football.

Stats & Information looks at some NFL couples and lets you know who should stay together, who needs to rebuild their relationship and who might want to spend some time apart.

• Tom Brady and Wes Welker: Free-agent-to-be Welker has 672 receptions since joining the Patriots in 2007, the most for a player over any six-year span in NFL history.

• Eli Manning and Victor Cruz: Cruz, who is slated to become a restricted free agent, has 168 receptions and 19 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Along with Hakeem Nicks, he gives Manning one of the game’s best deep threats in the league.

• Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson: Johnson set an NFL single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012, while Stafford set an NFL record with 727 pass attempts. These two need to stay together if only to torture statisticians everywhere.

• Tony Romo and Dez Bryant: Early in the season, they didn't appear to be on the same page, but Bryant caught a league-high 10 TD passes from Week 10 until the end of the season.

• Aaron Rodgers and Jermichael Finley: Finley caught a career-high 61 balls in 2012, but just two went for touchdowns. At times it appeared that Rodgers had lost confidence in his tight end and reports have appeared that the Packers might release Finley.

• Cam Newton and Steve Smith: Smith was critical of Newton's sideline demeanor last season, and he could have a point. When trailing in the fourth quarter over the last two seasons, Newton’s QBR of 35.9 is 35th among 45 qualifying quarterbacks.

• Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan: After going to a pair of AFC Championship games in their first two seasons together, the relationship hasn't worked recently. Sanchez regressed even further in 2012, and has an NFL-high 52 turnovers over the last two seasons.

• Alex Smith and Jim Harbaugh: Harbaugh has turned to the younger Colin Kaepernick. Since Kaepernick took over as the starter in Week 11, his 81.2 Total QBR is second to only Russell Wilson. Smith’s QBR of 54.1 since the start of 2011 is 19th among quarterbacks with at least 500 action plays.

• Matt Cassel and Andy Reid: The Chiefs and Reid’s Eagles were tied with the Jets for the most turnovers in the NFL last season with 37. Cassel struggled with 19 turnovers in just nine games.

Seven NFL head coaches, five GMs fired

December, 31, 2012
Seven NFL head coaches were fired on Monday, more than the amount of head coaches fired on the Monday after the regular season in the last three seasons combined.

The barrage of coaching changes comes after no coaches were fired during the season. It was the first season without an in-season coaching change since 2006.

Done in by bad defense

Andy Reid had his share of struggles at the end of his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, and it was mostly on the defensive side of the ball. He was never able to replace the late Jim Johnson -- his only defensive coordinator from 1999-2008 -- going through three defensive coordinators in his last four seasons.

Chan Gailey is no longer the Buffalo Bills coach in part because his defense allowed 45 points in a game four times this season. The 1986 Jets are the only other team to do that since the merger.

Done in by lack of offense

Lovie Smith is the fourth coach since 1990 to be fired despite winning 10 or more games in his final season. He's the only one whose team did not reach the playoffs that year.

Ken Whisenhunt’s Cardinals quarterbacks compiled a 21.4 Total QBR this season, worst in the NFL. For context, the Baltimore Ravens, the worst playoff team in terms of QBR this season, had a QBR more than double that of the Cardinals (46.3).

Pat Shurmur was unable to fix the Cleveland Browns’ offensive woes enough despite a successful rookie season from Trent Richardson. After four seasons ranking no better than 29th in points per game, the Browns ranked 24th this season.

The Kansas City Chiefs were last in the NFL in points per game, turnovers and passing touchdowns, and that spelled doom for Romeo Crennel.

Norv Turner lacked a consistent all-around offense in San Diego. Over the last four seasons, the Chargers ranked second in yards per pass attempt but last in the NFL in yards per rush.

Generally speaking

Five NFL general managers were fired Monday. Only four GMs were fired on the Monday after the regular season from 2007-11 combined
There's a common theme when looking at the general managers who were fired.

Of the five who lost their jobs, four of them had very few draft picks to work with during their tenure as GM (whether that was ultimately their own fault or not). Cleveland's Tom Heckert was the only one of the five who ranked better than 28th in total players chosen in the draft while they were on the job.

Mike Tannenbaum was hired by the New York Jets in 2006 and immediately made an impact, drafting two players in the first round who have started 222 of a possible 224 games for the team since entering the league. The next year he picked All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis.

But he made six first-round picks after that, none of which have made a Pro Bowl, including Vernon Gholston, who was taken sixth overall in 2008. He made five starts in three seasons for the Jets before being released. He never recorded a sack and hasn't played in an NFL game since.

Vick is not the only problem in Philadelphia

October, 30, 2012
AP Photo/Michael PerezMichael Vick and the Eagles are struggling this season.
After the Philadelphia Eagles' disappointing 30-17 loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Michael Vick acknowledged that he may be headed to the bench. The question is, is that the solution to the Eagles woes? Is it even the most pressing problem they need to address?

The answer lies in the framework of expected points added. You can read the full explanation of expected points here, but the short version is expected points added aggregates the number of points a team is expected to score given the game situation of each play. It's the best way to break down how a team increases (or decreases) its chance of scoring on all plays, not just touchdown plays.

Using expected points we can pinpoint exactly what is preventing the Eagles offense from succeeding this season. And as it turns out, the drop back passing game is not the biggest problem.

In 2010 and 2011 the Eagles led the league in expected points added (EPA) on rushes. Even if we eliminate scrambles the Eagles were still the second best team behind New England. But this season the Eagles are dead last in the NFL in rush EPA when ignoring scrambles, costing themselves nearly 40 points on rush plays. In fact, they are on pace for the worst rush EPA since 2008.

So what's been wrong with Philadelphia this season compared to the past two? Well, it's not scrambling. Vick is still improvising with his legs. Only RG3 and surprise runner Andrew Luck have added more points with scrambles this season than Vick.

The problem is on designed rush plays, particularly those out of the Eagles preferred one-back set. Since 2010 the Eagles have run 2,564 offensive plays. Seventy percent have had exactly one running back in the backfield. In 2010 and 2011 Philadelphia averaged 5.8 yards per rush, ran for a first down on 30 percent of carries and added 51 expected points on designed rush plays with one running back.

This season, they are down to 4.3 yards per rush and have a -28 EPA on designed rush plays with one back.

One thing to note is that Michael Vick is not faultless here. Although his scrambling has once again been superb, his designed rushes have not been. His 1.4 QBR on 19 designed rush plays is well below the league average of 12.2.

One of the biggest reasons for this drop has to be surrounding the absence of offensive lineman Jason Peters. Philadelphia has long been a team that counts on getting yards before contact, and Peters has been a big part of it.

In 2010-11 designed rush plays the Eagles added 15 expected points on 576 rushes with him on the field. With Peters off the field they cost themselves one expected point on 176 rush attempts. This trend has continued in 2012 as Peters has not been on the field yet.

One formation that has worked this season for the Eagles on rush plays has rookie fullback Stanley Havili in the backfield with a tailback, along with the Eagles top three receiving options DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek. This group has added +2.4 EPA on 25 designed rush attempts and another +2.7 on Vick scrambles. Compare this to their -42.3 EPA on rushes in all other formations. Ignoring two lost fumbles that Havili had little to do with, Philadelphia has been a better rushing team with its fullback in the game.

The small sample size says it’s far from a sure thing Havili is the answer to their rushing problems, but the early returns say the Eagles should be open to having their fullback on the field more often. It very well may turn around their rushing game - and potentially their season.
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.

Rookie Ford rallies Raiders

November, 7, 2010
The Oakland Raiders' Jacoby Ford (148 receiving yards, 158 kickoff return yards, TD) is just the second rookie since the merger, joining Rickey Watts in 1979, to have 100 receiving yards and return a kickoff for touchdown in the same game.
Jacoby Ford

Ford is also the second player in NFL history to have at least 140 receiving yards and 150 kickoff return yards in the same game. The other was Gary Ballman in 1963, who had 161 receiving yards and 159 kickoff return yards for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: This was the Raiders first win in which they trailed 10-0 at halftime since 1992 against the New York Giants in the Los Angeles Coliseum. You have to go back to 1972 against the Buffalo Bills to find the last time the Raiders were shut out at halftime and trailed by at least 10 points and came back to win a game in the Oakland Coliseum. In that 1972 game, the Raiders trailed 13-0 at the half.

The Raiders are 3-0 in the AFC West, with wins over the Chargers, Broncos and Chiefs. The last time they beat every AFC West opponent was 2002, when they finished 4-2 in the division and reached the Super Bowl.

The last time the Raiders won their first three division games of a season was 2001, when they started 3-0. Overall, the Raiders have also won three straight games for the first time since they had a five-game win streak in 2002.

Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles have won 12 straight games following the bye week, the longest win streak since the bye week was implemented in 1990. Philadelphia has an NFL-best 18-4 record after a bye.

The New York Giants had a 35-0 halftime lead at Seattle, the first time they've scored at least 35 points in the first half since a 35-14 lead against the Houston Oilers in 1985. The Giants now have scored at least 40 points in consecutive road games for the first time since 1966.