Stats & Info: Jacoby Jones

New NFC West WRs make different impacts

March, 11, 2013

USA TODAY SportsBoth Percy Harvin and Anquan Boldin are headed west after being acquired via trade
The two NFC West leaders from 2012 each traded for a wide receiver that will address a weakness from last season.

Percy Harvin to Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks lacked play-making ability from their wideouts last season ranking in the bottom four of the league in receptions (143), receiving yards (2,007) and yards after catch (523).

The trade for Percy Harvin immediately remedies that as Harvin, despite playing in just nine games last season, had 528 yards after the catch – more than the entire Seattle wide receiver corps combined.

Harvin also brings versatility to the Seahawks. Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, Harvin is one of only three players to have at least four rushing touchdowns, four receiving touchdowns and four kickoff return touchdowns (Brad Smith and Brian Mitchell are the others).

Anquan Boldin to San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco ranked 21st in red zone percentage during the regular season. During the playoffs, only two 49ers (Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis) received red zone targets.

By comparison, Boldin was targeted six times this past postseason. He caught six of the targets, four of which went for touchdowns.

Boldin’s arrival in San Francisco could mean more three-receiver sets for the 49ers. Including the playoffs last season, the 49ers used three-plus wide receiver sets 29.8 percent of the time when trailing last season, the lowest rate in the NFL (league average: 59.5 percent).

Impact on Joe Flacco
Boldin was Flacco’s go-to receiver last year. Including the playoffs, he had a 61.7 completion percentage on throws to Boldin and a 48.1 completion percentage on throws to all other wide receivers.

And on third downs in the playoffs, Flacco targeted Boldin 12 times. The next most targeted Raven in those situations was Jacoby Jones with six.

Flacco dominant downfield against Niners

February, 4, 2013

Chuck Cook/USA TODAY SportsJoe Flacco had a Total QBR of 95.1 Sunday, tied for the 2nd-best single-game Total QBR of his career.
Joe Flacco's exceptional playoff run is a significant reason why the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl XLVII champions, but where specifically did he excel? An advanced look into his performance as well as some others from both the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers:

Flacco Dangerous Downfield

For starters, Flacco was able to find success downfield. He was 7-13 for 171 yards and two touchdowns on passes deeper than 10 yards downfield in Super Bowl XVLII. By contrast, Flacco struggled on those throws in the regular season, posting the second-worst completion percentage (41.1 percent).

From 2008-11 in the postseason, Flacco had just one touchdown and six interceptions on throws over 10 yards downfield, but this postseason, he tossed seven touchdowns and had no interceptions. On Sunday, Flacco also took advantage of a San Francisco defense that had been allowing the big play more often.

Including the Super Bowl, the 49ers allowed five touchdowns and a 67.5 completion percentage on passes more than 10 yards downfield in the postseason. In the regular season, the 49ers allowed only three touchdowns (fewest) on those throws and a 38.7 completion percentage (third best).

Bold When it Matters

Flacco completed seven-of-10 third-down throws for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including four-of-four and a touchdown targeting Anquan Boldin. Boldin entered the game with just one third-down touchdown reception in 105 career third-down targets with the Ravens.

Boldin also became more of a threat near the goal line in the playoffs. He caught four-of-four passes thrown into the end zone during the postseason, including a 13-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring. Compare that to the regular season, when he caught three of 10 end-zone targets.

Teammate Jacoby Jones was also a significant threat. Jones scored on a 56-yard reception with 1:45 left in the second quarter, giving the Ravens a 21-3 lead. The pass traveled 47 yards downfield, giving him two touchdowns this postseason on throws at least 40 yards downfield. He is the first player since Larry Fitzgerald in 2008 to score two touchdowns on such passes in a single postseason.

Kaepernick Connection Issues

On the San Francisco side, Colin Kaepernick's strengths often became weaknesses. Including postseason play, Kaepernick entered Sunday leading the NFL with an on-target throw percentage of 87.5 among quarterbacks with at least 20 pass attempts. Against the Ravens, Kaepernick under or overthrew seven of 28 attempts (25.0 percent) including the only interception by either quarterback on a pass that sailed well over the head of Randy Moss.

Targeting Moss has been an issue for the Niners quarterback. Kaepernick threw three interceptions on 42 passes when throwing in Moss’ direction this season (interception every 14 attempts). When targeting his other receivers, Kaepernick threw two interceptions on 242 attempts (interception every 121 attempts).

What's more, the 49ers ran 13 option plays in both the Super Bowl and NFC Championship, but Kaepernick kept only once on those plays. In his first eight starts, Kaepernick kept a third of the time, including seven rushes for 99 yards in the Divisional Playoffs.

Ravens, Flacco super through postseason

February, 3, 2013

Al Bello/Getty ImagesJacoby Jones going long distances for touchdowns was a theme throughout this season.
The Baltimore Ravens have the best postseason record in NFL history.

They earned their way to that mark by proving they were the best team this postseason, beating the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII.

Let’s run through some of the statistical highlights of a contest that will be well remembered for many things that go beyond the numbers.

The history
The Ravens became the fifth team to win their first two Super Bowl appearances, joining the 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. They snapped a four-game win streak by the NFC in Super Bowls, becoming the first AFC team to win one since the 2008 Steelers.

The Ravens are 8-1 all-time as a No. 4 seed in the postseason. Both of their Super Bowl wins came as a No. 4 seed, with the other coming in the 2000 season.

Baltimore’s .667 winning percentage (14-7) is the best of any team in NFL history.

The win was Joe Flacco’s ninth in postseason, matching Tom Brady for the most playoff wins by a quarterback in his first five seasons. Flacco joins Eli Manning as the only quarterbacks in postseason history to win seven games on the road or at neutral sites

Ravens coach John Harbaugh improved to 7-0 as a head coach following a bye week. The Ravens 63 wins since Harbaugh took over at the start of the 2008 season are tied with the New England Patriots for the most in the NFL in that span.

The 49ers outgained the Ravens 448 to 347 in combined rushing and passing yardage. Baltimore allowed the most yards in a Super Bowl for any winning team and became the third team to win a Super Bowl despite being outgained by at least that much, joining the 2001 Patriots and 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Super Bowl MVP: Joe Flacco
Flacco had three touchdown passes, giving him 11 with no interceptions this postseason.

He’s the second quarterback with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in a postseason, joining Hall of Famer Joe Montana for the 1989 49ers.

Flacco saved his most accurate game for last, completing 67 percent of his throws.

He was 7-of-13 for 171 yards and two touchdowns on passes more than 10 yards downfield on Sunday.

Flacco struggled on those throws in the regular season, posting the second-worst completion percentage (41 percent) but found his touch in the this postseason, much more than any of the four previous times he'd been to the playoffs.

Flacco caught the 49ers at the right time.

In the regular season, the 49ers allowed only three touchdowns (fewest in the NFL) on that length of throw throws and a 38.7 completion percentage (third-best).

Including the Super Bowl, the 49ers allowed five touchdowns and a 67.5 completion percentage on passes more than 10 yards downfield in the postseason.

Flacco finished with a Total QBR of 95.1, tied for his second-best in a game in his career. It was nearly 50 points better than his QBR during the regular season (46.8).

Play of the game: Jacoby Jones goes the distance
Jacoby Jones set the record for the longest kick return in Super Bowl history with his 108-yard touchdown to open the second half.

This was Jones’ third kickoff return of at least 105 yards for a touchdown this season. The only other player with multiple 105-yard touchdowns in his career is his teammate, Ed Reed, who has two.

This was the second kickoff return for a touchdown in the Superdome. Desmond Howard had the other for the 1996 Green Bay Packers, a 99-yarder against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI that stood as the record for the longest Super Bowl kickoff-return touchdown until Jones’ score.

Jones is the second player in NFL postseason history with a kickoff return touchdown and receiving touchdown in the same game, joining Dante Hall who did it for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2003 AFC Divisional Playoffs.

It was the second 100-yard touchdown in Super Bowl history, joining the 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by James Harrison for the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

49ers come so close
The 49ers 31 points tied the most by a losing team in a Super Bowl, matching the total scored by the Dallas Cowboys against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII.

It is the most points the 49ers have ever scored in a postseason loss. They were 13-0 in postseason play when scoring at least 31 points prior to today.

The 49ers outscored the Ravens 25-6 and outgained them 260-126 after the third-quarter power outage, but that would not be enough.

Colin Kaepernick also just missed out on Steve McNair's Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback. He finished with 62, two shy of the mark.

The one issue for Kaepernick on a day in which he threw for more than 300 yards was that he couldn't finish off enough drives needed to complete the comeback.

Kaepernick was 0-for-4 on passes thrown into the end zone in the game and 1-for-8 on such throws in the postseason. Six of the seven incompletions were the result of overthrown passes.

Biggest plays this season for Ravens

January, 25, 2013

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/Getty Images
The Ravens playoff win over the Broncos contained several big swings in win probability.

Earlier today, we took a look at the 10 most-important plays for the San Francisco 49ers on their way to the Super Bowl.

Now, we switch focus to the Baltimore Ravens, and the plays that most improved their chances of winning through the regular season and playoffs.

1. Divisional Playoff at Denver
4th and 5, 13:24 left in 2nd Overtime
Justin Tucker's walk-off field goal sends Baltimore to AFC Championship.

Tucker's 47-yard field goal ended a wild game against the Denver Broncos and sent to the Ravens to the AFC Championship, where they would defeat the New England Patriots.

Ravens' win probablility pre-play: 58.9%; post-play: 100% (+41.1%)

2. Divisional Playoff at Denver
3rd and 3, 0:41 left in 4th Quarter
Joe Flacco hits Jacoby Jones for 70-yard TD

Down a touchdown with under a minute left and needing a miracle, Flacco's heave down the right sideline found Jones to tie the game in dramatic fashion.

Ravens' win probablility pre-play: 2.9%; post-play: 43.3% (+40.4%)

3. Divisional Playoff at Denver
2nd and 6, 1:01 left in 1st Overtime
Corey Graham picks off Peyton Manning in OT

Again revisiting one of the most dramatic and back-and-forth games of the season, Manning's pass intended for Brandon Stokley was intercepted, giving Baltimore the ball in Denver territory. Just five plays later, Tucker won the game with a field goal.

Ravens' win probablility pre-play: 32.4%; post-play: 68.5% (+36.1%)

The rest of the Ravens' top 10:

4. Tucker hits a 38-yard field goal in overtime to win a Week 12 road game against the San Diego Chargers (+35.2%).

5. Pass interference on the New England Patriots' Devin McCourty, covering Jones, sets up play No. 6 (+29.9%).

6. Tucker's 27-yard field goal with two seconds left in overtime gave the Ravens a 16-13 win over the Patriots (28.0%).

7. Ray Rice converts 4th-and-29 in the Week 12 win over the Chargers to set up play No. 4 (+23.9%).

8. A 107-yard kickoff return touchdown by Jacoby Jones helps the Ravens to a 31-29, Week 6 win over the Dallas Cowboys (+22.7%).

9. Ed Reed's goal-line fumble recovery in Baltimore's 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 (+19.7%).

10. Flacco hits Torrey Smith with a go-ahead TD pass in a Ravens' Week 9 road win over the Cleveland Browns (+19.1%).

Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
Joe Flacco won his fifth road postseason game, tied for the most in NFL history.
In the fourth-longest game in NFL history, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in double overtime to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

The Ravens trailed by seven points with 41 seconds remaining in regulation, facing a third-and-3 from their 30-yard line, when Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones with a 70-yard touchdown pass to tie the game and ultimately force overtime.

According to ESPN Stats & Information’s win probability model, Denver had a 97.2 percent chance of winning the game before that touchdown throw.

Flacco was 4-for-7 with three touchdowns on throws more than 20 yards downfield. The Broncos had allowed only three such touchdowns all season.

The three touchdowns on those throws were Flacco’s most in a game in his career and tied the most thrown by any quarterback in a game since the start of 2008.

The Ravens attacked the Broncos with the deep ball all game long. Flacco’s average target depth was 13.4 yards downfield, his highest rate in a game all season. His 6.6-yard average target depth in Week 15 against the Broncos was his second-lowest of the season.

Torrey Smith caught two touchdowns on throws more than 20 yards downfield. Only three receivers had a game with multiple touchdowns on those throws this season.

Flacco was 6-for-9 for 84 yards and five first downs targeting tight ends. More than 55 percent of his targets to Dennis Pitta or Ed Dickson went for first downs. It was just 36 percent to all other receivers.

For Peyton Manning, it was his 11th career postseason loss, tying him with Brett Favre for the most all-time among starting quarterbacks. The Ravens were able to increase their pressure on him after halftime.

Manning dropped back to pass 22 times in the first half and wasn’t sacked or put under duress on any of them. In the second half, Manning had 24 dropbacks and was pressured 10 times (41.7 percent).

The pressure led to two turnovers, including the interception in overtime that set up the Ravens’ game-winning field goal. Manning was sacked or put under duress only 14.2 percent of the time in the regular season, the lowest rate for any qualified quarterback.

Manning struggled on shorter throws all game. He was off-target on more than 19 percent of his passes thrown within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, more than double his rate from the regular season.

It was Flacco’s fifth career playoff road win, tied with Eli Manning for the most in NFL history. He overcame some truly special-teams play by Denver.

Trindon Holliday returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and took the second-half kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown -- both NFL postseason records. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us he is the only player to return a punt and kickoff for a touchdown in the same postseason game.

Refs' win-probability impact benefits Seattle

September, 25, 2012
Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesThe controversial ending of Monday night's game between the Packers and Seahawks wasn't the first time that the officials had a big impact on a team's win probability.
The NFL games on Sunday and Monday night both ended on plays for which the referees made controversial decisions that determined the winner and loser.

But the good/no-good call on the Baltimore Ravens field goal and the touchdown/interception call on the Seattle Seahawks score aren’t the only calls from the first three weeks that had a major impact on the result of a game.

Please note that all probabilities in this article are based on Stats & Information's NFL win probability model, which is based on 10 years of NFL play-by-play data.

Before those results, the two referees’ decisions that had the highest impact both occurred in the Week 2 meeting between the Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. Both of those calls went against Baltimore, which ended up losing the game.

Jacoby Jones was called for offensive pass interference after catching a touchdown pass that would have given the Ravens a two-possession lead with 5:29 left in the game. After the call, the Ravens faced third-and-long from the 35.

That call resulted in an 18.3 percent reduction in the win probability for the Ravens. Based on the last 10 years, a team kicking off with 5:29 left and a 10-point lead wins 89.6 percent of the time; a team with a three-point lead facing third-and-22 from the opponent’s 35 has a 71.3 percent chance of winning.

The other high-impact decision was a Michael Vick fumble near the goal line that was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass. The play occurred on the first snap after the two minute warning and the Eagles trailing by six points.

With the ball on the 1, Philadelphia’s win probability was 39.7 percent. If the Ravens had taken possession of the ball, it would have fallen 33.5 percent to 6.2 percent.

Most of the high visibility mistakes this season have been in situations that didn’t have a major impact on the outcome of the game:

• Seahawks granted extra timeout in Week 1: increased Seahawks win probability from 49.3 percent to 52.4 percent
• Raiders aren’t given untimed down in Week 1: decreased Raiders win probability from 0.1 percent to 0.0 percent
• 49ers granted extra challenge in Week 3: increased 49ers win probability from 1.9 percent to 6.8 percent
• Mis-spot of personal foul penalties in LionsTitans and BengalsRedskins games in Week 3: less than 5 percent swing in each instance

This isn’t just an issue that has arisen with the replacement refs. Let’s a take a look at the impact on one of the higher profile blown calls made by a regular official.

In Week 2 of the 2008 season, the Denver Broncos trailed the San Diego Chargers by seven points in the last two minutes. With the Broncos at the Chargers’ 1, the ball slipped out of Jay Cutler's hand as he dropped back to pass and the Chargers recovered the ball.

Ed Hochuli blew the play dead after ruling that the play was an incomplete pass. Replay overturned the call, ruling it a fumble, but since the play was blown dead possession stayed with the Broncos for a third-down attempt from the 10. Two plays later, Denver found the end zone and added a two-point conversion to win the game.

The Broncos were out of timeouts, so if they lost the ball inside the two-minute warning their chances of winning the game would have fallen to 0.7 percent. Even with the blown call, they were down to two chances to convert from the 10-yard-line and had only a 17 probability of winning in regulation or overtime.

Matthew Emmons/US PresswireTony Romo was dominant Sunday in the Cowboys thrashing of the Bills

Week 10 was a good one for quarterbacks as four topped 90 in Total QBR led by Tony Romo, who set an NFL-high for this season with a QBR of 99.3.

As in any game where a quarterback’s QBR is over 99, Romo did many things well. Among them was his ability to complete long passes down field. He was 6-6 on passes that traveled at least 11 yards down field, 4-4 on passes that traveled at least 21 yards and 2-2 on passes that traveled at least 31 yards (both for touchdowns). In the first half with the game still in question, Romo was 18-19 including a perfect 7-7 on third downs that all went for first downs. Romo did not fumble and was not sacked or intercepted.

This was only the third time since 2008 a QB has had a 99+ QBR in a game with at least 25 action plays.

Matt Schaub had the second highest QBR this week at 93.9. Like Romo, Schaub was dominant in almost every area. He was also great on deep balls, going 3-3 on passes that traveled at least 11 yards in the air. This includes the first play from scrimmage where Schaub completed an 80-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones -- 33 of which came in the air.

A week after posting a Total QBR of 47.4 in his first start for the Raiders, Carson Palmer was third among all quarterbacks this week with a QBR of 92.8. Palmer was perfect throwing the deep ball Thursday, going 4-4 on passes 21+ yards downfield for 146 yards, 134 of which came in the air, and two touchdowns.

One of the most interesting QBRs of the week goes to Tim Tebow. Despite completing just two of eight passes for 69 yards, Tebow finished with a 73.3 QBR on 19 action plays. Because Tebow had so few action plays, his QBR was heavily influenced by his one touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter with the game close. Entering the play Tebow’s QBR was 18.2, but due to the increased leverage of the play and the lack of involvement prior, Tebow increased his QBR to 75.9 with just one pass. QBR is a rate statistic, so the fewer the plays the more each play is weighted.

For more information about how Total QBR is calculated, go here.