Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Stats Slop!
My aim here is to give you a purely statistics-based version of the Daily Slop. There are a few other differences between this new venture and the traditional Slop posts.
- Every link and tweet that is shared will include at least one Redskins stat in it.
- Virtually none of the links will be from Redskins focused sites and publications. These stats, will instead, come from football stats, analytics and fantasy websites and tweets.
- The links and tweets will typically be broken down in separate categories (defense, QBs, historic, etc.)
- The Stats Slop will be released on a weekly basis.
Your Skins Stats are served, so dig in!
Pryor ran a forty-yard dash in the 4.3s after weighing in at a gargantuan 6-foot-4 ½, 240 at his pre-supplemental draft Pro Day in 2011 and has always been a superlative athlete. He was an exceptionally quick wideout study, instantly becoming a high-level route runner and averaging 2.76 yards of separation at target (Next Gen Stats), a very strong number for receiver who dealt with constant man coverage, playing 84% of his snaps outside. Cousins' Next Gen Stats profile suggests he prefers to avoid pass catchers who aren't separating, registering the NFL's lowest rate of throws to receivers with one yard of separation or less.
As the Redskins are missing the league's fourth-most targets (223) from last year's roster, Pryor is stepping into a wealth of opportunity on a pass-first team whose quarterback has completed 68.3% of his throws over the past two seasons, an enormous upgrade on last year's 59.6% combined Browns quarterback mark.
Over Cousins' last 26 regular season games, he's averaged 294.7 yards per week and 8.32 per attempt while completing 68.8 percent of his throws. He's tossed 48 touchdown passes and just 15 interceptions, plus he's rushed for eight scores. He ranked third in the league last season in both passing yards (4917) and Y/A (8.1), and he finished seventh in passer rating (97.2). At this stage, it's tough to argue that he isn't an upper-tier NFL quarterback.
Kirk Cousins gone over 300 pass yards in 18 of 41 starts (43.9%). Far more than Brady (32.3%), PManning (35.1%). Just behind Brees (45.6%).— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) August 2, 2017
Didn't want to leave QBs out. Percentage of 300-yard passing games and games with multiple pass TDs for QB careers and 2016 (starts only)... pic.twitter.com/sSyCP96vtW— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) August 3, 2017
Samaje Perine - Perine ranked fifth among all FBS running backs in 2014 with a 100.4 elusive rating (uses missed tackles missed and yards gained after contact to determine a runners success independent of the blocking in front of him) but his performance has fallen a bit from that peak in the last two seasons. With a strong camp he could challenge Rob Kelley for some early-down work.
Currently RB34, Perine is going in drafts around the time when you take a running back while crossing your fingers that he sees anything resembling a meaningful amount of touches. For Perine, though, it's not too difficult to dream up scenario in which he takes control of the Washington backfield.
That's because Rob Kelley just ain't very good, according to our metrics.
He was exactly league average (-0.02) in Rushing NEP per carry a year ago while his 37.50% Success Rate was below the league-average clip (40.28%). Last season, 43 running backs saw at least 80 carries, Kelley checked in 26th in Rushing NEP per attempt and 29th in Success Rate.
Perine might not be a stellar NFL back, either -- we'll have to see, though Washington seems to be impressed -- but Kelley is far from an insurmountable obstacle. If Perine can secure the lead role, he can ride that volume to fantasy relevance, just like Kelley did in 2016.
During his time at Oklahoma, Perine rushed for 4,122 yards, a school record, and scored 49 touchdowns, adding 40 receptions for 321 yards and two touchdowns by catching passes out of the backfield. According to The Post's Mike Jones, Perine continues to show off his receiving skills with "good hands and the ability to run routes well" in training camp.
He also can run with the football. According to Pro Football Focus, Perine averaged 3.3 yards after contact per attempt in his college career, a higher rate than his competition, Rob Kelley, did at Tulane (2.4), which could bode well for Perine's use in the red zone.
Kelley, meanwhile, averaged just 2.41 yards per carry in the red zone (22nd in the NFL) and only 1.16 yards after first contact (ranking 18th) in 2016, per ESPN's John Keim, giving Perine a shot at a featured role.
Perine is being drafted a full two-and-a-half rounds ahead of Kelley at the moment. This is after Kelley rushed for 601 yards and six touchdowns over the final nine weeks of last season following a midseason benching of Matt Jones. It’s easy to write Kelley off because he was an UDFA out of Tulane last year and isn’t the biggest or fastest guy. But he averaged a respectable 4.2 YPC and had Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 elusive rating, which factors in forced missed tackles per touch, among all backs, behind only Jay Ajayi.
Kelley's overall 2016 grade of 75.0 ranked 35th among 61 qualifying running backs. He took a backseat to Matt Jones to start the year last year, but his solid performances both last season and in training camp have earned him a starting position over 2017 draft pick Samaje Perine.
Kelley was impressive as a rookie running back in 2016. He forced 36 missed tackles on 168 rushing attempts, third-most among rookie running backs. Even more impressive, Kelley was only one missed tackle behind Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot, who had 322 rushing attempts compared to Kelley's 168.
Mack Brown was a preseason dynamo last year pic.twitter.com/Ig4HyzTV7M— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) August 2, 2017
Interesting look at WAS RBs here:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 1, 2017
Couldn't run behind C.
Jones more successful bouncing outside than Kelley.
Thompson never an early dwn guy pic.twitter.com/3fH5hfjNrw
Over the past three seasons, the height of Washington's average wide receiver has been just less than 6 feet, and they caught just one of five red-zone passes targeted in the end zone. The rest of the league's receivers had an average height of 6-1, catching 35 percent of end zone passes inside the 20-yard line. That's a difference of 56 points assuming all extra-point kicks are converted, enough to move Washington's 2016 point differential from 10th in the NFC to third behind the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.
Crowder was a vital part of the offense in 2016. Crowder ran 523 total routes, with 76.1 percent of them coming from the slot. He recorded seven touchdowns (which led the Washington receiving corps and ranked second among slot receivers) and averaged 1.55 yards per route run, the ninth highest mark among slot receivers.
Crowder dropped just three of 70 catchable passes in 2016, and his catch rate of 63.6 on deep passes (passes that travel 20+ yards in the air) ranked third of 78 wide receivers with at least 10 deep targets. Crowder and quarterback Kirk Cousins developed good chemistry last season, and when targeting Crowder, Cousins posted a passer rating of 112.9, the highest mark among all second-year wide receivers with at least 45 targets.
After playing 1,341 snaps in his senior year at TCU, Doctson ended his college career as PFF's highest-graded wide receiver, with a PFF overall grade of 93.9. He averaged 4.08 yards per route run, which ranked first of 97 college receivers with at least 85 targets and his near-perfect WR rating of 149.2 ranked second.
Doctson was taken with the 22nd overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, but only managed to play 31 snaps before an Achilles injury sent him to IR. Doctson started well, and on those limited snaps, he still averaged 2.75 yards per route run, well above the NFL average of 1.28.
If he can stay healthy through camp, Doctson could be the first in line to take over as Washington's deep threat, a role that was vacated by the departure of DeSean Jackson in free agency. In 2015, Doctson posted the nation's third-best catch rate on deep passes (passes that travel 20-plus yards in the air) and his nine touchdowns from such passes also ranked third.
Will Zach Brown unseat the Redskins starter from a year ago? pic.twitter.com/1OoJ9PkXYi— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 31, 2017
Swearinger is coming off a breakout year in Arizona, in which he played 839 snaps, and was the ninth-highest-graded safety in the league, with a PFF overall grade of 87.0.
Swearinger showed huge improvement while in coverage last year. In 2015 with Tampa Bay and Arizona, he received a coverage grade of 70.9 and allowed 1.06 yards per coverage snap. In 2016, he improved his coverage grade to 87.1 and allowed just 0.41 yards per coverage snap.
Swearinger performed very well while in the box last season, and posted a run-stop percentage of 8.0 percent when lined up within 8 yards of the line of scrimmage, the league's fourth-best mark. If Swearinger can improve upon his tackling from last year (he registered a tackle efficiency of 6.9, ranking 52nd of 74 safeties), the Redskins will almost certainly have found a steal in free agency.
Despite not being at 100 percent, Fuller played 475 snaps for the Redskins last season, but struggled in coverage. Working predominantly in the slot, Fuller allowed 1.99 yards per slot coverage snap, the most of 52 cornerbacks with at least 130 slot coverage snaps. He allowed a passer rating of 122.7 on throws into his primary coverage, the fifth-highest mark among slot corners.
Now that Fuller seems to be free of the knee injury that cost him most of his 2015 season at Virginia Tech and slowed his 2016 season in the NFL, the Redskins will hope he can return to his form he had in his 2014 college season, where he allowed a passer rating of just 64.7 on throws into his primary coverage and his PFF coverage grade ranked 57th of 406 qualifying cornerbacks.
Happy 40th Birthday to Tom Brady! There have only been 12 seasons where a 40+-yo QB threw for over 1,000 yards & only one w/over 4,000 pic.twitter.com/mADQKlTehg— ProFootballReference (@pfref) August 3, 2017
Sonny Jurgensen is one of only 9 players to pass for over 1,000 yards at age 40 or older.
Sammy Baugh's single season completion percentage record of 70.3% in 1945 stood for 37 years. It was topped by 0.3% in 1982. It would not be outdone again until 2009, 64 years after he set that mark.
No team has a better stat-nerd case for jumping into the postseason in 2017 than the Eagles. Advanced metrics suggest Doug Pederson's team was already playoff-caliber last season; the Eagles finished fourth in DVOA (just ahead of the Steelers) and had the sixth-best point differential in the NFC, which should have been enough to push them into a wild-card spot.
The New York defense improved from 30th to second in both points allowed and DVOA, which is unprecedented in the case of the latter. The previous record was a 27-rank jump, which was pulled off by the 2011 Jaguars. The following year, the Jags fell all the way back to 28th and didn't bound back up toward league average until 2016.
That's an extreme example of what Bill James called the Plexiglass Principle, but teams that suddenly improve like the Giants did often give back some of their gains. Sixteen teams preceding the Giants improved their DVOA rank on defense by 20 spots or more between 1987 and 2015. Those teams declined the next year by an average of just over eight spots in the rankings.
One of the biggest reasons the Cowboys leaped up the standings in 2016 was their massive improvement in turnover differential. The 2015 Cowboys finished dead last with a turnover margin of minus-22, and we knew this time last year that those teams usually improve significantly the following year. The 2016 Boys were no exception. They improved to a turnover margin of plus-5, a 27-TO swing. Prescott broke Tom Brady's record by starting his career with 176 pass attempts before throwing an interception. An offense with two rookies touching the ball posted the league's fifth-fewest giveaways.
History tells us the sort of leap the Cowboys made almost always gives way to some decline the following season. Teams that improved by 20 or more turnovers in a given season saw their margin decline by more than 11 turnovers the following year. They declined as a group by an average of more than one win. Prescott probably won't post a sub-1 percent interception rate next year. That's reality.