2011 NFL team stats, reshuffled after offseason roster moves

In watching the Bears preseason game against the Redskins, I was impressed with the Bears’ new weapons on offense.  Brandon Marshall had a couple catches for 61 yards, and Michael Bush looked really good running the football, finding the end zone twice.  If you look at the 2011 NFL team stats page, you’ll see that the Bears had the 24th ranked offense last year.  Obviously, injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte at the end of the season played a role in that, but their lack of good skill position players outside of Forte factored in heavily as well.

Three of the NFC East teams had some turnover among their skill position players this offseason.  The Redskins added Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, while letting Jabar Gaffney walk in free agency.  The Giants lost Jake Ballard for the season to a torn ACL, and then lost him for good to the Patriots when they injured/waived him.  Needing help at TE, they signed Martellus Bennett away from Dallas.  They also said goodbye to Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham, while replacing them with a couple of promising rookie draft picks in David Wilson and Reuben Randle.  The Cowboys, meanwhile, lost a lot of production when the Jaguars overpaid Laurent Robinson in free agency. Only the Eagles’ skill players stayed exactly the same.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the top 2 RBs, top 4 WRs, and top 2 TEs for all 32 teams to see where the NFC East teams would rank yardage wise in comparison to the rest of the league, post-offseason roster shuffle.  The Bears, as mentioned above, were the 24th ranked offense last year, but if you take the production of their new skill position players’ 2011 production, they’re 6th.  Michael Bush likely won’t get the number of carries he got last year playing behind Matt Forte, so that skews the numbers, but I found the drastic difference interesting.

I should note that there were a few other anomalies.  For example, the Patriots would have a high number anyway, but it became astronomical when you factor in that they have 2 WRs, Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney, that were starters last year, but will be 3rd and 4th WRs this year.  And then of course there are other factors that skew the numbers either way, like players returning from injury (see Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs), or rookies that are expected to be significant contributors to their teams this year, with the aforementioned David Wilson and Reuben Randle being possible examples.  Rookies like Wilson and Randle obviously contributed zero yards last year, so they would of course skew the numbers negatively in replacing players like Jacobs (699 yards from scrimmage last season) and Manningham (523).

Still, for the most part, while not perfect by any stretch (and I’m sure there are plenty more holes to be poked here), this data is a decent indicator of which teams have good, proven talent in place at the skill positions, and who may not, post roster shuffle.  The results:

Rank Team Yards   Rank Team Yards
1 Patriots 7460   17 Cowboys 4601
2 Saints 5911   18 Steelers 4497
3 Falcons 5597   19 Chiefs 4368
4 Eagles 5553   20 Buccaneers 4296
5 Ravens 5305   21 Redskins 4181
6 Bears 5109   22 Giants 4089
7 Lions 5077   23 Broncos 4080
8 Panthers 5058   24 Jaguars 3796
9 Packers 5028   25 Dolphins 3732
10 Titans 4852   26 Jets 3682
11 Cardinals 4803   27 Seahawks 3634
12 Chargers 4757   28 Bengals 3353
13 Bills 4753   29 Raiders 2983
14 49ers 4659   30 Rams 2836
15 Texans 4623   31 Colts 2512
16 Vikings 4622   32 Browns 2482
Team 2011 total offense Re-shuffled
Eagles 4 4
Giants 8 22
Cowboys 11 17
Redskins 16 21

18 Comments

  1. Trueblue63 says:

    Sorry this stat isn’t that informative. As you point out its a measure of personnel turnover not production. It also presumes similar injury patterns.

  2. ct17 says:

    You mistyped one entry. The Browns only had 482 yards of offense last year. That number may include return yardage.

  3. Fred says:

    Sorry but this is silly. Basically a player like gafney that was the 1 or 2 WR gets threated like he will be such for NE. But a Rookie like Randle or Wilson gets nothing for the Giants. And why 2TEs. Most teams don’t even use 2 TEs in the passing game. It’s like this whole think was done to skew it in favor of NE. I’m sorry but anything that puts the Giant’s below the Redskins in total offensive is hard to take seriously.

    1. Joe D says:

      In jimmy’s defense I’m sure he would be the 1st to admit that right now, on paper and in production that the Giants are better than the ‘Skins… If the Giants had a good o-line I would even venture to say they have hands down the best offense (mainly due to Eli and Nicks). But when you factor int he O-line then it becomes debatable…And like the Cowgirl fan said if Miles Austin returns to form and Dez Bryant gets his head on right, they’re right up there with the Birds and Giants..And their O-line sucks too… Then you have the argument that yards don’t mean much when you have a team like the Eagles who rank tops in yards, but in the middle with red zone production..

  4. poolboy87 says:

    Eh, I mean this is interesting, and I think in the case of SOME teams, it’s pretty telling. But for others, I don’t think it means much. I mean, if you take the Cowboys…if Miles Austin has a year similar to his 2010 season rather than his injury plagued 2011, then that tacks about 5-600 yards onto the Cowboys total, taking them from 17, to top 10.

    Like you said, it’s not perfect, but, depending on the team, it might be a good indicator of what to expect.

  5. NYG_slater says:

    Meh i guess you could use it as an indicator for proven “production”, but i wouldn’t call it proven “talent”

    If you did this same process for 2010 data with the giants you’d find it means absolutely nothing because that group ended up ranked 8th and won the super bowl the following year..they were talented without having previous production.

    wr1: Nicks — 1,052
    wr2: Manningham — 944
    wr3: Hixon —- 000
    wr4: Cruz —– 000
    RB1: Bradshaw — 1,235
    RB2: Jacobs —- 823
    TE1: Ballard —– 000
    TE2: Pascoe —- 72

    total: —– 4126

    As for 2012. I’m happier with Wilson over Jacobs. Cruz over Manningham and Randle over Hixon. I think that is a nice talent upgrade. Proven or unproven.

    Ill try thinking of different indicators.

    1. That’s also counting on a guy like Cruz to become a breakout mega-star out of the clear blue sky. So while that’s certainly possible, it’s not exactly likely.

    2. NYG_slater says:

      I think you might just need to cut back on how many variables you look at. Instead of “top 2 RBs, top 4 WRs, and top 2 TEs”. Just make it top 2 RBs and top 3 receivers (either WR or TEs, in some mixture) When you open it up so much it almost guarantees you’ll include a guy who was either a rookie, or had a serious injury and that just skews the data.

      1. But that way would also omit some very good players/contributors.

        1. NYG_slater says:

          true, but i think you’d gain more than you’d lose in terms of statistical significance if you made that change. Furthermore, I’m not sure of many offensive formations that regularly use 4 wr’s AND 2 TE’s….might just be easier to merge them to top 3 recievers, or top 4 if you insist….6 is a bit much.

        2. NYG_slater says:

          by doing top 3 or top 4 receivers I’m not sure you’d omit many important contributors….the 2nd TE on most teams isn’t very important (mainly every team except NE). On the flip side, some teams don’t even use the TE1 very often and rely on an additional WR. Using top 3-4 receivers would be inclusive enough for teams like NE, while excluding players who didn’t contribute due to being a rookie, or injured.

          1. I did 2 RBs, 4 WRs, and 2 TEs because it covers almost every style of NFL offense. The 2 RBs cover teams like the Panthers, 4 WR cover teams like the Packers, 2 TEs cover teams like the Pats. Where teams like the Panthers are strong (RB production), they’re going to be weak at others (3rd and 4th WR).

            This was the fairest way.

        3. One thing you can’t really account for, but plays a role is RB production as related to O-line play/scheme… and WR/TE performance as it relates to their relationship with the “old” QB.

          Having said that, I think this is an interesting way to look at potential for the upcoming season. Because that’s all this really is, a slightly more educated guess at what may happen.

          Past success does not future production guarantee.

          1. “One thing you can’t really account for, but plays a role is RB production as related to O-line play/scheme… and WR/TE performance as it relates to their relationship with the “old” QB.”

            Yep, definitely agree there.

    3. mjoedgaard says:

      You where also lucky that an UDFA WR cought for 1500+ yards and 10+ TDs.

      1. NYG_slater says:

        exactly we were lucky to have cruz….Statistically speaking, guys like Cruz are outliers, the parameters should be such that outliers like cruz aren’t included because they are not an accurate representation of the norm. However, you end up including them because Jimmyk’s parameters are so inclusive, Moreover, you end up including guys on the opposite end of the spectrum (either rookies or guys who sustained a serious injury). Hence why i suggested reducing the parameters to better reflect the norm.

        1. mjoedgaard says:

          Its not really changing anything for a team like the Giants. This year Nicks and Cruz are counted, last year they wouldnt have been, no matter how you slice and dice it. For a team like the Eagles doing only 3 receiving targets would heavily reduce there numbers because they atleast 4 receiving targets

          1. NYG_slater says:

            fine then do 4 w/e…6 is too much. destroys any correlation.

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