Friday, September 17, 2010

Points Scored Per Yards Gained

One of the commonly heard issues the fans had with the Cowboys offense against the Redskins was that they scored so few points (7) despite having gained a good amount of yardage (377).

First, I wanted to check to see if offensive points per yards gained was a statistic worth looking at. So what i did was took this formula:

Total Points Scored / Total Yards Gained = Points Per Yards Gained.

Then I ran a correlation coefficient. This was to determine just how strong the 'Points Per Yards Gained' statistic correlates to winning and losing in the NFL. If there's no real strong correlation, then analyzing the statistic is a bit of a moot point.

Anyway, it does have a strong correlation. Over the past 4 seasons, the correlation coefficient was at +0.76...which is quite strong.

I also did one statistic for defensive points allowed per defensive yards allowed. This didn't have nearly as strong of a correlation (with the coefficient being around +0.55).

So getting back to the Total Points Scored Per Yards Gained, here's how Dallas has finished in the Jason Garrett era:

2007 - 4th
2008 - 21st
2009 - 25th

I'm sure some can blame the FG kicking, but Nick Folk was a great kicker in 2008 and they still finished 21st.

Now, I don't blame so much the red zone because Dallas was in the red zone twice and scored 1 TD and Beuhler missed a chippy. But I do feel that there's an issue with the team when they cross the 50 yard line that they tend t make a lot of penalties, and just as important and unnoticed....a lot of negative plays.

With the Total Points Scored per Yards Gained statistic having such a strong correlation, it's really one hole in the Cowboys that they need to fix because they won 20 games in the past 2 seasons despite being ranking poor in that statistical formula.


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