Random statistical thoughts and musings after three weeks.
1. NFC BEAST
With an 8-4 combined W-L record through week three, the NFC is the winningest division in the NFL, sharing the top spot with the NFC North. Strange but true: No other divisions in the NFL have combined winning records!
2. Strength of Schedule ain't all it's cracked up to be
Going in to the season, Dallas' first three opponents in 2009 had a formidable combined winning percentage in 2008 of .688 (33W, 15L). Their combined winning percentage in 2009 is a lowly .333 (3W, 6L).
By strength of schedule (based on 2008 W/L records) Dallas had by far the toughest first three games and the Redskins the weakest (see below). Looking at the next three weeks, the Cowboys are the only team in the NFC East whose next three opponents have a combined winning percentage in the first three weeks of 2009. Amazingly, the Redskins face three consecutive teams (TB, CAR, KC) who are a combined 0-9 so far this year.
Combined winnings percentages of opponents in the first three weeks
||First three games 09
||Next three games 09
||2008 W/L%||2009 W/L%
Shockingly, the Cowboys this year are tied for 1st in the league with 7 Touchbacks. This is almost twice the amount we had in 2007 & 2008 COMBINED!
In the three 2009 games, the Cowboys had 18 Kickoffs, 13 made it to the Endzone, 7 resulted in Touchbacks. In the first three games of 2008, the Boys were 19-1-0 in the same categories.
4. The Penalty Scourge
While almost every penalty called against us has me shaking my head in utter disbelief, my blood pressure experienced a significant drop when I realized that with 17 penalties so far this year, we are tied at 8th on the list of least penalized teams (albeit with with 7 other teams.) Last year we were dead last on that list.
5. Turnover ratio
We ranked 30th last year in TO ratio, this year we are tied at 16th with 8 other teams with a -1 TO ratio. Here's hoping our secondary have finally found their mojo.
6. Coach DeCamillis: King of the 'hidden yardage'
'Hidden yardage' looks at the field position after kickoffs, i.e. the actual starting position of each drive
Average hidden yardage after kickoffs, week 3 2009 vs. week 3 2008
|Own starting position after receiving kickoffs||26.5
|Opponent starting position after kickoffs||21.2
In 2009, these numbers translate into a 5.3-yard differential for every pair of kickoffs; in 2008 the differential was -3.5. Assuming an average of 5 kickoffs per game over 16 games, the 2009 differential could add up to 424 more yards than our oppenents. Bow down to King DeCamillis.
7. Yards per play (pass & run)
Dallas leads the league in Yards per Play after three weeks with 7.3. Last year we were 9th with 5.6, in 2007 we ranked 3rd with 6.0. Now if we could only be more efficient in the red zone ...