32 NFL teams, 32 shocking stats to know: Philly’s passing game, the unlucky Browns and how Lamar Jackson handles the blitz

  • Founder and Editor-in-chief of Footballoutsiders.com
  • NFL analyst for ESPN Insider

Once upon a time, there were not a lot of football stats available. You had runs and passes, yards and touchdowns. Nobody broke the numbers down by situation or tracked personnel groupings and cornerback coverage.

Things have really changed over the past 20 years. Now you can get all kinds of interesting splits showing where NFL teams were strongest and weakest in a given season. The NFL uses chips in player pads to track a ton of new metrics with NFL Next Gen Stats, and a number of different analytics companies chart games to mark everything from broken tackles to blitz rates to yards after the catch.

We used all of these different available numbers to analyze NFL teams for last season and the upcoming season in our new book Football Outsiders Almanac 2022. And while preparing the book, we came across a lot of interesting stats. Many of them will surprise fans who might expect one thing from a team but get something else.

Below, I’ve gone through Football Outsiders’ extensive stat databases to point out an interesting stat that I came across for each team. You’ll find a lot of Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics mentioned, and those are explained here. The most important is DVOA, which measures success on each play compared to the league average adjusted for situation and opponent. Because it is measured on a per-play basis, it can easily be separated to measure specific splits; you’ll see a lot of those ratings below. Charting stats including blitz rates, player personnel and broken tackles come from Sports Info Solutions.

Here is what we learned, starting with the Cardinals and going in alphabetical order:

Arizona Cardinals

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