The Dude Abides...The Stats That Don't Lie, Week 3.

Fate laughs at probabilities. -- Lytton E.G Bulwer


The defense was rock solid, the Broncos won again, and Ryan Clady was so dominate, they pulled his dreadlocks.


Somewhere Al Davis is crying like a little girl.


Not a bad week, my friends.


Here are the Stats That Don't Lie for Week 3, where we take a look at the games from the simple (yet profound) perspective of the following four stats (in order of importance):  Turnovers, Field Position, Time of Possession, and 3rd Down .  For those who are just seeing this for the first time, another quick review.  There is a MAJOR correlation between winning a football game and those four stats.  


For those that want a primer, or who want to look at Week 1 and Week 2, you can look here:





Before we get to the numbers, a few comments.  Denver once again won the battle in all four categories and you saw the result.  Not just a win, but a dominating win.   I'll keep saying this until it's proven wrong (ain't happening).  If you win these 4 categories, you will win the game, whether John Elway or Pappa Smurf is your QB.  


The crazy game of the week was clearly Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati, in which the Steelers dominated all the categories, except turnovers.   And if you want to stop the Jets juggernaut, just know that their average starting field position thus far through three games is the 36 yard line.  This almost a full 7 yards better than the league average.


Here is the summary of week 3


  • The team that won the turnover battle won 16 of 16 games played (100%).
  • The team that won the time of possession battle won 13 of 16 games played (81%).
  • The team that had better third down efficiency won 11 of the 16 games played (69%).
  • The team that had better average starting field position won 11 of the 16 games played (69%).
  • There were 6 games this week in which a team won all four categories.  They also won all 6 of these games (100%).  For the season, this stat is 15 out of 15 games.
  • The winning teams this week averaged .81 turnovers, 32:23 in time of possession, 38.5% on 3rd downs, and their average starting field position was the 30 yard line.
  • Top 5 in turnovers (not given up): Six teams tied with 0.
  • Top 5 in time of possession: 1.NYG  2.DAL  3.DET  4.DEN (yeah!) 5.PIT
  • Top 5 in 3rd downs: 1.NYG  2.DET  3.SD  4.MIN  5. PIT
  • Top 5 in avg. starting field position: 1.NYJ  2.DEN (yeah!)  3.CHI  4.GB   5. PHI
  • Of the 48 games that have been played this season, 89.5% were won by the team with less turnovers, 70.83% with a better time of possession, 62.50% by the team who won on 3rd down, and 75% by the team that won the field position battle.


As an aside, I had a request last week to benchmark these stats against a running average weekly total (three week average) so I give you those now as well in case you want to look at each team against a running 3 week average of all teams:



  • 3-week running average, turnovers (all teams): 1.55
  • 3-week running average, time of possession (all teams): 30:02 (thanks to the TEN/PIT week 1 game where there was over 64 minutes of total TOP)
  • 3-week running average, 3rd down efficiency (all teams): 36.75%
  • 3-week running average, starting field position (all teams) 29.01 yard line


Now on to the games.  I've again included a very brief comment on each game.  Look forward to your comments.


Score           TOs           TOP           Third Down           Field Pos          Comment

CLE 3           4                28:42          25.00%                 23.92                    Give the ball up 4 times, here is the result.
BAL 34         1                31:18          36.36%                 32.18


WAS 14        1                23:12          20.00%                 23.40                   Welcome to the land of 0 turnovers, Lions

DET 19        0                36:48          55.56%                 18.50


JAC 31         1               30:52           45.45%                  22.64                   Even, except for turnovers            
HOU24         2                29:08           40.00%                 30.80

ATL 10         1                39:49            22.22%                 26.67                  Atlanta putrid on 3rd downs.
NE 26          0                20:11            44.44%                 25.56

GB 36          0                 30:19            23.08%                 35.85                  T.t.t.t.turnovers.
STL 17        3                 29:41            33.33%                 22.75

NYG 24       0                 43:38            62.50%                 29.30                  0% on 3rd downs will get you beat.
TB 0            1                 16:22            0.00%                   23.60

TEN 17       4                 27:22            28.57%                  30.00                  Jets benefit from stellar field position.
NYJ 24       2                 32:38            25.00%                  43.65

KC 14        1                  34:03           0.00%                    29.08                   0% on 3rd downs get you beat again.
PHI 34       1                  25:57           46.15%                  33.00

SF 24        1                  27:51           0.00%                    26.86                    Ditto above
MIN 27      1                  32:09           50.00%                  28.23

NO 27       1                   33:34           33.33%                  32.64                    Buffalo horrible on 3rd downs
BUF 7       2                   26:26           14.29%                  21.50

CHI 25      2                   30:24            33.33%                 36.23                    Lost in the JC talk...field position
SEA 19     2                   29:36            41.18%                 30.08

PIT 20       1                    34:42            50.00%                 32.60                   Pit wins everything but the turnovers
CIN 23      0                    25:18            25.00%                 28.56

DEN 23    1                    36:15            41.67%                  37.80                   Domination if all 4 categories = Win
OAK 3      3                    23:45            30.00%                  24.90

MIA 13     2                    32:27            41.67%                  28.10                    Turnovers and TOP.
SD 23      1                    27:33            50.00%                  31.89

IND 31     1                    31:42            27.27%                  25.69                    Ignore stats when Peyton's playing.
ARZ 10    3                    28:18            28.57%                  27.92

CAR 7     3                    22:56            12.50%                  17.27                     Carolina can't convert 3rd downs.
DAL 21    0                   37:04             36.36%                  24.60


In week 3, both the Cowboys and Broncos dominated all 4 categories.  Somethings got to give in week 4.  Let's hope that it's Tony Romo's face into turf with a loose ball.


Go Broncos!!  


My last stat:  12.5% chance that Kyle Orton has a neckbeard this week.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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