NFL Passing Stats in 2018

One of the great things about Tableau is you can take data in which you have a personal interest and begin to explore it relatively quickly. Last weekend, I had a blast developing this dashboard looking into NFL Team Wins vs a variety of passing statistics in 2018.

Completion percentage (R = 0.544) and passing TDs (R = 0.538) correlated best with wins, and from a common sense perspective these make sense; if you’re going to win a football game, you need enough first downs to at least reach field goal range and, ideally, score plenty of touchdowns. Too many interceptions (R = 0.447) and sacks (R = 0.464) don’t help your cause (though an interesting note about sacks below). Total yards (R = 0.356) don’t seem to matter as much, though fantasy football fans will be happy with those yards. Since I’m a Chiefs fan, I was curious how all of those deep passes Patrick Mahomes throws correlated with wins across the league as well. The correlation was the least strong and is relatively consistent with total yards (though I’m curious about which teams don’t match up well between 20+ yard completions and total passing yards).

Houston (Red), Dallas (Grey), and Seattle (Green) all had high numbers of sacks yet managed to win enough games to make the playoffs in 2018

Something I found fairly interesting was the number of teams allowing above average numbers of sacks and yet still made the playoffs. Houston (62), Dallas (56), and Seattle (51) all managed to make the playoffs and, interestingly enough, have mobile quarterbacks. Are the sacks due to increased scrambling or poor offensive lines? I’ll save that exploration for another time.