5 NFL Stats to Know Through the 2015 Preseason
It’s been a long offseason, and the wait is finally over. In just one more day, the NFL regular season returns.
Many players who shined in the preseason have either been cut or will spend most of the regular season on the bench, but there were some meaningful plays throughout the preseason. Here are five stats to know as we head into the regular season.
1. Marcus Mariota’s 10.9 Yards Per Attempt Ranked 6th
The second overall draft pick, Marcus Mariota amassed 326 passing yards on 30 attempts. The only player drafted ahead of him, Jameis Winston attempted 47 passes and totaled 15 fewer yards for an average of 6.6 yards per attempt. Mariota’s 70.0% completion rate also compared favorably to Winston’s 48.9%. Winston failed to throw a touchdown pass to go with his two interceptions, while Mariota had one of each.
2. Kickers Made 93.3% of Extra Points
With extra points moving back to the 15-yard line, the conversion rate is down six percentage points from the 99.3% conversion in the regular season last year when they were being kicked from the 2-yard line. Earlier this summer we predicted the new extra points would be converted 93.58% of the time.
3. Matt Jones’ 7.0 Yards Per Carry Ranked 2nd Among Backs With 20-Plus Carries
Our Editor In Chief JJ Zachariason mentioned Matt Jones as a player to add before Week 1. Jones had 20 rushing attempts on his way to 139 yards and a touchdown, while picking up six first downs along the way.
Incumbent starter Alfred Morris averaged a measly 3.1 yards on 18 preseason carries with no touchdowns and only two first downs. Morris played against the starters on opposing defenses while Jones played more against the second string, but almost four full yards per carry is a big difference in efficiency between the two running backs. And of course playing with the second string also means getting worse blocking from the second string offensive line.
4. Jeremy Maclin Caught 2 Touchdown Passes
Jeremy Maclin was brought in to rejuvenate the Chiefs receiving corps after their wide receivers failed to catch a single touchdown pass all season in 2014. Through the preseason, the move appears to be a success, as he caught a touchdown pass in two of the three preseason games he played in.
His first score came on a play in which he lined up next to Alex Smith in the backfield, and on the second he was lined up out wide like a true wide receiver.
5. The Bills' Top 2 Running Backs Averaged 2.8 Yards Per Carry
As a team, the Bills finished the preseason ranked fourth in rushing yards per carry with 4.8. However most of those yards came from backups who aren’t expected to play much, as the team’s top two running backs did not perform well in the only game they appeared in.
LeSean McCoy averaged 2.7 yards on six preseason carries, and his primary backup Karlos Williams averaged 2.9 yards on 14 carries. Neither player recorded a run longer than 10 yards. While the sample size is small, especially for McCoy, the extremely low average is worth noting going into the season considering how run-heavy the team expects to be this year.