Important Stats for the 21 Cap Era Super Bowl Champions

With the playoffs coming, here are some important stats for the 21 cap era Super Bowl champions. I’m posting these here as I’m sure I’ll be referencing these in the coming months on the podcast, future articles and Caponomics, which we’re in the process of editing right now and will be out in March.

I’ve been looking at these tonight as I’m trying to outline some principles for offensive and defensive football as a way to then help articulate how I think teams should look at their salary cap spending. It’s not enough to just look at positions or certain players and discuss what they should do from a salary cap perspective, it’s important to understand each team’s offensive and defensive objectives and, in knowing that, you start to get an idea of their “formula” for winning.

I’ve been looking at the Eagles, Seahawks and Panthers a lot this week because of some of their similarities and differences and they presented a really good example of different formulas. Over the summer I realized the importance of yards per play and have since become very interested in the various formulas teams clearly use. The Eagles have pushed the tempo since Chip Kelly entered the league, while the Seahawks and Panthers clearly run a formula that’s much more slow paced. The modern offense seems to understand the importance of run/pass balance as a way to increase efficiency as it makes them harder to defense. (Yards per play is in Figure 11 after everything else in this document.)

This idea of a formula is really driving my research right now as figuring out what Super Bowl champions have done from a salary cap perspective is the first piece of the puzzle I’m trying to put together. The next big piece I want to put into the puzzle is an understanding of what offenses and defenses should be trying to accomplish at a foundational, principle level. These two things are a nice start for me to try and understand what teams should be trying to do from a spending perspective. Football on the field is about efficiency and the salary cap is no different.

More of these kinds of figures will be coming in the next few weeks as we discuss the current playoffs teams and things like that. Bear with me, trying to kind of catalogue a lot of this stuff in my head after a great season of note-taking and trying to learn more about that game. I’ve got about 400 pages of notes from this season and I’ve just been scratching away at my notebook all season, so I kind of feel like one of those crazy people that they make movies about who walks around college campuses in his pajamas, but somehow knows what he’s talking about.

But seriously, I’m having a lot of fun researching this stuff and trying to figure out how to write or talk about it, so I’m really look forward to this offseason.

Happy New Year, thanks for reading and I wish you the best of luck in 2016.


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Figure 1: Offensive Rankings for Super Bowl Champions

1994-2014 Offensive Rankings for SB Champs

Figure 2: Defensive Rankings for Super Bowl Champions

1994-2014 Defensive Rankings for SB Champs

Figure 3: Leading Passers

Leading Passers on SB Champs

Figure 4: Leading Rushers

Leading Rushers on SB Champs

Figure 5: Leading Receiver

Leading Receiver on SB Champs

Figure 5: Other Receiving Options

Other Top WRs on SB Champs

**Interesting stat: The third through seventh receiving options for the 2009 Saints had 2284 receiving yards between them.

Figure 6: Regular Season Turnover Ratio

Season Turnover Ratio for SB Champs

Figure 7: Playoff Turnover Ratio

Playoff Turnover Ratio for Super Bowl Champs

Figure 8: QB Playoff Stats

Super Bowl QB Playoff Stats

Figure 9:Regular Season First Downs Per Game

Super Bowl First Downs Per Game

Figure 10: Regular Season Third Down Conversion

Super Bowl Third Down Conversion

Figure 11: Regular Season Yards Per Play

Super Bowl Yards Per Play