Do NFL Teams with Higher Average Drop Rates Have Winning or Losing Records?

After witnessing one too many drops by New England’s Rookie WR corps, I decided to investigate which teams had the most drops and whether or not it correlates to wins and losses.



I came across this site for the necessary data: Drops 2013. It’s updated every 24 hours after game times though so it does include Week 17 and 18 and the chart below only displays 2013 regular season records.

Turns out there is a slight trend showing higher drop rates associated with a lower team win record (no big surprise there). Teams in the upper right-hand corner of the chart have managed to end up with winning records despite the butterfingers (Denver, NE, KC), but that can also be due to various reasons – strong run games, heavier passing offense in general, forced turnovers and good defense, etc.

Teams in the lower right corner and upper left corner are what we would expect to see – the Bills had a losing record and the second highest drop rate in the league. Seattle and Denver on the other hand had lower drop rates and winning records.

A few other take-aways from this chart show that Pierre Garcon was the most targeted receiver in the league and also had the most receptions, the Chargers had the lowest drop rate in the league and the Lions had the highest, and Brandon Marshall had the most drops with 12, followed by Cecil Shorts and Wes Welker both with 10.


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