Saturday, March 7, 2009

Owens and Buffalo Will Not Get Along

For once, an article about Terrell Owens will have no mention of his character, reputation or temper.

What we're talking about here is purely statistics driven.

That picture to the right is of the week 17 game this past season between the Bills and the Patriots in Buffalo. The wind and cold that day was absolutely insane...I should know, I was there.

So my first thought when I learned that Owens would be playing this coming season in Buffalo was, "how the hell is he gonna play in that cold weather?". Now, T.O did have two seasons in cold Philadelphia in between stops in balmy San Fransisco and Dallas. But I decided to go through his numbers and see how he's fared in cold weather games throughout his career.

Here are the criteria for my study:
Any game, home or away, in which T.O dressed and played in December or later (including playoffs) in cold-weather cities with outdoor stadiums (Detroit does not count because the Lions play in a dome...for example).

Here's the full list, followed by the statistical breakdown (Catches-Yards-TD):

2008: Dec 7 @ PIT (3-32-1)
Dec 28 @ PHI (6-103-0)
2007: No Cold Games
2006: Dec 3 @ NYG (8-84-0)
Wild Card Game @ SEA (2-26-6)
2005: No cold games
2004: Dec 5 vs GNB (8-161-1)
Dec 12 @ WAS (6-46-0)
Dec 19 vs DAL (2-24-0)
San Fransisco
2003: Dec 14 @ CIN (8-127-1)
Dec 21 @ PHI (1-20-0)
2002: No Cold Games
2001: Wild Card Game @ GNB (4-40-0)
2000: Dec 23 @ DEN (3-35-0)
1999: Dec 5 @ CIN (9-145-0)
1998: Dec 20 @ NWE (3-61-1)
1997: Dec 21 @ SEA (2-37-0)
1996: Dec 15 @ PIT (3-45-1)

Here's how those stats break down:
15 games
68 catches (4.5 receptions per game or RPG)
986 yards (65.7 yards per game or YPG)
5 touchdowns (0.33 touchdowns per game or TD/G )

On the surface, those numbers are actually not too bad. Most mere mortals would be thrilled to have numbers like those spanning a 13-year hall of fame career. But Owens' career numbers tell a different story.

If you take his career averages of 5.0 RPG, 74.7 YPG and TD/G ratio of .73, then subtract his cold weather numbers to account for those games lowering his career averages, you get a completely different set of numbers. These statistics we will refer to as his "warm weather games".

In "warm weather games", Terrell Owens averaged slightly over 5 RPG, slightly over 75 YPG and a TD/G ratio of .76).

"Warm vs Cold"
RPG: 5 vs 4.5
YPG: 75 vs 65.7
TD/G: .76 vs .33 they say, the numbers don't lie. Owens has struggled over his entire career in cold weather games.
Even when you look at games played in the last week of November in cold weather stadiums the numbers are no better - three games, 13 catches (4.3 RPG), 152 yards (50.6 YPG), 0 TD's.

You may say, 'ok so his numbers dopped a little bit, but that's to be expected. It's only human nature that a person's performance will be better when one is warm and comfortable than when one is cold and tight'.

If there would be one number I could present to you to persuade you once and for all that Owens performance drops more than a reasonable amount when he plays in cold weather, it would be this:
In warm weather games, over 15% of Owens catches went for touchdowns. That is an astounding number, especially for someone with such a long career and so many receptions.
But, that average practically gets cut in half when looking at his cold weather numbers, all the way down to 7%.

So not only were his catches down, but his quality catches and his ability to make big plays was also significantly reduced. That clearly shows he is both less comfortable in those scenarios and looked to less often in key situations.

All this of course means nothing until Owens puts on that Bills jersey and actually proves what he can do when the real weather shows up.

But for all you Buffalo fans out there who can't wait for T.O to help your team make a playoff push - regardless of if he keeps his mouth shut and is the ideal teammate - once the wind, snow and ice arrive, I wouldn't hold your breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment