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Real life stats.....what to hope for in your Madden game.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:52 AM   #1
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Real life stats.....what to hope for in your Madden game.

I'm posting this because I read so many inaccurate statements about stats produced in Madden games, whether simmed or played. Also because there are many sim ballers who want realistic numbers.
Too many times I hear complaints about not enough sacks, or int's etc yet the numbers people get are closer to real life than they think. I'm posting this to give people a frame of reference as to what numbers their stats should produce. Hopefully this makes gaming more satisfying to know your numbers are not off - or help you to correct them with sliders or house rules etc. If this looks familiar, yes, I've posted this before...sorry to be redundant but with the new demos out I thought it was applicable.

NOTE: I've consistently checked NFL stats to arrive at these numbers which are based on last year's NFL season. I may be wrong and would love to be corrected on any of the stats, but please back it up (show me the NFL stat in other words).

1. Total plays per game: About 120....maybe as high as 130+ for a game with both teams passing 40+ times, or alittle lower for the ground games that run the ball 35-40 times. To find number add pass att, rush att + sacks. Don't count special teams. See below for an update on this.

2. Pass completion %: The best QB's are near 70% (65-70%)...very rare to find a guy go over 70 for a season. Worst are just under 60% (55-60), with the occasional lower one (but they don't last in the NFL much if they are 50% or lower). Average QB is just over 60%. I generally from game to game like to see the QB comp. % just over 60%. Obviously there are some great games (near 80) or terrible games (near or below 50). But if you are playing with all 32 teams (as I do) you should see after a few weeks a bell curve with top QB's near 70 and weak ones near 55 and the rest in the middle (60-64).

3. Most RB's average 4+ yards per carry. Some are below and the best ones are near or over 5 but again imagine a bell curve from about 3.7 to 5.7, with 4.3 somewhere in the middle.

4. Average sacks per game: 2-3 per team.

5. Average picks per game: 1 per QB....again the better ones will end the season around 8 picks give or take, the worst around 20 and most averaging about a pick per game.

6. Most punters average over 40 ypK.....the best may be higher and the more directional guys maybe just under 40. KO guys usually kick the ball inside the 10...only a few consistently put it on the goal line or beyond.

7. Most returners will get it out to the 25-30 yard line. Some are more and some less. A KO TD return happens 1-2 times per WEEK in the LEAGUE. Meaning unless you have Devin Hester or someone like that, expect to MAYBE return 1 or 2 KO for TD's....some teams don't have any returns for TD's.

8. NFL receivers drop 1-2 passes per game as a TEAM.....obviously in bad weather or on a bad day you could see 5 or so, but generally they don't drop many (drops don't count when the guy get's clobbered while catching the ball....a drop is when the guy drops the ball without being hit).

9. Most #1 RB's average around 20 carries per game (some workhorses will average closer to 25 but that's only 1-2 guys in the league).

10. Most QB's throw about 30-35 passes per game. Some pass happy teams may be closer to 40 and the ground and pound guys may be closer to 25.

11. Penalties: A range of 3-7 per game. Some bad teams are consistently on the high end here and the most disciplined teams on the lower end...again a bell curve. Some games are worse than others.

12. NFL teams average about 340 ypg total. AGain a bell curve with the best O's near or over 400 and the worst in the 270 range.

13. NFL teams in general average 22-23 points per game on offense (yes counting defensive scores as well). The bell curve here is usually a low around 15 and a high around 30. The D numbers are roughly the same. I use 45 total points as a threshold to evaluate my games. About half the games should have 45 combined points or less.


Here are the new findings for other areas of the game. Hopefully it will help people like me who try to get the most realistic results out of their games.

14. Plays per game - The median number for plays per game (per team) was 64. The range was from 57-69. I believe the old "pass attempts + run attempts + sacks = total plays" is still the formula of choice to find out what you got in your game.

15. Yards per play. I find this one intriguing. In my madden sliders I strive to get numbers like the ones posted above but I failed to factor in that a total yards number that seems out of whack could very well be because of one team having alot more plays than another or too many total plays in that game. So I'm going to try to use this stat as my benchmark for yardage:

Median: 5.3 yards per play. Range 4-6 yards per play. So if i'm getting games or team averages of 9 yards per play that's way out of whack.

16. Penalties per game per team: Median is 5. Range is from 4-8 per game per team. This was updated from before. The original number was based on midseason stats. Apparently penalties got called more often later in the year...go figure. These are now end of season numbers.

17. Penalty yards per game: This is especially useful I believe for figuring out how many of the penalties were holding vs. false start. Now because of pass interference and such it may not be that accurate a benchmark, but I think it will give an idea:
42 yards per game is the median. Range was from 36-82. Coupled with the range of # of penalties called I think it's safe to say that holding penalties make up the majority of penalties. Using the range I calculated that the range 8-10 yards per penalty. I'd guess that for every false start there are about 4 holding penalties base on this. May not be spot on here, but hey, close enough for rock and roll right?

18. Fumbles: Median 1.5 per game ( or 3 for every 2 games). Range: .5 (one every other game) to 2 per game.

19. On a given sunday, one team will rack up over 400 total yards in roughly every other game.


Hope this helps. I got the stats off of cbssports.com but it's possible my math was off as I was rushing a bit. Any feedback is appreciated, good or bad.
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Last edited by mjhyankees; 08-09-2011 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Real life stats.....what to hope for in your Madden game.

Good post. A lot of people seem to forget just how large of a range there really is for NFL stats.

I think the plays per game is the most important thing to worry about. If you're matching that, your stats are almost always going to fall within the realm of realism.

...and remember, fluke games do happen. An NFL game can be a 3-0 struggle, a 51-45 shootout or anything in between.
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