Cold, Hard Football Facts Insider for 2013 includes tons of new features, above and beyond the intense game analysis that is the foundation of our premium product.

Among these new features are our Quality Stat “Big Boards” – sortable tables ranking the winners and losers all year long in every single Quality Stat (including seven new indicators this year) from No. 1, the best of the best, to No. 512, the worst of the worst.

We’ll also track the best and worst performances in every indicator each individual week, from No. 1 to No. 32.

Insiders will find these tables a VERY easy to way to uncover the stats and performance most responsible for wins and losses each and every week, to separate the statistical wheat of victory from the chaff of white noise found on most TV networks.

The Big Boards, for example, are what allowed us last week to report that the top 100 teams Real Quarterback Rating Differential (a new for 2013 indicator) went 99-1 in 2012. We expect similar results in 2013 and nearly as spectacular results from all our other Quality Stats.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the “Big Board” statistical winners from 2012, the dominant performances in each indicator last season.

It will be interesting to watch how the 2013 season unfold.


Alex Smith Benched Without a Cause

We said earlier this off-season that former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was the best quarterback who ever got benched. It’s an unassailable statement.

No quarterback in history ever got benched after performing at such an incredibly high level. Our CHFF Insider Big Boards merely prove that this statement is true.

Smith produced two of the three highest Offensive Passer Ratings in all of 2012, according to our OPR Big Board: with his 157.13 performance against the Cardinals (the league’s No. 1 team in Defensive Passer Rating in 2012) in Week 8 (No. 2 effort of the season) and with a 156.67 effort against Buffalo in Week 5 (No. 3).

It gets better: Smith posted a 145.05 Real Quarterback Rating in that 45-3 Week 5 win over the Bills, the No. 2 performance of the season; followed by a 142.71 effort in the team’s 24-3 win over the Cardinals, the No. 4 top-rated performance of the season.

Oh, and in that game against the Bills, he averaged 12.40 Real Passing Yards Per Attempt, the second best day of the season, among 512 performances, at getting the ball down field.

And yet for all that Big Board dominance, he was benched in a move that likely cost the 49ers a Super Bowl victory.  


Arizona Cardinals Find the End Zone (for once)

Arizona was the most troubled and ineffective offensive team in football last year, which CHFF contributor Justin Henry just wrote about earlier today.

Amazing that one of the worst offensive teams in football, certainly the club with the worst quarterbacking in 2012, produced the most efficient scoring effort of the entire season.

The Cardinals produced a mere 196 yards of offense in Week 15, but still managed to hang a big number on the Lions in a 38-10 victory. That’s just 5.16 Yards Per Point Scored, well ahead even the most efficient single-game effort by the always efficient Patriots (7.56 Yards Per Point Scored vs. Indy).

Arizona forced four turnovers, and three times took over the ball deep in Detroit territory, while producing a pair of defensive scores, too, with two long interception returns.

For that effort, the Cardinals topped the 2012 Scoreability Big Board.


Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton’s Dominant Downfield Day

Andy Dalton is widely considered one of the bright young arms in the game. Two straight playoff appearances and the most effective downfield passing performance of 2012 are two reasons why.  

In Cincinnati’s Week 3 38-31 win over Robert Griffin III and the Redskins, Dalton and the Bengals averaged an impressive 12.83 Real Passing Yards Per Attempt (30 dropbacks, 385 net passing yards). Of course, the Redskins pass defense was porous all season long.

But for that effort, the Bengals topped the 2012 Real Passing YPA Big Board.

The top 100 in Real Passing YPA in 2012 went 81-19


Denver Broncos Close Season With Defensive Bang

The Denver defense that was embarrassed by Joe Flacco and the Ravens in the divisional playoffs looked like one of the best ever in Week 17.

The Broncos that day held the Chiefs to an almost unbelievable 1.30 Real Passing Yards Per Attempt.

Kansas City’s Brady Quinn dropped back to pass 20 times, unloaded 16 passes totaling 49 yards, and suffered four sacks for a loss of 23. That’s a net of 26 yards on 20 dropbacks, for those of you keeping score at home.

For that effort, Denver topped the Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt Big Board for 2012.


New York Giants Bend Over Backwards

Tom Coughlin’s crew produced the most impressive “bend but don’t break” defensive performance of 2012 in their 26-3 Week 6 win over the eventual NFC champion 49ers.

San Francisco ripped off 314 yards of offense, including 282 through the air, but turned all that production into just a single first-quarter field goal.

The Giants, in other words, forced San Francisco to march 104.7 Yards Per Point Allowed. For that effort, the Giants topped the 2012 Bendability Big Board.


Philadelphia Eagles: Blind Squirrel catches Statistical Nut

Even blind squirrels catch a statistical nut from time to time. And the Eagles found one in their Week 1 win over the Cleveland Browns and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

The Eagles embarrassed the new guy into the worst quarterbacking performance of the season. Philly’s 5.12 Defensive Passer Rating was easily the best of 2012.

A season that soon spun out of control began with such promise for the Eagles. But for one bright day they looked like the best pass defense in football and the best we would see in one game in all of 2012.

And for that effort Philadelphia tops the Defensive Passer Rating Big Board for 2012. The Eagles that day also earned the top performance on the Defensive Real Quarterback Rating Big Board (6.94).


RGIII Bursts Onto the Scene

Robert Griffin III burst onto the scene like no rookie quarterback in history. He quickly established himself as an electric talent who also just happened to be the most highly efficient passer in the game and the most highly efficient rookie passer in history.

Other than that, it was an ordinary old season for RGIII.

Among other accomplishments, he produced the highest-rated passing performance of the 2012 season, with a proverbially (but not statistically) “perfect” passer rating (158.3) against the Eagles in Week 11


Passer Rating Differential: Redskins humiliate Eagles

The 2012 season was a great one for the Redskins, who powered their way into the playoffs behind rookie quarterback RGIII; and it was an awful one for the Eagles, who stumbled, bumbled and dumbled their way to a 4-12 season.

No game epitomized those different paths more than Washington’s 31-6 win over the Eagles in Week 11. The Redskins were an amazing +117.84 in Passer Rating Differential that day, topping our PRD Big Board for 2012.

RGIII and the Redskins that day produced the only so-called “perfect” passer rating (14 of 15, 200 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, 158.3 rating), while the Washington defense held Nick Foles and the Eagles to a 40.49 rating (21 of 46, 204 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT). That Philly passing effort tied for No. 493 out of 512 performances in 2012, according to our Offensive Passer Rating Big Board.