STATS Quick Hits: NFL's Best And Worst

Which teams are the best and worst at scoring touchdowns once inside the opponent's 30-yard line? Which ones are the most likely to throw a pass on a first-and-goal play? Which teams are dropping the most catchable passes? Ed Thompson digs into the STATS for the answers to these questions and more.

First And Goal: You'll likely be surprised to learn which NFL teams are the most likely to throw the ball when they have a first-and-goal play selection. The Kansas City Chiefs have opted to pass on 66.7 percent of those plays while the Seahawks trail close behind at 64.3 percent. Two clubs have yet to throw a pass in that situation as they head into Week 12--the Titans and the Jets.

Inside The 30: Nine of the league's teams score a touchdown at least half the time that they venture inside their opponent's 30-yard line. The Saints and the Cardinals convert 58 percent of the time, followed by the Colts and Falcons (57), the Vikings and 49ers (54), Dolphins (53), and the Texans and Bengals (51). Meanwhile, the Browns and the Bills have squandered the bulk of their chances to score touchdowns after crossing that threshold, putting six points on the board during just 28 percent of their chances. The Raiders (29) and the Broncos (30) aren't far behind.

Running back Chris Johnson has had to help Tennessee's offense get out of some bad field position.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Digging Out Of A Hole:  While the average NFL team has started possessions inside their own ten-yard line 17 times this season, the Packers and Titans have had the misfortune to start an offensive drive in that area of the field a league-leading 28 times. The Bills, Seahawks, Lions, and Jets are tied for third with 24. On the flip side, the Bears (6), Falcons (8), Texans and Browns (9 each), have faced that bad situation the least number of times.

Average Margin Of Victory: The Seahawks have only won three games, but they won them by an average of 27 points. The rest of the top five in that category includes the Patriots (19.57), Ravens (17.8), Eagles (17.33) and the Jets (17.25). The 10-0 New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are 7th (16.5) and 19th (11.20) respectively.

Catch The Ball: The Oakland Raiders are dropping more catchable passes than any other team, allowing 17.7 percent of good throws to slip through their fingers. Not far behind are the Browns (16.0), and the Chiefs (14.5). Rounding out the list of teams who are suffering from a ten-percent drop rate or higher are the Lions (11.8), Buccaneers (11.5), Rams (11.2), and the Dolphins (10.0). The three teams with the lowest dropped percentage are the Texans (4.3), Seahawks (4.7), and the Ravens (4.7).

Special Effort: The Jets and the Raiders have taken the ball away from their opponents four times this season during special teams plays. The Browns and the Giants are the runner-ups in that category with three each. While a few teams have given the ball away two times during special teams action, the Buffalo Bills have been the most careless, surrendering possession four times, with two of them coming against division opponents.

Coughing It Up: Six teams have lost ten or more fumbles during the first eleven weeks of action. The Raiders have lost 13 while the Panthers, Browns, Jaguars, Saints and Titans have lost 10 each. Three teams are tied for the fewest fumbles lost with just three each--the Colts, Bears and Ravens.  The Colts and the Vikings have fumbled the least number of times this year with nine each, while the Raiders and Seahawks have coughed it up 21 times and the Buccaneers and Redskins have put the ball on the turf 20 times.

Steady Before The Snap: Frequent use of the no-huddle offense and Peyton Manning's extensive chatter and gesturing prior to the snap has evidently taught the Indy offensive line and receivers a lot of patience--and it's paid off. So far this year the Colts have been called for a league-low seven false starts. The Chargers, Steelers and Giants are second with just eight, while the Jaguars have been charged with nine. Not surprisingly, the Bills' young offensive line leads the league with a whopping 25 false starts. The Cowboys are second with 18.

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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and at

Statistics referenced in this article are provided by STATS, LLC. Copyright 2009 by STATS, LLC. Any use or distribution of such Licensed Materials without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

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