AP Photo/Gene Puskar
When Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University threw an oval-shaped ball to teammate Jack Schneider in 1906, he not only completed the first forward pass in history, he created an American sensation. A century later, football is the largest spectator sport in the United States, with the Super Bowl drawing in excess of 90 million television viewers annually. As one would expect, there are quality football Web sites in every nook of cyberspace, offering everything from rules and regulations to team and player information for nearly every conceivable level of competition. For a Spanish-language version of the Guide, click here
Information on the National Football League (NFL) is about as plentiful as sun in the Sahara. Not ... read more »
Although most of the major pro football sites offer at least a rudimentary look at the numbers, some of the very best sources for hardcore football statistics are smaller sites, run by devoted fans or sports betting sites.
- Like beauty, the value of statistical information is in the eyes of the beholder. For football fans interested in the history of the game, traditional stats are likely to be more meaningful and more appreciated. For those who enjoy going "beyond the numbers," sites offering unique rankings or team "power" ratings may be more helpful. And fantasy football fans are probably best served by sticking to those sites that produce numbers and analysis based on a scoring system that is at least similar to the one their particular league employs.
- The above notwithstanding, don't be afraid to cull information from different, seemingly divergent sources. Remember, in sports, things are constantly changing-whether it's rules, style of play, or the athletes themselves. Sometimes the best statistical perspective is also the broadest.
For NFL team and player statistics ...
Pro Football Reference
is a great Web site for those interested in the statistics and history of the game. This site offers team and players stats, including game-by-game logs, from 1960 to the present, and standings and scores starting from 1920. In addition, Pro Football Reference has a handy menu bar that allows users to browse by player, by team and by year as well as a "Leaderboard" section that displays yearly statistical leaders. This site is especially helpful to those attempting to find stats for a retired player or coach.
is similar to Pro Football Reference, only with more statistical categories for both teams and individuals. The information also tends to be a bit more complete than Pro Football Reference (although it's a little bit more cumbersome to access).
might well be the best statistical site devoted to sports betting in the world. In addition to the usual array of team and individual offensive and defensive numbers, Covers also features a vast array of unique and unusual data, such as team power rankings, performance against the spread, time of possessions stats, and much more.
The Gold Sheet
is another sports handicapping site that offers a ton of great information. One of the best features of this site is its archive section, which can be accessed via the "Past Scores & Ratings" link on the left-side menu bar. Here you'll find each team's straight-up (SU) record and against-the-spread (ATS) mark since 1993.
The Sports Network
is a sports data provider for news organizations such as Reuters, The New York Times, CBS/Viacom and, yes, even Google. In addition to audio news on each NFL team, the Web site also includes an NFL Database, which allows users to view past team match-ups under a variety of different conditions.
is to football what Bill James' Baseball Abstract is to baseball, albeit on a smaller scale. Using DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, along with other proprietary methods, the site administrators attempt to go beyond the usual numbers and assess players by judging their actual worth to their teams. Both free and premium packages are available.
is another site that takes a different perspective on statistics. Although there are no individual player stats available, the site does present a nine-year study of each team's trends in an attempt to predict future success (or failure).
For NFL fantasy football information and statistics ...
Fantasy Football Today
is a wonderful site that features some of the best free fantasy football information on the World Wide Web. From regularly updated rankings and projections, to stats, articles, and fan forums-Fantasy Football Today has it all.
offers a variety of different premium package options as well as a free membership, which includes trade assessor and average draft position tools, message board access, daily player news/updates, and weekly radio show podcasts.
is a fantastic site for general fantasy football information. In addition to depth charts, rankings, cheat sheets, and a regular podcast, the site also has links to other outstanding resources.
Football player biographies usually fall into one of two categories: informational or statistical. ... read more »
At one time, free NFL audio/video game feeds were plentiful; now, they're about as common as ... read more »
Blogs are a great source of information on football and the NFL, and are usually monitored more ... read more »
NFL and college football merchandise is everywhere: sporting good stores, department stores, street ... read more »
Like finding NFL and NCAA merchandise, finding an NFL or NCAA ticket vendor is like finding a ... read more »
Prior to the 1950s, college football was the preeminent source of football fun in America. The ... read more »
At least for Division I-A and Division I-AA squads, finding college football individual and team ... read more »
Luckily, many college football teams still have free audio and video of their games available to ... read more »
NFL and NCAA football are, obviously, just the tip of the gridiron iceberg. There are peewee ... read more »
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