re: NFL Stats
Posting this in regards to Mike Wallace bashers complaining that I would breathe his name after Ward, Swann and Stallworth. I feel my take on stats deserves its own thread. 32 touchdowns in 4 seasons should count Wallace amongst the best Steelers receivers because that is more than double Ward's 15 and they played in the same era and Ward is certainly one of the best Steelers receivers (if not the best).
-Statistics represent the influence a player's performance has on their team's wins. Michael Turner was a great player who sat behind LT and did not put up stats. That does not mean he was a bad player but it does mean that he was not responsible for the success of his team. When Turner went to Atlanta he was the same player and finally put up stats. Can you sit there and tell me Turner had the same impact with the Chargers as he did with the Falcons? He did not and stats reflect his role if not his ability.
-Emmitt Smith put up huge stats. Nobody considers him to be the best running back ever but if you look at his stats he was the driving force behind the Cowboys offense. Emmitt was 36.5% of the Cowboys offense by yardage in 1992, the first year of their dynasty. Stats could not determine Emmitt's ability (though everyone recognizes he was one of the best but not the best) but they definitely demonstrate the immense role he played on that team.
-Conversely, in 1974, the first year of the Steelers dynasty, Swann and Stallworth combined for 27 catches and 3 touchdowns or 10.9% of the team's total yardage. Were Swann and Stallworth the driving force behind the Steelers or were the Steelers a defensive and running team that did not need spectacular receiver play? Swann and Stallworth were excellent receivers in their own right but they did not put the Steelers over the top. It is very possible they were the difference in the Steelers being a dynasty rather than a one-time champion.
-In conclusion, stats are not a good indicator of ability but they are a great indicator of how much a player contributed to their team.
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