Pro Football Focus
Pro Football Focus (also written as ProFootballFocus, and often referred to by its initials, PFF) is a website and subscription analytics service that focuses on thorough analysis of the National Football League (NFL) and NCAA Division-I football in the United States. Beyond posting the standard NFL statistics for evaluating players, PFF produces numerical grades for teams and players by watching and grading every player on every play.
Currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio, PFF was originally founded by Neil Hornsby in the United Kingdom. Dissatisfied with some limitations of standard statistics, Hornsby began grading players in 2004. The staff gradually expanded over next few years, and the site was launched in 2007. The 2007 NFL season is the first season for which PFF has complete data. As of the 2011 season, PFF provides customized data to three NFL teams, along with a number of agents, media and NFL players. PFF began collecting data for every NCAA Division-I college football game in 2014, and their draft data is not as yet as accurate as their NFL data because of this.
In 2015 football TV analyst and former NFL player Cris Collinsworth became the majority owner of the analytics service.
PFF grades every NFL player's every play on a scale of -2 to +2 using half point increments. The grades are based on context and performance. A 4-yard run that gains a first down after two broken tackles will receive a better grade than a 4-yard run on third-and-5, where the ball carrier does nothing more than expected. A quarterback who makes a good pass that a receiver tips into the arms of a defender will not negatively affect the quarterback's grade on that play, despite the overall negative result for the team.
Furthermore, grades are separated by play type. Beyond just an overall grade, an offensive lineman receives one grade for pass-blocking and one for run-blocking. The average grade is meant to be zero, and raw grades are normalized.
In watching every game, PFF is also able to record information and create data that is typically unavailable. One example is how frequently individual offensive linemen yield pressure.
- Albergotti, Reed. "In Super Bowl, Giants Go Long for a Number Cruncher".
- Beane, Jordan. "For the Love of the Game".
- Best, Neil (October 10, 2015). "Cris Collinsworth liked using Pro Football Focus, so he bought it". Newsday. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Stuart, Chase. "Young, and Defending the Blind Side".