How to Read Individual NFL Player Stats

Football Player Statistics

Knowing what and how to better use team statistics is the first step in acquiring enough insight and knowledge when wanting to bet on the NFL. The next step in being able to more accurately predict what the outcome of a match may be is by analyzing and understanding the individual player statistics. The players are the pieces that make the team move and perform, well or not. For the individual player stats, they can be divided into several groups. These groups are Offensive and Defensive players, the Quarterback, and Special Teams. Knowing how each individual, within these groups, plays will grant the bettor enough information to make a much better decision when wanting to bet on an NFL matchup.


Offensive Player Stats

These stats are regarding how well the offensive line does, as well as how the running and receiving players perform as well.

Offensive Line

There are not very many stats that are in favor of the offensive line, but by looking at what would count against them is just as efficient. By looking at how many sacks, fumbles, and turnovers the offensive line has against them, is a good indication as to how well they protect their runners and the quarterback. For these kinds of stats it is important to watch the actual games and determine by simple observation whether the offensive line does a good job or not.

Rushing Players

It is mainly the job of the Running Back to take the ball from the quarterback and make a run play that is supposed to either gain yards, get a first down, or even score. This is why it is important to look at the factors that are involved in determining if the rushing players are good or not.

Attempts and Touchdowns

Attempts refer to how many times the player has received the ball during a running play or simply because it was the only choice the quarterback had. The more attempts a player has, means that the team could be more inclined to perform running plays over passing plays. Depending on how many touchdowns the runner has scored, also affects how good the runner is. If they get a lot of attempts, but score very few touchdowns, or even yards, it can be said the team uses running plays as ways of wasting time.

Total Yards / Average Yards

This is combined with the number of attempts in order to figure out whether or not that individual player does a good job at running the ball; which in turn will show the average amount of yards advanced per attempt. These stats show how efficient the runner is.

Receiving Players

It is the job of the receivers, as well as other specific players, to receive the passes from the quarterbacks. As such, there are also several stats that are there to help the bettor determine if the receivers might perform well or not.

Receptions and Touchdowns

The amount of times a receiver catches the ball is a good indication of how well they will perform during a game. The more balls they catch, the more yards the team will cover. The amount of touchdowns the receivers have is a good indication of whether the team is a passing or rushing focused team. It also determines if the receivers are efficient with their receptions.

Average Yards

The average yards works exactly the same as the rushing average yards, it helps determine how efficient the player is with the ball and whether they can cover a lot of yards while catching the ball.


Defensive Player Stats

These stats are much simpler and easier to understand and use. They simply help determine how efficient the defensive line is when it is up against the opponent’s offensive line.

Fumbles Forced

This stat shows how many fumbles the defensive player has forced the opposing team to make. Getting a team to fumble a lot means greater chances at stealing the ball and gaining possession. However, if they do not manage to re-take possession, a fumble could also mean that they have been successful at stopping a play.

Number of Sacks

This is one of the greater achievements that a defensive player can get. A sack is just a simpler word for describing when a defensive player tackles the quarterback. This has several implications that affect the defense and the opposing offense. With a sack, the defense player is stating that they are stronger and faster than the offensive line. With every sack, the opposing team is saying that they do not do a good job at defending the quarterback. Sacks are a great way of disrupting plays and demoralizing the opposition.

Total and Assisted Tackles

Tackles are when the defensive player takes an opposing player down. These are important to know since it will speak volumes of how synchronized the defensive players are and how well they can guard against the other team’s offense.


Quarterback Stats

The quarterback gets their own section since they are such an essential part of the team; they are the focal point to which the entire offensive line revolves around. Teams that have great QB’s tend to perform better, relying too much on the defense to pick up the slack is very risky.

Completions vs. Attempts

Looking at how many attempts a QB has thrown, and comparing that against the amount of completed passes they have achieved is a great way of seeing how efficient and skillful the QB is. It also says a lot about the QB’s patience and experience.


QB’s that throw for longer yards are seen as highly qualified quarterbacks. They have the ability to constantly throw the ball efficiently and gain yards at the same time. It means nothing if a QB throws very efficiently if they cannot get down the field.


These are a combination of thrown touchdowns and their own touchdowns; it may seem improbable but many good quarterbacks have been able to score their own touchdowns. The higher the amount of touchdowns, the better the quarterback is at winning. Touchdowns win a game, not the amount of completed passes, but they certainly help achieve the main objective.


As quarterbacks tend to throw the ball, they are prone of being intercepted. If a QB gets a lot of interceptions, it means they do not throw the ball well enough or they cannot read the play on the field good enough. Either way, a QB with a high amount of interceptions is not a well performing QB.


Special Teams

Special teams are made up of the kicker/punter and the offensive players that would be in charge of returning kicks/punts and defend against the kick returns.

Punting and Kicking

The distance and accuracy of a punt or kick is essential when wanting to understand how well the special team players perform.

Field Goals

The accuracy, distance, and consistency are all factors that come into play for the field goal kickers. They must be able to do their job well and consistently in order to get better results. A kicker has work well under pressure, as most times they are called upon to either tie or win a game at the last minute.



Bettors that know how to read and understand these individual player stats have a much better chance of making a better decision when it comes to betting on an NFL team. They have greater insight into predicting a match’s outcome and can base their decision of facts and not assumptions. Bettors that rely on stats and not public opinion are known to have greater success when betting on football.