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Data Crunch: McCoy Rises to the Top

Posted Nov 21, 2013

In the seventh of our weekly ventures into data visualization, we take a look at the four-year development of Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy into one of the league's most impactful DTs

Every week, we football fans consume the NFL through live game action, replays and highlight shows. And then we consume it again through the numbers. Whether it's via fantasy football, statistical analysis or simply the league standings, numbers help us understand and digest the game we love.

This season, Buccaneers.com wants to help you see what the numbers are saying.

Welcome back to Data Crunch, our weekly foray into data visualization that will help tell the story of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football and the 2013 NFL season as a whole. Here, we will not only dive deep into the statistics generated each week by the Buccaneers but we'll present it to you in graphical form to better convey what the numbers are telling us. These interactive graphs allow the user to identify trends, gaining a better understanding of how wins and losses are generated and where the team and individual players are headed.

Our seventh data visualization exercise of the season is meant to demonstrate how defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, whose first two NFL seasons were interrupted by injury, has used two healthy seasons to rise to the top of heap at his position. After missing 13 games over his first two campaigns, McCoy had a breakout season in 2012, earning his first Pro Bowl berth. In 2013, he has made an even greater impact, and by some measures might be the top performer at his position in the NFL.

Though McCoy is also an accomplished run-stopper, the following chart focuses on his success as a pass-rusher over his four seasons in the NFL. As usual, this data visualization offers the reader the option of toggling through different views at the statistics, including a year-by-year look at the numbers. Within each season, the reader can also look at the numbers as totals or, for an even better demonstration of the players' pass-rush impact, as a percentage based on passing plays only.