Like any other sport, football uses several acronyms to make referring to different stats and figures easier.
To anyone new to football or unfamiliar with stats, listening or seeing these acronyms can be confusing.
One such acronym that fans and viewers often hear about is PCT.
Here’s what you need to know about PCT and football.
What Does PCT Mean In Football?
PCT stands for percentage, and it refers to a team’s winning status.
A team that has a percentage closer to one, which represents 100%, has the most wins.
You can calculate PCT quite easily.
An example is Team A which has a record of 15 and 3 so far in the current season.
This means that Team A has won 15 games, lost 3 games, and played 18 games total in the season.
To calculate the PCT stat, you take the number of wins and divide them by the total number of games that the team played.
In the above example, you can calculate the PCT of Team A by dividing 15 by 18.
In this case, you get 0.83 or 83%.
This means that Team A has a PCT of 83%.
As far as winning teams goes, Team A wins quite often.
Why Does Football Use PCT?
While PCT is helpful in understanding how well a team is doing in a season or in the team’s history, you may wonder why or how the NFL uses the information.
Football is a little different than other sports.
Soccer, for example, ranks its teams based on points.
Each team earns a point when they win or lose a game.
The particulars depend on the specific sport.
In football, this isn’t the case.
Instead, the NFL uses a team’s PCT stat to rank them.
As such, a team that has a high PCT number is going to receive a higher ranking than one that has a lower PCT number.
An example is Team A which has a PCT of 0.43 or 43% and Team B which has a PCT of 0.67 or 67%.
In this case, Team B would rank higher than Team A because 67% is higher than 43%.
That’s also why teams tend to change rankings quickly at the start of a season but slower at the end of the season.
As teams play more games, it takes more wins to significantly increase a PCT to outpace other teams.
How Do Ties Affect PCT In Football?
While ties are rare in football, they can happen.
You may wonder how this impacts the PCT of a team’s stats.
When a team ties with another team, both get a half of a win when calculating their total PCT.
As an example, Team A has the following record: 11-4-1.
This means they won 11 games, lost 4 games, and tied one game.
They’ve played a total of 16 games.
To calculate their PCT, you still divide 11 by 16, except you also add a 0.5 to 11 to represent the tie.
This becomes 11.5 divided by 16.
This comes out to 0.718 or 71.8%.
If the team had won the match instead of getting a tie, then their record would have been 12 and 4.
This would have increased their PCT to 0.75 or 75%.
If they had lost the game, then their record would have been 10 and 6, which would have reduced
their PCT to 0.625 or 62.5%.
Clearly, even having a tie with another team could help a team keep up with the other most-winning teams.
What Happens When Teams Have The Same PCT?
Since ties are rare in football, it’s common for teams to end up with the same PCT stats.
The NFL has to come up with a tiebreaker since they need to rank their teams accordingly.
There are a few different tiebreakers that the NFL might implement.
The two tiebreakers include:
- Best Divisional Record
Here’s how both tiebreakers work.
Head-to-Head tiebreakers differ based on whether the teams involved are from the same division or not.
If the teams aren’t in the same division, then they’ll only play against each other once.
Whoever happened to win that matchup gets the higher ranking.
This is why every game matters in the NFL.
If two teams are in the same division, then they play against each other twice.
If one team came out on top both times, then they get the higher standing.
However, if one team wins and then the other team wins, then they’re still tied in terms of their PCT.
It’s in this instance that the NFL implements the second tiebreaker.
2. Best Divisional Record
If both teams in the same division have won against each other, then the experts look to their divisional records.
Whichever team has the better record during their divisional games gets the higher ranking.
If both still have the same divisional record, then there are a few more tiebreakers that can help determine who gets the highest ranking.
The final tiebreaker is a coin toss.
To date, no NFL team has ever had to resort to a coin toss to determine who gets the higher ranking.
What Does PCT Mean For NFL Quarterbacks?
Although PCT usually refers to a team’s percentage of wins, it also has meaning for a quarterback’s stats.
PCT refers to the percentage of completed passes.
It’s also written as CMP%.
Completed passes refers to a pass that the quarterback has successfully thrown to a receiver.
The receiver caught the ball and gained ground.
To calculate PCT, the NFL takes the number of completed passes with the total number of passes that a quarterback has performed.
As an example, Quarterback A has passed 118 times in the season so far.
Of those 118 passes, 87 of those were completed successfully.
To determine the quarterback’s PCT or CMP%, the NFL divides 87 by 118.
Quarterback A’s PCT is thus 0.73 or 73%.
PCT stats are important for teams and franchises when choosing players to join their teams.
An up-and-coming player with a high PCT is going to be on everyone’s radar.
The stat is an easy way to compare players to one another so that teams can choose players that will benefit them.
What Team Has The Highest PCT Of All Time?
Although PCTs change after each season, there are some teams that have high PCT ratings.
Some of these teams have even had high enough PCT numbers to set a record.
The team with the highest PCT of all time is the Green Bay Packers.
Their highest PCT is 57.3%.
That’s also the highest PCT of all teams of all time as of 2022.
The Dallas Cowboys are in a close second behind the Green Bay Packers.
Their highest PCT is 57.2%.
In third place is the Baltimore Ravens at 56%.
Who Has The Lowest PCT Rating In NFL?
While the Green Bay Packers may enjoy having the highest PCT rating so far, there are also teams with the lowest PCT ratings.
The lowest PCT rating in the NFL goes to the Cleveland Browns.
They have a PCT rating of 0.338 or 33.8% based on the past 20 years.
In second place is the Detroit Lions.
Over the past 20 years, their PCT rating is 0.349 or 34.9%.
The third-place team is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Their PCT rating over the past 20 years is 0.368 or 36.8%.
What Quarterback Has The Highest PCT Rating In 2021?
In 2021, the quarterback with the highest PCT rating was Joe Burrow.
In the 2021 season, Burrow had a PCT rating of 70.4%.
In second place is Kyler Murray.
He had a PCT rating of 69.2%.
In third place is Aaron Rodgers.
His PCT rating in 2021 was 68.9%.
Joe Burrow played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 in which he received the highest PCT rating.
What Quarterback Has The Highest PCT Rating Of All Time?
Quarterbacks are able to prove themselves every new season.
They generate new PCT ratings with each game that they play.
That said, they also have a total PCT ranking.
This ranking changes at the end of each season.
The quarterback with the highest PCT rating of all time is Drew Brees.
During the 2018 season, Brees had a PCT ranking of 74.4%.
No one has surpassed Brees as of the 2021 season.
Brees also holds the second spot for the NFL’s highest-recorded PCT rating.
That PCT rating is 74.3% which he earned in the 2019 season.
Finally, Brees also has the third-highest PCT rating at 72%.
He earned that rating during the 2017 season.
It’s finally in fourth place that a different player emerges in the rankings.
In fourth place is Sam Bradford.
He had the fourth-highest PCT rating in the 2016 season.
His PCT rating was 71.6%.
What Terms Do They Use On A Football Field?
You can split up the NFL’s glossary of various terms based on what they cover.
For the field, there are several acronyms and terms that the NFL uses.
Here are some of the major ones.
1. Chain Crew
The chain crew is an eight-person team responsible for helping referees understand ball placement.
They also give the players visual representation of where the first down marker is.
The eight-person crews are always employees of the home team.
As such, whoever is hosting the game gets to use their chain crew for the game.
The eight-team crew moves two posts along the sides of the field.
The posts use 10-yard chains to connect one post to the other.
As a first down occurs, the chain crew then moves the posts further down to indicate the marker for the next first down.
As such, the chain crew plays an important role on the field.
They’re responsible for marking the specific area where the referee will put the ball down for the next play.
For viewers and fans, the chain crews are also helpful to indicate whether their team is going to make a first down or not.
2. Defensive Backfield
If you hear a sportscaster discuss something called a defensive backfield, then you may not be sure what part of the field they’re actually talking about.
The defensive backfield refers to the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.
This is the area where the linebackers and defensive backs take their positions.
It’s given this name because of the defensive backs who fill the area.
You might hear that some penalty occurs in the defensive backfield.
Usually, this means that one of the defensive players on the defensive side of the scrimmage line was responsible for the penalty.
It’s easy to confuse the term downfield with defensive backfield.
In a way, they’re the same thing.
However, the defensive backfield is only around the defensive players.
The downfield, on the other hand, is the entire rest of the field on the defense’s side.
It includes the line of scrimmage to the end zone.
It’s in this area that the offensive team tosses the ball and runs it to the end zone to score points.
The downfield changes based on which team is on the offensive.
4. End Lines
You may think that the end of the field is right where the goal posts are, but that isn’t the case.
The end lines represent the real ending of the field.
They run perpendicular to the sidelines but extend beyond the goal post by 10 yards.
5. End Zone
Perhaps the most important part of the field is the end zone.
Most fans know where the end zones are on the field.
Each end zone measures 10 yards by 53 and a third yards.
The end zone marks the area where players have to take the ball.
Players either have to carry the ball into the end zone or catch a pass while inside the end zone.
Each end zone tends to look different based on the team.
The end zone usually has the team’s logo and team colors on them.
6. Field Of Play
When watching football, you’ll hear the sportscasters talk a lot about the field of play.
They’re never quite specific as to what the field of play actually is.
According to the NFL, the field of play is the area between the sidelines and end zones.
This is the area that’s considered in-bounds.
All the action takes place on the field of play.
If the ball moves outside of the field of play, then it’s no longer in bounds.
The same goes for a player.
If the player catches the ball or runs with it outside of the field of play, then the ball is out and the game resets.
Both teams return to the line of scrimmage or prepare for a punt or field goal attempt.
7. Goal Lines
The field of play doesn’t extend to the end zone.
The end zone is the scoring zone.
As such, the field uses goal lines to indicate the end of the field of play and the beginning of the end zone.
The goal line is especially important because it indicates where the ball needs to pass.
If the ball doesn’t pass the goal line, then the team doesn’t score the point.
If it does pass the goal line, then the team scores the point.
8. Goal Posts
Another famous part of the field is the goalposts.
Each field has a goalpost on either side of the field.
They sit just behind the end zone.
Each post has to have a specific type of gold painted on them.
The NFL approves of the shade.
The goalposts also have to have a crossbar that’s 10 feet off the ground.
The two vertical posts are 18 feet and six inches apart.
Finally, the goal post has a padded bottom.
This is to ensure that if a player runs into the post, they won’t injure themselves.
Goalposts allow kickers to score field goals.
PCT refers to a team’s percentage of wins.
It can also refer to a quarterback’s percentage of completed passes.
Like PCT, there are several other terms used on the field and in football, in general.