Slicing and dicing: These stats enticing

Scientists have shot down the myth that humans use only a small percentage of their brains.

I do think we harness only a small percentage of the information readily available to us, however.

Anyone watching a football game can see down and distance, which players were on the field, whether the quarterback threw or handed off, how many yards were gained or lost and any number of other variables. Tracking so many parameters takes some work. Using the information in combination can confuse as much as it enlightens.

The chart below is a work in progress. It's an attempt to use the information logged through charting personnel use. It's something I'll continue refining.

Please do share ideas. Every play I chart has information on quarter, identity of the defensive team, down, distance, personnel group, quarterback, ball carrier, play type, etc.

Back to the chart. It looks at when Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson has been most successful, when he has been so-so and when he has struggled, based on my charting and excluding clock-stopping spike plays.

Anderson has some rough second-down numbers. He has completed only 2 of 13 passes for 23 yards and an interception on second down from standard early down personnel groups ("21" personnel with two backs and one tight end, "12" personnel with one back and two tight ends). But he has completed 6 of 7 second-down passes for 58 yards from "20" personnel, four of them to LaRod Stephens-Howling.

There were times last season when I thought the Cardinals forced Stephens-Howling onto the field, but Stephens-Howling has obviously grown into the role.

2010 Derek Anderson Splits: Weeks 1-9

Note: Personnel names reflect running back and tight end counts. For example, "12" personnel features one running back and two tight ends. "4WR" personnel includes plays featuring a running back or tight end as part of a group with four wide receivers. Stats are sorted by passer rating.