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World Cup: Passing Stats through 6/14

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Here are the passing statistics for games through 6/14:

Away Pass Inc Pass% Dist Home Pass Inc Pass% Dist
Denmark 221 87 71.8 62.0 Holland 470 85 84.7 53.6
Mexico 535 95 84.9 52.5 South Africa 271 96 73.8 54.6
Nigeria 228 99 69.7 50.4 Argentina 477 87 84.6 51.5
Ghana 323 95 77.3 54.6 Serbia 337 94 78.2 58.8
France 371 101 78.6 49.4 Uruguay 259 106 71.0 57.8
Cameroon 360 127 73.9 56.7 Japan 257 109 70.2 59.9
Paraguay 258 160 61.7 60.9 Italy 382 176 68.5 51.5
Australia 422 78 84.4 55.7 Germany 561 66 89.5 56.7
USA 249 126 66.4 54.6 England 371 122 75.3 54.6
Slovenia 387 105 78.7 56.7 Algeria 348 100 77.7 59.9
Greece 316 115 73.3 54.6 South Korea 306 110 73.6 56.7

The way to read this table is the following: Germany completed 561 passes and made 66 unsuccessful ones, for an 89.5% completion rate. Their average pass was made 56.7 yards from Australia's goal line. Winning teams were slightly more likely to pass the ball more and complete a higher percentage of passes, but it's no guarantee of winning.

Perhaps (?) more instructive is the passing completion rate into the 18-yard box:

Away Pass Inc Pass% Home Pass Inc Pass%
Denmark 6 19 24.0 Holland 10 20 33.3
Mexico 17 21 44.7 South Africa 5 16 23.8
Nigeria 8 26 23.5 Argentina 18 19 48.6
Ghana 10 27 27.0 Serbia 9 21 30.0
France 14 32 30.4 Uruguay 4 17 19.0
Cameroon 12 37 24.5 Japan 6 23 20.7
Paraguay 7 23 23.3 Italy 11 41 21.2
Australia 13 27 32.5 Germany 23 18 56.1
USA 10 27 27.0 England 13 29 31.0
Slovenia 2 20 9.1 Algeria 8 22 26.7
Greece 11 47 19.0 South Korea 8 21 27.6

Germany dominated in this department, but at the same time, Slovenia managed to win despite barely getting the ball into the box. So merely passing the ball to a good offensive positive is not an indicator that you'll score goals.

What about at the individual level? These are the top 30 pass leaders so far:

First Last Team Passes
Francisco Rodriguez Mexico 95
Philipp Lahm Germany 83
Bastian Schweinsteiger Germany 83
Lionel Messi Argentina 79
Gianluca Zambrotta Italy 77
Per Mertesacker Germany 76
Gerardo Torrado Mexico 75
Daniele De Rossi Italy 72
John Terry England 70
Wesley Sneijder Holland 70
Rafael Marquez Mexico 69
Luke Wilkshire Australia 69
Arne Friedrich Germany 69
Patrice Evra France 69
Nadir Belhadj Algeria 69
Ricardo Osorio Mexico 67
Robert Koren Slovenia 67
Nicolas N'Koulou Cameroon 67
Carlos Salcido Mexico 66
Bacary Sagna France 66
Thomas Muller Germany 66
Simone Pepe Italy 65
Claudio Morel Rodriguez Paraguay 65
Juan Sebastian Veron Argentina 64
Medhi Lacen Algeria 63
Gregory Van der Wiel Holland 63
Anthony Annan Ghana 63
Marko Suler Slovenia 63
Miso Brecko Slovenia 62
Javier Mascherano Argentina 62

With only one game played, and a multitude of different stadiums with different scorers, it's hard to say that this list means anything yet.