15 Jan 2009
In the midst of putting together numbers for the NFC Championship preview and looking up some stuff about Quentin Mikell and Adrian Wilson, I stumbled upon an astounding number for Oakland Raiders safety Gibril Wilson. I figured this was the kind of random discovery that was perfect for a blog post.
According to our individual defense stats, Gibril Wilson made 87 run plays this season (i.e. tackles or assists). That ranks seventh in the entire league -- D'Qwell Jackson of Cleveland was first with 106 -- but more importantly, the gap between Wilson and the rest of the league's safeties is colossal. Lawyer Milloy and Yeremiah Bell tied for second among safeties with just 58 run plays apiece. That would rank 45th among all defensive players. Not only that, but Wilson made his average run play after a gain of 4.7 yards, which is two yards closer than the average safety.
Maybe Wilson was playing in the box most of the time, but still, these numbers are ridiculous -- and honestly, it isn't like it did much good, because Oakland ranked 26th in run defense DVOA.
I currently have individual defense stats figured back to 1999, and Wilson ends up with more run plays than any safety in the database. The previous record was 86 run plays by Pat Tillman in 2000. Of course, Tillman was making his average play after a gain of 7.7 yards, which is a bit different from Wilson. The other thing to note is that in every other year, there are a few safeties with at least 60 run plays. This year, just one. Weird.
22 comments, Last at 16 Jan 2009, 2:36pm by Temo
Just in case Sunday night did not make it clear, defense rules the NFL in 2016. The best teams in overall DVOA all combine top-five defenses with below-average offenses. The Eagles now lead the league in both defense and special teams and are back to No. 1 overall.