12 Jan 2010
Mike Tanier and I were talking last week, and he made a good point: At this point, FO has compiled so many stats that we've got a ton of interesting numbers that we don't even get a chance to use. We've game charting, we've got the specific special teams material, we've got the individual defense stuff... a lot of these numbers are automatically compiled for the 2009 season and stay sort of hidden until we use some of them in playoff previews or in Football Outsiders Almanac 2010.
This stuff shouldn't stay hidden. There are a lot of really interesting numbers that help tell us which teams and players were particularly good or bad in 2009. Numbers also help show us how teams played, what their schemes looked like and what the strengths and weaknesses of those schemes are.
So in that spirit, I hereby pledge to run a new stat list on Football Outsiders every weekday until Super Bowl XLIV. They won't necessarily come with commentary -- I'll leave that to the reader discussion -- but I want to share with all the readers some of the information we don't necessarily update on the site each week.
To start, in honor of Charles Woodson getting voted Defensive Player of the Year, here's the list of the top 10 cornerbacks in run Plays this year. Plays means any time a player is mentioned in the standard play-by-play, so both solo tackles and assists. In general, players in zone coverage will appear higher on this list, and Green Bay's move to a more zone-based scheme this year is a reason for Woodson's strong year, although someone then had to explain why Tramon Williams made only five run tackles all season. The one player above Woodson is quite a surprise, and I never would have guessed the name without seeing the numbers.
By the way, I've noted recently that Woodson was second in the league in run tackles; stat changes by the league moved Ronde Barber ahead of him, so he's now third.
Terrell Thomas, NYG: 40
Ronde Barber, TB: 36
Charles Woodson, GB: 35
Reggie Corner, BUF: 27
Drayton Florence, BUF: 26
Brandon Flowers, KC: 25
Glover Quin, HOU: 24
Richard Marshall, CAR: 22
Cedric Griffin, MIN: 22
Derek Cox, JAC: 22
31 comments, Last at 14 Jan 2010, 8:34am by Packer Pete
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?