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21 Dec 2007

Charting Defensive Backs 2007

by Aaron Schatz

As promised earlier today in the Game Charters Speak piece, here's a look at our early game charting stats for defensive backs. Last year we did this in the FOX blog (RIP) but we haven't really gotten to any of the numbers this season.

These numbers are based on charting through Week 13. The average team has had 10.5 games charted so far, so it's a good amount of data. These numbers won't be quite as accurate as the ones that show up in Pro Football Prospectus, because I don't have the time to break down and adjust for when we have two defenders listed for one pass, or Hole in Zone, and so on. Still, they give us a reasonable idea of who is having a good season or a bad one.

Thanks again to all the game charters for putting in so much time, and Bill Moore for organizing everything, and Derek Marr, who is the intern responsible for cleaning up the charting data this year so that it is sortable.

Each of the following tables is based on a minimum of 35 charted passes, and I'm only listing defensive backs. These numbers may be a little different from what ran earlier today in the comments about New Orleans, since those were only through Week 11. Success rate is defined here; yards per pass includes all passes where this defensive back is listed as the defender, not just completions. Remember, these are not adjusted for opponent or which defensive back had to cover the other team's star receiver more often.

Best Success Rate

Charles Woodson, GB: 70%
Roderick Hood, ARI: 66%
Fakhir Brown, STL: 65%
Mike McKenzie, NO: 64%
Anthony Henry, DAL: 63%
Jabari Greer, BUF: 63%
Dunta Robinson, HOU: 63%
Richard Marshall, CAR: 63%
Champ Bailey, DEN: 63%
Will Allen, MIA: 62%
Asante Samuel, NE: 62%
Ty Law, KC: 60%
Terrence McGee, BUF: 60%

Well, there's your first big shock in the coverage stats. Fakhir Brown? The Rams defense sucks. Fakhir Brown sucks, or at least, so we thought. Fakhir Brown was 56th in Success Rate last year. I have a feeling this is our early-season sample size fluke; last year, if you remember, Fred Thomas was pretty good through the first few weeks before he got all flame-o-riffic at midseason. Still... to give an example, we have eight passes charted with Brown as the main defender in Week 7, and only one of those was complete, a 12-yard pass to Nate Burleson early in the first quarter. Seattle wins 33-6, but for some reason Hasselbeck can't throw to anyone covered by Brown. Then in Week 12, we have another six Hasselbeck passes charted with Brown as the defender, with two first downs, two incompletes, an interception, and a 10-yard completion on third-and-19 with the Seahawks on the Rams 25. So we know Brown can cover Seahawks, at least.

I'm also shocked to see Ty Law here. Since he signed in Kansas City, he has looked awful every time I watch the Chiefs. Last year he had a 43 percent Success Rate, which ranked him 74th among cornerbacks. I have no idea if he's playing better, or this is scheme, or the improved Kansas City pass rush making it harder for quarterbacks, or just sample size. Terrence McGee also had a 43 percent Success Rate last year, so he's a surprise, but at least he's still a young player. Law looked like a shell of the great cornerback he once was.

For the most part, the rest of these guys are players you would expect to be near the top. The sample sizes of pass coverage are small enough that being first instead of eighth really does not mean much. What's important is to be good in these stats year after year, like Bailey and Samuel. Note that Greer and Robinson are both at exactly 35 pass targets, which was my minimum for being ranked.

For those curious, out of the few linebackers with lots of pass targets, the clear standout is A.J. Hawk, with a Success Rate of 69 percent.

Best Yards per Pass

Roderick Hood, ARI: 4.3
Asante Samuel, NE: 4.5
Will Allen, MIA: 4.5
Terrence Newman, DAL: 4.7
Jabari Greer, BUF: 5.0
Terrence McGee, BUF: 5.0
Mike McKenzie, NO: 5.5
Tye Hill, STL: 5.8
Jason Craft, NO: 5.9
Anthony Henry, DAL: 6.0
Deshea Townsend, PIT: 6.0
Jarrod Bush, GB: 6.0

Mostly the same guys. With a Success Rate of just 49 percent but only 6.0 yards per pass, Deshea Townsend is apparently king of the short third-down completion. And look, another Rams cornerback whose presence on this list makes no sense. The safeties are listed with terrible numbers so I do need to check if the Rams stuff is getting marked accurately, or if we're mistakenly penalizing the deep help when the man corner gets burned. Also, Lenny Walls does suck, so at least there's one Rams corner whose numbers make sense (10.2 yards per pass).

Worst Success Rate

Jason David, NO: 32%
Stanley Wilson, DET: 36%
Johnathan Joseph, CIN: 39%
Leon Hall, CIN: 40%
Drayton Florence, SD: 41%
Marlin Jackson, IND: 41%
Lito Sheppard, PHI: 41%
Roy Williams, DAL: 41%
Eric Green, ARI: 42%
Darrelle Revis, NYJ: 42%
Atari Bigby, GB: 42%

David must have been better in Weeks 12 and 13, but he still has ridiculously bad numbers that make you wonder why anyone would ever throw to a receiver covered by Mike McKenzie. The Bengals have no pass defense. So much for my comments in the book that Drayton Florence is better than Quentin Jammer. Lito Sheppard has now gone from terrible to amazing to terrible in the three years we've been charting, but at least this backs up the comments in the Game Charters Speak article that he has not been as good this year. A couple of the safeties who get burned the most when they have to play man are here, including our new favorite whipping boy, Atari Bigby. Sorry, Atari, we kid because we love. Well, because we love nearly every other player on the Packers who isn't you.

Worst Yards per Pass
Jason David, NO: 14.5
Hole in Zone, 11.9

Yes, Jason David is worse than throwing at a hole in the zone. Fred Thomas gave up 9.3 yards per pass last year. Egads. I guess not every player is meant to play in every defensive scheme.

Michael Huff, OAK: 10.8
Stanley Wilson, DET: 10.7
Drayton Florence, SD: 10.6
Corey Ivy, BAL: 10.0
Leon Hall, CIN: 9.6
Patrick Surtain, KC: 9.3
David Barrett, NYJ: 9.1
Cedric Griffin, MIN: 9.0
Al Harris, GB: 8.8

Al Harris also has a 47 percent Success Rate so far this year. We love Al Harris, but he's had an off year even while the team around him is soaring, and that Pro Bowl selection was a lifetime achievement award.

Most Targets per Charted Pass

Here are the players most often listed as DEFENDER1 compared to the number of passes charted for their defense. We can't really do fewest targets without correcting for games played and a bunch of other stuff that takes lots of time.

Jacques Reeves, the Human Target, DAL: 21%
Nate Clements, SF: 20%
Will Allen, MIA: 20%
Ike Taylor, PIT: 20%
Marcus Trufant, SEA: 19%
Sam Madison, NYG: 19%
Kelvin Hayden, IND: 19%
Kelly Jennings, SEA: 19%
Dre' Bly (aka "away from Champ Bailey"), DEN: 18%
Nick Harper, TEN: 18%
DeAngelo Hall, ATL: 18%
Darelle Revis, NYJ, 18%

Somebody should tell the teams playing Miami that Will Allen is a lot better than Michael Lehan. Lehan has a 47 percent Success Rate and 8.1 yards per pass. Other than New Orleans, that's probably the biggest discrepancy between the two starting corners on one team.

Oh, and one more note. To whoever told me earlier this year that our binky Leigh Bodden is not playing as well this year, well, you are correct. His Success Rate is just 52 percent, and he's letting up 7.8 yards per pass. That makes me sad.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Dec 2007

69 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2008, 3:23pm by rob

Comments

1
by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:24pm

This is like 3 years running that the cornerback across from Terrence Newman has been among the most targeted corners.

2
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:24pm

"Somebody should tell the teams playing Miami that Will Allen is a lot better than Michael Lehan."
Also, he has a lot of insightful comments. Oops, wrong Will Allen.

3
by Erik (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:31pm

I am guessing Asomugha does not have 35 charted attempts yet. What are his numbers like anyway?

4
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:31pm

Give some credit to Ty Law. The guy is still chugging along and playing pretty well.

5
by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:37pm

What are the rest of Nate Clements numbers' like? The success of McGee and Greer seems to justify letting him go.

6
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:44pm

How has Woodson looked? I remember early in the year, he was absolutely dreadful. Revis is a rookie, but I'm a bit surprised to see him here. He's looked solid to me this year.

7
by Mig (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:45pm

Re 1:

Unless for sites like this, it works against players like Newman, since noone throws his way, hence fewest pass defended or Ints.

8
by Dunbar (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:54pm

These numbers are always very interesting, but they raise almost as many questions as answers. For instance, let's take a look at Ike Taylor. I've always had the impression that Taylor was a good, though not great, cover man, but it seems like he's always one of the most-targeted DBs. Last year, if I remember correctly, had pretty much average yards-per-play and success rate numbers last year, but he was near the top in terms of number of targets. So what's the deal there ... are teams just throwing away from Townsend and McFadden (which would seem a little odd to me--I mean, both are solid, but not spectacular as far as I can tell), or are people actually going after Taylor? If they are going after Taylor, is he really that bad, or are opposing OCs just making a mistake and attacking the wrong guy? It's kind of hard to tell how good Taylor or any other DB is from just these numbers, since they hinge so much on how good the other players in the secondary are, other OCs' perceptions, etc.

9
by Statistics (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:03pm

Given what's known about pass rush affecting pass coverage, wouldn't a regression of defensive back stats based on the number of seconds between the snap and the throw be more useful than raw numbers? Does FO's game charting data include that time-before-throw measurement?

10
by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:12pm

re3
Asomugha only true great shutdown corner in league. If Qbs were not afraid to throw at his way, he lead game charter stats. Asomugha 1st team AllPro in 2007, book it danno.

11
by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:30pm

Quick question: A "success" is any incompletion only or is it an incompletion or any completion that goes for less than X yards. And what's X, if that's so?

12
by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:33pm

Arizona Cardinals with a rare free agent pickup that worked out well.

Just pointing that out since Roderick Hood almost topped both good lists and yet didn't have his name written except on the list itself.

Roderick Hood.

13
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:40pm

11: Success is 40% of the yardage to go on first down, 60% on second down, or a conversion on 3rd down.

So, for example, four yards is the threshold for success on first and ten. Three yards is the threshold for success on second and five. Eight yards is the threshold for success on third and eight.

14
by b roo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:47pm

Re 1
Reeves doesn't play across from Newman, Henry does. Reeves is backup and nickel corner who actually got a bunch of his playing time in the early games filling in for Newman while he was out with a foot injury.

15
by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:52pm

14. Yea, and Henry was targeted a lot last year. And actually, Reeves has started more games on the other side of Newman than Henry has this year. It's been Reeves/Henry until the Rams game, then it's been Reeves/Newman until the Detroit game, with Henry playing a couple games before the Detroit game as a nickel corner.

16
by Temo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:10pm

Thanks Yaguar.

17
by Dave (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:10pm

I'm surprised to see Marlin Jackson in the worst success rate column.

18
by Duff Soviet Union (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:34pm

I am very curious as to how Nnamdi Asomugha and Fabian Washington stack up here. Oakland is insanely good at shutting down number 1 receivers and terrible against number 2 guys. Who's responsible for this?

19
by nath (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:35pm

So it's been obvious to fans for weeks that he's terrible... and now we have a statistic that says that he's WORSE THAN NOT HAVING SOMEONE THERE... when is Sean Payton going to finally bench Jason David? Is he that stubborn?

20
by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:39pm

Intersting that you have passing numbers for "Hole in the Zone". Do you have this for every team? It might be interesting to chart "success rate" and "yards per pass" for "Hole in the Zone" for every team...it would tell us something about how a team plays zone (where the hole is, how big it is, how long the QB has on average to find it). It would also normalize how good any DB is relative to the teams he has faced. For example, maybe Fakhir Brown's numbers relative to the hole-in-the-zone numbers for the Rams would be less impressive, especially if the Rams have gotten lucky by facing inept QB's or QB's having a bad day...

21
by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:40pm

and now we have a statistic that says that he’s WORSE THAN NOT HAVING SOMEONE THERE

Next week, the Saints unveil their new defensive scheme--playing with 10 men!

22
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 9:49pm

17: My general impression as someone who watches the Colts whenever possible is that Jackson is the best in the league in run support and mediocre against the pass.

23
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:03pm

From the "game charters speak II" through to this, I have gone through a one day progression on Jason David's poor play:
1. realization
2. humor
3. ridicule
4. sympathy

I'm about an hour away from pity

24
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:13pm

on a more FO related note, has Aaron found the reason for the Cincinnatti anomaly?
Does the poor play of 2 cornerbacks (Jonathan Joseph & Leon Hall, #'s 3 & 4 in worst success rate) make a team worse than DVOA states?

25
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:25pm

24 - I wouldn't think so - the success rate should correlate pretty strongly with DVOA (the Bengals are 31st.)

26
by Ceiling Fan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:43pm

I think that four yards on first and ten is a lousy standard for success. I also watch the Colts every chance I get, and I think the only reason Marlin Jackson is on this list is because of the Colts' scheme to keep everything in front of them. He's getting a bad rap, because the statistical standard for success is not the Colts' standard for success. He's not playing the game for the sake of this statistic.

What is his yards per pass? I would bet that his failures are consistently four or five yards, while others' are giving up ten or fifteen when they fail, it just happens a little less often so by this metric they rate better.

27
by nath (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:45pm

#21 - when the Pro Bowl rosters came out, my snarky suggestion for a proper Sean Taylor tribute was to replace him with David, so the NFC roster would still have one player on it who was legally dead.

28
by seth (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 10:54pm

one possible explanation for all the balls thrown at will allen- he has notorious hands of stone, so there may be a comfort factor in knowing that the chance of throwing an INT when you go at him is remote.

29
by seth (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 11:04pm

any theories on why nate clements is thrown at so much?

30
by Trevor (not verified) :: Fri, 12/21/2007 - 11:34pm

Looking at the numbers, I'm stunned about Rod Hood. I take the statement back I made in game charters, they just need a #2 corner to replace Green.

31
by Phil J (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:01am

I love FO, but I dislike the premise of this article. It assumes that DBs play in a vacuum, with no consideration given to the quality of pass rush these guys are playing with.

I don't know how good/bad the Cincy corners really are, but I can say this for certain: the Cincy pass rush is awful. Certainly, this is going to have some impact on success rate.

This would also explain why there can be so many fluctuations in success rate from year to year.

32
by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:07am

Re #18
Nnamdi Asomugha is so awesome you don't notice him, because teams almost never thrown his direction. I'm surprised Fabian Washington doesn't show up on the frequently targeted list, because it seems like a third of all passes vOAK go in his direction.

33
by mm (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:07am

I have a feeling this is our early-season sample size fluke; last year, if you remember, Fred Thomas was pretty good through the first few weeks before he got all flame-o-riffic at midseason

Fred Thomas was a very good cornerback for years. He was one of those guys who wasn't quick, but just knew how to cover well. Dr. Z put him on his all-pro team one year. And he did start out well last year, but somewhere after the first quarter of the season it was like his age caught up with him all at once. It was really quite astounding, because he looked nothing like the guy who'd played there for years. It occurred right about the time he got a hand injury, but I don't see how that can explain it (nor was it supposedly bothering him late in the season).

David must have been better in Weeks 12 and 13, but he still has ridiculously bad numbers that make you wonder why anyone would ever throw to a receiver covered by Mike McKenzie.

We Saints fans are astounded whenever anyone tries to throw to McKenzie. Its generally an indicator of a poor QB. I think the Falcons tried it several times, and Jacksonville (when they had their backup QB in) went his way too many times.

It's also worth noting that the Saints' radio guys commented in recent weeks that the Saints coaching staff have started to have McKenzie follow the #1 receiver wherever he lines up (at least on some plays). For the first year and a half of Payton's tenure, McKenzie always lined up on one side of the field (left I think), while David/Thomas had the other.

34
by Costa (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 12:48am

31:
As the FO guys very frequently say, unlike most advanced stats in baseball, just about every FO stat is meant to be read as "within the context of their team and environment". It's impossible to completely separate a player from their environment in football. Certainly factors like the pass rush, the formations, the quality of the opposition, etc all factor in.

It's up to us as observers to apply the proper perspective.

The FO numbers are certainly not the whole truth. They're just a heckuva lot closer to it then the traditional numbers. =)

35
by gllerner (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:14am

Al Harris has had an off year, but he's been bothered by injuries all year. After games, he's in so much pain he barely talks to reporters. In addition, I would be curious to see how often teams throw at him. I'm in Wisconsin and have seen all the Packer games, and other than T.O., I really don't remember a receiver getting the best of him this season. Atari Bigby, on the other hand...well, he's a young guy and will hopefully get better.

36
by MarkV (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:20am

re 34:
it reminds me of just how difficult defensive statistics are. Cornerback is especially hard because most of the job is invisible (even if all 4 cornerbacks in a dime blow their coverage, only one is gonna end up with a bad statistic for it). Its also why Aaron pines fairly consistantly for coaches game-tape, so that it becomes possible to see all those neat things like how good cornerbacks actually are in coverage.

37
by Mystyc (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:52am

8: Ike Taylor gets targeted a lot, I suspect, because he just cannot catch. It's almost a safer throw than heaving the ball out of bounds. (28 mentions this as a possible reason Will Allen gets picked on, as well.)

38
by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 2:44am

fabian washington good player going to ghet gooder evein in the 2008 season you wacth and wait andsee. this year of 2008m going to be like Raiders best season since 2001. Raiders, if get call played rightly win game over Pates and make it into Afc chamnpiosnjo game where they beat the steelers and off to the Superbowl is the key to the greatness of the Raiders team coming back to the league and all the haters will have something new to hate. forgeta bout Broncols they suck with J Cutler not good Qb. Chargers good, Cfiehs suck bad.

Thats all for tonite. Raiderjoe needs to get to bed, rest up and post tomorrow

39
by Temo (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 3:27am

Fake raiderjoe isn't even doing a passable impression anymore! Funny, though.

40
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 5:36am

Yea, that's definitely not real Raiderjoe. Admins really should do something about the Raiderjoe impersonators.

41
by Ryan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 5:56am

Where is Antonio Cromartie in all this? His success rate has to be absurd. I remember last year these numbers looked really favorably for Cro, and this year he is having a ridiculous, breakout type year. Just curious of where he sits in all this.

42
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 7:18am

The following receivers have kicked Al's *ss in 2007:

Plaxico Burress beat Al in the first half multiple times before the rest of the Giants imploded making it moot. The 26 yard TD pass was TOO easy.

Bobby Wade beat Al multiple times the first time the Vikings/Packers met.

Drew Carter(?) of the Panthers caught 5 passes for 132 yards all against Harris. And this with Vinny as his QB.

Brandon Marshall had two long catches against Harris in the Denver game.

TO has been mentioned.

And this doesn't even begin to discuss the guys like Jeff Webb and Sydney Rice who BEAT Harris badly only to have the qb miss the receiver.

Al has CLEARLY lost a step. His step was always borderline. Now it is all but GONE.

As for Woodson, I have restrained myself most of the year as folks have wandered in here to comment that he looks terrible, that he can't cover, he's living off his rep and other complete and utter bullsh*t.

Charles Woodson has been fantastic. Period.

Is he fast? No.

Does he "cheat" in the use of his hands? Yes.

Is he incredibly smart in being able to come off his guy to defend someone else? Yes.

Does he throw his body around to make tackles? Yes.

Does he direct the secondary so hapless fools like Ataric Bigby and Nick Collins at least have a CHANCE to be in the right place? Yes.

When Woodson isn't on the field the Packer secondary is two stiff safeties and a crankly old man. With him, it's average.

With complete and utter candor anyone who suggests, hints, or otherwise states that Charles Woodson isn't a good cornerback should be ignored in all future discussions of football. Because that individual doesn't know what the h*ll he or she is talking about.

43
by Bobman (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 9:00am

#26 I concur for the whole Colts secondary. How can you be that good against the pass as a group and have a few poor metrics? They also are at or near last in league for completion % against them. Because, as you say, their scheme is to keep it all in front of them and then tackle. 3rd and 10? Sure, you can have 7. Here ya go. Ya want fries with that? Their goals do not always match the typical statistical goals.

I'm no expert on what teams run what D schemes, but it's my impression that the Tampa-2 type teams tend to allow more underneath stuff and would likely have fewer guys on the best success rate list--not so much for yardage reasons but for higher % caught reasons. (I see a dearth of Chi and Tam players up there too.) And even if they keep all completions to 3 yards, the sheer higher number of completions results in them not having leading yards per pass attempt stats either.

Yards per COMPLETED pass, I bet these cover-2 guys stand up quite well.

And as Yaguar pointed out, Jackson (and Hayden, too) are hitters and tacklers and have probably been given a mandate to emphasize run support. Which has shown--what are they, 50 yards on the ground better than last year? Even starting a rookie DT and the DL musical chairs that has gone on the past few weeks. But still a top passing D.

44
by Luz (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 11:37am

#8, 37

I think Taylor's targets are a reflection of two things:

1. In the Steelers scheme the corners (especially Ike) are always playing about 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.

2. Ike often ends up covering the better of the teams wideouts.

When the corners are giving that much space, teams like the Seahawks love to throw those little short yardage slants, etc and hope the wideout can break the tackle. Naturally, when the QB is throwing short routes like that, they will be biased towards throwing to their best reciever, whom Ike is usually covering. Think about the Superbowl when Hasselbeck kept throwing short pass after short pass to Darrell Jackson and hoping he'd get free. I agree with Mig that Ike is a good, but not great, corner. However, Ike is a very sure tackler and I believe the Steelers scheme their secondary to give up the underneath stuff to avoid giving up the big play.

That's why Ike can usually shut down the other teams deep threat in a conventional offense (re: Chad Johnson) but will give up a lot of catches to West Coast recievers. It's also why New England consistently torches the Steelers D, because Brady can consistently move their offense down the field with a short timing offense. Damn you Wes Welker.

45
by flounder (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 11:43am

Re: 42 Badger, I was waiting for you to come in here. I couldn't agree more. I've been very very impressed with Woodson all year.

46
by MDZ (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:00pm

I'd like to see the numbers on Cromartie too. He's got a ton of INTs, but teams keep throwing his way. I've only seen a few Chargers games, and from what I've seen he can make tremendous adjustments on poorly thrown balls, ie the Colts-Chargers game. There's got to be a reason that teams still throw at him. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to be in the Pro Bowl, but I wouldn't be surprised to see his high INT numbers masking otherwise average play. Success rate and yards per attempt count interceptions as equivalent to an incompletion.

47
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:21pm

Flounder:

Woodson's performance cannot be understated. The team keeps talking Harris battling injuries but at the end of the day about the contribution. And Al simply has not played well. Every so often he makes a play but too often he has been in chase mode.

He coordinates well with Woodson who helps mask some of Al's issues.

Luckily, Will Blackmon has shown real flashes of uber-competence so GB has an option when Al collapses completely.

48
by Temo (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:24pm

Hey Badger you ever see that Seinfeld episode about that guy who keeps asking questions to himself and answering them? haha :P

49
by MarkB (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 1:54pm

George thinks no one should badmouth Woodson!

50
by Toad (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 2:28pm

Cromartie gets thrown at despite his 10 INT's because the only other option is to throw at Jammer who has developed into a very solid corner. Any system of analysis that counts INT's as "Incompletes" is seriously flawed, and completely ignores the reality of the game.

51
by Sergio (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 2:56pm

Wow. I have to say, I'm shocked with Will Allen's numbers. By far, I thought he was the best corner in Miami - but never the kind that could conceivably shut down the opposition. In the Charters Speak compilation, I said: "The Dolphins lack a great corner, and Will Allen, the best one the team has, is just not good enough". Well, color me wrong, I guess...

Still, the Dolphins are listed #30 against #1 receivers. It just doesn't add up...

52
by MDZ (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 3:05pm

50
I don't find not counting INTs to be a serious flaw. A lot of high INT guys are gamblers and can be exposed badly at times. Interceptions are accounted for in DVOA, but on a play to play basis metrics like Success Rate, Target % and Yards/Pass are much more valuable than the number of interceptions on judging the performance of a DB in my opinion. High interception DB's can still be good players like Deltha O'Neal, but people keep throwing it at them because an offense can throw it against them and the higher INT rate is worth the risk. Jason David just got a big payday last year because he intercepts a lot of the passes he can get to, unfortunately for the Saints, he's bad in coverage and can't get to most balls. I agree that Jammer is now a good CB, but hasn't Cromartie been playing primarily nickel?

53
by Neil (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 3:21pm

Regarding the surprising scores of the Rams corners, Tye Hill and Fakir Brown, they aren't surprising to anyone who regularly watches the Rams. Brown is having a ridiculous career year. I don't think anyone believes he really is this good, but he's certainly been playing very well. Hill has made good strides and doesn't get beat deep. The safeties on the other hand are just abysmal.

54
by Richard (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 6:05pm

52: Cromartie played nickel for most of the season, but started when Jammer was injured, then took over starting duties from Florence when Jammer was healthy.

55
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 6:30pm

Eff you guys for rubbing this in my face. Eff you guys...

LOL

56
by langsty (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 7:14pm

In, I think, the Rams-Falcons game from last month, I remember one of the play-by-play guys saying that Jim Haslett had asserted to them that Fakhir Brown was the best CB he'd ever seen.

These numbers are interesting. I wouldn't use them *by themselves* to evaluate the quality of a player but they are an interesting piece of the puzzle.

57
by Paul (not verified) :: Sat, 12/22/2007 - 8:51pm

#37, 44
Agree with both statements. Ike drops about 2/3s of the interceptions he should have. It was a surprise to see him actually catch the ball in the St Louis game. Better surprise to see him return it all the way. I would like to see splits on him for short medium and long throws. It looks like teams have that short throw all day against Ike (and the other Steeler corners) due to their scheme, but long throws against anyone other than Smith seem to be well covered.

58
by Gig (not verified) :: Sun, 12/23/2007 - 4:41am

How many games for Cromartie have been charted because he has 10 interceptions and 17 passes defensed after 14 weeks?
After 10 games he had six INTs and 12 PDs. Assuming he had the average number of games charted, on INTs and PDs alone he has at least a 50% success rate. Who knows what it is after you include incompletions and "short completions that do not meet the 45%/60%/100% baseline for success detailed in the description of DVOA?"

59
by James, London (not verified) :: Sun, 12/23/2007 - 10:46am

#51,

Sergio, do the 'Fins match Allen up with the opposition #1 WR, or does he play one side? Allen playing exclusively at LCB/RCB and the offense moving their #1 WR around to exploit the matchup would explain Allen's performance and the 'Fins performance against #1 WRs.

60
by Alex (not verified) :: Sun, 12/23/2007 - 4:12pm

any theories on why nate clements is thrown at so much?

He's known for baiting QBs into throwing towards him by lining up far off the LOS and then running up quickly to try to get interceptions.

61
by John (not verified) :: Mon, 12/24/2007 - 6:18pm

The Colts are the #1 pass defense in the league. The YPA for the entire team is 5.7. Apparently, however, none of the Colts defenders has a YPA below 6 (since they don't appear on the list of top defenders by YPA). Uh, what gives?

62
by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 5:59am

"any theories on why nate clements is thrown at so much?"

I was really shocked by that stat because I don't really see him thrown to that much. I think it might be alot of underneath stuff like WR screens or quick slants. His only real bad game this year was against seattle in week 4, besides that, it's usually shawntae spencer, or a nickel corner that's giving up a play.

63
by Joe (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:28am

Is a reason why Michael Huff has a bad yards per attempt because he gave up two huge gains against Denver the week before these stats were calculated?

He has played very well this year, and the metrics dont seem to back this up.

64
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 2:44pm

Re: 61
Could it be that a great pass rush means there are a lot of balls thrown away, sacks, passes knocked down at the line, etc.? Those would all reflect positively on the team numbers, but not on the DBs... also the LB numbers are likely very good...

65
by tom (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 4:44pm

fabian washington is GARBAGE
routt took his spot for many weeks
fabian gets toasted by everyone. roy williams and brandon marshall, and braylon edward ripped a new a-hole before routt took over vs. miami
Rob Ryan doesnt move Nnamdi over the #1 WR EVER. Teams just get whatever matchups they want. Fabian is at best a nickelback. Nnamdi has had 30 or less pass att. his way all year. his success rate is 60-70% since teams have completed 9 or 10 passes on him.

66
by Tyler (not verified) :: Thu, 01/03/2008 - 2:32am

#51, #59
Watching Dolphins games it looks like they play a lot of zone. That means Will Allen wouldn't be specifically matched up on the #1 reciever

67
by brandon (not verified) :: Sun, 01/13/2008 - 9:42pm

when do the final game charts come out for cornerback metrics?

68
by Awesome Wa (not verified) :: Wed, 01/16/2008 - 7:20pm

According to the Sacramento Bee (see my name for the link), as of Dec 17th there were only 27 passes thrown at Asomugha, with 9 of them being completions.

Now I don't know where the Sacramento Bee got these numbers but if they are accurate that would mean that, even if every completion he gave up was a success, he would still have a 66.7% success rate which would put him #2 overall.

In some ways the fact that he had started something like 12 games at that point and didn't even have enough passes to qualify for the article says a lot about him. Teams are almost completely avoiding him.

69
by rob (not verified) :: Sun, 02/03/2008 - 3:23pm

wuts reeves success rate and yds per pass like?