After three NFL seasons of kicking off from the 35-yard line, what has been the impact on touchbacks, returns, field position, scoring and injuries? Also, is this rule responsible for a record number of big comebacks?
03 Dec 2010
by Aaron Schatz
Hey kids! I've finally had a chance to put together some numbers from our early game charting data, and I wanted to share some of them with our readers. Today, let's look at "auxiliary" pass rush numbers -- in other words, all the things we track that aren't sacks.
First, we've got quarterback hurries from the FO game charting project. We score a quarterback hurry when a defender either forces a quarterback out of the pocket or pressures the throw. It doesn't necessarily mean that the defender actually forced the quarterback to make a bad throw. This year, we've tried to emphasize judging hurries based on what the defense does, not what the offense does. We don't want to penalize quarterbacks who throw well under pressure by not marking pressures just because those quarterbacks stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball.
We've got things working more smoothly this year, and we've got fewer holes in early games. Right now we've got the season done through Week 10 for about half the teams, and only one team has less than 7.5 games charted. So these numbers represent a good chunk of the season. They are not yet adjusted for charter tendencies, and I didn't add in hurries that cause offensive holding... but that's okay, we'll be getting to that in a minute.
One player is completely dominating this category so far in 2010: Chris Long of St. Louis, who is finally breaking out and playing like a second overall pick in his third season. Right now, we have Long charted with ten more hurries than any other player in the league. That's a little nuts. I went to look to see if this might be the fault of one overzealous charter, but we don't have one charter who does St. Louis every week -- eight different charters have done the Rams this season. It looks like Long really is having a giant effect on opposing offenses.
The total here for games refers to games charted through December 2, not games played in total.
|Most QB Hurries, Weeks 1-10 (Based on FO Charting Project)|
What about hurries that lead to offensive holding penalties? Well, we actually have a new category this year: Offensive Holding Penalties Drawn. We're tracking which defender draws every offensive holding call, whether that call is at the line of scrimmage or downfield, whether it is accepted or declined. These totals don't include special teams, but they do include both runs and passes, so this isn't purely a pass rusher metric. Nonetheless, we've got seven different defenders who have been marked with at least four holding calls drawn so far this year:
| Most Holding Penalties Drawn, Weeks 1-10
(Based on FO Charting Project)
Finally, we've got quarterback hits. You score a quarterback hit when you knock the quarterback to the ground -- technically, this includes both sacks and knockdowns after a pass, although for FO purposes we count them separately from sacks so our count of hits only includes those post-pass knockdowns. Quarterback hits are an "unofficial" stat that appear in the official play-by-play. However, scorers around the league are mind-blowingly inconsistent about marking these, so you end up with certain teams that will get marked with three times as many hits on the road as they have at home -- on both offense and defense. We do help the league with this problem by reporting missed quarterback hits that we discover during game charting, and we've added a number of them every year. Anyway, these numbers aren't adjusted for official scorer tendencies right now, but because this doesn't come from game charting, it includes all games up to last week. Also, these totals include hits on plays cancelled by penalties.
|Most QB Hits, Weeks 1-12 (includes plays cancelled by penalties, but not sacks)|
55 comments, Last at 22 Feb 2011, 6:11pm by Corners