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31 May 2011

Most Pass Defeats 2010

by Aaron Schatz

Time to continue our series presenting various 2010 stats from the multitude of Football Outsiders spreadsheets. Last week, we looked at players with the most Run Defeats and the most total Defeats. Today, we'll isolate Pass Defeats.

Now, a list of the top players in Pass Defeats is an exercise in mixing apples and oranges. You've got your pass-rushing superstars and you've got your playmaking cornerbacks (in some cases, your "gambling and sometimes missing a play" cornerbacks). Also, like other categories of Defeats, you're going to get a number of linebackers who make all kinds of plays and are bound to make some Pass Defeats too.

Remember that Pass Defeats come in four different flavors:

  • turnovers
  • sacks
  • tackles behind the line on short passes
  • tackles or passes defensed that prevent a third-down conversion

Unlike with Run Defeats, Pass Defeats do seem to correlate pretty well with total pass defense performance. Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and the Giants are the top three teams, and they were also the top three teams in pass defense DVOA (albeit in a slightly different order). Some teams do appear higher on the list of Pass Defeats than they do on the list for pass defense DVOA; those are generally teams with high Adjusted Sack Rates, such as Oakland and St. Louis. Here's a look at all 32 teams with Pass Defeats as a percentage of total pass plays.

Team Pass
Plays
Dfts Pct x Team Pass
Plays
Dfts Pct
GB 408 133 33%   CIN 383 101 26%
OAK 324 102 31%   CHI 446 116 26%
NYG 408 126 31%   BUF 364 94 26%
SD 375 111 30%   ATL 434 111 26%
NYJ 355 104 29%   MIN 391 100 26%
CAR 397 114 29%   SF 429 108 25%
PHI 393 110 28%   TB 370 92 25%
PIT 467 130 28%   WAS 455 111 24%
SEA 419 116 28%   DAL 409 98 24%
KC 412 114 28%   TEN 487 115 24%
STL 423 117 28%   IND 408 95 23%
DET 405 112 28%   DEN 358 83 23%
NO 388 106 27%   JAC 367 83 23%
MIA 374 101 27%   BAL 424 95 22%
CLE 379 102 27%   HOU 395 87 22%
ARI 409 108 26%   NE 456 100 22%

"Pass Plays" noted in the table above include all pass plays where a Play was made by a defender, so the total does not include incomplete passes without a pass defensed, passes for touchdowns, or passes where the receiver ran out of bounds without a tackle.

Below, I've listed all players with at least 15 Pass Defeats. For additional reference, I've also listed each player's total of Pass Stops and Pass Plays, plus Run Defeats so you can get an idea of total Defeats for those players who were not listed in the original piece on total Defeats.

DeAngelo Hall led the league with 25 Pass Defeats, a good example of how his hit-or-miss style does sometimes pay off. Hall's 25 Defeats are made up of five interceptions, five passes defensed on third down, 11 tackles (or assists) short of a conversion on third down, three tackles for a loss after short receptions, and one forced fumble. (Hall actually had six interceptions, but one of those was an end-of-half Hail Mary, which we don't count as a Defeat.) Of course, as many people know, Hall's hit-or-miss style fails as often as it succeeds, perhaps more often, as he was near the bottom of the league in both Yards per Pass and Success Rate in 2010.

Player Team Pos Pass
Plays
Pass
Stops
Pass
Dfts
Run
Dfts
x Player Team Pos Pass
Plays
Pass
Stops
Pass
Dfts
Run
Dfts
23-D.Hall WAS CB 86 40 25 3 x 55-J.Abraham ATL DE 24 21 17 8
24-T.Thomas NYG CB 87 37 23 3 x 69-J.Allen MIN DE 26 22 17 6
91-J.Tuck NYG DE 25 24 20 13 x 30-D.Moore CHI CB 35 19 17 6
52-C.Matthews GB OLB 25 23 20 7 x 32-O.Scandrick DAL CB 49 27 17 2
94-D.Ware DAL OLB 31 25 20 11 x 22-N.Clements SF CB 61 30 17 8
52-Da.Smith JAC OLB 46 29 20 15 x 50-J.Anderson CAR OLB 47 28 16 14
52-P.Willis SF ILB 63 31 20 4 x 27-M.Jenkins NO SAF 51 24 16 1
91-C.Wake MIA OLB 27 22 19 13 x 55-L.Briggs CHI OLB 57 26 16 12
99-K.Burnett SD ILB 53 32 19 8 x 32-D.McCourty NE CB 70 33 16 3
55-D.Williams DEN ILB 54 32 19 9 x 95-S.Phillips SD OLB 27 22 15 9
20-B.Grimes ATL CB 81 34 19 4 x 27-J.Babineaux SEA SAF 35 20 15 4
90-N.Suh DET DT 26 21 18 11 x 54-Geno.Hayes TB OLB 44 25 15 14
91-T.Hali KC OLB 27 21 18 4 x 41-C.Munnerlyn CAR CB 48 19 15 0
92-J.Harrison PIT OLB 44 26 18 13 x 94-L.Timmons PIT ILB 59 29 15 14
34-D.Grant NYG SAF 51 25 18 6 x 23-J.Haden CLE CB 60 29 15 1
26-A.Winfield MIN CB 75 35 18 3 x 21-C.Woodson GB CB 62 33 15 9
                39-B.Carr KC CB 66 29 15 0
                31-R.Marshall CAR CB 70 23 15 3
                33-C.Tillman CHI CB 79 26 15 3

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 31 May 2011

64 comments, Last at 04 Jun 2011, 9:22am by Anonymous1

Comments

1
by Cliff Claven (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 1:58pm

First. Message: don't throw at DaMarcus Ware.

9
by LionFanInAZ (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:38pm

I think Ware's 15.5 sacks have more to do with his numbers than his pass coverage skills.

2
by MJK :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 2:26pm

Not surprisingly, New England was last in the league. That jives with my eyes, which said that they did a pretty good job of getting opponents into 3rd and moderate, but then couldn't get off the field.

I'm curious, though, how well Devin McCourty played by defeats. He was runner up for DROY, which I thought was deserved. My eyes told me that when opponents threw at him in critical situations, he generally prevented it from working. But he's obviously not on the list above. I wonder how much he missed the cut by?

It may be that his defensive plays were all "stops" but not "defeats". Or, more likely, in critical situations, teams would just throw at whatever combination of Kyle Arrington/Darius Butler/Hole in the Zone was opposite McCourty...

3
by JasonK :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 2:36pm

Look again. Right column. 16 Pass Defeats.

(Sidenote: Even if they aren't listed here, you can see Defeats stats for any player on their FO Player Page.)

17
by JonFrum :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:10pm

Agreed - this was a defense without playmakers - McCourty excepted. Mayo got tons of tackles, but rarely came through with sacks or interceptions or stops behind the line or even big hits. The talent level just wasn't there.

4
by Drunkmonkey :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 2:48pm

OK, so maybe I missed it in this article or the last, but what is the purpose of the players highlighted in gray? I've been trying to figure it out, but it's escaping me.

5
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 2:50pm

Oh. Since there are so many players tied with one number, I switched the background from white to gray every time the total of Defeats dropped. So when it switches, it means the next player is on the next tier down.

6
by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:05pm

I think that it is interesting that Oakland faced the fewest passing plays, by a fair bit. The Jets are second at 355. I would interpret that as being teams people would rather run against. Now for Pittsburgh with 467 pass plays and a high defeat percentage, I think that says while the passing option sucks, the running option is worse. This all makes sense to me for the Raiders and the Steelers. But the Jets?

10
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:48pm

Just to clarify, the stat in that table is not "pass attempts against this defense" or "dropbacks against this defense." It's "sacks plus passes defensed plus interceptions plus tackles on complete passes by all members of this defense." Oakland did face the fewest pass attempts in the league, with 470. If you include sacks, then Oakland faced the second-fewest pass plays, behind Buffalo.

11
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:53pm

Yes, whoops. Let me change "Passes" to "Pass Plays" above to indicate this.

21
by tuluse :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 11:32pm

You are forgetting one huge aspect. The quality of the offense. Pittsburgh had a very good offense, so teams were forced to throw to keep up with them. The Jets had a middling offense, so even though running wasn't very successful teams would choose to keep running because they could keep the game close. Look at Jacksonville for an even more pronounced example of this. They had a terrible pass defense and teams didn't throw because their offense was so bad there wasn't any threat.

Looking over the list the thing that stands out most to me is the lowish number of pass attempts against the Texans. They had an explosive offense and a competent run defense, I would have expected like 100 more pass attempts against them

22
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:16am

Well, when opponents reach the end zone in one or two big plays, you're not going to rack up a lot of passes.

7
by Dice :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:30pm

Didn't Cutler say something about why he kept throwing at Hall's man despite the picks in the CHI/WAS game?

8
by PackersRS (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 3:34pm

I think this system has a promising future, but there are a couple of things wrong with it:

1) It doesn't discriminate by percentage of defeats (only when it's tied, I take). There's also the problem with what position a player plays (better yet, what role he plays). A Safety who plays on a team that utilizes cover 1 most of the times (Nick Collins, GB) will be around the ball to make plays much lower than, say, the opposing corner of Nnamdi Asomugha.

2) This is the biggest flaw I see in the system. It attributes value to plays that have completely different impact. An interception is much more valuable than a tackle for loss. A forced fumble has usually a bigger impact than a 3rd down stop (if the fumble is recovered by the team).

If you guys can somehow adress those issues, defeats can be the #1 stat regarding defensive impact in football.

There's still the issue of a player's role. Nnamdi Asomugah is a much better player than DeAngelo Hall, not even close, yet even if you take into account defeat percentage, I take Hall still ends up on top. But I don't see how you can account for that in a stat.

12
by JasonK :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 4:19pm

3) It's extracting info on a player's performance based on only a few dozen plays, ignoring entirely the hundreds of other plays that the guy was on the field for.

4) It assumes that the player recorded as making the tackle in the official gamebook is the one who "defeated" the offense. (Probably true on sacks and INTs, but less so on 3rd-down tackles, which are often just cleaning up after a checkdown forced by downfield coverage and/or QB pressure that the player getting the credit had nothing to do with.)

5) Inconsistencies in League-wide scoring of "Pass Defensed."

6) The difference between a "no gain" play and a 1-yard loss is usually pretty miniscule in game terms, and pretty massive in this stat.

It's an interesting bit of data that the FO folks were able to cull from the official game logs alone. More useful than Tackle stats? Sure, but that isn't saying much. There are some good whole-team defensive stats, but I doubt that there will ever be any good individual-defender defensive stats. (Excepting those that simply quantify subjective expert opinions on play-by-play performance, e.g., teams' internal coaching reviews of gametape.)

13
by PackersRS (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 4:35pm

Yes, very good observations.

But we're not talking about how good a player performed during the season. That can only be atributed, like you said, by coaches tape, by grading each and every snap, with information on what was the player's role.

These stats are for player impact, or better, playmaking ability. Hall is a bigger playmaker than Asomugha, not necessarily a better player. And for some positions, specially on the LOS, being impactful almost always equates to being good.

15
by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 5:20pm

Hmm. So where does Stanford Routt fit in this? He got a hell of a lot of passes thrown at him to not show up on the defeat list.

16
by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 6:52pm

This is taken from play-by-play data. So if Routt was the target on dozens of third-down incompletes that were overthrown or underthrown, but he never laid a finger on the ball on those plays, he wouldn't get credit for them here.

14
by ChicagoRaider :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 5:18pm

Well, at least Hall got CB Chris Johnson a nice contract. After all, Chris Johnson looked great compared to Hall in the Raiders' man system. So Hall does have legitimate uses.

27
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 10:10am

I'd be curious as to what what I'm going to just call Weighted Defeats would look like. Of the 4 defeat categories, you can rank them by sort of how big their impact is. I wasn't sure what to do with fumbles, so I've decided you have to treat them by their outcome. A fumble recovered by the offense is ignored unless its a kind of defeat anyway. A fumble recovered by the D is the same as an interception.

I think you could weight the different kinds of defeats as:

Tackle for loss on 1st or 2nd down: 0.25
Sack on 1st or 2nd down: 0.5
Defeat on 3rd down (sack, tackle for loss, pass defensed): 0.75
Interception, fumble forced that is recovered by your defense, or defeat on 4th down: 1

I ranked the pick, fumble and 4th down defeat as better because they don't lead to a punt, although I guess the odd 3rd down pick will be the same as a punt.

I think if you did that you could see more how impactful a player's defeats are. A guy might get a bunch of 1st down tackles for 1 yard losses, which, while valuable, aren't as valuable as a bunch of interceptions, or 3rd down stops.

I think you could also potentially add gamecharting numbers in as well, although I think that might be difficult to do. Adding QB hits or hurries which the charter feels led to an incompletion or pick, and good coverage on the intended receiver which leads to an incomplete, maybe with them at half value (so 3rd down hit or hurry leading to an incomplete would be worth 0.375 of a defeat or something). Maybe only asking gamecharters to mark the most obvious instances (such as a hit that makes the QB throw the ball no where near anyone; a hurry where the defender chases the QB so that he throws the ball away, or a pass where the defender drills the receiver causing him to drop the ball [is this a PD anyway?]) might stop too many false positives (isn't this how you handle broken tackles?).

Any thoughts?

28
by PackersRS (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 12:05pm

Yeah, this is kind of what I had in mind, but you certainly took it to another level.

I honestly don't know exactly HOW to grade them, I do agree with the scale you put, but the exact value what should be I have no idea. FO guys are much more competent than me to say so.

The problem with atributing the values and adjusting them is, how do you do them? You can't adjust them based on the conclusions, because that would be altering the results (if a guy taken as a playmaker, Charles Woodson per example, has low numbers in the end, because ints have been overvalued). That would compromise the whole premise of the stats...

I do like the addition of hits and hurries, and, moreso, touchdowns should be counted as well.

I think you are definitely onto something. Would love to see your ranking system implemented (with the addition of defensive touchdowns) in a chart!

18
by beej (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:23pm

The only Buc on the list is Geno Hayes. Oof.

19
by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 8:42pm

A DT not only ranks, but highly. Ndamukong Suh is just sooooo good.

61
by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:42pm

Unfortunately, by a wide margin, Suh was the Lions best defensive back.

20
by Theo :: Tue, 05/31/2011 - 10:16pm

So. Is DeAngelo Hall good or not?
I think he is underrated. He used to be a boom or bust, madden-fast corner, but I've seen him develop into a run support, reliable corner.

23
by bubqr :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 3:55am

I'd say he has gone from a boom or bust madden-fast corner to a speedy CB able to do great things as well as very ugly ones.

25
by Dean :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 9:07am

I would say that he is quite simply the single most overrated defensive player in all of football and has been for a number of years.

Admittedly, I didn't get past the high school level, but as a DB, rule #1 was ALWAYS "don't get beat deep." Hall does, and does so frequently. I'm also not sold that he's anything more than a pedestrian run-support guy, at best.

There's a difference between your video games and REAL football (aside from the fact that pixels don't hit back). Hall is a great athlete, and I'm sure that makes him a valuable commodity in the world of computer games. But there is a big difference between "athlete" and "football player."

29
by Independent George :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 1:14pm

I've been toying with the idea for a while, and I wonder if we're misjudging Hall and similar players.

What's the relative value of a good, consistent corner who doesn't get beat deep, but consistently holds receivers to moderate gains? I think one can make the case that unless you've got a true shutdown corner like Revis or Asomugha, it might pay to have a gambler with safety help over the top than give up consistent 7 yard gains up and down the field.

Think of it as the opposite of offense - if consistency on offense is good because it extends drives with first downs, wouldn't it be plausible that the opposite holds true on defense? Unless you do have a shutdown corner (and most teams don't, and won't), it might be better to go for the big play on defense than giving up consistent gains. Defense is already pretty random - what if the better bet isn't to fight the randomness, but to double down on it?

30
by Dean :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 1:30pm

I would agree that there is a certain value in making plays. As you alluded to above, I'll leave it to the statisticians to attempt to determine exactly what that value happens to be.

However, absent that data (and my buying into that data), I would say that the value Hall brings by making plays doesn't come anywhere close to offsetting the negative value of him both being incapable of shutting down the routine play and also gambling and losing and giving up the big play.

Maybe I've just seen him victimized so many times that I remember the bad at the expense of the routine. That's certainly common enough. No different than remembering the 1 time the prevent defense fails and forgetting the 99 times it succeeds. But given the data that we have - and overall it's really good data even if it can always be improved - I don't see any reason to think that Hall is worth the hassle, let alone seeing any reason to laud him in any way as any sort of a good player. I certainly wouldn't want him on my team.

31
by Independent George :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 1:53pm

The thing is, though, that Hall's stop rate is 46.5%. If he made 4 more stops in 2010, it climbs to a respectable 51.1%. 8 more stops - that's one every other game - it would be a rather admirable 55.8%.

Another comparison could be made to Assante Samuel(s) - he's another gambler, but with a slightly better success rate. How many passes defensed in a season distinguishes Assante Samuel from DeAngelo Hall? How about the Cromarties? Wasn't it just last year when Dominique Rogers-Cromartie's early-season charting numbers put him at the bottom of the list, then he made up for it later? How much of that was real improvement, and how much was just random rolls of the dice? Granted, we know that Hall has been giving up more plays than he makes for several years now, so it's not all random noise. But I'm not so convinced that the gulf between he and Samuel or Cromartie is as great as we've been led to believe.

I think what I'm getting at is that between the randomness of the game (particularly on defense) and the increasing efficiency of the passing game, the break-even point might be shifting towards playmakers over the consistent performers. I don't know this for a fact - but I can't exactly disprove it, either.

32
by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:19pm

Everyone remembers Hall's game against the Bears with four interceptions, but he arguably made a bigger difference against the Cowboys earlier in the year. That forced fumble referenced above was recovered by him and run in for a TD in a 13-7 game. He certainly has value, though probably not quite the value that the Reskins are paying him.

34
by Dean :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:51pm

Like I said, you raise a very legitimate question. My Eagles fan friends find Asante to be very frustrating for the same reason - he makes some, and he misses some. I think the perception is that the plays Asante makes are somehow bigger than the plays Hall makes, and the plays Asante misses aren't as big or as many. I would freely admit that I'm talking about perception rather than hard data, and I actually do think you're onto something when you suggest that maybe there's something more to look at in evaluating gambling CBs.

But I think even you would admit that we're speculating as to what the conclusions might be. We're still in hypotheis mode, but it is worth further examination. You have piqued my curiosity.

As for your original question, getting aside from Hall, part of me wants the consistant performer rather than the gambler - which is ironic because I firmly supported Barry Sanders in the similar debates a few years back. As a DB, you are the last line of defense. It's more important to me for my secondary to prevent big plays. Philosophically, the more I think about it, the more I want my big plays to come from the front 7, and further from the front 4. The further up the field you can make a big play happen, the bigger and better it is likely to be (again, no data, just a philosophy). And it probably goes back to the fact that I can still hear Coach yelling "Don't Get Beat Deep!" (sadly, I can also still hear him yelling Dean - Take A Lap!) The secondary are the reserves. The last line of defense. By the time the ball gets downfield to them, there is an immanent threat of a big play and nobody behind them to clean up after an error, so the priority becomes not making an error. If the DE crashes and loses contain, there's a LB to back him up, so he's got a bit of freedom to take a risk. If the hound takes an aggressive angle and the RB gets the corner and turns it upfield, there's still a CB and a Safety there to cover for him. But if the DB gambles and loses, it's 6 points on the scoreboard. That takes away the luxury of gambling and puts even more of a premium on guys like Revis and Scrabble. You can take a risk on a Gastineau-type player (on the field) and cover for him much more easily when they're a DL than a DB.

Maybe my mode of thinking is outdated, but if a DB is going to be a gambler, he'd better win.

38
by Independent George :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 5:55pm

The funny thing is, I think I'm actually with you 100% in terms of what kind of defensive philosophy I like. If I were to build a defense, I'd have a 4-3 front with two big, hulking DTs in the middle, and two small, fast pass-rushing DEs. The idea is that you'd clog the middle with the DTs, trying to force a double-team to leave your DEs alone on the outside vs. the pass, or funnel traffic into the 'B' gap (and hopefully two converging LBs) on a rush. I'd want long, rangy LBs who can disrupt passing lanes, physical corners who can redirect receivers inside where they'd have help, and smart, fast safeties who can cover up mistakes from the other 9 defenders. I think I just described the 70s Steelers.

Just like you, if somebody's going to gamble, I want it to be a DL who's got (theoretically) two more lines of defense behind him, and not a DB with his back to the end zone. I'm just wondering, though, if what I like is even possible anymore. As the passing game gets more and more efficient, it gets awful hard to hold receivers to even moderate gains.

In game theory terms, a choice between a 70% chance at 10 yards/30% chance at 0 yards, versus a 50% chance at 14 yards/50% chance at 0 yards or a pick, obviously favors the latter. But by how much? But what if it's 51% for 14 yards, or 50% of 15 yards, etc.? What is the probability of the interception on a given play? Where is the equilibrium point? If the passing game has made offense 'safer', and the odds are stacked against the defense from the start, does that mean the defense should be striving for volatility over consistency?

39
by Theo :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 8:54pm

Sounds like the 2002 Bucs to me.
Pop quiz, who was the other DT alongside Warren Sapp?
True though, that's what everybody is looking for.
In a 3-4 I'd be looking for 3 defensive tackles and leave the speed to the linebackers and safeties.

50
by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:10am

Booger McFarland. Like Porkchop Womack, a man who seemed to extend his career just because he had a memorable nickname.

53
by Dean :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 8:55am

Best headline ever: "Bucs Trade Booger For A Pick."

56
by Independent George :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:11am

Back when I played Madden, I always traded for Pino Tinoisamoa just so I could hear his name get called.

54
by Dean :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:01am

I think we're pretty similar there, but I'd much rather have quicker, 1-gap, penetrating DTs. It means my LBs will have to shed blockers more, so they'd have to be a bit bigger. And I want 8 or 9 guys who can get after the passer. I don't necessarily want to send them all every play, but I want to be able to send whoever I want on a given play. As hard as the CB position has become, I think the best thing to do is get pressure up front and take the pressure off the corners. We're discussing nuance more at this point than anything though.

43
by tuluse :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 11:17pm

What's the relative value of a good, consistent corner who doesn't get beat deep, but consistently holds receivers to moderate gains?

Well as a Bear's fan, I kind of like Charles Tillman.

55
by Independent George :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:09am

Living in Chicago, I do, too. I also remember the 2005 divisional playoff game where the Bears stubbornly decided to stick with their base defense and Steve Smith got over 200 yards receiving. Though I'm not sure exactly what one has to do with the other - that was just the first thing that popped into my head..

57
by Jimmy :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:41am

The problem wasn't that the Bears stayed in their base defense, it was that their defensive backfield was decimated by injuries before the game and then lost Mike Brown on one of the first plays from scrimmage. The only starter still playing was Tillman and he had two bum shoulders (a bit of a handicap for a player who relies on his strength and physical play). They did try to mix things up but invariably this just left Smith in single coverage with disastrous consequences - ie having Chris Thompson trying to cover Smith on an island. I still have no idea who Chris Thompson is but I do know he can't cover Steve Smith.

58
by Independent George :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 10:27am

Thanks for the info. I remember a year when the entire defensive backfield had to be wheeled onto the field, but couldn't remember if that was 05 or not. The other thing I remember about that game is that it freaked Mike Holmgren out enough to put four guys on Steve Smith the following week, and then he scored a touchdown anyway on a kick return. I remember being really upset that Shaun Alexander won MVP over Steve Smith that year.

60
by tuluse :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 2:13pm

One game sample sizes not withstanding, Charles Tillman exemplifies the steady corner who rarely gets beat deep but also gives up small to medium gains on a regular basis.

On a side note, I think Mike Brown injuring himself trying to tackle Steve Smith on the first play, and Chris Harris laying the wood on Tillman instead of Smith when Tillman had all but secured an interception had more to do with Smith's big game than any failing in the scheme or Tillman's own ability.

33
by ChicagoRaider :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:47pm

Is that a question about a player, or about the philosophy of a defense? If you team plan is to "bend but not break" then DeAngelo Hall is an awful corner to have. If your plan is to confuse the quarterback with unpredictability, he can help you out with that approach. He is a very good interception returner, and so gets more value out of interceptions than most, so you might think that he is more valuable as a gambler. Ideally, he would do what you want, when you want it if your are a coach.

That issue comes up with in other players too. Should Asomugha bait the quarterback more, and shut down less? After all, I am sure a number of quarterbacks would feel lucky (1) if they saw more apparent openings.

(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOxGL5G8Pbk

35
by Dean :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 2:53pm

I think for me, I'd want a combination of the two. An aggressive, gambling front 7, but more of a conservative secondary. I'd be OK with a DB corps that didn't make a ton of INTs if my defense was among the league leaders in forced fumbles, sacks, and TFLs year in and year out.

40
by Theo :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 9:03pm

I know. I said I watched him play and judged from that, that he had become a complete football player.
I've played some myself, and yes, don't get beat deep is #1. But don't the Redskins their share of cover 2? I've seen Hall some nice plays on run plays too this season. Something I didn't expect.
If he gives up long pass plays, that's unforgivable.

59
by jimbohead :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 11:40am

late to the party, but w/e. Desirable corner traits are 100% about def. philosophy. If you're running cover 3 a lot, where your corners are responsible for deep L/R, and FS is responsible for deep middle, you're absolutely correct that corners MUST not let anyone behind them. If you're running cover-2, x-deep man-under, etc., there's a lot more freedom. A good, smart corner in man will absolutely use game film, instincts, and route knowledge to jump routes, and risk getting burned, b/c he has safety help over the top. Of course, a stupid corner will gamble constantly, and get burned on double moves. I haven't watched Hall enough (at all?) to know which one he is.

As for my desired scheme, I love strong, aggressive corners, and fast safeties who can clean up behind them. Combine that with a pressure front that forces the QB to get it out quick, and it makes for some entertaining and turnover-ridden football.

26
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 9:43am

He might be underrated around here (and by Jay Cutler), but it's tough to argue that he's underrated in general as he is 4 months removed from a pro bowl. Or do you mean he's underrated despite going to a pro bowl - in which case i very much disagree?

62
by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:51pm

I think the authors meant that FO's stats generally consider Hall to be functionally worthless. There are some stats, however, that absolutely love him. The question becomes, which stats correctly rate him, and which stats incorrectly rate him?

This is complicated because per-position defensive philosophies vary greatly from team to team.

24
by PhilG (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 5:22am

To me, this is one of the most intriguing questions for statistical analysis. What kind of measurable impact does a boom/bust play style have?

I'm going to assume the 'average drive' is not a scoring drive, which makes one think on a gut level that a 'safe' player who does his job and doesn't risk it all, would contribute to that general trend and thus a good defense. By contrast, a 'boom/bust' player might give the odd turnover, but equally they might turn an 'average drive' into an offensive score.

I'm conscious of the adage that 'turnovers win games' and anecdotally I'm sure the stats back this up, but in regards to a defensive approach, does risky yardage-and-TD-leaking play in pursuit of turnovers pay off?

I'm going to assume the hardest part of this kind of analysis would be the game-charting. How would you define a risky, boom-bust move?

63
by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:54pm

If it's anything like the college trends, boom-bust players are best utilized on bad teams (there's a correlation-causation snark here), where they want to increase the variance within a game because on average, their team will lose. Here, if you're going to give up TDs anyway, you might as well gamble for turnovers.

As example, without Hall, the Skins probably lose to Dallas and Chicago.

On a good team, where on average you win the game, you want to decrease variance. Thus, you want the Tillman type, because your defense, on the whole, doesn't give up TDs.

The Baileys, Asomughas, and Revises of the world can do both, but no one throws their way anyway.

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by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Sat, 06/04/2011 - 9:22am

Yeah, I've always heard it said that the hierarchy of players goes like this:
1. Players that are consistently good.
2. Players that are inconsistently good.
3. Players that are inconsistently bad (i.e. more bad than good).
4. Players that are consistently bad.

36
by Guttles (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 5:06pm

dumb dumb dumb dumb...lose the retarded, useless stats. this is not baseball, it's football. stats lie and fans lie. here's a stat for ya, drew brees throws twenty something picks, and goes to the pro bowl? WTF!? he's a big-headed, classless loser. last season for example, the saints had all but beaten the seahawks. but that wasn't enough for drew brees, he just had to try to run up the scoreboard. then he got what he deserved, he got picked off by E.T. i remember thinking "what a fag, i hope the douche gets raped in the playoffs." and what happened in the playoffs? that's right, douche brees and all of the saints fair weather fans got what they deserved. at the hands of my seahawks, it was awesome. who was more embarrassed, the 7-9 seahawks for making the playoffs? or the saints, for being schooled by the single worst playoff team in nfl history? i say, eat a fat one D.B. anyways, what stat led anyone to believe the hawks would win? stats like these are retarded, the only one that matters is the final score.

37
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 5:35pm

Well, thanks for stopping by.

41
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 9:38pm

"lose the retarded, useless stats."
Unstated major premise (namely, that the stats are useless and/or stunted in their development). Using "retarded" in this manner is also demeaning to developmentally disabled persons.

"this is not baseball, it's football."
False dichotomy.

"stats lie"
Unsupported premise.

"and fans lie."
Unsupported premise. Plus a non-sequitur.

"drew brees throws twenty something picks, and goes to the pro bowl?"
First, he threw 22. Second, unstated major premises (That number of interceptions is a measure of player quality. That him going to the Pro Bowl means, well, anything). Third, a change of subjects.

"WTF!?"
Argument from personal incredulity.

"he's a big-headed, classless loser."
Ad-hominem. Also, Brees's teams have a 79-58 record in games he's started, so it's tough to argue that he's a "loser."

"last season for example, the saints had all but beaten the seahawks. but that wasn't enough for drew brees, he just had to try to run up the scoreboard."
Unstated major premises (Drew Brees called the play. "Running up the scoreboard" defines a person as a "big-headed, classless loser.").

"then he got what he deserved, he got picked off by E.T."
Post-hoc ergo propter-hoc (perhaps). I think the poster is saying that Brees's pass was intercepted because Brees is "a big-headed classless loser." One could give the benefit of the doubt here and disagree, but I'm somehow disinclined to do so.

"i remember thinking 'what a fag, i hope the douche gets raped in the playoffs.'"
Unstated major premises ("Running up the scoreboard" is a sign of homosexuality. Homosexuality is bad.). Using the words "fag," "douche," and "rape" in this manner is demeaning to homosexuals, women, and rape victims.

"and what happened in the playoffs? that's right, douche brees and all of the saints fair weather fans got what they deserved."
The same post-hoc ergo propter hoc as earlier, it seems.

"douche brees and all of the saints fair weather fans got what they deserved."
Ad hominems.

"schooled by the single worst playoff team in nfl history?"
Unstated major premises (The Saints were not just beaten but "schooled" by the Seahawks. The Seahawks are "the single worst playoff team in NFL history.").

"what stat led anyone to believe the hawks would win?"
FO's special teams statistics and Hasselbeck's DVOA and ANY/A vs. blitzes combined with New Orleans's tendency to send those blitzes.

"the only one that matters is the final score."
Inconsistency. No explanation of why that "statistic" matters or why "these" do not. From this argument, all we know is that both are "statistics," yet "the final score" matters while "these" do not.

Note: I know those aren't really traditional ad hominem fallacies, since he's attacking someone else rather than the arguer (though whom exactly the arguer would be here, I'm not sure).

42
by Lucidus (not verified) :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 11:02pm

Well, I suppose we could make the argument that since Drew Brees' stats speak for themselves... they're a valid target for ad hominem attacks?

44
by tuluse :: Wed, 06/01/2011 - 11:21pm

Plus, his overall argument was that stats are bad, but that throwing "twenty something picks" is a sign a player is bad.

This post has to be some kind of parody, right? Right?

45
by Intropy :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 12:17am

Awesome post. I want in on the fun.

-"and fans lie."
-Unsupported premise. Plus a non-sequitur.
Not really a non-sequitur since the statement is a premise and not a conclusion. It's more of an irrelevant premise. It could also be considered a case of poisoning the well. If the supposed arguer is presumed to be a fan it would be a case of ad hominem.

-"lose the retarded, useless stats."
-Unstated major premise (namely, that the stats are useless and/or stunted in their -development). Using "retarded" in this manner is also demeaning to developmentally -disabled persons.
I think this is meant to be the conclusion, "The stats should not be used."

-"drew brees throws twenty something picks, and goes to the pro bowl?"
-First, he threw 22. Second, unstated major premises (That number of interceptions -is a measure of player quality. That him going to the Pro Bowl means, well,
-anything). Third, a change of subjects.
I disagree that this is a change of subject. It is meant to support the conclusion that one should not use the stats by suggesting that the stats (interceptions) are at odds with some other measurement of quality (Pro Bowl selection), though that analysis is contradicted by the overall tenor of the discussion of Brees in the argument.

-"i remember thinking 'what a fag, i hope the douche gets raped in the playoffs.'"
-Unstated major premises ("Running up the scoreboard" is a sign of homosexuality.
-Homosexuality is bad.). Using the words "fag," "douche," and "rape" in this manner -is demeaning to homosexuals, women, and rape victims.
The statement doesn't really contain the unstated premise "homosexuality is bad" since it draws no connection between "bad" and the hope. Also, this usage of the word "rape" is closer to its definition of destroy or despoil.

-Note: I know those aren't really traditional ad hominem fallacies, since he's
-attacking someone else rather than the arguer (though whom exactly the arguer
-would be here, I'm not sure).
Judgmental language is probably the fallacy for which you're looking.

47
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 1:29am

I agree on the first two completely and think the third is a fair guess of the author's intent either way.

I'm not sure whether one could say that either definition of "rape" is more likely. Consider the oft-repeated gaming phrase "I raped him/her/it so hard that he/she/it was suddenly pregnant!" and its proximity to discussion of Brees's sexuality.

I had not heard of judgmental language as the name of a fallacy before, but having now looked it up, yes. It needs a better name, though. Perhaps it should, at least on FO, be known as Breesing?

46
by ESBY conclusion (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 1:21am

Yeah, Shattenjager, seeing as Guttles talks more football than you, and you never bothered to disprove anything Guttles said, you're actually coming second in the debate cos all you done is hate and be wrong.

Guttles, i apologise for Shattenjager acting like a cunt, but there's a few here and there on the internets.

48
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 1:32am

How dare you suggest that it was an act!

51
by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 4:14am

Raiderjoe....?

52
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 6:49am

Yes am here. Read thign. D. Hall suckky mosot of time. Make some plays beucuause hevay gambler.

If question was baout Gittles guy well guy not verified hereand ahs potty mouth. Nothing to see so move along. If guy have football knwoeldge maybe he share it in better posts in future withotut trashy langauage

49
by TheSlinger :: Thu, 06/02/2011 - 2:35am

You know who's good at football? Daryl Smith.