With Alabama holding serve as the nation's top team, Brian Fremeau explains how good play-by-play teams can still struggle drive-by-drive -- and vice versa.
31 May 2011
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:
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.
"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.
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