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?
02 Nov 2012
As promised in Tuesday's DVOA commentary, let's take a look at some numbers through eight weeks on defensive Plays per snap. By "Plays" here, of course we don't mean how many plays someone is on the field for. (If we did, "plays per snap" would be 1.0.) Instead, we're using the FO definition of defensive Plays as any time that a defender appears in the play-by-play: tackles, assists, passes defensed, and turnovers.
First, here are the leaders through Week 8 in defensive Plays per snap, with a minimum of 200 defensive snaps. Your leader will unfortunately not be getting any more defensive snaps, because he's out for the year: Dallas linebacker Sean Lee. Second and third are two rookies, and one of them is a surprise. Everybody knows that Luke Kuechly is having a very good rookie season, but not many people have seen Tennessee second-round pick Zach Brown, who has replaced Will Witherspoon as the Titans' starter on the weak side.
|Highest Rate of Plays per Snap, Weeks 1-8 2012 (min. 200 snaps)|
Two linebackers would break into this list if we went down to a minimum of 75 plays: Keith Rivers of the Giants (20 plays on 109 snaps, 18.3%) and Cleveland's L.J. Fort, an undrafted free agent out of Northern Iowa (14 plays on 77 snaps, 18.2%).
Here's a list for just defensive backs, with a minimum of 100 snaps.
|Highest Rate of Plays per Snap by DB, Weeks 1-8 2012 (min. 100 snaps)|
And now defensive linemen, with a minimum of 150 snaps. There's no surprise to see a certain player who's basically on a different planet this year.
|Highest Rate of Plays per Snap by DL, Weeks 1-8 2012 (min. 150 snaps)|
Even if we moved the minimum for linemen down to 100 snaps, only one player would have a higher rate than Watt: Sean Lissemore of Dallas (20 plays on 136 snaps, 14.7%).
A list of players with the fewest Plays per snap would primarily be a list of defensive linemen, either blocker-soaking tackles or pass-rush specialists, so it's not really very useful. Even if we limit it to linebackers, the list of players with the fewest Plays per snap is all 3-4 outside linebackers like Dwight Freeney and Connor Barwin. The inside linebacker with the lowest rate of Plays per snap is Joe Mays of Denver (19 plays on 291 snaps, 6.5%).
21 comments, Last at 04 Nov 2012, 5:01pm by JonFrum