ESPN Introduces New Run Blocking and Run Stopping Stats

ESPN has used its access to the NFL's Next Gen Stats to create new metrics that measure blocking and defense in the running game. Run Block Win Rate and Run Stop Win Rate are compliments to ESPN's earlier Next Gen Stats creations, Pass Block Win Rate and Pass Rush Win Rate. Among the discoveries: Taylor Moton is an excellent blocker, Nate Solder may be underrated because of his work in the run game, and Aaron Donald may not be as good against the run as people think.

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5 comments, Last at 15 Sep 2020, 11:58am

#1 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 08, 2020 - 1:24pm

I'm curious how it handles linemen who block multiple guys on one play. Does he need to win once, or twice?

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#2 by JohnxMorgan // Sep 08, 2020 - 5:08pm

Any stat which recognizes that Donald, though a very good playmaking run stopper, is not a very good positional run stopper certainly has my attention. I think it's virtually impossible for a player to be built like Donald is, and play like Donald does, and really excel against the run. Anyone who remembers the quiet dominance of Pat Wiliams should know what I mean.

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#3 by Will Allen // Sep 10, 2020 - 12:16am

In reply to by JohnxMorgan

The years when Pat&Kevin Williams were both near their peak were some of my favorite Vikings teams, even with them only being moderate playoff contenders, due to terrible quarterbacking, and mediocre coaching. To see those two very different tackles just dominate the interior line of scrimmage, week after week, was entertaining as hell.

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#4 by lightsout85 // Sep 12, 2020 - 12:09am

The difference in year-to-year stickiness for MLB & OLB is a little crazy, especially given how most people envision the role of a MLB.

Also, conceptually, it's funny that all you need is 2 defenders to "win" and the offense will likely net negative EPA. Yet another metric that hammers home how run plays aren't/shouldn't-be half of an offensive game plan.

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#5 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 15, 2020 - 11:58am

Along with this and everything else, the easiest thing to hammer it home with to casuals is to just look at the yards per attempt difference in any given year. 

The highest yards per rush attempt in any year: 4.4 in 2018. 

The lowest net (to make it even closer) yards per pass attempt in any year: 5.1 in 1952.

So even at it's worst, when you include sacks too, passing still gets more yards per play. 

And yeah all it takes is a couple defenders to "win" and the runner trips over themselves on sight. 

Points: 0

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