Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Aug 2008

FO on ESPN: Panthers' Sack Numbers Could Rebound

This week's ESPN column is about the "dramastic" sack decline suffered by the 2007 Carolina Panthers, and the rebound indicators for other teams with large dips in Adjusted Sack Rate from one season to the next.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 02 Aug 2008

8 comments, Last at 05 Aug 2008, 1:17am by Bobman


by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Sat, 08/02/2008 - 9:14pm

One big factor for the TEN defense is the change in the secondary, as Samari Rolle was the only constant. CB Denard Walker and S Marcus Robertson weren't on the team, and S Blaine Bishop only started 4 games, and their replacements weren't nearly as good.

I also notice you cite ASR going back to 1997. Are the pre-2000 years going to be added to the site at any point?

by Trust Doesn\'t Rust (not verified) :: Sat, 08/02/2008 - 9:46pm

i gotta say, this was a pretty weak article by FO standards. maybe okay for espn, but the study didn't even really recognize the many variables involved in the data. all it said was that after a big drop, the sack total might maybe go back to average... but it could still stay low.. or it could go way up if there's different players.

seems like a more useful study would have been to look at common factors involved in instances of a sudden drop in sack rate (age, turnover among interior lines, secondary effectiveness, injuries, etc.) and only including teams that carried over the three years at least 1 of their top two in sacks or 2 of their top 4. also adjust if there was a change in defensive coordinators, particularly a change from conservative to blitz-happy.

by Cyberjag (not verified) :: Sun, 08/03/2008 - 7:38am

The Panthers lost a DE to retirement (possibly a year late), and the replacement for Jenkins had more sacks than he did in 2007. So, there's reason to hope for a rebound. However, the biggest reason may be improved talent in the secondary that will allow for a more aggressive scheme.

As a previous poster has commented, this is kind of weak by FO standards. There are tons of variables at play, and they really didn't look at any of them.

by Wes M (not verified) :: Sun, 08/03/2008 - 9:29am

Many of the FO goes mainstream articles (ESPN, Fox, Sun, etc.,) can be boiled down to "regression (ascention?) to the mean." Statistics aren't the general audiences strong point.

by Josh (not verified) :: Sun, 08/03/2008 - 3:09pm

Statistics aren’t the general audiences strong point.

As the erudite FoxSports.com comments attest.

LOL you haterz dont now football. u have 2 play teh game, not sit in your mom's baesment wit ur computer. Eagles sux and Cowboys RULE!!!1!!1.

by Temo (not verified) :: Mon, 08/04/2008 - 10:13am

Oh come on now... all the retarded comments on FoxSports and you have to pick the one that makes Cowboys fans look terrible?

by Andy (not verified) :: Mon, 08/04/2008 - 1:44pm

#6: Law of averages. The Cowboys ARE America's team, right?

by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 08/05/2008 - 1:17am

comments 5,6,7 rule!

Gotta go; Mom has a strict 10 pm curfew for the computer.