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15 Jun 2017

2016 Defeats

by Vincent Verhei

As work on Football Outsiders Almanac 2017 continues, we pause to look back at the 2016 season through the lens of some of our advanced statistics. Today we are going to focus on defeats, and what they can tell us about some of the best defenders in the league. We have lots of statistics to measure quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, even kickers, but our numbers for individual defensive players are a lot more limited. Defeats are one way to account for defenders who make frequent appearances on highlight reels.

As a reminder, a defender is credited with a defeat any time he makes one of the following plays:

  • A tackle that results in a loss of yardage, including sacks.
  • Any play that results in a turnover, including tipped passes which are then intercepted.
  • Any tackle or tipped pass that leads to a stop on third or fourth down.

Over the years, two names have regularly dominated the defeats leaderboard: Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, and Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David. From 2012 to 2015, Watt ranked first, third, first, and first in defeats, while David ranked fifth, first, second, and second. Watt, however, missed most of the 2016 season with a back injury. David played in all 16 games and had another outstanding season, but missed out on the defeats crown because an unheralded linebacker flew up the charts with an under-the-radar season.


NFL Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 BUF 52-P.Brown LB 10 21 31
2 OAK 52-K.Mack DL 15 14 29
2 DEN 58-V.Miller LB 20 9 29
2 TB 54-L.David LB 19 10 29
5 BUF 57-L.Alexander LB 19 9 28
5 DAL 50-S.Lee LB 12 16 28
5 TB 58-K.Alexander LB 16 12 28
8 ARI 44-M.Golden LB 16 11 27
8 BUF 53-Z.Brown LB 11 16 27
8 JAC 50-T.Smith LB 12 15 27
8 SEA 50-K.Wright LB 14 13 27
12 BAL 54-Z.Orr LB 12 14 26
12 JAC 51-P.Posluszny LB 14 12 26
14 NO 94-C.Jordan DL 11 14 25
14 GB 53-N.Perry LB 15 10 25
14 MIN 54-E.Kendricks LB 18 7 25
14 PHI 53-N.Bradham LB 13 12 25
18 NYG 20-J.Jenkins CB 20 4 24
18 LARM 99-A.Donald DL 12 12 24
18 MIA 93-N.Suh DL 13 11 24
18 ARI 55-Ch.Jones LB 17 7 24
18 ATL 44-V.Beasley LB 17 7 24
18 CLE 58-C.Kirksey LB 11 13 24
18 LARM 52-A.Ogletree LB 12 12 24
18 SEA 54-B.Wagner LB 11 13 24
18 NYG 21-L.Collins SAF 17 7 24

We like to think that our readers are the smartest, most well-informed group of football fans out there, but odds are a lot of you are scratching your heads right now and asking "Who on earth is '52-P.Brown?'" That would be Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown, who has quietly started 46 of 48 games for the Bills since he was drafted in the third round in 2014. Brown hardly fits the profile of a big-play defender, with only three interceptions and one sack in his career. But Brown did a little bit of everything in 2016:

  • Twelve run tackles for loss.
  • Nine run tackles for stops on third or fourth down, including four with 1 or 2 yards to go.
  • Seven tackles on completed passes for third-down stops.
  • One tackle for a loss on a completed pass.
  • One sack.
  • One forced fumble.

As if Brown wasn't surprising enough on top of the leaderboards, we also see his teammates Zach Brown (no relation to Preston) (or to this guy) and Lorenzo Alexander in the top ten as well. The Bills as a team were just 23rd in pass defeats, but they led the league in run defeats, and were sixth in overall defeats. This is all quite shocking, because as you'll recall the Buffalo defense was lousy last year, especially against the run. What's going on here? Part of it is that the Bills faced a lot of runs—489, to be exact, second-most among defenses behind San Francisco. More running plays means more opportunities for run defeats. The Bills defense registered a defeat on 16 percent of opponents' run plays, which was just 15th in the NFL. More to the point, when the Bills didn't get a defeat on a running play, it meant bad news. The average non-defeat run against Buffalo gained 5.6 yards, fourth-most in the league.

One other factor in Brown's ascension to the top: defeats were way down in 2016, at least on an individual level. Brown's total of 31 is the lowest among league-leaders in our database, which goes back to 1997. Brown was also the only player to collect 30 defeats this year. Every other season has seen at least three 30-defeat players, and as many as 13. The average season, including 2016, has produced 6.8 players with 30-plus defeats.

Brown led the league in run defeats, while Von Miller and Janoris Jenkins were tied for the league in pass defeats. David, once again, finished second (well, tied for second) in total defeats. The Bills were the only team with three players with at least 24 defeats; the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, and Giants had two each. The Giants also had the only two defensive backs finish in the top 26, which brings us to our next point: The leaders in defeats, not surprisingly, are almost all linebackers. True, some of those are 3-4 types edge rusher types (Alexander, Miller, Markus Golden, etc.) But Khalil Mack, Cameron Jordan, Ndamukong Suh, and Aaron Donald are the only true defensive linemen among the leaders, and the Giants have the only two defensive backs. The other players listed here are all linebackers.

With that in mind, we're also listing a top 20 at each "position" -- not the traditional DL/LB/DB listings, but the role-based labels that are more appropriate for this sub package era of the NFL:

  • Defensive Linemen (3-4 defensive linemen and 4-3 defensive tackles)
  • Edge Rushers (3-4 outside linebackers and 4-3 defensive ends)
  • Linebackers (3-4 inside linebackers and all 4-3 linebackers)
  • Safeties
  • Cornerbacks

We won't have time to do a detailed breakdown of all players, obviously, but we'll drop notes on the most notable stars.

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Line Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 LARM 99-A.Donald DL 12 12 24
1 MIA 93-N.Suh DL 13 11 24
3 NYJ 92-L.Williams DL 10 13 23
4 ARI 93-C.Campbell DL 11 9 20
5 CAR 99-K.Short DL 8 11 19
6 BUF 95-K.Williams DL 6 11 17
6 CHI 96-A.Hicks DL 9 8 17
6 CIN 97-G.Atkins DL 11 6 17
6 TB 93-G.McCoy DL 11 6 17
10 JAC 90-M.Jackson DL 10 6 16
10 NYG 98-D.Harrison DL 4 12 16
10 TEN 99-J.Casey DL 9 7 16
13 NYJ 96-M.Wilkerson DL 9 6 15
13 PIT 91-S.Tuitt DL 7 8 15
15 BAL 99-T.Jernigan DL 9 5 14
16 DAL 95-D.Irving DL 6 7 13
16 PHI 91-F.Cox DL 7 6 13
16 SD 94-C.Liuget DL 3 10 13
19 JAC 99-S.Marks DL 6 6 12
19 LARM 91-D.Easley DL 7 5 12
19 NO 90-N.Fairley DL 8 4 12
19 NYG 95-J.Hankins DL 5 7 12
19 SF 99-D.Buckner DL 6 6 12
19 WAS 92-C.Baker DL 6 6 12

While Donald and Suh tied for the lead among linemen in total defeats, Suh was alone at the position with 13 pass defeats, and the Jets' Leonard Williams was first with 13 run defeats. Muhammad Wilkerson makes it two Jets among the leaders at this position, and Sheldon Richardson would have made it three, but he was technically an outside linebacker in 2016. The Jaguars, Giants, and Rams also have two players listed here. The Jaguars cut Sen'Derrick Marks after the season, but replaced him with Calais Campbell. Marks remains unsigned, and could always return to Jacksonville to give them a three-headed monster up front.

Edge Rushers


Edge Rusher Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 DEN 58-V.Miller LB 20 9 29
1 OAK 52-K.Mack DL 15 14 29
3 BUF 57-L.Alexander LB 19 9 28
4 ARI 44-M.Golden LB 16 11 27
5 GB 53-N.Perry LB 15 10 25
5 NO 94-C.Jordan DL 11 14 25
7 ARI 55-Ch.Jones LB 17 7 24
7 ATL 44-V.Beasley LB 17 7 24
9 HOU 90-J.Clowney DL 7 15 22
9 PHI 55-B.Graham DL 7 15 22
11 HOU 59-W.Mercilus LB 9 12 21
11 KC 55-D.Ford LB 12 9 21
11 NYJ 91-S.Richardson LB 7 14 21
11 SD 54-M.Ingram LB 10 11 21
11 SD 99-J.Bosa DL 12 9 21
16 MIA 50-A.Branch DL 11 9 20
16 NYG 54-O.Vernon DL 12 8 20
16 SEA 56-C.Avril DL 14 6 20
16 SEA 55-F.Clark DL 14 6 20
16 WAS 93-T.Murphy LB 10 10 20

Miller, of course, led this group in pass defeats, while Philadelphia's Brandon Graham and Houston's Jadeveon Clowney were first in run defeats. The Cardinals, Texans, and Seahawks were the only teams with a duo of edge rushers among the leaders.

Linebackers


Linebacker Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 BUF 52-P.Brown LB 10 21 31
2 TB 54-L.David LB 19 10 29
3 DAL 50-S.Lee LB 12 16 28
3 TB 58-K.Alexander LB 16 12 28
5 BUF 53-Z.Brown LB 11 16 27
5 JAC 50-T.Smith LB 12 15 27
5 SEA 50-K.Wright LB 14 13 27
8 BAL 54-Z.Orr LB 12 14 26
8 JAC 51-P.Posluszny LB 14 12 26
10 MIN 54-E.Kendricks LB 18 7 25
10 PHI 53-N.Bradham LB 13 12 25
12 CLE 58-C.Kirksey LB 11 13 24
12 LARM 52-A.Ogletree LB 12 12 24
12 SEA 54-B.Wagner LB 11 13 24
15 CAR 59-L.Kuechly LB 12 11 23
16 ATL 45-D.Jones LB 14 8 22
17 PIT 50-R.Shazier LB 12 9 21
17 SD 57-J.Brown LB 16 5 21
19 PHI 58-J.Hicks LB 13 7 20
19 SD 56-K.Toomer LB 10 10 20

We mentioned earlier that Brown was the NFL's leader in run defeats, but David was actually the top linebacker when it came to pass defeats. This seems to be a position where teammates frequently put up big numbers together—the Bills, Jaguars, Eagles, Chargers, Seahawks, and Buccaneers each put up two players among the leaders.

Safeties


Safety Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 NYG 21-L.Collins SAF 17 7 24
2 ARI 22-T.Jefferson SAF 7 13 20
3 PHI 27-M.Jenkins SAF 14 5 19
4 DEN 43-T.Ward SAF 13 3 16
4 LARM 25-T.McDonald SAF 11 5 16
4 NO 32-K.Vaccaro SAF 10 6 16
4 SEA 31-K.Chancellor SAF 11 5 16
8 BAL 32-E.Weddle SAF 9 6 15
8 GB 42-M.Burnett SAF 12 3 15
8 JAC 37-J.Cyprien SAF 6 9 15
8 KC 49-D.Sorensen SAF 12 3 15
8 NYJ 25-C.Pryor SAF 7 8 15
13 ARI 36-D.Swearinger SAF 9 5 14
13 HOU 27-Q.Demps SAF 11 3 14
13 KC 29-E.Berry SAF 9 5 14
16 CAR 33-T.Boston SAF 10 3 13
17 BUF 20-C.Graham SAF 9 3 12
17 DAL 31-B.Jones SAF 9 3 12
17 DET 27-G.Quin SAF 9 3 12
17 OAK 27-R.Nelson SAF 11 1 12
17 SF 29-J.Tartt SAF 4 8 12

Collins led all safeties in both total defeats and pass defeats, while Arizona's (well, Baltimore's now) Tony Jefferson was first in run defeats. Arizona had two safeties among the leaders in defeats, as did Kansas City.

Cornerbacks


Cornerback Leaders in Total Defeats, 2016
Rk Tm Player Pos Pass Defeats Rush Defeats Total Defeats
1 NYG 20-J.Jenkins CB 20 4 24
2 JAC 20-J.Ramsey CB 15 4 19
2 WAS 24-J.Norman CB 16 3 19
2 NYG 41-D.Rodgers-Cromartie CB 18 1 19
2 HOU 21-A.Bouye CB 18 1 19
6 KC 22-M.Peters CB 15 3 18
6 SEA 25-R.Sherman CB 16 2 18
8 SF 26-T.Brock CB 12 5 17
8 NE 26-L.Ryan CB 15 2 17
8 TB 24-B.Grimes CB 16 1 17
8 BAL 36-T.Young CB 17 0 17
12 LARM 20-L.Joyner CB 12 4 16
12 NE 21-M.Butler CB 14 2 16
12 DEN 25-C.Harris CB 15 1 16
12 OAK 29-D.Amerson CB 15 1 16
16 CLE 20-B.Boddy-Calhoun CB 10 5 15
16 MIN 29-X.Rhodes CB 11 4 15
16 GB 33-M.Hyde CB 12 3 15
19 DEN 21-A.Talib CB 12 2 14
19 MIA 41-B.Maxwell CB 12 2 14
19 SD 26-C.Hayward CB 14 0 14

While total defeats were down across the league, Janoris Jenkins' season was something we hadn't seen in a generation of NFL players. The last cornerback with 24 defeats in a single season was Casey Hayward, who had 25 as a rookie in Green Bay in 2012. Tramaine Brock and Briean Boddy-Calhoun tied for the lead among corners in run defeats. That's quite a turnaround for Brock -- he made 50 tackles in his first five seasons, exactly one of which came on a running play.

The Giants, Seahawks, Chargers, and Jaguars each had six players qualify in these leaderboards at their respective positions. Only one defense failed to put a single player in any of these top 20 lists: the Colts. Linebacker Erik Walden (16 defeats) and safety Clayton Geathers (10) were the only Indianapolis defenders to hit double digits in this statistic.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 15 Jun 2017

31 comments, Last at 22 Jun 2017, 10:56am by Noah Arkadia

Comments

1
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 2:35pm

With 'just' 23 defeats Luke Kuechly missed out on the overall leader table, but did anyone top him in defeats per game. He had 2.3/game, on pace for 36-37 if he played all 16.

3
by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 3:28pm

A good point, and the answer is yes. Navorro Bowman had 11 defeats in four games, which works out to 2.75 per game. Then Kuechly (2.30), then Brown (1.94). Other players with big defeat numbers in single-digit games were Justin Houston (9 defeats/5 games), Brandon Flowers (10/6), and Manti Te'o (5/3). That's two more Chargers with big years when you adjust for games played.

4
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 4:19pm

I thought about putting a qualifier of min 8 games or something, but that's an interesting list.

Houston probably got half of those in that edge-rusher-off he had against Von Miller on the SNF game.

22
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:10am

I'm really hoping Bowman can get healthy, stay healthy and hasn't lost too much speed because he's a great player to watch.

(And on a completely unrelated side note I also hope the niners move Tartt to OLB: a three man unit of him, Bo and Reuben Foster could be pretty damn good.)

2
by aces4me :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 2:46pm

I thought New England was going to end up with zero players in these lists but a couple of corners show up in the last table. Odd since they had a decent defense last year.

5
by RobotBoy :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 4:55pm

My guess would be that the Pats scheme sacrifices explosive plays on D, especially for the front 7, in exchange for limiting mistakes when players over pursue or freelance.

12
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:32pm

I would think the Pats secondary would do well in this; they've been really good for the last couple years.

17
by FireSnake :: Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:10pm

Would not agree.

Patriots D is geared towards not letting people score TDs against them. They are above average in red zone, yet they give up loads of plays in the middle of the field, including on 3rd down. I would not think they should rate high in this kind of stat.

19
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 06/18/2017 - 6:21pm

Excellent. You just made a claim about that Pts defense that's 1) objectively true or false and 2) measurable, and when the 2017 book comes out, we'll have the info to know if you're correct or not!

I'm leaning toward "not," because your claim--that the Pats D is the stereotypical "bend-don't-break" defense--seems too "common knowledge-y". Like "everyone knows you have to establish the run" is common knowledge as well. I'm skeptical that any defense actually fits that mold. A defensive is good or bad, whether at the 50 yard line or the red zone. But we'll see, it's certainly possible you're not wrong

18
by FireSnake :: Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:12pm

probably a decent sign that this kind of statistic is useless. Maybe somebody can ask Bill what he thinks about it ...

Actually a healthy and 100 percent Hightower should make the list. Did he in 2015? He is a freak when healthy, unfortunately he is made from glass.

20
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 06/18/2017 - 6:42pm

Wait, did you just suggest defeats are a "useless" stat? I always felt this was one of the most obviously relevant and applicable stats FO has dreamed up. Please note how consistent it is from year to year at identifying the league's top individual defenders (see: Watt, JJ, and David, LaVonte).

Now OF COURSE it isn't perfect, see the discussion about Buffalo defenders this year, for example. But there is absolutely no way you can suggest it's "useless" without lying and ignoring facts like you're an attorney general from Alabama.

So if you actually have an argument to back up that notion, let's hear it. But I know you don't, otherwise you'd have mentioned it already.

23
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Mon, 06/19/2017 - 2:13pm

It doesn't correlate well to defensive performance, and doesn't correlate well to player talent, so while "useless" is probably a strong word, that's the general gist. It's interesting, nothing more.

Like one of the posters says below, it's largely a measure of a combination of talent and aggression. JJ Watt is very good, and largely allowed to just go after the ball carrier, which is going to lead to a lot of defeat. There are other defensive lineman with different responsibilities, who are very good, who aren't going to show up at all.

JJ Watt is in pretty much every context, an extreme outlier. He's not who you measure the effectiveness of a stat with.

24
by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:19pm

The defensive lineman and linebacker leaderboards of defeats are basically the Pro Bowl rosters. So I wouldn't agree this stat doesn't have some correlation with defensive performance or player talent. The safety and cornerback lists don't correlate as well with talent though.

That the individual defeat stats don't match the best team defenses merely points out how dependent any defense is on its weakest link, and the ability of a coach to hide that weakness.

26
by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 06/19/2017 - 7:58pm

I agree. I concede there are two elements to a good football player: discipline and making plays. Defeats is a perfect measure of the latter.

29
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Tue, 06/20/2017 - 4:31pm

"The defensive lineman and linebacker leaderboards of defeats are basically the Pro Bowl rosters."

But that's not surprising at all. These are very noticeable plays that get called out by announcers/etc. They're exactly the sort of thing you'd expect the pro bowl rosters to be decided upon.

30
by sbond101 :: Tue, 06/20/2017 - 7:03pm

Exactly; I wish this could be re-posted 100 times. This year we saw the Pat's defense get marginally better after getting rid of it's three most athletic/flashiest players in Easly, Ch Jones, and Collins, and substitute no one anyone has ever heard of. If you had Wade Phillips, BB, or even Rex Ryan, draft a 20-man defense from the entire NFL, I suspect at least 1/3 of the players would not overlap with the pro bowl, and at least 75% would not be all-pro's. I still think this stat has value in that it clearly tells us something about players, but if I was a GM every one of these guys is going on my list of players to watch out that I don't overpay.

31
by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:56am

Some good defenses don't need great players. Also, some players from good defenses who do very well there move on and don't look half as impressive elsewhere. But those kinds of defenses are rare. In any case, good players and good defenses are two completely different things. Just because you don't need great players on your defense doesn't mean you can't tell a great one from a useful one. Rating the quality players by how useful they would be to the Pats seems like a bit of a narrow view to me.

6
by Dan :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 7:24pm

PFF thought that Preston Brown had a bad season in 2016, especially against the run. Interesting that there's such a large disparity between Defeats and their grading scheme.

See their recent article titled "Bills reportedly hosting free-agent linebacker Gerald Hodges today", which the spam filter won't let me link.

8
by Vincent Verhei :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 8:07pm

Well, defeats are just one metric we use in evaluating defenders. I wouldn't say they paint a perfect picture anymore than I would say touchdowns tell you everything you need to know about a wide receiver. Football Outsiders Almanac will include data on where players typically made tackles and how often those tackles were effective, and Brown wasn't in the top 60 at his position in those stats.

9
by kckolbe :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 9:08pm

I could see how both could be true. A combination of tackles for loss and a low grade probably indicates very aggressive tackling, sacrificing form to get there just that little bit faster. When the gamble pays off, he stops the play for a loss. When it doesn't (and I bet it often doesn't), the RB has a lot of green in front of him.

15
by sbond101 :: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 7:04pm

That's probably a good description of the whole year for the Buffalo Bills (you'll notice 3 Bills in the top 8 overall, on a defense that was well below average). Defeats is a measure of aggression/explosiveness, not how good a player is; It's why the Bills do well in the measure and the Pat's do badly, but the Pats win a ton more football games than the Bills.

I do think Defeats might be a really good "scouting" stat; I've believed for a while that the Bills had a talented enough team to contend for a superbowl with their defense alone if they could eliminate the vast number of mistakes they make on both sides of the ball. The number of players they have on the defeats leaders list would seem to support that idea.

21
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 06/18/2017 - 7:21pm

Defeats is a measure of aggression/explosiveness, not how good a player is

I think you're reading too much into one facet of the stat. The 2016 Bills defense is an outlier, and the FO guys here are doing a great job pointing out that this statistic doesn't work as well in these specific circumstances (and the problem is also a lot more prominent since it's such an abnormally low year for defeats to begin with. If Preston B. wasn't #1, and if all those Bills were diluted throughout the top 40 rather than 20, would we even have noticed anything looked strange?).

It's like Vince said above, it's one stat out of many. But I feel that over the long term, defeats is one of the most important stats we have. Unless you disagree about Watt and David being two of the best defenders of the decade...)

I do think Defeats might be a really good "scouting" stat; I've believed for a while that the Bills had a talented enough team to contend for a superbowl with their defense alone if they could eliminate the vast number of mistakes they make on both sides of the ball. The number of players they have on the defeats leaders list would seem to support that idea.

"eliminating mistakes" is a pretty specious idea. Players and coaches focus on the idea because it's something they can improve on, from their perspective. But as far as analysis, talking about "eliminating mistakes" is completely meaningless.

You are right to think Buffalo has had a defense good enough to contend in recent years (look at their recent DVOAs, this isn't an opinion, it's pretty much fact). But even without much player turnover, they did not have a top D last year (they weren't particularly unlucky injury-wise either IIRC).

Presumably the fault lies with Rex Ryan; Jim Schwartz's positive influence was strong enough to linger for awhile, but the Rex Ryan Foot & Mouth Disease finally overtook the Schwartz Bonus, or whathaveyou ;)

25
by sbond101 :: Mon, 06/19/2017 - 6:59pm

I call B.S. on your comment about mistakes. The Bills were 26th in defensive DVOA in 2016 (+8%), they also stunk in terms of traditional stats and the eye test; It all agrees, they were bad. What makes the Bill's defensive year fascinating is not that they stunk but how they stunk; They were pretty good on 3rd/4th down, and had a middling number of takeaways, and were above their DVOA ranking in 1st downs/play. The obvious outlier; "big plays", the Bill's gave up 77 rushes over 10 yards (notably the worst in the league), had the highest number of "big plays" allowed, and the highest percentage of plays that were "big plays" (based on sporting charts definition). The eye test tells you that the Bills were awful at run-fits despite having some good talent up front, and that their lack of discipline as a front probably created their "defeats" in both the running and passing game. You want to blame Rex Ryan for that, sure, I guess I can go along with that, though it sure looked like some stupid football players had something to do with it too.

27
by jtr :: Tue, 06/20/2017 - 8:17am

I think there's plenty of blame to go around to both the players and the coaches. Rex has always preferred front-seven players who are aggressive to the point of recklessness. And he and Rob both love to dial up weird blitzes and shifting fronts, gaps be damned. Discipline has never really been the most important component of a Rex Ryan defense, both in terms of preferred players and in terms of scheme. When he's got the personnel for it, like in Baltimore and early on in NY, no defense is more fun to watch IMO. When he doesn't, it's a huge mess.

28
by Led :: Tue, 06/20/2017 - 9:26am

The Ryan defenses in the early NY years were very disciplined, particularly in their run fits. However, while perhaps schematically creative, Ryan is not very disciplined or detail oriented himself. So he is a liability as a coach without assistant coaches who are. During the good, early years in NY he had Mike Pettine. The Jets defense declined significantly when Pettine left. He's a guy that I think deserves another chance in the league.

7
by Pen :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 7:45pm

Would be nice if you could add a chart listing the players with the highest Defeat %. I think that might give us a better grade of these players than raw Defeat numbers.

10
by dbostedo :: Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:01pm

So few Steelers... sigh... SMH

14
by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 3:27pm

setelelrs not playmaking type fo defense of late. that bald guy here and there btu out a lot. secondary not great.

11
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:30pm

Interesting that Wilkerson is on this list even though everyone in New York thinks he had a 'terrible' year. Also interesting that Calvin Pryor made the list as well. Good luck to him in Cleveland, and god, I wish my team wasn't so foolish.

13
by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 06/16/2017 - 3:25pm

pryor pretty crpatasic player. tool. if you leik dumb pentalties and look at me celebraitons then he is good for you. not a turnover producer. pretty mnuch junk in covergae

16
by mehllageman56 :: Sat, 06/17/2017 - 1:59pm

I felt he was good in 2015; he doesn't produce a lot of turnovers, but his hits produce incompletions, hence defeats. He probably needs to be a box safety, and not a deep free safety. He also was relatively inexpensive and probably a better player than Demario Davis, who they got for him. Now the Jets are going to start two rookies at safety. I like Jamal Adams a lot (he already looks good), but we'll see if Mayes can even stay on the field at this point.