It's Not Just About A Few Big Plays
Posted by Derek
I can't blame people looking for solace anywhere they can find it, but the comforting notion that the defense is just a few big plays away from being OK is, at best, half right.
Most of these columns were in yesterday's post, but I'm calling them out today:
Clearly the run defense has been victimized by big plays. It would be interesting to do a distribution of all plays to see just how things are breaking down, but truthfully you can just go check out the FO defensive line stats to see where the problems are / confirm everything your eyes have told you.
On the other hand, the pass defense hasn't really been boom or bust (unless you define "boom" as "sack" and "bust" as "everything else"). The big plays certainly stand out in our memories, but if you look at the number of 20+ passes we've conceded, it's pretty squarely within the historical trend.
Looking at "big plays" in a different way, it's worth checking out the Advanced NFL Stats site. Our offense is ranked 9th in terms of Expected Points Added. We're only 14th in Win Probability Added, which means we're making a lot of plays, but not making plays in the situations we most need to be making them.
On the defensive side, things are a little more consistent, since we're 29th in both measures.
And, once again, we've managed to achieve that stellar ranking against the offenses that are ranked 11th, 18th, 22nd and 31st by the EPA system.
That's good hustle.