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  1. #1

    Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats



    I think there is a real connection between having an excellent passing attack and having terrible defensive statistics, especially stats that concern the defensive secondary. If I remember correctly,both New Orleans and New England were in the top 5 worst defensive secondaries, according to statistics.Our New York defensive secondaryhas also been ranked low many times--according to the statistics. The Colts always, supposedly, had aterribledefense (at least for many years).Dan Marino's Dolphins were always ranked lowon defense. I also sawthis phenomenonin college. For several years, at Ole Miss, we hadsome high ranked defenses, but terrible offenses. However, when Eli came,Ole Missshot to the top of the nation's offensive stats--but the defensive stats of Ole Miss sunk to be ranked as among the worst in the nation--especially the defensive secondary stats. However, Ole Miss still won more games than ever. I have noticed this phenomenon often over the years. The very teams with the worst defensive secondary stats are the very teams that have great passing offensive stats.




    I think there is the tendency for some to think that New England has a horrible defensive secondary due to having bad stats. I think it is an illusion. Since New England has a high powered passing attack, other teams must throw againstthem more, just to stay in the game. This leads, inevitably, to worse stats--on paper--for the New England defense. It works the same for most other high-powered passing attacks. Look up the stats for the league's worst defenses, and Ipredict that teams with high powered passing attacks will be highly represented among the top 5 or top 10 so-called "worst defenses."




    Below are mymain hypothesesas towhy excellent passing teams also have bad team defensive stats (on paper):




    *A successful passing offense leads to the other team also passing more than normal--this leads to higher yardage stats against both defenses involved, especially stats that concern the defensive secondary.




    *A successful passing attack means more total plays in the game--this is mainly because incomplete passes run off no time. More total plays means more total yards for both teams--which, in turn leads to good offensive yardage stats and bad defensive yardage stats. On the flip side,more playswould tend to lead to higher defensive "sack" and "interception" stats.




    To sum it all up, in today's game, the team defensive stats--especially defensive secondary stats--must be taken with a VERY BIG GRAIN OF SALT.




    Do you guys have any thoughts about why so many teams with high-powered offenses also have bad defensive stats? Is it just a coincidence or is there a real connection?





  2. #2
    All-Pro slipknottin's Avatar
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    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats

    just visit footballoutsiders data.

    they adjust for things like opponent, number of attempts, things like that.

    NE's pass defense is ranked 28th by them. Giants is 21st.


  3. #3
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    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats

    Yeah, this is nothing new really...teams that play with large 2nd half leads give up a lot of yards in the second half in general. If you wanted accurate stats, you could always look at splits for 1st half only.

    I do agree in general, NE's pass defense is not as bad as it seems, but their pass rush is probably worse than they seem because they get so many more rush opportunities.

  4. #4

    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats



    [quote user="jhamburg"]Yeah, this is nothing new really...teams that play with large 2nd half leads give up a lot of yards in the second half in general. If you wanted accurate stats, you could always look at splits for 1st half only. I do agree in general, NE's pass defense is not as bad as it seems, but their pass rush is probably worse than they seem because they get so many more rush opportunities.[/quote]




    That is another good point. A team that has a large lead at halftime will give up more yards, in general.


  5. #5

    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats

    interesting post. but this doesn't reflect game schemes and plans. remember the 07 SB? we had the ball for the longest drive in SB history at around 8 minutes. we took away several possessions from NE on that drive alone.

    against good passing attacks and dangerous offenses, teams will usually try and run the ball and control the TOP to not give as many possessions to the opposing offense.

    but still, our defense was getting badly torched for much of the season. we weren't healthy and thats a big factor as to why we're playing 10x better on d. NE, well I don't know if they've had injuries or anything. I think their issues are more from a personnel stand point.

    but i agree with your overall opinion that more effecient high scoring passing offenses will put their defense out there more with the opposition having to pass to either come back or stay in the game.

  6. #6

    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats

    we gave up more points than we scored this year.

    crappy back 7 = crappy back 7
    due to the fact that I am from the Woodstock generation ...
    my opinions may be chemically enhanced and influenced by severe episodes of memory loss

  7. #7

    Re: Superior Passing Offense = Terrible Defensive Stats



    [quote user="giantsfan420"]interesting post. but this doesn't reflect game schemes and plans. remember the 07 SB? we had the ball for the longest drive in SB history at around 8 minutes. we took away several possessions from NE on that drive alone. against good passing attacks and dangerous offenses, teams will usually try and run the ball and control the TOP to not give as many possessions to the opposing offense. but still, our defense was getting badly torched for much of the season. we weren't healthy and thats a big factor as to why we're playing 10x better on d. NE, well I don't know if they've had injuries or anything. I think their issues are more from a personnel stand point. but i agree with your overall opinion that more effecient high scoring passing offenses will put their defense out there more with the opposition having to pass to either come back or stay in the game.[/quote]




    You make a good point concerning the long time of possession that we had in the super bowl. And we often have those type of possessions due to our offensive skill. However, usually those long drives contain many runs mixed in. Either way, I think that if you average all the possessions out for both teams, more passinggenerally leads tomore total plays for both teams--thus more yards.




    I would be interested to know if there is a stat that shows how many plays per game each teamaverages (on offense and defense). I think that would be the best way to normalize defensive stats. You could look at yardsallowed per play rather than yards allowed per game.I haven't had the time to average everything out, yet. So, I can't be certain that my theory is mathematically proven--it is just that my intuition says that more passing inevitablyleads to more plays (due to the fact that incomplete passes run off no time). And, I think that more plays will generally lead to more total yards for the offense (thus a higher offensive ranking), and more total yards against the defense (thus a lower defensive ranking).




    However, I will admit that I haven't had the time to look up all the stats which concern "plays per game" to see if great passing teams have more plays. I just think they would. Maybe some time I can look it up more carefully. My main concern is that I hope we don't underestimate New England's secondary due to the fact that they may have bad defensive statistics. I think their bad defensive statistics are mainly the result of their awesome passing game, not the result of a bad defense.


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