Final word on defenses and takeaways
Posted May. 05 at 10:04 AM
Let me clarify what I said earlier. I was bumbling around, making a few points about fumble recoveries and jumped to some faulty conclusions.
What I said was that there wasn't a strong correlation between teams recovering fumbles from one year to the next. That does not mean, however, that there's no point at all in even trying to forecast that statistic.
Consider these trends from the last 10 years. So this is pulled from a group of 320 teams total.
Of the 59 teams in that group that finished with fewer than 29 sacks, I see the following:
10.3 fumbles (on average)
Look at the other end, the 57 teams (again, out of 320) who finished with 43 or more sacks:
So there is some correlation between getting to the quarterback and these other things occurring. If you can get to the quarterback and start knocking him around, you will generally tend to get more of the turnovers.
On our board, for general average-type teams, we'll project them to average 9.5 fumble recoveries (that's what the league average has slipped to). For teams that we're sure will have really good pass rushes, we'll project them to finish with about 11 fumble recoveries. For teams that can't get to the quarterback, we'll have them down at 8 fumble recoveries.
Similarly with interceptions (though you can also look a little at who's playing cornerback and safety). The NFL average will be about 16. If a team has a really good pass rush, we'll nudge it up to close 18 interceptions. If a team really doesn't have much going for it at all, then down around 14 interceptions.
We do work at this. It's our job and we take it seriously. We'll carefully look at each team and try to get each of the projections for all 32 of these defenses just right.
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | May. 05 at 12:39 PM
How do you treat a team like the Jets who over the last 2 years have been extremely bad at putting preasure on the QB but have a great secondary?
Posted by IAN ALLAN | May. 05 at 08:08 PM
That's a good point. A reminder that we can't tie sacks together with turnovers in an exact way. The Vikings, for example, had about the best pass rush in the league last year, but their secondary was so awful that they still intercepted only 8 passes. And Green Bay managed to get a ton of takeaways last year (including 31 interceptions) even though they're pass rush dropped from 47 to 29 sacks. So when I present these kind of tables, I'm only throwing out general-type ideas. We still must go through and work each defense individually.
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