There was a reader request last week for defensive strength of schedule. I ran those numbers, and the results are interesting for those mulling whether to select the Bucs, Rams or Steelers.
For this one, I took the 32 starting quarterbacks and supposed how many sacks and interceptions they’d finish with if playing a typical schedule. That is, you look at the last 3-4 years for each guy, with how many of those plays he’s been involved in, and make a guess of what you would think might happen.
For teams with quarterback competitions, I went with the player I expect will start most of their games. And for rookies, I just had to wing it. Trey Lance and Justin Fields both looked good in the preseason, but I think those guys are going to take a lot of sacks when they’re out there.
My starting point numbers are as follows …
|PROJECTED SACKS AND INTERCEPTIONS|
Next step is to take those numbers and plug them into the 2021 season, measuring which teams will project to see the most sacks and interceptions on the other side. (With the luck/chance factor with fumbles and touchdowns, I didn’t bother including them.)
As luck would have it, three of the most notable defenses – Bucs, Rams, Steelers – appear at opposite ends of the chart. Those will be the first three defenses picked in a lot of leagues, but these strength-of-schedule numbers suggest it will be hard for Pittsburgh to keep pace with those twos.
Using 2 points for interceptions and 1 point for each sack, the Steelers project to play the hardest schedule in the league. The Bucs, meanwhile, project to play the easiest schedule, with the Rams in the No. 3 spot.
|DEFENSIVE STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE|
|• Tampa Bay||13.7||40.1||67.5|
|• LA Rams||12.4||40.8||65.5|