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Cleveland's run preferences vs our defense's strengths and weaknesses


Mr. Scot
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42 minutes ago, CRA said:

I think our numbers are a tad skewed.  I think that is why our run defense is doubted. 

If team A allowed 4 ypc and 100 rush yards per game and team B allowed the exact same numbers…..that doesn’t necessarily make them comparable run defenses in reality.   There are other factors.  If team A played the best 17 best rush offenses and team B played the 17 worst….team has a better run D. 

we played the 32nd, 31st x2, 30th, 27th, 26th x2,  24th rush offenses.  That’s basically half the schedule catching the worst of the worst in terms of opposing rush offenses. 

... yet still gave up a lot of yards

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41 minutes ago, CRA said:

I think our numbers are a tad skewed.  I think that is why our run defense is doubted. 

If team A allowed 4 ypc and 100 rush yards per game and team B allowed the exact same numbers…..that doesn’t necessarily make them comparable run defenses in reality.   There are other factors.  If team A played the best 17 best rush offenses and team B played the 17 worst….team has a better run D. 

we played the 32nd, 31st x2, 30th, 27th, 26th x2,  24th rush offenses.  That’s basically half the schedule catching the worst of the worst in terms of opposing rush offenses. 

This argument is confusing because you're first laying the groundwork about how statistics can be misleading and skewed and that there are other factors that can contribute to these statistics that help better explain them.  But then at the same time, you're also doing what you said not to do, and blanketly referencing statistics to support an argument in your last paragraph.  So just to be clear: can we not trust the statistic that identified us as the 8th best run defense (at least in terms of YPC) but we can trust these statistics assigning our opponents the 32nd, 31st x2, etc. rush offenses?  No need to consider all these other factors that could provide a comprehensive explanation for these low rankings for opposing rush offenses?

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56 minutes ago, CRA said:

I think our numbers are a tad skewed.  I think that is why our run defense is doubted. 

If team A allowed 4 ypc and 100 rush yards per game and team B allowed the exact same numbers…..that doesn’t necessarily make them comparable run defenses in reality.   There are other factors.  If team A played the best 17 best rush offenses and team B played the 17 worst….team has a better run D. 

we played the 32nd, 31st x2, 30th, 27th, 26th x2,  24th rush offenses.  That’s basically half the schedule catching the worst of the worst in terms of opposing rush offenses. 

Ok but what did other teams play? You'd have to look at our opponent's average rush offense ranking vs. other teams' opponents average rush offense ranking for those stats to mean anything. Picking out 8 out of 17 games without any other context is meaningless.

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18 minutes ago, MasterAwesome said:

This argument is confusing because you're first laying the groundwork about how statistics can be misleading and skewed and that there are other factors that can contribute to these statistics that help better explain them.  But then at the same time, you're also doing what you said not to do, and blanketly referencing statistics to support an argument in your last paragraph.  So just to be clear: can we not trust the statistic that identified us as the 8th best run defense (at least in terms of YPC) but we can trust these statistics assigning our opponents the 32nd, 31st x2, etc. rush offenses?  No need to consider all these other factors that could provide a comprehensive explanation for these low rankings for opposing rush offenses?

I largely go off what my eyes tell me.  Stats generally never tell the full story.  I’m not making any real declaration outside of I think our opponents likely inflated how good we statistically might of appeared on paper.  

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Stats in order of importance: W vs L, Scoring, Yards and the rest is used to justify against those.

If you think YPA is more important over those then your opinion is a joke...at best. It doesn't get any easier than that kids. 

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10 minutes ago, t96 said:

Ok but what did other teams play? You'd have to look at our opponent's average rush offense ranking vs. other teams' opponents average rush offense ranking for those stats to mean anything. Picking out 8 out of 17 games without any other context is meaningless.

I would assume majority of teams didn’t get a schedule stacked so heavily with so many bottom dwellers like us.    It was a pretty good schedule to be light on run defense IMO.    

Just the luck of the draw.  I mean, some teams get tougher opponents, offenses, passers, rushers, whatever on the year.  We didn’t have a bad schedule last year. 

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3 hours ago, DaveThePanther2008 said:

As great as the passing game can be, it is and always will be teams that can run and stop the run are usually playoff teams. 

"can run and stop the run" - Of the 14 playoff teams from 2021, only 3 (SF, TEN and PHI) were top 10 in both rushing and rushing defense.

Of the 14 playoff teams from 2021, only PIT was bottom 10 in both rushing offense and rushing defense.

6 playoff teams were top 10 in rushing offense (TEN, PHI, SF, plus NEP, BUF, DAL)

6 playoff teams were top 10 in rushing defense (TEN, PHI, SF, plus CIN, TB, LAR)

5 playoffs teams were bottom 10 in rushing offense (CIN, LV, PIT, TB, LAR)

Only 2 playoff teams were bottom 10 in rushing defense (NEP, PIT). KC just missed the cut at 21st.

The two Super Bowl teams were 23rd and 25th in rushing offense, but both were top 10 in rushing defense.

This analysis seems to support the idea that rushing defense is more important than rushing offense, especially if you have an elite QB. But you better do one or the other well. You can make the playoffs without being able to stop the run, or run the ball (PIT) but it's unlikely (1 out of 14).

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8 minutes ago, Pakmeng said:

The top 17 vs bottom 17 things doesn't work because that situation doesn't exist. Teams play overlapping schedules. 

What if those bottom rushing offenses are because they play top rushing defenses with half their schedule? You can do this forever. 

We can just name them.  I think the Jets, Hou, Miami, Falcons, Giants , Bucs etc overall largely just weren’t very good teams running the ball.  

You want to argue they simply played great run defenses all year and weren’t weaker rushing teams? 

eyeball test matches up IMO

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Just now, CRA said:

I think the Jets, Hou, Miami, Falcons, Giants , Bucs etc largely just weren’t very good teams running the ball.  

Season long rankings tend to support your supposition.

Since I had the numbers handy: Jets (27th), Hou (32nd), Miami (30th), Falcons (31st), Giants (24th) , Bucs (26th)

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1 hour ago, hepcat said:

Panthers gave up 100+ rushing yards in most games they lost last season so that’s a lot. Their rush defense statistics were wildly thrown off by the first 3 games of the season. The defense wasn’t that good.

This plus look at that first chart, most of the runs were up the middle against us even though we gave up so much worse ypc on the outside. We had a great start against the Jets, Saints with no coaches and Houston. We then went 2-12. Guess what? Teams got ahead of us and then ran the clock out hence the up the middle stuff. Heck, how many kneel downs did we have against us as well? How many short yardage/goal line runs as well? We were 21st in scoring D as opposed to 8th in ypc. We got outscored by 139 points (10 per game) after the first 3 weeks so we were always behind. 8th in ypc is definitely a misleading stat for us because we weren’t a good defense after week 3 outside of Arizona who we somehow handle every time.

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1 hour ago, CRA said:

I would assume majority of teams didn’t get a schedule stacked so heavily with so many bottom dwellers like us.    It was a pretty good schedule to be light on run defense IMO.    

Just the luck of the draw.  I mean, some teams get tougher opponents, offenses, passers, rushers, whatever on the year.  We didn’t have a bad schedule last year. 

I wouldn’t make that assumption, statistically. I’m not gonna take the time to look at every team’s schedule and compare but just the numbers you provided don’t stand out to me as being particularly easy, statistically. The only way to make sense of and take anything away from it would be to compare across all teams and the full schedule.

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1 hour ago, stbugs said:

This plus look at that first chart, most of the runs were up the middle against us even though we gave up so much worse ypc on the outside. We had a great start against the Jets, Saints with no coaches and Houston. We then went 2-12. Guess what? Teams got ahead of us and then ran the clock out hence the up the middle stuff. Heck, how many kneel downs did we have against us as well? How many short yardage/goal line runs as well? We were 21st in scoring D as opposed to 8th in ypc. We got outscored by 139 points (10 per game) after the first 3 weeks so we were always behind. 8th in ypc is definitely a misleading stat for us because we weren’t a good defense after week 3 outside of Arizona who we somehow handle every time.

Agreed. All the good stats the defense has last season are very misleading because when you zoom out it wasn’t at the level the overall numbers represent. That said, a bad and turnover prone offense did them no favors.

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5 hours ago, Pakmeng said:

Tweet is gone. I'm going to guess he took it down because it made Burns look bad and upset Stanley McClover.

Actually, I took it down because it was from the NFL comms stats hub, and they're not big fans of folks screencapping that data. Judgement call to avoid getting someone in their comms dept up my rear end about it. 

Stanley and Brian aren't that soft, FWIW. 

Hope you've had a good one. 

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6 hours ago, Mr. Scot said:

A timely post by our buddy John Ellis...

In summary, Cleveland's run game last season worked best going either wide left, off tackle right, off tackle left or wide right.

Teams running against us tended to prefer going up the middle but had their best success off tackle / wide left or off tackle right.

Sad to say this doesn't exactly constitute a ringing endorsement of Brian burns as a run defender last season 😕

Bottom line though? They run well in areas of the field where we've recently been weak.

If I'm not mistaken, teams started running against us when Horn went down. We stuffed the Saints run but when we lost horn we had to change. I don't expect us to have as much trouble this season and we have added or promoted players   to help there as well. 

So last year was last year, this year we'll see soon enough but I won't look for reasons to expect failure. 

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