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Old 11-26-2012   #1
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Default P.King on Watt & Miller

The Deep End

Each week, thanks to play-by-play game dissection by ProFootballFocus.com, I'll look at one important matchup or individual performance metric from one of the Sunday games.

If the last six weeks of the 2012 season play out similarly to the first 10, the defensive story of the season could well be two sophomore defensive players: Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Broncos linebacker Von Miller. Their play has been so outstanding that the question might not be which deserves the Defensive Player of the Year award, but are either worthy of the MVP? I asked Neil Hornsby of ProFootballFocus.com to break down their play to try to answer those questions:

Playing Time: Watt has played 89 percent of Houston's defensive snaps and Miller 90 percent for Denver. Watt has been so dominant that teams have had to start game-planning just to stop him. So the Texans have moved him from his favored position on the left. In 2011 he was on the left 85 percent of his snaps, but it's 74 percent this year, as the Texans have shifted Watt around to counter blocking schemes. Miller has actually spent more time on his preferred left side (72 percent, up from 67 percent last year) because his position and style of play means he is far harder to scheme against. EDGE: Even.

Run Defense: Watt plays the run better than anyone else at his position (including defensive tackles). His 35 defensive stops in run defense (tackles which are defeats for the offense) are four more than anyone in football. In productivity terms that gives Watt a stop on 18 percent of running downs; the next best is Justin Smith at 12 percent. Miller can't match those pure numbers (he's 12th in the same stat against outside linebackers) but that's not his game. His position on the field distorts those figures. It's much fairer to say when he makes a play in run defense, it's usually a big one; the average gain on his 24 tackles in run defense? Minus-1 yard. EDGE: Watt.

Pass Rush: Miller is the most devastating pass rusher at any position in the NFL. There is no one on offense who can consistently match up to him; offensive linemen are not quick enough to counter his acceleration. The 49ers' brilliant outside 'backer, Aldon Smith, has 43 quarterback disruptions this year on 292 pass rushes. Miller has 61 on 297, 41 percent more on nearly the same number of attempts. Watt's base numbers are excellent too (49 quarterback disruptions from 402 rushes). They come a close second in productivity terms to the Bengals' Geno Atkins, who has 40 QB disruptions on 300 pass rush snaps. EDGE: Miller

Coverage: Well, Watt doesn't cover, so this is an odd stat for him (he's dropped in coverage only 14 times), but there has to be a way to count his passes swatted away. He has tipped 13 passes at the line of scrimmage, more than twice as many as the next player. Since 2008, the most we'd had in a full season before this was in 2009, when Johnny Jolly batted down 10. Watt is probably redefining the way in which linemen will be taught to play. Pass coverage is currently seen as a weakness in Miller's game. He's average in that regard, but compared to the other facets of his game it's clearly not as well developed. Having said that, he's only dropped in coverage on 92 plays so far. EDGE: Watt.

In Summary: Many players on defense are having great years, but no one is as far ahead of the competition as J.J. Watt and Von Miller. Just as Darrelle Revis did in the early part of 2011, they are redefining what's achievable at their positions. Who's better? Flip a coin. Good thing there are five games left for each, so one can win the award they both now deserve.

Full article
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...-12/index.html
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Old 11-26-2012   #2
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

If people think Von Miller is in a tie with Watt, then those people are crazy.

JJ Watt has astronomical numbers at a position that shouldn't have those levels of numbers. End of story.
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Old 11-26-2012   #3
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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Originally Posted by GP View Post
If people think Von Miller is in a tie with Watt, then those people are crazy.

JJ Watt has astronomical numbers at a position that shouldn't have those levels of numbers. End of story.
I think they are saying the same is true for Von Miller at his position. I think yesterday was an off game for Miller stat-wise, but he commands attention on defense. He affects the game.

I would imagine the vote here (on this board) will be split, being Von Miller is sort-of a hometown boy & Watt plays for the Texans I doubt too many people will have an issue if either were to win the MVP (which won't happen).

I do believe there should be a slight edge to Watt, but I don't know if I'm being a littel biased. Von Miller is a bad-ass.
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Old 11-26-2012   #4
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

I would take Aldon Smith over Von Miller & Watt over both.
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Old 11-26-2012   #5
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

The pass rushing stat is not really fair as von as put in a position to do that, much easier for him than it is watt. Put miller at DT or 3-4 DE and let's see how he does.
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Old 11-26-2012   #6
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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The pass rushing stat is not really fair as von as put in a position to do that, much easier for him than it is watt. Put miller at DT or 3-4 DE and let's see how he does.
No, put Miller as OLB in our 3-4 and watch him play!
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Old 11-26-2012   #7
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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Originally Posted by EllisUnit View Post
The pass rushing stat is not really fair as von as put in a position to do that, much easier for him than it is watt. Put miller at DT or 3-4 DE and let's see how he does.
What exactly is the issue for you here? They play different positions, so obviously it won't match up perfectly. The author is trying to compare and contrast two of the best defensive players in the NFL, who coincidentally were both drafted in 2011. They both play 90% of their team's snaps (which is probably why Aldon Smith was left out of this), and they both make a tremendous impact on what appear to be the top two teams in the AFC.

FTA:

Quote:
Miller has 61 on 297, .... Watt's base numbers are excellent too (49 quarterback disruptions from 402 rushes)
Watt clearly does not generate as much pressure as Miller on a per play basis. It's a fact, regardless of what their sack numbers are. Sacks are overrated, because a QB pressure that leads to an incompletion or an INT doesn't show up in the stats. Stat geeks like PFF are trying to change that perception with the type of stats presented in the article, because QB pressures and hits are often overlooked.

That line I quoted shows that 20.5% of the time Miller rushes, he disrupts the QB, whereas 12.2% of the time Watt rushes, he does the same. That's a difference in their game, but it's not a detriment to Watt, Miller is simply a better pass rusher and it's the most valuable part of his game. It's a good comparison as these two may be the top candidates for Defensive player of the year.
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Old 11-26-2012   #8
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Whatever happens will happen.

But as a Texans fan, how great is that in his sophomore year, JJ Watt is in the discussion of best defensive player in the league?

98 overall in Madden too now...that should be the tiebreaker for votes.

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Old 11-26-2012   #9
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchrudder View Post
That's a difference in their game, but it's not a detriment to Watt, Miller is simply a better pass rusher and it's the most valuable part of his game.
I agree with your post except for the bold. Even adjusting to bring in hits and pressures the stats can't be adjusted for performance in comparison to the position played. They are both fantastic. I would have called that one even with an underlying urge to say Watt because what he is doing for his position is more exceptional.
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Old 11-26-2012   #10
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

J.J. Watt is an MVP candidate. He won't win it, or perhaps even enter the discussion because he's not a QB/offensive player.

Von Miller is just a damn good, lighting quick pass rushing OLB.


Note that we're seeing the beginnings again of an old media friend: the 'Peyton love', and how everything attached to Peyton is the best. More and more affected media types are touting the Broncos as the best team in the AFC. Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis? Those are just two guys who used to be on Peyton's team.
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Old 11-26-2012   #11
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

I took exception to the media hyping up Charles Tillman for DPOTY because I felt like JJ was (still is) having a clearly superior season and is significantly more talented. Von Miller is different, dude is an animal and although JJ should still be considered the favorite I would not have a big problem if Miller won. These are two players that will likely be the gold standard on defense for the next decade plus.
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Old 11-26-2012   #12
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchrudder View Post
What exactly is the issue for you here? They play different positions, so obviously it won't match up perfectly. The author is trying to compare and contrast two of the best defensive players in the NFL, who coincidentally were both drafted in 2011. They both play 90% of their team's snaps (which is probably why Aldon Smith was left out of this), and they both make a tremendous impact on what appear to be the top two teams in the AFC.

FTA:



Watt clearly does not generate as much pressure as Miller on a per play basis. It's a fact, regardless of what their sack numbers are. Sacks are overrated, because a QB pressure that leads to an incompletion or an INT doesn't show up in the stats. Stat geeks like PFF are trying to change that perception with the type of stats presented in the article, because QB pressures and hits are often overlooked.

That line I quoted shows that 20.5% of the time Miller rushes, he disrupts the QB, whereas 12.2% of the time Watt rushes, he does the same. That's a difference in their game, but it's not a detriment to Watt, Miller is simply a better pass rusher and it's the most valuable part of his game. It's a good comparison as these two may be the top candidates for Defensive player of the year.
Miller may be the better pass rusher but that's not what the award is given for (Though some might argue that point.). It's for the best defensive player for a given year. And, if you look at all areas (sacks, hurries, QB pressures, tipped passes or PDF, TFL's, total tackles, etc...), I think you'll find JJ is the best all around defensive player in the NFL this season hands down.
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Old 11-26-2012   #13
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I agree with your post except for the bold. Even adjusting to bring in hits and pressures the stats can't be adjusted for performance in comparison to the position played. They are both fantastic. I would have called that one even with an underlying urge to say Watt because what he is doing for his position is more exceptional.
Exactly & if pass rushing is Miller's specialty...Watt's still got more sacks than he does after yesterday. Also, i don't really see Miller's getting double teamed down-in & down-out like Watt is. It's Watt & it's not close imo.
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Old 11-26-2012   #14
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I agree with your post except for the bold. Even adjusting to bring in hits and pressures the stats can't be adjusted for performance in comparison to the position played. They are both fantastic. I would have called that one even with an underlying urge to say Watt because what he is doing for his position is more exceptional.
So you're saying Watt should get a handicap because he plays a position that is traditionally not a pass rusher? Yeah, I'll still go with Miller as the better pass rusher of the two. Watt is clearly the better overall player, but he does not get to the QB as well as Miller does. Von looks like the second coming of Demarcus Ware to me.
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Old 11-26-2012   #15
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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Originally Posted by Insideop View Post
Miller may be the better pass rusher but that's not what the award is given for (Though some might argue that point.). It's for the best defensive player for a given year. And, if you look at all areas (sacks, hurries, QB pressures, tipped passes or PDF, TFL's, total tackles, etc...), I think you'll find JJ is the best all around defensive player in the NFL this season hands down.
Never said he wasn't the best all around defensive player, I said he wasn't as good of a pass rusher as Miller. The original post I was responding to was discussing the pass rushing, as if Watt needs some sort of handicap because he doesn't rush enough. He clearly doesn't need any help as his stats and performance will outweigh any perceived slighting due to his position as a 34 DE. I don't really see why this is so difficult to understand, if you want QB pressure, you get a pass rusher like Ware, Miller, Aldon Smith, Peppers, etc etc. That's their specialty. The fact that Watt is doing it at a high level this season is a bonus to the tremendous contributions he makes in other ways.

On a related note, I would love to see a stat for "Assists" when a player causes a turnover through a pass deflected towards a teammate that results in an INT. Those are WAY more valuable than sacks.
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Old 11-26-2012   #16
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchrudder View Post
So you're saying Watt should get a handicap because he plays a position that is traditionally not a pass rusher? Yeah, I'll still go with Miller as the better pass rusher of the two. Watt is clearly the better overall player, but he does not get to the QB as well as Miller does. Von looks like the second coming of Demarcus Ware to me.
I don't consider it a handicap. I consider it taking context into consideration. Miller is doing exceptionally but not at a virtually previously unseen level like Watt. In addition, many of Miller's stats come on unabated plays whereas none of Watt's do.
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Old 11-26-2012   #17
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

Geno Atkins: DPOY Candidate

I'd put Geno ahead of Miller at this point. DT less likely to get the press, but he's flat out killing it this year.
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Old 11-26-2012   #18
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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So you're saying Watt should get a handicap because he plays a position that is traditionally not a pass rusher? Yeah, I'll still go with Miller as the better pass rusher of the two. Watt is clearly the better overall player, but he does not get to the QB as well as Miller does. Von looks like the second coming of Demarcus Ware to me.
Watt is dominating so many statistical categories, sometimes by as much as a 2-to-1 advantage, that I think he's the better of the two players.

In terms of affecting the overall game of an opposing offense, whether that be the run OR the pass...Watt, IMO, is the most dominating of the two players.

Which sucks because lately no other Texans defensive player is taking advantage of the double teams that Watt has been consistently drawing by blockers. I think Cody is, as some have said all along, a most necessary component of the DL. Obviously losing Cushing sucks, too. Two of our guys on the front 7 are out, and then they're double teaming Watt....so if guys like Barwin or Reed or Smith can't find ways to make hay out of opposing QBs and RBs, then what does that tell us about those guys???? Opens up a whole 'nuther can of worms is what it does.
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Old 11-26-2012   #19
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

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Two of our guys on the front 7 are out ...
Cushing, Cody, Sharpton's in and out, Reed, Bradie James, and Dobbins. The four starting LBs are now Barwin, Mercilus, and some combination of Sharpton, James, and Ruud, depending on the weekly injury report. Further remove JJo from the back end and it's easy to see why the defense is not all that great lately.
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Old 11-26-2012   #20
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Default Re: P.King on Watt & Miller

I question those numbers.

Advanced NFL stats has Watt with 17 sacks.
The official number is 14.5, but if you count it as a QB disruption, it's 17.

Next, Watt had 13 PDs; so the running total of QB disruption is now 30 (17+13).

Then Watt had 30 QB Hits.
It gets a little dicey here since the Hits occurred after the QB threw the ball.
It could be a completed pass, it could be an incompletion as the QB may not be able to make a good throw. The ball could even be intercepted.

And then we don't have the number of QB hurries (without being hit).
We don't have the number that Watt forced a QB to scramble and run or the time he chased the QB out of the pocket.

All those things are disruptions.
I do not believe for a moment that Watt only totaled 19 of them combined.
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