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Old 02-05-2009   #21
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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The scary thing is... I know what all of that means...
Not me, I had statistics from 6-8:30 every Tue/Thur night. All I was thinking about was food and how much my Prof looked like Rick Moranis from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
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Old 02-05-2009   #22
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Good work gtexan02, and a nice thread!
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Old 02-05-2009   #23
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

i'd rep if i could (must spread it first)
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Old 02-05-2009   #24
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

How did I miss a statistical discussion? Wow, I'm a little late in the game. Oh yeah 12 hours shifts for 9 days in a row.

If you want my take, here it goes.

Interceptions are a rare occurrence. They are dependent on several things. First the QB has to make a mistake. We're going to assume that often times this is a mistake due to either disruption by the DL or a blitzing DB/LB or having a route disrupted. Second you need a DB (usually) to make a catch. Often the reason they are DB's and not receivers is that they don't have the hands to make the catches (among other reasons).

The idea of comparing it to QB rating is exceptional in this situation if you ask me. But rather than comparing teams/season you might try (sacks+hurries+knockdowns) to QB ratings in individual games. if someone can get me the number (damn 12 hour shifts) I'll make sense of them. The problem with using just sacks in this equation, is that I don't think its pressure from the side that makes the difference. Often the QB can step up into the pocket. Sacks are great don't get me wrong, but the QB just goes down. If you're looking to affect him, get pressure in his face.

I did a writeup a while back and went and looked it up. It doesn't really answer the question so much as highlight how difficult what you're trying to assess on defense. There are too many factors. Its kind of like the old "bikini wear among women and short wear among men are both directly coorelated to ice cream sales in Miami." Obviously men and women get hungry for ice cream when they see the opposite sex dressed in a piece of floss... (the obvious factor left out is the fact that when its hot you wear shirts/bathing suits AND eat ice cream.

Here's something to chew on though:
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Originally Posted by Texanmike View Post
This was born in another thread when Relianttexan asked me "If your going to judge the colts run defense on how they played in the playoffs then why not judge our defense in yds allowed the last 13 games of the season in which they were ranked 12th not 23rd.Or how bout we judge them the last 10 games of the season in which they were a top 10 D." I had pretty much ignored that "fact" because I didn't think it was possible that it was true. So this whole post is basically an answer to that question, but because of the scope it entails, I felt it was worthy of its own thread. This post will probably come in several parts because I see it being a lengthy but worthy read.

There is no standard for comparing defenses. You can rank them a number of ways. Ranking them by points allowed doesn't always work because its possible that the team's offense puts them in a bad position. So then you turn to yards. But then you have those bend but don't break situations.

My first inclination, when I read this was to simply take last year’s games, subtract the first 3 games stats from the total stats. Then Divide that number by 13 to get the average of the last 13 games. Then multiply those numbers by 16 to account for a full season. And Yardage wise, I'm proud to announce our Texans would have finished 13th overall in total yards, 14th overall in Rushing yards and an astonishing 11th in passing yards. If only it were that simple.

In some areas of the country, yards do count in the outcome of the game. Certain states will award a win to a team if after an overtime period teams are still tied, they count trips inside the 20 yard line and then total yards to determine the winner of a playoff game. Alas that is H.S. football. In the rest of the football world, the object of the defense is to keep the other team from scoring and if possible score themselves. Since for the most part defensive scores are an anomaly (with a few exceptions) they don’t really figure into the quality of the defense (despite what any fantasy football player would tell you) we will disregard them for this discussion. Points can’t be that determining factor either though. That is because the defense doesn’t play in a vacuum. Some offenses have a tendency to put defenses in a bad situation, or leave them on the field forever. So if you can’t look at yards and you can’t look at points, what can you possibly look at to give you an accurate measure of a defense?

It was no surprise to me that total yards = points. Mathematically that’s easy to prove. That’s probably why it’s not the most useful stat to break down defenses with. But if you split up yards by total rushing yards and total passing yards rushing yards figure into the equation much more heavily than passing yards, in fact Passing yards is around the threshold of the critical value of r – meaning it just barely meets the criteria for a correlation. That is because unlike rushing (in which a failed carry results in negative, or 0 yards) a failed pass attempt doesn’t really show up in the passing yardage. It’s just not a very effective way to measure passing effectiveness (or pass defense effectiveness).

This leaves you with yardage. What do you consider? Total yardage? That doesn't make much sense to me. Especially considering that the Ravens had almost 15% fewer plays on defense than the Titans did. I think that leaves you with yards per play. But I had to look to make sure there was a statistical significance between yan yards per play and points. So here is what I did. I took several major categories and from each team for the 06 season and compared them to points against. I then took the correlation coefficient and ranked them to attain the most relevant statistics. Here is a look at what each of the following statistics tells us and its correlation coefficient:

(note. The closer the number to 0 the lower the correlation. )


Total Yards ( .757) - This obviously has a high correlation to points. But like points it really doesn’t tell us much. Because total yardage is divided into two separate categories and doesn’t measure the importance of run versus pass defense, nor does it tell us what components of each respective aspect of the game are most important. It’s not a bad way to rank total defense but doesn’t account for those defenses that give up a lot of yards while not giving up many points.

Rush yards allowed (.549) /Pass yards allowed (.332) – The odd thing about this is that passing yards had such a low statistical significance. As a sub discussion of total yards they are helpful, but given the difference in plays from scrimmage on one side of the ball or another which isn’t accounted for, they may not be much help either.

Yards / Play (rushing and passing combined) (.772) – This was slightly higher than just total yardage. It tells you on each play what a defense yields. It will tell you, overall how the defense faired. What it won’t tell you is how the run defense faired or how the pass defense faired. It is very similar to total yards in that aspect but it also accounts for the fact that some teams had 800 something plays while others had over 1000.

Yards per Carry (.506) – I split this up from Yards per pass for a reason. It is kind of like the inverse of the whole completion % problem. Teams that allow a team to run the ball for say 3.4 yards, if they give up more rushes will actually stay on the field longer than a team who gives up 4.4 ypc. The whole 3 yards and a cloud of dust, take time off the clock phenomenon may be playing tricks with the numbers here.

Yards per Pass Attempt (.612) – Think of these as the WHIP of football. Statistically almost as significant as total yards by themselves they give you a better idea of what a team does on a per play basis. Ideally you would be able to split them up to where they happen but that involves a ton of work just to collect the numbers. Because yards/catch is so similar among teams Yards/Pass attempt winds up with an almost identical number to comp%.

Comp% (.615) is a little different number. But every bit as valid. Maybe more so. Most teams in the league will rank about the same in completion percentage that they would YPA since most teams are with in 2.5 yards per reception. Completion % though was a huge difference.

There will always be people who rank defenses differently. It is an inherently subjective ranking. You can argue that injuries, or a few bad games, or a few good games will skew the numbers. Between eras it becomes even more difficult. With the passing game having evolved as it has over the last 50 years more plays get run in a game. If you were going to ask me to use two barometers to to rank defenses within a certain year (2006 specifically) I would use the rushing yards against and completion% against numbers. They are specific enough to tell you something about the two different aspects of the defense while being broad enough to be categorized. An example of a stat that doesn't do that would be the yards per catch against. It doesn't take into account the completion% which since each team has a pretty close yards per completion average, is a stat that definitely figures into the effectiveness of any passing game.

I haven’t run the numbers yet to see where the Texans stand in those categories (to eliminate bias when I finally answer the question) but I will in the morning and then I’ll finally answer the question I started out trying to answer.

Mike
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Old 02-06-2009   #25
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

I hear what everyone is saying, but I don't know that I really think we need to look at QB hurries, and heres why:

The beauty of statistics is that we can look at a very large number of occurences, and, in effect, sort of minimize the importance of outlying values. As a result, I think sacks serve basically the same purpose as QB hurries/knockdowns.

If you're looking at one game, you might have a team that knocks the QB down six times, but never actually sacks him. If you look at the next game, that same team might make it to the QB only 3 times, but might sack him every single time. Based on the law of averages, you would expect that if you look at a large enough population, this would even itself out.

A team that gets into the backfield a lot (i.e. has a good pass rush) is going to get more sacks throughout a 16 game season (and especially over a 5 year period) then a team with a poor pass rush. We don't need to know the number of QB hurries/knockdowns, because I think it would be very easy to see that QB hurries and sacks are highly related.


I also see your point about swimwear and bathing suits. But the argument that I was specifically addressing was the following: Does a more active pass rush generate more interceptions?

There are a lot of things that go together in this, but my point was to disprove that a really good pass rush by your front 4 will automatically result in better play by your secondary (in terms of getting INTs)

The Texans have always had a poor pass rush. And we've usually been in the bottom half or worse in takeaways. We get our fair share of fumbles, but we rarely snag many interceptions. The reason given was that our pass rush allows the QB so much time to throw the ball, that our DBs simply can't cover long enough.

If you watch games, you'll see that this is true in many instances. Sometimes our pass rush is so awful that an opposing QB really can pick us apart. But the general trend seems to indicate that turnover oriented defensive backs are much more important than a strong pass rush. This leads me to believe that many INTs are not the result of poor decisions by the QB, but good moves by the defensive backs.

Having a strong pass rush probably results in 3-5 more turnovers over the course of a year. But a team that gets 30 INTs in a season does so because of its secondary. Not its front four.

Teams like Dallas and Cincinnatti of a few years ago prove this point pretty effectively. Dallas had 60+ sacks this season, and single digit INTs. Id be willing to be they led the league in QB hurries as well. Cincinnati a few years ago had 31 INTs but was almost dead last in sacks. I'd be willing to bet they were pretty low on QB hurries as well
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Old 02-06-2009   #26
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Sacks might hurry a throw but you have to have the hands to catch that throw. Reeves started coming to work but the rest of our guys need some serious training.

When you put a Mario on the feild with a Palalomu(sp) you are bound to come up with fantastic results


I hope Dunta is fully recovered and hits like he used to.
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Old 02-06-2009   #27
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Good readings!
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Old 02-06-2009   #28
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Well lets put it like this, take away the Titans pass rush and Hope doesn't make the Pro Bowl. Probably Griffin as well, I think Finny would still have made it.
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Old 02-10-2009   #29
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

You have to marry everything together. Pressure leads to picks and coverage leads to sacks is the general rule. Another thing yu have to do is match it up with the offense. A good offensive that scores points put the pressure on the other team. So a team like the cardinals, some of their defensive stats are skewed. Teams will go away from the run game and starts to pass which means the dc can dial up the blitz.
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Old 02-10-2009   #30
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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You have to marry everything together. Pressure leads to picks and coverage leads to sacks is the general rule. Another thing yu have to do is match it up with the offense. A good offensive that scores points put the pressure on the other team. So a team like the cardinals, some of their defensive stats are skewed. Teams will go away from the run game and starts to pass which means the dc can dial up the blitz.
Thats the point of this thread. Does pressure really lead to picks? How does a team get 60+ sacks and only 8 INTs during the year? The stats don't hold up when you really look at it. Good DBs lead to picks.
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Old 02-10-2009   #31
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Sacks doesn't mean they were getting consistent pressure. A team like the cowboys this season had guys that go there for the sack, but they had inconsistent pressure. I do believe the tight windows lead to ints. If you watch Baltimore or even TB, their lb's really squeeze the windows. LB's are huge in coverage because they have to cover the middle of the field and the flats . The year the ravens had that great d, they only ha 35 sacks, but they generated a lot of pressure. I don't know the qb knock downs , but pressure is more than just sacks.
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Old 02-10-2009   #32
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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Originally Posted by leebigeztx View Post
Sacks doesn't mean they were getting consistent pressure. A team like the cowboys this season had guys that go there for the sack, but they had inconsistent pressure. I do believe the tight windows lead to ints. If you watch Baltimore or even TB, their lb's really squeeze the windows. LB's are huge in coverage because they have to cover the middle of the field and the flats . The year the ravens had that great d, they only ha 35 sacks, but they generated a lot of pressure. I don't know the qb knock downs , but pressure is more than just sacks.
You're right that pressure doesn't always equate to a sack. But when you look at an entire season, vs one game, I think the two become much closer. A team that consistently gets good pressure is going to get more sacks than a team that doesn't. The odds are just in there favor. If you only get 2-3 chances a game to get a sack, you'll liekly end up with fewer than a team that gets 5-6 chances per game. Part of it depends on personnel, but part of getting sacks is just making opportunities. I don't know I really believe that the Cowboys had inconsistent pressure this season. I bet if it was available, the knockdowns/hurries for the Cowboys would be tops or close to it in the league as well
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Old 02-14-2009   #33
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

is this a coy attempt to answear the question should the Texans resign Dunta Robinson or draft a CB over a DE? which ever direction they choose it will tilt the strength of talent. why not just compromise & go LB that way you get coverage/int with sacks/pass rush?

Past six winners of NFL defensive rookie of the year

2003 - Terrell Suggs
2004 - Jonathan Vilma
2005 - Shawne Merriman
2006 - DeMeco Ryans
2007 - Patrick Willis
2008 - Jerod Mayo

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Old 09-28-2012   #34
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

I know this is an old thread, and there was some controversial aspects to it, but I thought I'd revive it anyway!

I've been doing some more correlations for fun with a friend, and came across this idea again. Here is how it shaped up for last season (2011):

1. No significant correlation between Sacks and QB Rating - R value of -0.1 and a P value of 0.5. A negative R value means that the trend was actually negative.

2. No significant correlation between Sacks and INTs - R value of -0.1 and a P value of 0.4. Again, a negative trend. Just as the historical data showed.


I'll have to wait a few more weeks to see how the numbers for this season are looking, but there are already some interesting teams. The Bengals, for example, 4th in the NFL with 11 sacks but allowing opposing QBs to a 110 QB Rating. Meanwhile Philly and Atlanta are holding QBs to <60 QB rating while only having 7 sacks.

Anyway, the point was that just because Barwin and Reed and company haven't been racking up the sacks as often as we expect, our pass defense is doing fine.

Our pass defense made a big change when we signed Jonathan Joseph and Daniel Manning. Having a great pass rush helps, but it won't substitute for a stud secondary.

I dont have the ability to look at the impact of JJs freakishly long arms though. I bet that would correlate pretty handily with QB Rating
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Old 09-28-2012   #35
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

I think hurries would be a signifigant consideration as well as a defensive backs ability to actually catch the ball. I know i've seen a number of should be interceptions mishandled by the texans secondary this year already.

Good stuff gtex.
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Old 09-28-2012   #36
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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I think hurries would be a signifigant consideration as well as a defensive backs ability to actually catch the ball. I know i've seen a number of should be interceptions mishandled by the texans secondary this year already.

Good stuff gtex.
If someone could tell me where to find QB hits or QB hurries I would certainly love to look at that.

As for the dropped INTs, man, isn't that true. Especially against Peyton.
I also remember a few years ago when we had Will Demps and his giant cast he had trouble catching balls but could still bat them down
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Old 09-28-2012   #37
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
1. No significant correlation between Sacks and QB Rating - R value of -0.1 and a P value of 0.5. A negative R value means that the trend was actually negative.
Are you sure about this one? - it doesn't pass the eyeball test looking at the stats for this year. Comparing the top 16 (lowest QB rating) with the bottom, the top 16 have 4 of the 5 double digit sack teams and all three of the 9 sack teams. The only 8 sack team is at #17. Four 7 sack teams are divided evenly with 4 each. Like I said, I am just eyeballing it and when 7 of the top 8 sack teams are in the top 16 on QB rating and the next 9 are a wash almost making it 11 of the top 16 sack teams are in the top 16 for QB rating it seams odd to find no correlation.
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Old 09-28-2012   #38
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Are you sure about this one? - it doesn't pass the eyeball test looking at the stats for this year. Comparing the top 16 (lowest QB rating) with the bottom, the top 16 have 4 of the 5 double digit sack teams and all three of the 9 sack teams. The only 8 sack team is at #17. Four 7 sack teams are divided evenly with 4 each. Like I said, I am just eyeballing it and when 7 of the top 8 sack teams are in the top 16 on QB rating and the next 9 are a wash almost making it 11 of the top 16 sack teams are in the top 16 for QB rating it seams odd to find no correlation.
Yeah, no significance to the correlation. But its close for this year. Sacks are a relatively rare event, and so the numbers for this season probably aren't very meaningful. Over the course of an entire year they will likely even out. A team like Seattle had 8 sacks in 1 half last week. Events like that skew the results.

Also, I was incorrect in my explanation of the trend. (Probably shouldn't be posting at 2am haha). Anyway, a negative correlation is the expected outcome. More sacks should result in a lower QB rating, so a negative trend would be what you would expect. A positive trend (more sacks = higher QB rating would have been the surprise). Anyway, the correlation was still pretty weak. Heres the data breakdown:

Here is the 2011 data. One point per team. A big reason there was no statistical significance to this is probably because of the Minnesota Vikings. They had 50 sacks last season (good for 1st in the NFL) . However opposing QBs managed a 107 QB rating against them (good for last in the NFL).


Here is the data from 2012. More of a trend here, but not "statistically significant." Probably too early to make determinations. Will update later. Remember that when I did this analysis originally there wasn't a lack of connection between sacks and QB rating, only sacks and INTs. But I think the point remains-- a good pash rush can't, by itself, fix a weak secondary. Teams can scheme around a good pash (or a good secondary, but thats a different story) with things like quick slants, 3 step drops, etc.


Here is an example of a statistically significant correlation. This is from last year. Teams with high QB Rating tended to win more games. If there were any doubts that this is a passing dominated league, there was almost zero correlation between rush yards per game and wins.
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Old 09-28-2012   #39
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

Graph QB Rating differential (Team's QB Rating - Opponent's QB Rating) against wins. That should be interesting and probably even a stronger relation.
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Old 09-28-2012   #40
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Default Re: Are pass rush and interceptions really related?

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
Graph QB Rating differential (Team's QB Rating - Opponent's QB Rating) against wins. That should be interesting and probably even a stronger relation.


R value of almost 0.9 (stdev of 1.5). Thats an incredible correlation. Good idea

Heres the fit equation:
y = 0.17x + 8.12 where y is the number of wins and x is the qb rating differential.

If we assume our offense and defense play the same way throughout the rest of the year, we are currently playing like a 14 win team (on the 2011 scale). Of course there is likely to be some regression toward the mean for Schaub (Career passer rating of 92, never been above 98, currently at 102) and possibly for our defense as well once we start playing better QBs. Last year our defense held opposing QBs to 69 passer rating. So if we assume that Schaub stays healthy and has about a 96 passer rating (very reasonable) and our defense regresses a little towards 75 (very reasonable) we are still looking at 11 - 12+ win range
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