Coffee and Cigarettes: Links for Sunday

MINNEAPOLIS MN - DECEMBER 05: Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings catches a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Happy Sunday! In case you missed it, a whole bunch of stats from ProFootballFocus!

Three Years of Drop Rate: Wide Receivers | ProFootballFocus.com
It’s a new week but we’re continuing our look back at three years worth of Pro Football Focus Signature Stats, turning attention now to our ‘Drop Rate’ stat. A simple enough premise where you look at how many drops a receiver had as a percentage of balls deemed catchable. We’re going to start off by looking at the wide receivers whose primary job is to catch the ball and make plays. So let’s see which wideouts have done the best (and worst) job in this regard over the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. For the purposes of this study, wide receivers need to have seen at least 125 catchable balls come there way during the three-year span. That bar for inclusion left us with 61 receivers to consider.

Cornerbacks: The pack chasing Revis | ProFootballFocus.com
Darrelle Revis is football’s best cornerback. He is bringing the term ‘shutdown corner’ back from the brink of extinction and playing at a level nobody else has matched for quite some time. His ability to play all across the formation and take away an opponent’s top receiver allows the Jets freedom to roll things to other receivers and gives them a luxury no other team really has. He has mastered the ability to be physical with receivers, keeping it just short of the point that he gets called for it, and that in and of itself is an art form. He is in a class by himself, but are there players in the NFL that have a shot to join him on that level? We take a look.

Three Years of Pass Rushing Productivity: Edge Rushers | ProFootballFocus.com
It’s creeping up on us, but not quickly enough to satisfy us at Pro Football Focus. So to take our minds off how long until the new football season finally arrives we’re going to spend a couple of weeks looking back at some of our historical statistics. To be more precise, that means laying out three years worth of Signature Stats data, and we’re going to start by sifting out the most productive pass rushers. For those not familiar with our Pass Rushing Productivity stat it’s pretty simple. It’s not just about sacks, and it’s not just about total pressure numbers. No, it adds a degree of context by looking at just how much a player rushes the passer while valuing hits and hurries at 75% of sacks. While we recommend our grading for the best look (our grades add a further degree of context by taking into account how a player picks up pressure), for those just interested in raw numbers, it doesn’t get much better than this. With that explanation out of the way let’s get to looking at the most productive edge rushers. That’s defenders who play as 3-4 outside linebackers and 4-3 defensive ends along with 4-3 outside linebackers like Kamerion Wimbley who (as he did when with the Raiders) spend a large portion of their play at end in their team’s nickel packages. So let’s get to breaking down the 55 men who have rushed the passer at least 750 times in the regular season since 2009.

Three Years of Pass Rushing Productivity: Defensive Ends | ProFootballFocus.com
Yesterday, we kicked off our three-year look back at our Signature Stats by tucking into our first ever Signature Stat: Pass Rushing Productivity. It’s a way of determining the most productive pass rushers (as the name implies), looking past total sack numbers to examine the entire amount of pressure a player gets and on how many pass rushes it comes. By weighing hits and hurries as worth 75% of a sack, dividing by the number of times a player rushes the quarterback and then multiplying by 100 you get a shiny, nice number. We started with edge rushers, so logically we’re going to turn our attention to those playing closer to center, by breaking down defensive tackles, nose tackles, and 3-4 defensive ends. To make the list you needed to have rushed the passer at least 600 times over the past three years, leaving us with 70 brave warriors to dissect. Let’s get to it.

Three Years of Pass Rushing Productivity: Linebackers | ProFootballFocus.com
Day three in our look back at three years worth of Pass Rushing Productivity, and that means we’re moving away from those guys for whom you would consider pass rushing a primary job. After looking at edge rushers and interior defensive linemen we’re onto the linebackers (not including 3-4 outside linebackers who were looked at in edge rushers). As is always the case, we’re not just measuring their sack numbers or total pressure but rather using the unique player participation data we collect at PFF to add a further level of context by looking at which players rush the passer the most. The formula, for those who like a bit of math, involves weighing hits and hurries as worth three quarters that of a sack, dividing that number by the number of snaps they spent rushing the passer and then multiplying by 100. Just like that you have Pass Rushing Productivity. On to the findings.

Three Years of Pass Rushing Productivity: Defensive Backs | ProFootballFocus.com
Day four of our look back at some of our Signature Statistics and we’re turning our attention to defensive backs as we bring you the final installment of our three year overview of Pass Rushing Productivity data. If you’ve missed what we’ve done with edge rushers, interior defensive linemen and linebackers, then click on the links and catch up. For this piece we’re focusing on those blitzing backs who are more famed for their coverage, but capable of making big plays rushing the quarterback, nonetheless. For those not familiar with our PRP stat, it goes beyond just looking at sacks, instead adding a new level of context by analyzing total pressure and looking at how many times a player rushes the passer. Hits and hurries are valued at three quarters the worth of sacks, all of those numbers are added up and then divide by the number of rushes before being multiplied by 100 to give the PRP rating. Now let’s look at those 34 defensive backs who over the last three years have rushed the quarterback at least 75 times.

Three Years of Deep Passing | ProFootballFocus.com
We continue our three year Signature Stats series by taking a look at one of the most exciting plays in football: the deep pass. Here we will take a look at how well quarterbacks did when targeting receivers at least 20 yards down the field. While these are high risk plays–no quarterback had a completion percentage above 50%–they are also high reward, with over 28% of deep completions resulting in touchdowns. There were 42 quarterbacks over the last three years with at least 50 attempts that saw the ball in the air for 20 yards or more. In some cases you will see the All-Pro quarterbacks you expect on the various lists, but you will also see some players that could surprise you. And, while plenty of quarterbacks have found success throwing deep, there is one who stands out from the rest.

Three Years of Passing Under Pressure | ProFootballFocus.com
If a quarterback has all day to throw thanks to their offensive line doing a great job, chances are he should be able to find an open receiver. It’s when the defense is in position to bring the quarterback to the turf that we get a good idea of what the quarterback is made of. That’s why we continue our three-year Signature Stats series by looking at how quarterbacks have done under pressure in recent seasons. Many people simply look at sacks when evaluating how much a pressure a quarterback has seen. There are only a few sacks in any given game, but much more often a defensive player forces the quarterback to move around in–or leave–the pocket. While sacks tell part of the story, it is only a small part. Looking at how all of the quarterbacks have done under pressure over the last three years gives a much bigger scope of how they play in this situation.

Three Years of the Elusive Rating | ProFootballFocus.com
If there’s one thing better than a full season’s worth of data, it’s a full three season’s worth of data and we’re in the midst of bringing you the highlights from three years of many of our Signature Stats. Every season we offer up the Elusive Rating numbers–a look at which NFL runners are the toughest to bring down–and we’ve now taken the numbers from the past three years, loaded them in the hopper, and sifted it all to bring you the gold. In essence, a runner can be elusive either by running over or around would-be tacklers. He gets credit for forcing missed tackles however he does it and gets additional credit for earning yards after contact. The better he performs in those areas, the better his Elusive Rating will be. If a runner fails to make people miss, and goes down on contact, he will not score well in this aspect.

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