Each week, this column will take a critical look at key statistical trends to highlight pass rushing and tackle matchups to exploit and avoid. We'll be heavily relying on another great feature at FBG this season, the IDP Matchup Spreadsheet that will be generated by Aaron Rudnicki. That spreadsheet will contain weekly average statistical measures to help identify those defensive teams who are facing the best and worst opportunity as the season progresses. While this column will include analysis of tackle and pass rush opportunity and matchup data, it's only a fraction of the data available in the spreadsheet. We hope that the Matchup Spreadsheet and this column will join John Norton's weekly IDP projections, Doug Drinen's Matchup Analyzer Tool and our customizable MyFBG function as useful tools to assist in making weekly line-up and waiver wire decisions.
You are very welcome to the final edition of the IDP Matchup column here at Footballguys in 2019. I have been penning this defensive diary for the past several years and I am delighted to be able to share some tidbits to help you secure a league title come December.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dave Larkin. I am a veteran IDP player and what some would call a diehard fan of this game of football that we all love so much.
Defense is my passion. Over the past few years, I have assimilated countless pages of data from various sources to hone my knowledge of the defensive side of the football. Every week I will study film from the previous week’s games and provide you with nuggets of wisdom that will lead you to a championship.
The final week of the regular season can be highly unpredictable. The NFL is difficult enough to forecast as it is. Throw in the added complication of teams resting starters and you have a whole other thing to consider. The best advice is to move your championship game back to Week 16 for future seasons, but you need not worry if you’re facing your decider this week. As always, we have you covered at Footballguys.
Without further ado, let’s kick off with this week’s match-ups.
|Team Defense||Team Offense|
|LEAGUE AVG||Pressure Applied||QB||QB||Drop Backs||Pressure Allowed||QB Sacks||QB Hits||Drop|
|2016 NFL Average||14.2%||2.18||5.37||37.8||14.2%||2.18||5.37||37.8|
|2017 NFL Average||15.1%||2.33||5.49||36.5||15.0%||2.33||5.49||36.5|
|2018 NFL Average||15.0%||2.50||5.56||37.0||15.0%||2.50||5.56||37.0|
|2019 NFL Average||15.0%||2.51||5.59||37.3||15.0%||2.51||5.59||37.3|
|Team Defense||Team Offense|
|Pressure Applied||QB||QB||Drop Backs||Pressure Allowed||QB Sacks||QB Hits||Drop|
|GREEN BAY Packers||16.2%||2.5||6.0||37.1||15.1%||2.4||5.5||36.5|
|KANSAS CITY Chiefs||15.0%||2.8||5.8||38.6||12.5%||1.7||4.9||38.7|
|LOS ANGELES Chargers||13.1%||1.9||4.1||31.1||15.3%||2.1||5.9||38.7|
|LOS ANGELES Rams||15.0%||3.1||5.7||38.2||12.5%||1.5||5.0||40.1|
|NEW ENGLAND Patriots||17.2%||2.9||6.2||36.2||14.0%||1.9||5.9||41.8|
|NEW ORLEANS Saints||16.7%||3.4||6.9||41.1||9.9%||1.2||3.7||37.6|
|NEW YORK Giants||16.1%||2.3||5.9||36.4||18.0%||2.7||7.1||39.7|
|NEW YORK Jets||16.4%||2.1||6.3||38.4||19.5%||3.4||7.1||36.2|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ers||16.2%||3.4||5.6||34.3||15.1%||2.0||4.9||32.6|
|TAMPA BAY Buccaneers||15.4%||2.6||6.8||44.1||16.3%||3.1||7.0||42.9|
Pass Rushing Match-ups to Exploit
New Orleans pass rushers at Carolina
The Saints are in the green for all the primary pass-rushing metrics in our worksheet, with a pressure-applied number of 16.7%, 3.4 sacks and 6.9 hits per game. Due to the quality of their offense, the defense has been able to garner additional pass-rushing opportunities; they have faced 41.1 dropbacks per game. Expect a similar tale to unfold in this regular-season finale against Carolina. The grass field might slow down some of the more explosive pass rushers, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance.
The Panthers, after all, are circling the drain and have been looking forward to next season since Ron Rivera’s ouster. The offensive line is in tatters, with rookie left tackle Dennis Daley showing poorly in recent weeks. With Will Grier making just his second start, the Saints will key on Christian McCaffrey and force the rookie to go elsewhere. Grier held the ball too long on a couple of dropbacks last week and took unnecessary sacks. If the script plays out the same way, this could be an ugly day for the Panthers – and a potentially explosive game for Saints players.