This is my assessment of what our potential improvement of our defense. Notice I say "potential" So I will point out things that could bite us in the a$$ compared to last year.
Im going to be using DVOA's from footballoutsiders.com here is the link: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef
Through this, let me analyze 2010 first, then see how we compare going into 2011.
Okay, first overall defense. On Football Outsiders, we are 15th overall on team defense with a DVOA being 1.5% (we want a negative score. This score means that we give up 1.5% more plays than we stop. To compare, Cleveland is 17th with giving up 4.1% more plays than they stop). In 2009, we were 24th. Big improvement from 09 to 2010. BUT there is more.
DVOA also takes into account weighted defense, which is defense through the second half of the season, since they believe that earlier games dont matter as much as games later in the season. Want to know what we rank there? We rank 10th, with a -2.8%. That is excellent. It is clear that later in the season, our defense came together better stopping more plays than not. DVOA also takes into account how often we are on the field due to our offense efficiency so while we look at a game where we might have given up a lot of points, DVOA takes into account how much our defense is on the field. Down the stretch, our defense improved significantly. Now, lets look our overall passing and rushing defense.
Our passing defense on football outsider's DVOA is ranked 17th with 7.7%(yikes. I'll break this down later) and our rushing defense is ranked 12th with -4.5%(surprising huh? lol I'll go into a little depth there). So we were better against the run than against the pass last year.
Im going to look at our passing defense vs. the WRs.
* #1 WR: According to FootballOutsiders, we are ranked 20th against the #1 WR with a DVOA of 5%, giving up about 51 yards a game with Pa/G of 6.6(I think it means Pass Attempts). Thats not very good. I know that Nnamdi plays only on one side and routt plays on the other. I'll do a comparison of routt and Nnamdi later on.
* #2 WR: We are ranked 13th against the #2 WR with a DVOA of -3.6%(nice) giving up about 44.5 yards a game with 5.2 Pa/G. We do better against the #2 WR greatly. This is saying we tend to have better success against #2 WRs than #1 WRs. This leads me to believe that maybe Routt was lined up against the #1s more than I thought because ROutt getting beat by the #1 and Nnam shutting down the #2(for most of the game maybe, but not all game as the other team does switch it around). AT least I think so.
* #3 WR: Apparently we do good against the #3. Our rank is 15th with a DVOA percentage of -4.9% (the teams maybe throw more to the #2 and #1 more often) with 41.8 Yd/G with 5.2 Pa/G.
* The TE: No surprise here. We rank 25, with a DVOA percentage of 14.4%(Holy SH*T!!!!!!!!!) 6.3 Pa/G with 45.6 Yd/G. It is clear that the TE is our biggest weakness on defense. We didnt need DVOA's to find that out but this just proves it. TEs are our greatest weakness. imo, I think signing Lofa Tatupu will help against TEs because he is a very good cover LB. But in either case, we need to get better with this. I hope WImbley is up to the task, or even Goethal.
* The RB: We rank 13th against the RB with a DVOA of 1%(that good..). The RBs have 6.2 Pa/G with 33.1 Yd/G. I like that we keep the RBs in check in the passing game. I hope starting Mike Mitchell will lead to a negative percentage here, and punish them RBs.
Well thats so far how we are against the pass. But since that took a while...... I'll link you the pages of Aso and Routt so you guys can compare. Just by me looking at them, I am kind of confident in Routt starting for us next season.
And I'd like to give out a few things regarding our run defense that according to DVOA was good. I am going to use run defeats, and see who are the raiders who had the best run defeats. As quoted from football outsiders:
Defeats -- important, drive-changing (or ending) plays on defense.
a high total of Defeats necessarily meant a good defense. I think it suggests a good defensive player, but no, a high total of Defeats doesn't necessarily indicate a good defense. Arizona led the league with 81 Run Defeats, and ranked 30th in run defense DVOA. On the other hand, lots of Defeats do not necessarily indicate a bad defense either. Tennessee was second with 80 Run Defeats, and ranked third in run defense DVOA.
The link: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2011/most-run-defeats-2010
In the chart, we are #3 in run defeats. Given that we are #3 in run defeats(not defeats overall i might add, which is both run and pass), and that we are 13th in the DVOA rankings against the run, we arent a terribly bad run defense as we would have thought. We give up breakaway plays every now and then, but overall against the run, we are slightly above average. I assume our OLBs will be better at setting the edge next season so I assume we will be higher in the rankings. Here are some tidbits of our players against the run:
* Lamaar Houston is ranked at THE TOP of the DL chart of DL in the league with a 91% run stop rate. With 7 defeats and only 1.3 Yd/Play toward him on the LE spot. John Henderson is 5th on that chart with a 90% stop rate, 3 run defeats, and 1.8 Yd/Play toward his area. here is the link: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2011/best-and-worst-run-stop-rates-2010
* IN run defeats, I mentioned oakland being 3rd on that chart. Here are a few players that we know that are good in run defeats:
Kirk Morrison is 3rd in JAX, with 15 Run defeats, 55 run stops out of 95 run plays(toward his area I would think) and 10 pass defeats.
Rolando McClain is 14th with 13 run defeats, 44 run stops out of 60 run toward his area(I think) and 9 pass defeats. He is over ray lewis in this chart by the way. :)
Matt Shaugnessy is 24th in run defeats with 12 run defeats, 39 run stops with 47 run plays and 7 pass defeats.
Tyvon Branch is 28th in run defeats with 12 run defeats, 29 run stops out of 61 run plays and 10 pass defeats.
Thats all I have for now. Not many people believe in DVOAs, but I like them because it takes a lot into account, and breaks down the stats to certain situations and what not. I believed I interpreted them correctly. Next post I'll give my opinion on how our defense will improve next year, and/or what they can do to improve.