Thursday, September 27, 2012

Playing on Paper

Football Outsiders just posted their statistics for defensive success against each type of receiver, which, of course, sent me down the rabbit hole, which, of course, led to smoking opium with a big caterpillar, which, of course, led to some insight:

  • The Vikings are currently the 7th best defense against #1 receivers. This, in theory, bodes well for their upcoming match up with Calvin Johnson. In reality, however, Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver since Randy Moss and the #1 receivers the Vikings had success against were Michael Crabtree, an old Reggie Wayne and Laurent "By Default" Robinson.
  • Indianapolis has the best pass protection the Vikings have faced this year, until Sunday, when they face the Lions. My understanding (having not watched the Indy game) is that this does not bode well for the Vikings defense, who were unable to have much of an effect on Luck and will have to get to Stafford (or Hill) for the secondary to have any chance.
  • In more positive news, Adrian Peterson has the highest Success Rate (which measures consistency by a running back) of his career, at 53%. He's been around 46% every other year. It seems like he has made an adjustment to his running style, with an emphasis on getting 4-5 yards instead of risking getting stuffed for a chance at a long play. This makes sense coming off a knee injury, although I wouldn't mind seeing him break off a 60 harder on Sunday.
  • Percy Harvin currently has an 84% catch rate on 32 passes, the highest in the NFL. The highest catch rate of any receiver with more than 100 passes thrown their way is Wes Welker in 2007, who caught 77% of 142 passes. Wes Welker was on the same team as Randy Moss and Tom Brady (Catch Percentage does not include who was at fault for the incompletion). In conclusion, Percy Harvin is an absolute beast, especially when he is running over linebackers and defensive backs that outweigh him by 50 pounds.
  • Finally, if you need another Vikings fan to follow on Twitter, I'm @tjryan41


  1. TBird:

    Regarding Peterson. I've noticed the same thing. So I started compiling the yardage results and what direction he's been running in on a play-by-play basis yesterday (which I hope will be the subject of a post on Friday). Anyway, it seems while AD isn't breaking many big runs, he isn't getting stuffed for no gain, or worse, negative gains as much as he has in the past. I'm not sure if the tradeoff is worth it. But, hey, the Vikings are 2-1.

  2. Calvin Johnson is #1 in receiving yards at 369 (123 per game), but #3 in receptions at 24. This means he's got 15.4 yards per catch, which is pretty good but puts him behind Welker among others. He's only got one reception of 40 or more yards. (also only 1 TD so far this year too!)

    Will Detroit try to throw past the secondary at Megatron or will he be terrorizing at the LB level?

    Regarding the Lions pass protection: Jared Allen's gonna throw Gosder Cherilus down a flight of stairs.