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The 5 O’Clock Club: Statistical Data Dump

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The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

This week, I got a copy of the Football Outsiders 2021 Almanac, and I’ve been scouring the 523-page document all week. Today, I scrolled to the back of the book, where I found an appendix filled with statistical tables.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the stats from those tables that relate to players who were either on the Washington roster in 2020, or who will be on the roster in 2021, or both.

Here we go:

As a team, Washington’s defensive unit was 3rd best in the NFL in 2020 in giving up broken tackles. Seattle was the best, with a broken tackle rate of 8.5%; the Raiders were the worst at 14.9%. Washington weighed in at 10.1%, and just 84 broken tackles (compared to 127 for Las Vegas).

Cole Holcomb had the 11th best broken tackle rate, failing just 8.5% of the time (min 40 solo tackles). The best was L. Joyner with the Raiders at 5.7%. Ronald Darby ranked 15th at 8.7%.

Antonio Gibson was 15th in broken tackles for running backs (40), and had the 20th best percentage among all offensive players (19.4%). Terry McLaurin was 16th (t) among WR/TE with 14.

Antonio Gibson had the 3rd lowest yards after contact among RBs with min 100 carries at 1.95 yards per carry.

Ronald Darby was 5th overall in Passes Defensed with 16.

Montez Sweat was tied for 15th most QB knockdowns (sacks + hits) with 22.

Sweat was also tied for 12th in QB hurries, with 32.

Sweat was also tied for 3rd in the NFL in passes tipped at the line of scrimmage with 6.

A really interesting dataset sees Ryan Fitzpatrick ranked #1 in the NFL in 2020. The set of data calculates DVOA with pressure and without. Fitzpatrick was the ONLY qualifying QB to have a positive DVOA with pressure. He also was the only qualifying QB to average more yards per play with pressure than without. The final ranking was based on the difference between the two DVOA numbers. Fitzpatrick scored -18. The next best was Justin Herbert at -59.4. Jared Goff was -182.5. Alex Smith ranked 29th; Haskins was 32nd.

One stat is the “Top 10 Tight Ends with the highest rate of targets from the wide receiver position (Slot/wide)”. Logan Thomas ranked 9th overall, with 69% of his snaps coming from a WR position. According to the table, Thomas lined up as a slot receiver 75 times but only 32 times as a tight end.

Similarly, J.D. McKissic was ranked #1 among Running Backs targeted from the wide receiver position at 45%. His stats:

  • back 59 snaps
  • slot 33 snaps
  • wide 17 snaps
  • tight end 1 snap

I think these two sets of stats about McKissic and Thomas highlight what we already knew about the flexibility of Scott Turner’s offensive scheme.

Washington just got into the top-10 in percent of passes dropped, with 26 passes/4.7% drop rate. Arizona was best with a 3.1% drop rate.

I assume no one will be shocked to learn that Steven Sims had the 17th worst individual drop rate in the NFL in 2020 at 10.8%.

Interestingly, Dallas and Philadelphia both were among the 10 worst teams in drop%, with Dallas ranked 23rd and Philly 27th (6.1%, 6.5%). Miles Sanders and Ezekiel Elliott were 2nd & 6th worst in the NFL in individual drop %. Tony Pollard just made the list at 20th worst.

Football Outsiders has a stat they call “Completion percentage over expected”. Ryan Fitzpatrick was ranked 9th best on this metric among qualifying QBs just ahead of Baker Mayfield. Dwayne Haskins was the worst-ranked in this metric.

Fewest yards after catch allowed by a CB - Ronald Darby ranked 8th at 2.2 avg. His replacement, William Jackson III gave up the 17th most yards after catch at 4.3 avg.

Fewest Avg Yards on Run Tackle,Defensive Line or Edge Rusher - Chase Young ranked 10th at 1.6 yards average.

Fewest Avg Yards on Run Tackle, LB - Cole Holcomb ranked 19th at 3.4 avg.

Fewest Avg Yards on Run Tackle, DB - Landon Collins ranked 4th at 3.6 and Kam Curl 10th at 4.1 avg.

Worst twenty OTs as measured by blown blocks - Morgan Moses ranked 11th worst with 28 (Jacksonville’s two tackles Robinson & Taylor tied with the Giants’ Andrew Thomas for worst in the league with 42 each)

The twenty best as measured by snaps per blown block saw Cornelius Lucas ranked 12th best at 67 snaps. The best was Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari at 189.5 snaps. The Eagles’ Lane Johnson was 5th at 80.8. None of Washington’s interior linemen or tight ends made the best or worst list for blown blocks.

Montez Sweat tied for 2nd in a category that isn’t good — most defensive penalties. He was flagged 10 times for 80 yards.

Dustin Hopkins ranked 2nd in the NFL in Gross Kickoff Value over Average. Likewise, Tress Way ranked 2nd in the NFL in Gross Punt Value over Average.

Again, I assume no one will be surprised to learn that Steven Sims ranked dead last among NFL punt returners. Best in the league was New England’s Olszewski; best in the NFCE was Julius Peppers (7th overall). Greg Ward (Philly) and CeeDee Lamb (Dallas) were both among the bottom-10.

Washington’s defense was ranked 5th overall in 3-and-outs per drive (22%). The Rams were #1 at 28.2%. Conversely, Washington’s offense was 5th worst in this metric. The Bengals offense was worst-ranked.

Washington’s defense ranked 3rd overall in yards per drive (27.07). Again, the Rams were the best (24.96).

Washington’s offense was next-to-last in yards per drive, ahead of only the Jets.

Washington’s defense also ranked 3rd in points allowed per drive (1.74) - the Rams were #1 at 1.48.

Washington’s offense was 6th worst in points per drive at 1.75; The Giant, Eagles and Jets were worse (1.69, 1.67, 1.36 respectively).

In a fairly random stat, Washington’s defense was ranked 6th best against the shotgun.

Interestingly, the WFT defense was ranked 9th worst in defending against play action.

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