This season, defense has slowed superstar quarterbacks. What’s wrong? | NFL

After 20 years of rapid growth NFL I hit a wall this season.

Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, as you can imagine, had a great time this season. But they also suffer from spells, fighting unpleasant plans, rough offensive line play, injuries and illnesses.

From time to time, vision tests can become unstable. However, the statistical case is clear.

Use the Expected Value Addition (EPA) as a measuring bar. The EPA measures the value of each play and gives individual players positive or negative scores on how they perform above or below what is expected based on past case law. Assign.

The current leader of the per-play EPA quarterback is Kyler Murray. The Cardinals star is the only NFL of the season to exceed the 0.250 threshold, which marks a great play in that position. His current EPA per play is 0.263.

But that number wouldn’t have been noticeable over the last five seasons.Murray’s current mark would have seen him finish 6th Among the qualified quarterbacks a year ago, seven quarterbacks cleared the 0.250 threshold. The year before, four quarterbacks cleared the mark. The year before: Four again.

It should be noted that Murray has missed three games this season. He may have extended his lead, but he may have fallen back towards the puck.

The deeper you dig, the more you can see the decline. The league’s middle class has receded: the sixth highest-ranked passerby this season would have been 16th before the season. And since the 9th week, many teams have had an important buy-week and have been given the opportunity to fine-tune their attacks. The most effective quarterback in football is … Taylor Heinicke. And at some distance:

There’s a caveat to these numbers-there are only two differences in schedule strength and Murray’s injuries-but the numbers show the overall point: the quarterback struggled in 2021.

Some of this is a fundamental part of the sport and is the nature of offensive vs. defensive seasewing. There is nothing new in football. Anyone on the other side of the ball will find the counter. A new idea becomes an old idea. New things will take root.

For the past five years, smart teams have adopted reliable concepts that work at the professional level and combined them with new ideas born from the age of enlightenment in college football. The era of pace and space has become professional and the league hasn’t looked back since then. Combining savvy construction with the most dynamic players to play the most important positions ever, you’ll get something closer to football nirvana.

The Chiefs and Packers burned fools with such a structure. A quarterback who was at a loss to start his career while in Buffalo, San Francisco, and Tennessee suddenly became an MVP candidate, or at least reached the quarterback limit you could win. The middle chain of quarterback talent has been lifted to a new height. It’s a great place that was almost unthinkable these days, as in the 2010s.

This season, the defense has counterattacked. The team has shifted to two deep safety areas all at once, keeping as many men as possible for as long as possible. This strategy aims to block deep shots in the field. By doing so, they are a bold pass-heavy team, built to play in quarterbacks to run the ball or drive the field in small chunks, rather than to make big profits in the air. increase. Offenses have difficult choices left. Either remove the ball completely from the quarterback’s hand, or ask a batch of off-script freelancers to play perfectly in 15-play increments.

The defense wants the opponent to play 10 to 20 times per possession, hoping to flip the ball or make a mistake before the opponent scores. Would Mahomes and Rogers be willing to take an easy and short pass instead of hanging out to develop something in the field? Will Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow get angry because they want to put their bombs aside and spoil them? That is the defense of gambling.

It’s a more conservative style, but it worked. Some of the league’s most prolific scoring machines are trapped in the mud. The only answer: To make the ball run more, it’s a disgust for some of the game’s most positive and aggressive minds, and you need to perform a perfect 11-person ballet rather than the individual brilliance of a quarterback. there is.

The crime of moving to a more execution-focused plan is itself a victory for most of the league’s defenses. There’s a reason Bill Belichick and the Patriots are at the top of the AFC in seasons that require defensive ingenuity, quarterback efficiency, and run-game versatility.

To win this year’s title, the team needs to run the ball well Forces defense from two depths of shells, sneaking additional defenders to the line of scrimmage and stopping execution. The league’s most effective attacks have already adapted. So far this season, there’s no award to speculate that the Super Bowl’s three favorites, the Cardinals, Patriots, and Packers, are in the top six in the run-game EPA per play. Defending champion Bucks sits in 10th place.

Last year Buccane was as comprehensive a champion as the league created. Offenses, defenses, special teams … you name it, they did it at a high level.So bring everyone back It was very important from the group that year.

A similarly solid team is needed to break through the playoffs that this turns around. There is no hiding place for teams that have been purely promoted by the brilliance of the most important players on the field.

The NFL’s natural cycle turned around in support of the defense and wiped out the stadium. Now it’s time for the sports top offense mind to find the counter. And the best answer may be the oldest of all of them: line up the big guys and run the ball.

This season, defense has slowed superstar quarterbacks. What’s wrong? | NFL

Source link This season, defense has slowed superstar quarterbacks. What’s wrong? | NFL

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