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Thread: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

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    Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Man, its quiet around here... (not surprising given the time of year and the lockout).

    For those still checking in, I thought I'd take a look "inside the numbers" and see where the Rams stand among its NFC West rivals.

    Today, I'm going to look at "defensive big plays." Before looking up an stats, I came up with a formula which (and no, this is not inspired by the latest South Park episode) I'll call the Big Play Index.

    The formula is simple:

    Sacks + Interceptions + Fumble Recoveries - 20+ yard runs allowed - 40+ yard pass plays allowed = BPI.

    Here's how it came out:

    TEAM-SACKS-INTERCEPTIONS-FUMBLE RECOVERIES-20+YARD RUNS-40+ YARD PASSES-BPI
    (Leader in each category in bold)
    Arizona-33-17-13-(19)-(7)-37
    San Francisco-36-15-7-(9)-(11)-38
    Seattle-37-12-10-(16)-(11)-32
    St. Louis-43-14-12-(15)-(5)-49

    Based upon this analysis, the Rams had the best "Big Play" defense in 2010 in the NFC West by far. Will this trend continue? Well, the Rams spent their first pick in the draft on a "big play" defender in Robert Quinn, which coudl increase their already impressive (7th in NFL) sack total. I would also put good odds on the Rams signing another pass rusher, either at DT or OLB, before the season starts. This could be slightly offset by the loss of O.J. Atogwe.

    The Niners, who had the second best rating, also drafted a potential defensive playmaker in Aldon Smith, though they may lose Manny Lawson in FA.

    The Cardinals had good turnover numbers, but their pass rush was fairly weak, and they gave up too many big runs.

    The Seahawks were pretty much in the middle of the pack accross the board. Given their focus on the O line in the draft, it would not appear that a big change is coming on their defense.

    So...

    Are these numbers indicative of which team has the best Big Play Defense in the division?

    You be the judge.


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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    I'm not surprised that the Rams had the highest 'BPI' in the NFC West, the Rams got a lot of sacks last year and with sacks come fumbles. The stat that did surprise was that the Rams had the fewest +40 yard passes. I think I've probably spent too long reading media stories about the Rams' apparent weakness in the secondary but it seems it is actually pretty steady. The impact of losing Atogwe remains to be seen but I believe with Fletcher, Murphy and Stewart having another year under their belt plus Devaney will probably look to FA for more safety help but I think the secondary performance could improve.

    If the Rams can get the big FA signing we're all hoping for (Barry Cofield) I can only see the numbers improving for the D. Also, if under McDaniels the offense continues to improve it will place opposition offenses under more pressure to score/make plays which will inevitably lead to more big plays for the defense.

    I think I've just convinced myself that 10/11 wins is possible this year.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Interesting numbers.

    For me it rests on just how the defense is going to hold up over a brutal eight week opening schedule. Whilst the focus will be on Bradford and co. I feel that its how the defense plays in that period that will see how the season goes.

    People are marking that opening stretch as a reason why the Rams won't progress from 7-9 to playoffs but I see it as more of a crucible where if we come out with any kind of credit we'll gain immeasurable confidence. If the defense holds its own and gives Bradford the opportunities he needs with shorter fields and we come out of weeks 1-8 at 3-5/4-4, then we have a chance to get into the post-season given the back-end of the schedule.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Defense has enough talent and heart to get it done for Bradford. Playoffs this year has greatest chance since early 2000s.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    Interesting numbers.

    For me it rests on just how the defense is going to hold up over a brutal eight week opening schedule. Whilst the focus will be on Bradford and co. I feel that its how the defense plays in that period that will see how the season goes.

    People are marking that opening stretch as a reason why the Rams won't progress from 7-9 to playoffs but I see it as more of a crucible where if we come out with any kind of credit we'll gain immeasurable confidence. If the defense holds its own and gives Bradford the opportunities he needs with shorter fields and we come out of weeks 1-8 at 3-5/4-4, then we have a chance to get into the post-season given the back-end of the schedule.
    The rest of the division has a similar schedule. I think the key is to have a winning record in the six divisional games.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    We are going to have to win at least 4 of the divisional games if we want to make it to the playoffs. It's a tough schedule against good teams, but last season there were A LOT of huge upset games and I think that trend could continue to next year. I truly believe it's our year to take over the division not only for the year but the future as well.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Anyone wish to actually comment on the topic of the original post?
    VegasRam likes this.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Anyone wish to actually comment on the topic of the original post?
    Rams have the best big play defense.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor
    Rams have the best big play defense.
    And we have our winner!
    laram0 likes this.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    I think it will only get better. The addition of Robert Quinn should help sustain those sack numbers. I believe we will have a more experience spags pass rush system, so turnovers will go up to. I see the Cardinals D getting worse, and not much change with ***** or Seahawks unless they make huge splashes in the FA. And who knows, we might still make a huge splash in the FA.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Perhaps Fumble Recoveries and INT's should be worth a little more than a sack. If I have a choice on whether to sack the opposing QB or intercept him, I'll take the pick 24/7. Sacks are great, but a 2 yard sack on 1st and 10 might not stop the opposing team from continuing their march down the field. An INT or FR, on the other hand, puts our offense back onto the field immediately.

    Just a thought.

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramendola16 View Post
    Perhaps Fumble Recoveries and INT's should be worth a little more than a sack. If I have a choice on whether to sack the opposing QB or intercept him, I'll take the pick 24/7. Sacks are great, but a 2 yard sack on 1st and 10 might not stop the opposing team from continuing their march down the field. An INT or FR, on the other hand, puts our offense back onto the field immediately.
    I don't disagree with that, but my goal was really to come up with a "net big plays" figure, rather than a value rating. Now, it may be that some plays are being counted more than once (i.e. a sack that leads to a fumble recovery), but for the most part, the "Index" shows that the Rams were +49 on defensive big plays (less big plays allowed).

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    Re: Best of the West (Part 1): Which NFC West Team Has The Best "Big Play" Defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't disagree with that, but my goal was really to come up with a "net big plays" figure, rather than a value rating. Now, it may be that some plays are being counted more than once (i.e. a sack that leads to a fumble recovery), but for the most part, the "Index" shows that the Rams were +49 on defensive big plays (less big plays allowed).
    That's the gist I got from it. I think it tells pretty well the story of the season. And think of how much better it could've if we hadn't had all those dropped INT's. Three, in particular (Two against Tampa Bay, and Bartell's drop against Arizona in the opener), stick out to me.

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