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From the FanPosts -Joel
Two weeks in. 0-2. Most of the "doom-and-gloomers" are out and about. I have made some comments after week 1 about the defensive stat lines, but now that Week 2 is in the books, I thought I'd do an overlook of what our "terrible, crappy" defense had done so far. I'm well aware that you're all able to go on NFL.com and read through the stats, the same as I am, but for those who'd like a comprehensive stat analysis without doing the work yourself, this post is the one for you.
To the JUMP!
Alright, first and foremost, all you "Ravens and Raiders don't have an offense" naysayers, can it. It's two weeks, it's what it is, and I'll get to an equal qualifier as the post goes along. Now, for some relevant stats.
The Ravens and the Raiders have two of the better rushing attacks in the league. Last year, both teams were in the top 10 in the league in rushing yardage per game. Rushing yards should be a decent barometer against these teams. The stats (and last year's):
Yards per game: 132.5 (21st) -- 158.9 (30th)
Attempts per game: 33 (6th) -- 31.8 (4th)
Yards per attempt: 4.0 (14th) -- 5.0 (30th)
So, against two of the top 10 teams in the league in rushing, we've put together 25 less yards per game, with more attempts, making a full yard less gained by the opposition. Obviously, the Ravens ran better on us than the Raiders, but two games is two games...and with two run heavy teams. 14th in the league in yards per attempt isn't fantastic, but those making us out to have been run over should look at that stat closely. People still run on us often, as the attempts per game shows, but a yard per game difference makes a big...well, difference in the end game.
Last year the Ravens and Raiders ranked 28th and 32nd in passing yardage per game. This year, they're 13th (Ravens) and 29th (Raiders). So, we're talking about an upgrade for the Ravens, partially due to our first game, and about the same for the Raiders. The stats:
Yards per game: 201.0 (14th) -- 234.2 (28th)
Attempts per game: 33.5 (15th) -- 32.6 (15th)
Yards per attempt: 6.2 (8th) -- 7.3 (24th)
Against two typically bad passing teams, we've held much better number than last year's average. That's to be expected. Still, our yards per attempt ranks in the top 10 of the league, while in the top half of attempts taken. From a strictly YPA figure, we rank much better in passing than we do rushing. Again, with two strong rushing teams, these figures should be holding these parallels.
Sacks and INTs:
Our sack total last year showed our defenses' complete ineptitude. It's the figure that most have concentrated on this offseason, and rightfully so. Stats:
Sacks: 3 (16th) -- 10 (32nd)
Opposing Passer Rating: 77.7 (13th) -- 91.1 (25th)
Interceptions: 1 (18th) -- 13 (17th)
Sacks are better from a league average. Same with passer rating. INT's should be one more (Flowers pick six) at least, if not another dropped from Flacco's arm. More turnovers changes a couple of those games. It shows.
Stark contrast in the two games so far. 500+ to under 200 in the two respectively. Up and down at best. How it ranks in the NFL:
Total Yards per game: 333.5 (18th) -- 393.2 (31st)
Total Attempts per game: 68 (8th) -- 65.1 (4th)
Total Yards per attempt: 4.9 (9th) -- 6.0 (29th)
That's right, we're 0-2 with a top 10 YPA. Meanwhile, we're giving up the 8th most plays in the NFL. That tells me that we're making our defense feel the brunt of the game. It also tells me that our defense can stop the opposing offense, but will eventually break due to the pressure being put on them.
Thus far, the only team to play both the Raiders and the Ravens is the Chargers...how do they stack up?
Rushing YPG: KC 132.5 -- SD 139.0
Passing YPG: KC 201.0 -- SD 199.5
Sacks: KC 3 -- SD 2
INT: KC 1 -- SD 3
Rushing YPA: KC 4.0 -- SD 4.3
Passing YPA: KC 6.2 -- SD 7.0
Total YPG: KC 333.5 -- SD 338.5
Total YPA: KC 4.9 -- SD 5.4
So comparing the two teams, ours is clearly better on the defensive side of the ball. The glaring error is INT's, and as stated before, a Flowers pick-6 makes that less glaring, as also puts us at 1-1...the same as SD. This is the same defense touted as being one of the best in the league (San Diego) getting beat statistically by one of the worst touted in the league.
What's it come down to on this side of the ball? Getting off the field. We've got the defense to stay in these games, but whether it be giving up 3rd downs, or our offense putting them back on the field...the sheer number of plays these guys are seeing is enough to doom them.
This defense is 9th in the league at yards given up per play, yet we're 0-2. That's good enough to win against most teams, certainly better than last year. Some turnovers and some offense can turn this around. Another good showing against the Eagles could prove to the rest of the public the improvements we're seeing on defense.