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Mother of all Stats -- Part 2

Mother of All Stats – Defense

Previously, I did an analysis to see which statistics correlated most strongly to offensive points. The results showed that 1st downs and passing yards were most related to points; whereas rushing offense did not correlate with scoring points.

Now here is the analysis of defensive stats. I chose the 8 teams that allowed fewer than 20 points per game allowed. I added “average ranking” to the table to more clearly see the average ranking of the top 8 teams for each statistic.

Yards

Pass

Rush

1st

3rd

Pen.

P YPA

R YPA

Sacks

Int

Pitt

1

1

8

1

19

6

1

9

17

24

SF

4

16

1

2

11

15

10

1

7

2

Balt

3

4

2

4

2

32

3

2

3

17

Houston

2

3

4

5

14

2

2

11

6

13

Cleveland

10

2

30

13

24

4

5

21

23

28

Miami

15

25

3

15

7

28

18

3

10

16

Seattle

9

11

15

15

9

20

11

4

19

4

Tenn

18

14

24

20

23

9

4

22

31

24

Avg

7.8

9.5

10.9

9.3

13.6

14.5

6.8

9.1

14.5

16

The answer, based on the data, was clearly passing yards allowed per attempt allowed. Teams that allow fewer yards per attempt generally allow fewer points.

3rd down defense, sacks and interceptions were not very important. Pittsburgh was able to field a dominant defense with none of them. And the average ranking for the top 8 teams in each of those statistics was all in the middle of the pack.

Generally, teams that stopped the number of yards opponents were able to gain through the air were the most successful defenses.

In some cases, teams were able to compensate for a poor rush defense with a solid pass defense (see Miami); however, a general trend was that most of the best defenses were balanced, especially among the top 4 defensive units. If you were to look at the bottom 5 defenses by points allowed, you would find the same trend: lack of balance results in points. Teams that have exceptionally poor running defense, or exceptionally poor passing defense, give up a ton of points.

So, for the Bills to improve, we should be able to limit our opponents’ passing attack, be balanced enough to field a solid passing defense and solid rushing defense, and do our best to stop opponents from getting 1st downs.

Check back later for part 3, which will examine whether defense or offense is more related to wins. And finally part 4 -- how do the Bills do in the most important statistical categories.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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