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Number crunching: D Stats during "Garbage Time"

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgcolby, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There has been a lot of debate by the "homers" and the "objective" crowd on here this season about how much of the Pats defensive yard totals, points etc...have been given up during "garbage time". So I thought while I had some time, I would go through and tally up the totals. :D

    Definition of garbage time for the sake of this research is up by two or more scores in the 4th quarter or 9+ points. I'm sure there are many differing opinions on what constitutes "garbage time", but this one is mine. If you don't like it, feel free to define yours and then provide the raw data from all six games, otherwise take this for what it is worth.

    Here we go:

    Total Passing yards allowed on the season: 1951
    Total Passing yards allowed in Garbage Time: 541 or 27.73%

    Total Rushing yards allowed on the season: 638
    Total Rushing yards allowed in Garbage Time: 75 or 11.76%

    *(At first I thought total rushing was insignificant, until I realized that 52 of the 75 yards were a result of QB scrambles. Just thought I would throw that nugget out there.)

    Total Points Allowed on the season: 135
    Total Points Allowed in Garbage Time: 27 or 20%
    The Pats are averaging 22.5 PPG allowed for the season which is 14th in the NFL. Deduct the garbage time points and that average drops to 18 PPG. No way to quantify it against other teams, but it is interesting to note that when the Pats are not leading by 9+ points their defense is essentially allowing points at a clip that would place them 4th in the league in PPG allowed.
    I'll let the rest of you chew this up, while I sit back and watch what spits back out. :D


    By the way I have this data broken down a little better in a spreadsheet, but I don't know how to insert into the post. If anyone would like to assist in posting it, please let me know. :rocker:

    Edit: I meant to add this in here as well, but got submit happy.

    The Pats defense has faced the following offenses (ranked by scoring, not yards :rolleyes: ): 30th, 13th, 2nd, 8th, 11th, 15th. 5 of the 6 games have come against teams ranked in the top 15 of the league. Our opponents in total average 24 PPG. When not playing New England, NE's opponents combined average is 24.4 PPG scored. The Pats are allowing 2 PPG less then their opponents average against the rest of the league.

    IMO, the facts prove that this team is not as bad on defense as the media and some fans want to make it out to be. And they are far from the worst....
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I made a similar post last year. I know a lot of people blame Fantasy Football for the skewed analysis by many fans and media-types, but whatever the reason, the Pats defense is underrated, just as it was in 2010.

    I love seeing numbers being brought into the discussion. Admittedly, the amount of yards/points being given up in garbage time is lower, as a percentage, than last year, but not insignificant.
  3. IndianPat

    IndianPat Rookie

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    Your methodology deducts the entire score and yardage allowed in garbage time. However, that cannot be the case as Opposing Offenses do spend time on the field (however minutes in the 4th quarter). An allowance has to be made for the points and yardage that would have been allowed (as in if the defense played during non-garbage time).

    I get your point. Our defense has played from behind less than a quarter since the season opened. This defense has not allowed the opposing teams to score repeatedly (Buffs excepted). Keeps them coralled until the offense pulls away.
    That's all that matters.
  4. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I see your point and in a round about way it sort of does that, but not completely. I only included the drives that started with the team down by 9+ points. Add the teams lack of running when down by 9+, plus only accounting for the drives that they start 9+ down, I would think that would average some of that out. But I'm no mathmetician, so someone smarter than me at math can figure that out.
  5. DonBlackmon55

    DonBlackmon55 Rookie

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    So, at what point in a 60minute football game does "garbage time" start ? I mean I've seen injury time in soccer, but never seen "garbage time" officially start or be tracked in an NFL game. Must be odd since all coaches keep talking about playing the game for full 60minutes. Would that then also apply to garbage time offensive stats Brady and company have built up over the years since 2007 year of 50TD's ? Should we assign a "*" there and say well those #'s aren't really as good since the piled up TD's in 50+ point blowouts vs Bills, Redskins where games were over in 1st quarter ?

    What facts prove today is this...#32 Patriots Defense, and I'm not talking about Devin McCourty here. What facts also prove is Patriots are #1 offense, and 5-1. What facts also show is Lions are #25 in rushing and 5-1, and 49ers are #30 in passing offense and 5-1. What facts also show is Buffalo oly has 4 sacks from their Defense, but 12 ints so far this year and yet is 4-2. Facts also show Steelers Defense has 1 int for the entire season but is #1 in total defense and also 4-2.

    So, it is what it is. you can split #'s from any angle to make them look good, bad, ugly.

    NFL Stats: by Team Category
  6. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    No way in hell would i call the 2010 D underrated...that defense played with a lead all year and crumbled when it mattered. Not to mention it made it's living on turnovers only.

    I would definately say that the 2011 D is underrated right now...it gets zero respect because it is ranked 32nd. Forget that it shutdown A.Gates,McFadden,Cowboys,Jets(Keller) and has improved in 3rd downs despite a few injuries here and there.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  7. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Can somebody please let me know exactly when it was that the NFL decided that wins and losses were to be determined by yards rather than points?

    :confused:

    :confused2:

    Until the day that happens, this alleged be-all, end-all yardage ranking of defenses is as useful as tits on a bull.
  8. Richard Camembert

    Richard Camembert Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    Well, I would want to see what percentage of the total time counted as garbage time. If we are averaging a whole quarter, or 25% of each game, as garbage time, I'd say that the numbers reflect extreme dominance since we'd be blowing out every team on average. If garbage time is more like 15% of each game, still excellent. Having over 27% of passing yards during garbage time seems to reflect that teams are exclusively passing when behind, and succeeding in moving the ball when doing so. Duh.
  9. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    RE: Garbage time. Don't be pedantic. Obviously this isn't a 'statistic' that anyone keeps. For me, garbage time is when a team is far enough behind that they start making decisions that are higher risk/reward than normal (ie, going for it on 4th, not running the ball). Down by 9+ points in the 4th quarter is a reasonable definition for that. As the OP says, it's not perfect, but I think it's a pretty good starting point.

    As far as the analysis shows, it's that teams aren't running the ball when down by 9+ point in the 4th quarter. I think this is an assumption we all had, but it's nice to see it pointed out so clearly by a statistic. Another way of wording it is this: 593 yards were gained on passing plays (no matter whether the QB scrambled or not), and 23 yards were gained on running plays. This shows the importance of having a deep, conditioned, versatile defensive line. You cannot have VW & AH out there running wind sprints for the last ten minutes of every game.

    Good post and good analysis. Thank you.
  10. Observer

    Observer Rookie

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    I am trying to understand your analysis. It sounds like the entire fourth quarter is garbage time if we are leading by two scores. What happens if the opponent comes within one score after we have been leading by two scores in the fourth quarter? Is the previous garbage time voided? Or is the garbage time over and non-garbage time start? Has this situation never arisen?

    Also as someone pointed out, you cannot deduct the garbage time points entirely. You would have to include the points that would be allowed had the defense played the same way in garbage time as in non-garbage time. One way to do this would be to figure out the points per unit time by the opponents during non-garbage time and use that to estimate what the points in garbage time would have been.

    But all this aside, one has to ask why in principle we would like to allow more points in garbage time? Naively, one would think that it is more beneficial to stop them from scoring rather than to allow them to score in such a situation. On the other hand, if indeed there is such a principle, I would have to think it would be to have the opponent run out of time by allowing them to move but take time off the clock. Since you have the raw data, I would be much more curious to see what the time taken per point scored by the opponent is during garbage time as opposed to out of it. If they are scoring at a faster clip during garbage time then I would have to say that the defense is not doing well.
  11. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This has been driving me crazy all year. Yes, the Pats have given up a lot of garbage time yards and points, but no one seems to acknowledge that. All we hear is how the Pats gave up nearly 350 yards to jason Campbell, but no one acknowledges that 99 yards and a TD came in a meaningless drive with three minutes left in the game with the Raiders down by three scores. You take away that drive and Campbell had 244 yards which is not all that impressive. The same thing happened in the last six minutes vs. the Dolphins with Henne.

    Thanks for finally compiling the numbers.
  12. smg93

    smg93 Rookie

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    60 minutes, SIXTY MINUTES! :D
  13. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    It's not about shading the defensive statistics by trying to massage the data and blame it all on "garbage time!", it's about whether or not the defense is any good. It was readily apparent that the defense sucked eggs in the first few weeks. It's also readily apparent that having Haynesworth in the lineup, and using more zone in the secondary, makes the defense that much better, just as it's readily apparent that the defense is better with Mayo in there than it is without him, even though the team's playing the best it has all season in the past couple of weeks.

    Last year, it was pretty obvious that the defense could only get the job done if the coaches out schemed their opposition in order to hide the defense's many shortcomings. This year, it looks as if the personnel might be improved enough to make the job of the coaches easier and give the team a better chance in the playoffs, if the team can get the safety play to improve.
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    any team that blows a 20+ point lead should really not have the right to call any time garbage time.......

    making excuses for lousy defense will only grant you the same disappointment you've seen for the last couple of years.......

    the current system is colt-like.......works well in the regular season, but in the playoffs, when a team will narrow the playbook to only what works best, you can at this point, see another pummeling at the hands of someone like the ravens.

    the pats have a 20 game regular season home winning streak and a 2 game home losing streak in the playoffs.......and it wasn't like they had much hope in either playoff game.....

    I don't think there is much hope for this team to be effective in lowing down the passing game........but come playoff time, brady along with an effective rushing game and the ability to stop the run should be enough to get past anyone in the AFC.......
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  15. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You cannot talk about the current system in the playoffs yet. We have seen plenty of times that Belichick defenses kick into second gear in the second half of the season (2001, 2005, last year for example). Until we see what this defense is like in December and January, we have no idea if it is playoff ready. The defense that played on Sunday was already worlds better than the one which started the season. I bet as there is more continuity, the defense will get more exotic and agressive.
  16. Darolyn72

    Darolyn72 Banned

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    Kerry Byrne is right on point. The Pats defense lacks 3 ingredients in the Post Polian rule change.

    Pass Rush - They really have none. They chose to trade away first round picks instead of address it.

    Cover corners - Don't know what is happening with McCourty. Arrington is himself, Bodden is a Ty Poole and Ras I Dowling is the shiny car in the garage that doesn't work.

    Playmakings Safety - Milloy, Harrison, Bob Sanders in 2006, Troy P., the Packers actually have 2, Ed Reed

    The Pats have not addressed this issue. I will give them this, they tried with Meriweather and Chung. Meriweather is a bust and Chung is a solid player but just not the intimidating factor in the middle that makes a difference.

    Kerry Byrne says it pretty succintly.

    Excited about the Patriots' 5-1 record as they head into the bye week? Think they're a serious Super Bowl contender?

    Kerry Byrne urges you to re-think your position.

    "Bill Belichick's a great coach, we all know that. But he had this reputation forever as a defensive genius, and we have to end that mythology," Byrne, the editor-in-chief of coldhardfootballfacts.com, told host Gary Tanguay on CSNNE.com's Web-only Cold Hard Football Facts show.

    "They've put bad, bad defenses on the field for years on end, and right now it is statistically impossible for this team to win a Super Bowl with a defense this bad."

    The Pats rank near the bottom of the league in nearly all CHFF defensive categories, but one number -- yards allowed per passing attempt (7.89) -- tells the story, says Byrne.

    "They will never, ever win a Super Bowl unless there's a dramatic improvement in that number," he said
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That pretty much sums up my "eye test" as well. And if they can get to the point where the intended center of the defense -- Wilfork, Haynesworth, Mayo and Spikes -- actually takes the field together healthy, I think they could do some real damage.
  18. Rob0729

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    The Pats had a fairly good pass rush vs. the Cowboys. They are still without Mayo and get Brace back (who is a good pass rusher who's problem is staying on the field). The defense is still a work in progress and they have been improving in this area.

    The Pats won a Super Bowl with Ty Poole who had a great year. Poole washed out after that because he couldn't stay on the field. Dowling is six games into his career. Let's not call him a bust right now. Arrington leads the league in INTs.


    Name the playmaking safeties in this league. There aren't many. Even Polumalu is not having a great year. Overall, the safety play hasn't been great. Only four of the top 14 players in INTs are safeties (all tied with 3 a piece). Roman Harper is the only safety in the top 25 in sacks with 3.5. Only two safeties are in the top 25 in forced fumbles (each with 2).

    If having playmaking safeties is a requirement to win a Super Bowl, there are only maybe two or three teams that have all but been eliminated.

    It is week 7. The emphasis is RIGHT NOW. If this defense wasn't improving week after week like it has been, it might be a point. But the defense Sunday was significantly better than the defense that took the field week one. The Pats held the Cowboys to a season low in points. Both Brandon Spikes and Albert Haynesworth emerged this past week. The Pats will get Mayo and Dowling back. Brace will start playing. There is a lot of room for this team to improve.

    Let's have this conversation in January because the Pats' stats are skewed by the first few weeks. Mike Reiss does a weekly analysis of stats rankings week after week and the Pats continue to improve in the rankings for defensive stats every week.

    Stat check: Turnover differential drops - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  19. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    Yeah, I was scratching my head a bit at that. Comparing our #2/#3 CB to the #2 CB who played an integral role on a Super Bowl-winning defense? Sick burn.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  20. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why am I not surprised at how illogical you are. First, the Pats are only the "32nd ranked defense" based on Yards allowed. Now, I know for a fact that it's been pointed out to you that YARDS ALLOWED is not what is used to determine the outcome of games. That is POINTS.

    Most intelligent people (you clearly aren't one of them) knot that "garbage time" is the time in the 4th quarter when One team has a 2+ score lead and the opposing team really has no chance of catching up. The team winning usually goes into the "Prevent Defense" which forces the other team to use up a lot of time and, thereby, makes their chances of winning slim to none.

    It may not be an official stat, but you want to know something? QB Pressures is not an official stat. Neither is QB hits. Tackles isn't an official stat either because the NFL does not have set guidelines and there are more tackles given out per year than actual plays.

    Facts without context (as you so aptly show) are worthless. Just like 99% of your posts.
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