FanPost

Defense and Special Teams Effects

In my continuing struggle with the forces of darkness, I am trying to explore the perceptions and reality surrounding Romo's reputation versus that of the other elite QBs in the NFL. Led by OCC's pass defense article I have looked at Pass Defense statistics, specifically passer rating against, and have added in TD/INT ratio against as well. I also took a look at Field Goal statistics. With Field Goal stats, however, I narrowed the range a little bit as the 3 points are less crucial when down by more than 3. So I offer for you a list of FG% in games where the team is within 3 or leading by one score (-3 to 8 points), alongside passer rating against and TD/INT Ratio while the game was within one score during the 4th qtr (-8 to 8 points) since 2006:

Team --- Rating Against ---- TD/INT Ratio Against ------ FG %

Pats------------- 67.9 ------------------------ 0.65---------------- 92

Colts------------ 65.0 ------------------------- 0.4 ---------------- 87.5

Falcons--------- 74.5 ----------------------- 1.10 --------------- 85

Ravens----------76.2 ----------------------- 1.24 --------------- 82.1

Giants----------- 82.8 ----------------------- 1.50 --------------- 81

Saints----------- 78.0 ----------------------- 1.31 --------------- 74

Packers----------74.0 ----------------------- 0.94 -------------- 73

Dallas ----------- 86.3 ----------------------- 1.60 -------------- 72

While there is no clear correlation there, it *is* pretty easy to see that Dallas is literally at the bottom of all these lists. I have ranked them by FG% because that, to me, was the clearest correlation to perceived "clutchness". Surprises were that the Saints, Packers, and Colts all had better performing defenses in crunch time than the Giants, but when you consider the the performance of the the other QBs in the AFC south from 2006, the Colts make a little more sense. Schaub is the only QB of note in that division and he has been injured frequently.

Another thing I looked at was big plays given up, and how many led to losses. This was interesting to me as well.

Once again, in close games since 2006, I looked at 4th qtr/OT 20+ yd plays given up total, and in losses. The intent here was to see how many "back breaking" plays were given up. It's not perfect but it's a start.

Team----- 20+ ----- 20+ in loss ------- % of 20+ plays ending in loss

Dallas----- 63 ------------ 47 -------------------------------- 75

Packers --- 67------------ 45 -------------------------------- 67

Giants ----- 61 ----------- 33 -------------------------------- 54

Saints ----- 58 ----------- 30 -------------------------------- 52

Pats -------- 35 ---------- 18 --------------------------------- 51

Falcons ---- 73 ---------- 36 -------------------------------- 49

Ravens ---- 57 ----------- 28 -------------------------------- 49

Colts ------ 41 ------------ 20 -------------------------------- 49

Dallas clearly has the least ability to withstand a big play in the 4th qtr. Losing nearly 50% more than the rest of the NFL when giving up a big play in the 4th qtr. Of course, this could mean Romo is unable to answer the score, but given the numbers I compiled earlier, I'm less inclined to think that is the answer, here.

I'm not really saying these statistics show anything conclusive, but they are given here in the interest of tracking down other factors that contribute to the loss of close games.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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