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Friday, September 16, 2005

TACKLES in 2005, Defensive Analysis



by joepackjoe
For PackerChatters

In my limited experience, the players who make tackles can say a lot about the quality of the defensive effort as a team.

The best situation is when the Defensive Linemen make the tackles. The entire defense is usually designed so that the Linebackers amass the highest totals, and when they DON'T, it's easier to conclude there is a problem. If the LBs have the most tackles, IMO, the yards per carry stat can tell us whether they're making tackles facing the opponent's goaline, or chasing after a ball carrier downfield.

I think if the Free Safety is making more tackles than the Strong Safety, you've got a poor pass defense, meaning you're letting the receivers catch the ball versus "bringing someone up on running plays". I might be totally wrong about that.

Looking at last year's stats, we saw,

Nick Barnett total 123 tackles.
an average of 7.66 per game

Na'il Diggs total 80 tackles
an average of 5 per game

Mark Roman total 72 tackles
an average of 4.5 per game

Darren Sharper total 70 tackles
an average of 4.375 per game

Aaron Kampman total 67 tackles
an average of 4.1875 per game

Al Harris total 62 tackles
an average of 3.875 per game

Ahmad Carroll total 49 tackles
an average of 3.0625 per game

Michael Hawthorne total 49 tackles
an average of 3.0625 per game

Hannibal Navies total 47 tackles
an average of 2.975 per game

KGB total 47 tackles
an average of 2.975 per game

Bhawoh Jue total 42 tackles
an average of 2.625 per game

Cletidus Hunt total 32 tackles
an average of 2 per game

Paris Lenon total 28 tackles
an average of 1.75 per game

Corey Williams total 23 tackles
an average of 1.4375 per game

Grady Jackson total 23 tackles
an average of 1.4375 per game

Joey Thomas total 19 tackles
an average of 1.1875 per game

Jason Horton total 19 tackles
an average of 1.1875 per game

Cullen Jenkins total 18 tackles
an average of 1.125 per game

Ben Steele total 15 tackles
an average of less than 1 per game

R-Kal Truluck total 13 tackles
an average of less than 1 per game

William Henderson total 11 tackles
an average of less than 1 per game

So then we're definitively into the Special Teams' tackles.

We can see we had a back-up TE record more tackles (on special teams) than our back-up DE... supposedly a "pass rushing specialist".

Ouch.

We can see we had defensive backfield (Sharper, Roman, Harris, Carroll, Hawthorne, Jue) accounted for 342 tackles. That's just under 33% of the team total. Considering that we had the worst defense in terms of giving up the greatest number of long TD plays (which would plays that NO one tackled anyone), that tells me that they basically got worked, week in and week out.

Kampman (67) by himself was more productive than Hunt and Grady combined (55). If you consider that Hunt sat for 4 games, substituted by Corey Williams, we could add 50% of Williams' total to the mix (11.5) and Kampman STILL was more productive than both DTs...

Ouch.

KGB had 13.5 sacks, which means that 33.5 of his take-downs were NOT sacks.

That's more productive than either Hunt or Grady... and a little better than 50% of what Kampman does "against the run".

Our starting LBs combined for 250 tackles, less than 25% of the team total.

Ouch. That means that Barnett (one player) was about as productive as the other two LBs... combined.

If you consider that he plays on "all 3 downs", while the others play on 2-3 downs (Diggs) and 1 down (Navies), then it MIGHT make a little sense. When you consider that other teams were running outside (to avoid our "stout" interior in Hunt and Grady), then our outside LBs should have had more tackles last year, IMO.

Considering that the opponents' average per carry versus these guys was
4.6 yds/carry...
I think that the low totals for our LBs denote a serious problem was afoot.

Considering that the opponents' average passing completion was for
7.61 yds...
I think that opponents were able to drive on the Packers at will.

Think about it...

If the opponent ran the ball three times... the average was a total of 14 yards and a new first down.

If the opponent threw the ball three times... the average was a completion 60% of the time (314 completions to 518 attempts). That's ALMOST two out of three, and it's DEFINITELY 3 out of 5.

That means that the average series for the opponents (if they ONLY threw the ball) was advancing about 23 yards every five plays. If they ONLY ran the ball, it was to advance about 23 yards every five plays... on average.

Looking at the first game against the Lions, we saw

Mark Roman total 10 tackles

Nick Barnett total 9 tackles

Aaron Kampman total 5 tackles

Robert Thomas total 5 tackles

Colin Cole total 5 tackles

Paris Lenon total 4 tackles

KGB total 4 tackles

Cullen Jenkins total 3 tackles

Al Harris total 3 tackles

Robert Ferguson total 3 tackles

Roy Manning total 2 tackles

Mike Montgomery total 2 tackles

Kenny Peterson total 2 tackles

Brady Poppinga total 2 tackles

Joey Thomas total 2 tackles

Corey Williams total 2 tackles

Ahmad Carroll total 1 tackle

Nick Collins total 1 tackle

Rob Davis total 1 tackle

Grady Jackson total 1 tackle

Earl Little total 1 tackle, and

William Whitticker total 1 tackle.

We punted 6 times, and kicked off twice. That's a total of 8 tackles on special teams, and 2 more from INTs... as well as 2 more from lost fumbles.

So, defensively, we had 59 tackles against the Lions.

The starting LBs accounted for 18, or just under 31%.

All the DBs accounted for 17, or just under 29%.

The entire D-line accounted for 25, or just under 43%.

I know it's MUCH too early to extend these totals or percentages into season-long averages.

I also know that averages do NOT tell the story completely.

I also know that statistics can be manipulated.

My thinking in posting this information (and my very simplistic reactions to it) is that my expectations for the 2005 defense are not to be the best in the NFL, the NFC, or necessarily our division, the hallowed NFC Norris.

I expect this defense to tackle better, to NOT give up as many disastrous long-play "just threw Brett Favre in a 'come-back' position" TDs, and to give up fewer first downs to our opponents.

I think the personnel that we have on defense is already better than last year, and I think they'll improve as the season progresses.

I think the D-line will get better, and that the secondary is ALREADY better than what we saw last year.

I'm anxious to see Robert Thomas play with more knowledge about his responsibilities, and to see how Diggs recovers from his injury.

I'll try to keep up with this info during the season, and hopefully it'll lead me to conclude that the defense is realistically helping our team to win.

Anybody else who's interested is more than welcome to intercede with defensive stats they think pertinent.
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