The below chart is not there to give you seizures, but to hopefully help you, not disable you. I am a fan of Football Outsiders’ method of evaluating defenses called DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). Instead of just taking the total number of yards given up on the ground or through the air, they look at situations and results. Certain situations are valued more than others. If a running back gains 5 yards on 3rd and 4 it is more detrimental to the defense than if he runs for 5 yards on 3rd and 20. If a team throws against your prevent D while behind by 4 touchdowns in the 4th quarter, it isn’t as valued as if they did the same down by a field goal in the 4th quarter. What I also appreciate is they value the most recent games when ranking defenses, so the rankings you will see here are more heavily weighted toward the end of last season instead of equally throughout. For a more thorough explanation go here.
Now we all know that personnel and coaching changes over the offseason will impact defenses, but most teams, at least at the beginning of this year will be in the same ballpark as they were toward the end of last year. What I’ve concocted in my nerd lab is a NFL Schedule Grid with color codings showing weak to strong defenses against the pass. Blue meaning, “freeze buddy! don’t pass against me, yo.” And red meaning, “geez, I’m a cornerback and it’s really hot out here and I need a drink, wait, what was I doing?” And the other two in the middle, you’ll need to come up with some funny little dialogue to make them more interesting. These will be useful in giving you an idea of how certain team’s schedules might work for or against their pass attack. I believe these will be especially helpful in salary cap leagues or any format where you can switch out players more readily. Below are just the first 4 weeks to give you an idea, but you can click here for the whole schedule. And soon I will do the same with rushing defenses as well.
I’ve also added a 2009 NFL Schedule Grid which I always find useful when I’m alone in the attic.