More Troubling Data On Doug MartinJanuary 11th, 2017
The unreasonably blinded Doug Martin backers who think he was a good running back during the 2016 season might want to avoid clicking to read more of this post.
It might induce a seizure.
NFL.com has been rolling out “next gen” statistical data. Think a credible version of ProFootballFocus.com. Joe realizes that’s a difficult oxymoron to wrap ones head around, but try.
Last night, the focus from Matt Harmon was 2016 running back performance against a “stacked” box. He explains.
One of the Next Gen Stats we have here measures performance against stacked defensive fronts. This gives us a running back’s yards per attempt on non-red zone carries when there are eight or more defenders in the box. The metric helps us get a sense of how a running back performed against crowded fronts, whether it be from extra defensive attention or the formations the offenses deploy. As with any stat, but especially this one, context is key and we’ll attempt to dilute that context with each player.
Joe will give you one guess to name the worst running back charted against a stacked box, as defined above.
Correct! It’s Doug Martin at 2.73 yards per carry. Todd Gurley was the second worst at 2.94 yards per carry behind an abysmal offensive line. At least 10 running backs averaged more than 4.2 yards per carry against stacked boxes.
Remember, red zone carries don’t count. So the RB isn’t punished for, say, a 1st-and-goal carry from the 5 yard line.
The loud, judgment-impaired Martin backers often yelled about how teams were stacking fronts against him. So it was unfair, they claimed, to be so hard on Martin because he didn’t have room to run. Well, what will these folks say about how Martin compared to his peers against a stacked box?
Dirk Koetter said repeatedly that Martin was running hard and he backed Martin’s effort through the season. That’s fine, but that never meant Martin was performing well as a running back.
Regardless, clicking through the link above provides quite an education. Joe hopes the NFL dabbles in more of this kind of stuff — the analytics actually used by NFL teams.