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2014 Defensive Adjusted Yards per Carry Data

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the Adjusted Yards per Carry data for 2014 offenses; today, the same information but for the other side of the ball. As a reminder, here’s the formula for calculating Adjusted Yards per Carry:

Adjusted Rushing Yards per Carry = (Rush Yards + 11 * Rush TDs + 9 * Rush First Downs – Kneel Yards Lost ) / (Rushes – Kneels)

Let’s use the Detroit Lions defense as an example. The Lions faced 350 rush attempts last year and allowed 1,109 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. However, seven of those rushing attempts were actually kneels by the opponent (for -7 “rushing yards”), so we need to back those out of the data. The Lions also allowed 59 rushing first downs, or a first down on 17.2% of all carries. As a result, Detroit allowed 5.06 Adjusted Rushing Yards per Carry last year, the best rate in the NFL. The league average last year was 6.63, which means the Lions were over a yard and a half above average per carry. Multiply that difference by the 343 non-kneel runs that Detroit faced, and the Lions rush defense was 541 Adjusted Rushing Yards above average (here, negative is better), the top value-producing rush defense in the NFL in 2014.

RkTmRushYdTDKneelKY1D1D RateARY/CVALUE
1DET350110987-75917.2%5.06-541
2SEA380130487-67018.8%5.44-447
3DEN349127695-46017.4%5.58-363
4BAL390141287-77519.6%5.70-359
5PHI47317711416-168819.3%5.98-299
6NYJ39314891016-177419.6%6.05-219
7WAS4211722119-87718.7%6.17-189
8NWE4191669612-148821.6%6.24-159
9HOU4201681615-158922.0%6.33-124
10SFO4021612713-248321.3%6.32-121
11OAK48119111718-229520.5%6.43-97
12TAM46818191515-1410322.7%6.46-80
13STL42517651215-168320.2%6.49-60
14BUF41417031010-108922.0%6.50-56
15CHI42118031217-207819.3%6.58-23
16JAX49920331518-1710722.2%6.61-13
17ARI3961739912-137720.1%6.63-4
18MIA45319371310-129922.3%6.7344
19MIN45019431015-1510023.0%6.8282
20DAL39216501810-98622.5%6.8997
21SDG4381986112-19822.5%6.8698
22PIT368160598-88824.4%6.96116
23CIN4391861167-810524.3%6.92124
24IND42318141411-1010325.0%7.05172
25ATL45018942110-1410824.5%7.07192
26GNB44919191112-1311626.5%7.09198
27TEN51521951722-2111924.1%7.05203
28CAR39717921413-109123.7%7.23227
29KAN4332036413-1410825.7%7.30280
30CLE50022651310-1212625.7%7.25303
31NOR44221251711-1211125.8%7.71464
32NYG43821621516-1811226.5%7.95553
  • The Seahawks and Broncos both ranked in the top three against the rush (using this formula) and the pass (using this formula), while teams like the Ravens, Eagles, and Jets were much more one-sided (to say nothing of Washington’s historically terrible pass defense).
  • On the other side, the two worst rush defenses last year belonged to the Saints and Giants. That’s probably not much of a surprise to many folks, either.

Finally, let’s look at how each team fared in Adjusted Yards per Carry on both offense and defense. To make the place to be the upper right quadrant of the chart, I’ve plotted defensive AYPC (on the Y-Axis) in reverse order. As you can see, Seattle stands out as pretty effective in the running game.

off def aypc

As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.