PFF Ranks Miami's Defensive Line 28th | Page 8 | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

PFF Ranks Miami's Defensive Line 28th

Feverdream

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Fair enough. But then that logic can used toward literally every statistic.

Sacks, QB completion %, WR receptions, RB YPC, interceptions, all yardage/TDs from every position, ect.

None of these stats are accumulated in a vacuum. All of them need the added context and include the same variables you are using to invalidate QB Y/A.

At that point literally no numbers should be used in football at all until we can account for every variable that led to how they were accumulated.

I prefer to do my best to attempt to add context (to the best of my ability) to help find the true value in the numbers that are already being used.

It is addmittedly very difficult in football. There are definitely limitations. But I want to account for the types of context you are referencing. That involves diving deeper and using what you consider analytics.

(To be clear, that is not the same as blindly accepting PFF grades)
I figured that this was where the discussion would go next and I'm willing to grant that most statistics are less illuminating that most fans think (especially sports gamblers).

A great line can make an average RB look like a star, on the stat sheet anyway.
A QB with all day to throw should have a very low INT total.
A DT may pick up 8 sacks in a year because his Edge keeps flushing the QB.
A GREAT WR might have less than 10 TDs if his QB is awful.

Yes, stats are VERY subject to whataboutisms, and I've always doubted most of them in the game of football. (Again, in beisboll the pitcher/hitter matchup is about as unaffected by other considerations as anything in sports except golf)

The newer, more derivative stats are even more subject to this.

In short, I am not a huge stats person. I respect them as being PART of the equation, but I think that most fans take them much too seriously, with sports gamblers being the worst of the lot in this regard.
 

fansinceGWilson

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I figured that this was where the discussion would go next and I'm willing to grant that most statistics are less illuminating that most fans think (especially sports gamblers).

A great line can make an average RB look like a star, on the stat sheet anyway.
A QB with all day to throw should have a very low INT total.
A DT may pick up 8 sacks in a year because his Edge keeps flushing the QB.
A GREAT WR might have less than 10 TDs if his QB is awful.

Yes, stats are VERY subject to whataboutisms, and I've always doubted most of them in the game of football. (Again, in beisboll the pitcher/hitter matchup is about as unaffected by other considerations as anything in sports except golf)

The newer, more derivative stats are even more subject to this.

In short, I am not a huge stats person. I respect them as being PART of the equation, but I think that most fans take them much too seriously, with sports gamblers being the worst of the lot in this regard.

Don't disagree, but with exceptions, those players with top stats are often All-Pro, a star on the team, or seen as fans/media as top players, so stats do tend to identify top players. I remember no top talent with pedestrian stats over an entire season, nor a below average player with top stats.
That said, you are right . . . there is no stat that can be used to evaluate any/player/position.
 

Feverdream

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Don't disagree, but with exceptions, those players with top stats are often All-Pro, a star on the team, or seen as fans/media as top players, so stats do tend to identify top players. I remember no top talent with pedestrian stats over an entire season, nor a below average player with top stats.
That said, you are right . . . there is no stat that can be used to evaluate any/player/position.
This one would be a fun one to research, but I'm out of town right now...

How about Leveon Bell? Lord knows that Pittsburgh line made him look REALLY good.
 

Rick Cartman

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One thing I would point out about our turnovers last season, we led the league with 29, but it wasn't, historically, a high number.

2019 Pit led with 38, and 29 would have been 5th.

2018 Chi led with 36, and 29 would have been tied for 4th.

2017 Bal led with 36, and 29 would, again, have been 5th.

My point is, our 29 was not a huge number in context.

I do doubt that X has another double digit INT season, but there's no reason we can't be close to the same number, and easily top third of the league.

I also do agree that the TOs did mask some other deficiencies, but I fully expect those areas to be addressed to some extent.

PPG seems to be an indicative stat of a title contender. The last super bowl team to not finish at least top ten in defense ppg was the ravens in 2012.
 

Mach2

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PPG seems to be an indicative stat of a title contender. The last super bowl team to not finish at least top ten in defense ppg was the ravens in 2012.
It is, but like all stats they have to be taken in context.

Were those teams also bottom third in total yds like we were? Without looking, I seem to remember a couple of those Pats SB teams giving up a lot of yds, but ranked high in points. I doubt that is common.

Going to look intobit a little deeper when I get the chance.
 

fansinceGWilson

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This one would be a fun one to research, but I'm out of town right now...

How about Leveon Bell? Lord knows that Pittsburgh line made him look REALLY good.

which brings up an interesting topic . . . what criteria is used to judge 'top' players and 'below average' players? By your reasoning, stats won't do it. Use fan votes? Instagram mentions? I honestly don't know. How many SBs would Brady have won without Gronk/edleman/BB? How many would Marino have won had he been a Bill? How many yards would Henry have won had he been a Dolphin under Gase? I get your point.

The flip side is, take any 1st team All-Pro. Look a the stats. How many come in 18th in the top categories at their positions? Almost ALL (if not all) are in the top 5 in stats. But they didn't get there by stats. They were voted in. Look at various lists of web sites listing top players. Those at the top overwhelmingly have top stats. It APPEARS those seen as 'top' players using the eyeball test also happen to have top stats. I agree with you to a point - stats don't tell the whole story. But it isn't just coincidence top players have top stats.
 

Feverdream

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which brings up an interesting topic . . . what criteria is used to judge 'top' players and 'below average' players? By your reasoning, stats won't do it. Use fan votes? Instagram mentions? I honestly don't know. How many SBs would Brady have won without Gronk/edleman/BB? How many would Marino have won had he been a Bill? How many yards would Henry have won had he been a Dolphin under Gase? I get your point.

The flip side is, take any 1st team All-Pro. Look a the stats. How many come in 18th in the top categories at their positions? Almost ALL (if not all) are in the top 5 in stats. But they didn't get there by stats. They were voted in. Look at various lists of web sites listing top players. Those at the top overwhelmingly have top stats. It APPEARS those seen as 'top' players using the eyeball test also happen to have top stats. I agree with you to a point - stats don't tell the whole story. But it isn't just coincidence top players have top stats.
I don't think there is a real way to judge who the best players are... ever.

The best RB that I ever saw was Earl Campbell. The best QB was Dan... but they didn't win the Super Bowl. They got some individual accolades, but again... as you've said, these are pretty subjective really and a lot of it comes down to media hype-- like calling Tua a generational talent.

I may be a bit of a Nihilist here, but I don't think we even NEED a way to rate these guys. I see it is as sort of a barroom talk thing. You can fiddle with it forever and not really go anywhere.
 

Mach2

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PPG seems to be an indicative stat of a title contender. The last super bowl team to not finish at least top ten in defense ppg was the ravens in 2012.
It is, but like all stats they have to be taken in context.

Were those teams also bottom third in total yds like we were? Without looking, I seem to remember a couple of those Pats SB teams giving up a lot of yds, but ranked high in points. I doubt that is common.

Going to look into it a little deeper when I get the chance.
 

Mach2

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I don't think there is a real way to judge who the best players are... ever.

The best RB that I ever saw was Earl Campbell. The best QB was Dan... but they didn't win the Super Bowl. They got some individual accolades, but again... as you've said, these are pretty subjective really and a lot of it comes down to media hype-- like calling Tua a generational talent.

I may be a bit of a Nihilist here, but I don't think we even NEED a way to rate these guys. I see it is as sort of a barroom talk thing. You can fiddle with it forever and not really go anywhere.
So you are saying since a definitive answer is unlikely, there is no value in taking the available information, applying rational thought, and making conclusions?

I have to disagree there.

One does have to seperate the individual from the team. I do agree there.

There have been many great players who were never on a sucessful team.

Barry Sanders would be a prime example.

Now you can say all you need to do is watch him to know he's great, but that doesn't give you any context, relative to other great backs.

Sure, a lot of hypotheticals remain.

Switch Emmett Smith, and Barry.
That would be a "bar discussion".
 

Rick Cartman

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It is, but like all stats they have to be taken in context.

Were those teams also bottom third in total yds like we were? Without looking, I seem to remember a couple of those Pats SB teams giving up a lot of yds, but ranked high in points. I doubt that is common.

Going to look into it a little deeper when I get the chance.

I didn't look at yards in depth but i do think there's a direct correlation for the most part between yards and points. There's so much variance going into winning a title such as match ups, coaching/gameplanning, injuries, talent, etc that you can't lose the forest through the trees. Ranking near the top of keeping teams off the scoreboard is a start for sure.
 

SF Dolphin Fan

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PFF needs to adjust their weighting of stats:

2020 Miami Dolphins Defense
#1 Takeaways (Team #3 in differential)
#1 on 3rd Down
#6 in scoring (mostly due to that abortion game in week 17, otherwise #1 or #2)

Yards don't mean jack...gimme #1 in those 3 stats all day long over giving up the least rushing or passing yards.
Agree. I like the fact that PFF is trying to utilize stats in rankings, but I'd argue the same thing you just stated. No question I'd like Miami to give up fewer yards, but if they come up big in crucial situations that's what really matters.

Somehow that needs to be factored in, otherwise how do you have a top five defense in most categories and rank that low by unit?
 

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Hard to say. I'm not one to dive down too deeply into the analytical statistics because I believe they only tell you the what, not the why of things. Was the 8 yards per attempt because all the blitzing removed the LBs and safeties from making tackles? Maybe. Was the 8 yards per attempt because QBs had more time in the pocket to let plays open up? Maybe. Did Jones and Howard give up too much space? Maybe.

So I tend to pooh pooh those kind of stats as a general rule.

My take on it is that has been that we had to blitz more than you want and yes, this causes some bad things along with the good. Baker's sacks went up for sure... but how many completed passes went to his spot when he came up empty? Again... who knows.

I do know that every single FH poster who came in here and said we ought to draft all offense because our defense was already so good... made my head hurt. That sort of blindness drives me crazy.
Good analysis.

Let me ask you this. Do you view Ogbah, Davis and Wilkins as average, slightly above average? I ask this because I think they are all solid players, who are at least average in what they add to the defense. I still think Wilkins could take him game up a notch. We have seen some nice things from him. None of those three are dominate, but solid IMO. Now, maybe Phillips is the dominate addition but we don't know that.

In other words, I'm looking at the starters and there isn't what I'd consider a weak link. So, again the 28th ranking doesn't really jibe. Especially when you talk about the depth on the defensive line, which I think is good. Granted, the Dolphins could use another pass rusher for additional depth.
 

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The ranking seems a bit low.

However, although I liked the pick at the time…has Christian Wilkins done anything?

I'd love to see more production from him - I just don't think he has it in him.

Maybe being a cog is all that he is, and all that the team needs him to be.
He's had what I'd call flashes here and there, which indicates maybe there's more to his game. Hopefully.
 

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OTOH, if those pressures/sacks were due to scheme (most were),and Flo has added talented pass rushers, then, to me, a very good scheme and talented pass rushers should be fun to watch.
No doubt. And as someone else mentioned, with the emergence of Davis, maybe the role Wilkins plays will change a little. We could see him more as a pass rusher.
 
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