2007 Bendability Index

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 30, 2007



(The Bendability Index, our measure of defensive efficiency, is a "Quality Stat" because it has a direct correlation to winning football games. Read more about this team-wide measure of defensive efficiency here.)
 
The Bendability Index is the first and only stat on Planet Pigskin to quantify the phenomenon of the "bend but don't break" defense. But as we've long noted, it is not a measure purely of defensive efficiency. Instead, with a very simple figure, it takes into consideration many, many team-wide factors, including special teams proficiency, turnover differential, red zone defense and a variety of other factors, and tells you which teams force opponents to work the hardest to score points.
 
FINAL 2007 OVERVIEW
As we've noted at various times during the season, the Bendability Index, one of our earliest Quality Stats, has routinely been one of our stats most indicative of team-wide success.
 
This year has been something of a down year for the Bendability Index. Oh, sure, it still has a direct correlation to winning football games, far more correlation than total defense. But it's shown not nearly the correlation to team-wide success as it has in past years.
 
That's not to say that there is a flaw with the Bendability Index. There is not. It is still as beautiful, near perfect, easy to understand and indicative of success as probably any stat ever created. It's just that stats don't always move in perfect lock-step. There are ebbs and flows. So this year there is a bit of an ebb.
 
Sure, five of the top six teams in our measure of defensive efficiency, along with eight of the top 10, are heading to the playoffs. But the list is topped by San Diego and Seattle. Hardly teams that seem poised to capture the Super Bowl. Plus, non-playoff teams like Minnesota (No. 3) and Philadelphia (No. 7) are firmly implanted in the Top 10.
 
Dallas, meanwhile, is the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Yet they're just No. 17 in Bendability. In our years of tracking the Bendability Index (since 2004), we've never seen a No. 1 seed ranked so low.
  • In 2004, No. 1 seeds Philly and New England were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Bendability.
  • In 2005, No. 1 seeds Indy and Seattle were No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, in Bendability.
  • In 2006, No. 1 seeds Chicago and San Diego were No. 3 and No. 13, respectively, in Bendability.
  • Here in 2007, No. 1 seeds New England and Dallas are No. 6 and No. 17, respectively, in Bendability.
Of course, it could be the Bendability Index remains perfect and that the teams themselves are flawed. Dallas could be a prime example. We've contended for much of the season that the Cowboys simply aren't as good as their record would indicate.
 
We know have two indicators that tell us this is true. Our premier and all-power Quality Standings tell us that Dallas has feasted upon inferior competition and will be troubled under the white-hot klieg light of playoff competition. They are just 4-2 against Quality Teams this year and have been outscored in those six games by an average of 1.0 PPG - hardly indicative of a Super Bowl champion-caliber team.
 
And here in Bendability, the Cowboys aren't even in the top half of the league.
 
So maybe it is that our stats, even our plucky Bendability Index remains perfect and the teams that themselves that seem like contenders are flawed.
 
FINAL 2007 BENDABILITY INDEX (playoff teams in italics)
 
Team
Yards
Points
YPPA
1
San Diego
5124
284
18.04
2
Seattle
5149
291
17.69
3
Minnesota
5410
311
17.40
4
Green Bay
5013
291
17.23
5
Indianapolis
4475
262
17.08
6
New England
4613
274
16.84
7
Philadelphia
4982
300
16.61
8
Jacksonville
5021
304
16.52
9
Tampa Bay
4454
270
16.50
10
Buffalo
5807
354
16.40
11
Chicago
5675
348
16.31
12
Pittsburgh
4262
269
15.84
13
Washington
4884
310
15.75
14
Tennessee
4665
297
15.71
15
Kansas City
5111
335
15.26
16
San Francisco
5539
364
15.22
17
Dallas
4922
325
15.14
18
Cleveland
5753
382
15.06
19
Carolina
5197
347
14.98
20
NY Jets
5310
355
14.96
21
Cincinnati
5580
385
14.49
22
New Orleans
5570
388
14.36
23
Houston
5507
384
14.34
24
NY Giants
4880
351
13.90
25
Atlanta
5688
414
13.74
26
Oakland
5466
398
13.73
27
Detroit
6042
444
13.61
28
Arizona
5283
399
13.24
29
Denver
5376
409
13.14
30
Baltimore
4825
384
12.57
31
Miami
5475
437
12.53
32
St. Louis
5457
438
12.46
 
The Bendability Index is obtained by dividing yards allowed by points allowed. This calculation reveals Yards Per Point Allowed ... the number of yards a team's opponents must generate for every point they score.

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