Final 2010 Defensive Hog Index

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jan 02, 2011



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You'll learn on CHFF Insider, for example, that teams that won the Negative Pass Play battle, a key component of each Hog Index, won 68 percent of all NFL games in 2010.

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ABOUT THE DEFENSIVE HOG INDEX
The Defensive Hog Index is our effort to quantify which team has the best defensive front in football. It's proven a huge indicator of success since we introduced it during the 2007 season: teams that are better in the DHI are 25-8 in the playoffs over that time, and the No. 1 team in DHI has won the Super Bowl twice (2007 Giants and 2008 Steelers).   
 
This isn't rocket science, folks. The Defensive Hog Index simply looks at at each team in three major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.
 
The top defensive front is that which posts the highest average rating across the board. The Defensive Hog Index is based upon these criteria:
 
YPA – Yards Per Attempt. So simple, even you can understand it. This rates a defense's ability to stuff an opposing ground game.
 
NPP% Negative Pass Plays, expressed as a percentage. This is how often an opponent's pass plays end in either a sack or interception. Defenses that get after the quarterback and overwhelm the opposing offensive line naturally force sacks and INTs. These negative pass plays are calculated as a percentage of attempts. So if a team foces two sacks and two INTs in 40 pass plays, their NPP% will be 10 percent (4/40).
 
3down% - Opposition success rate on third down. The lower the percentage, the higher the defensive success.
 
 
DEFENSIVE HOG INDEX UPDATE
The Defensive Hog Index has generated plenty of publicity over the years. Football fans love the fact that we have a way to quantify with hard data the best defensive fronts in football. In the past, most analysts sized up defensive fronts with nothing more than the habitually unreliable old eye test.
 
Fans also love the fact that the Defensive Hog Index consistently identifies Super Bowl winners. We introduced the indicator in 2007. The No. 1 Defensive Hogs that year belonged to the Giants. They won the Super Bowl. The No. 1 Defensive Hogs in 2008 belonged to the Steelers. They, too, won the Super Bowl.
 
The Defensive-Hog-dynasty-Steelers boasted the No. 1 unit again in 2010. They won the AFC title, before falling to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. The champion Packers were a mere No. 10 on our Defensive Hog Index. But as you'll see in the chart below, they were the best in football at one particular Defensive Hog craft: no team in football in 2010 was better at forcing Negative Pass Plays (sacks, INTs), a critical component of the DHI, than the Packers.
 
This best-in-the-NFL capability produced the single-biggest play of the 2010 season: in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV, Green Bay defensive tackle Howard Green put heavy pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. The Pittsburgh quarterback heaved up a bad pass that was picked off by safety Nick Collins, who returned it 37 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. The Packers held on to win the Super Bowl, 31-25.
 
Bottom line: great Defensive Hogs help create champion contenders.
 
With all that said, though, we were surprised to find that the Defensive Hog Index had a relatively low rate of success as a predictive indicator.
 
Our new Predictive Rate of Victory chart (soon available at CHFF Insider) revealed that teams with the better Defensive Hogs went just 130-126 (50.8%) in 2010. The DHI showed a similar rate of success in the postseason, where the better D-Hogs went just 6-5 (54.5%), including the Super Bowl loss by Pittsburgh (No. 1 Defensive Hogs) to Green Bay (No. 10 Defensive Hogs).
 
So the DHI didn't always highlight winners week in and week out. But at the end of the day, the Super Bowl was once again a battle between teams with great capabilities on the defensive front.  
 
Final 2010 Defensive Hog Index
  Team  YPA  NPP%  3down%  # Avg 
1t Pittsburgh 3.01 1 10.47 7 33.49 3 3.7
1t San Diego 3.71 5 11.78 2 33.65 4 3.7
3 N.Y. Giants 4.18 14 10.75 4 31.73 1 6.3
4 N.Y. Jets 3.57 3 9.11 12 36.99 10 8.3
5 Miami 3.58 4 9.24 11 37.17 11 8.7
6 Chicago 3.72 6 8.78 16 34.72 6 9.3
7t Oakland 4.51 23 11.41 3 34.86 7 11.0
7t St. Louis 4.48 22 9.28 9 33.48 2 11.0
9 Philadelphia 4.14 13 10.61 5 38.28 17 11.7
10t Green Bay 4.64 28 12.22 1 36.15 9 12.7
10t San Francisco 3.46 2 8.7 17 38.71 19 12.7
12 Carolina 3.94 10 8.62 18 38.03 16 14.7
13 New Orleans 4.27 17 7.97 23 34.48 5 15.0
14 Arizona 4.42 20 8.83 15 37.34 12 15.7
15 Detroit 4.53 24 10.48 6 38.89 20 16.7
16 Kansas City 4.32 18 8.55 20 37.67 13 17.0
17t Baltimore 3.91 9 7.38 28 37.99 15 17.3
17t Dallas 4.33 19 9.72 8 39.71 25 17.3
19 Cleveland 4.1 12 8.96 14 42.86 28 18.0
20 Tennessee 3.91 7 8.56 19 42.98 29 18.3
21 Minnesota 3.91 8 8.05 22 40.85 26 18.7
22 New England 4.23 16 9.27 10 47.14 32 19.3
23 Cincinnati 4.43 21 7.95 24 37.88 14 19.7
24 Houston 4.04 11 7.45 27 39.49 23 20.3
25 Atlanta 4.63 27 8.97 13 39.3 22 20.7
26t Seattle 4.21 15 7.88 25 39.5 24 21.3
26t Washington 4.6 26 7.08 30 35.05 8 21.3
28 Indianapolis 4.57 25 7.08 31 39.0 21 25.7
29 Denver 4.66 29 6.29 32 38.28 18 26.3
30 Tampa Bay 4.75 31 8.23 21 43.19 31 27.7
31 Jacksonville 4.68 30 7.33 29 41.27 27 28.7
32
Buffalo
4.75
32
7.6
26
43.17
30
29.3
 

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