SB XLIX: 32 Observations

Nathan Jahnke digs through the numbers to pull out 32 Observations for the Super Bowl teams.

| 2 years ago

SB XLIX: 32 Observations

SB-XLIX-32-ObsIt’s Super Bowl time, so this weeks 32 Observations are all about the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. You have been hearing about this game for over a week and a half now, so let’s get straight to the observations.


New England Offense

•  When Tom Brady throws to Brandon LaFell, he has a Passer Rating of 104.2, and when he throws to Julian Edelman he has a Passer Rating of 103.9. They are both in the Top 15 among the 50 wide receivers with the most targets.

•  When Ryan Wendell has played guard this year, he’s had a Run Block Rating of +9.9 which is fifth best among right guards.

•  Tight end Rob Gronkowski led all tight ends in Yards Per Route Run at 2.53. He was one of just two tight ends above 2.0 this year. This is his third straight year leading the league, and fifth straight year in the Top 5.

•  As a Patriot, LeGarrette Blount has averaged 3.2 yards after contact per carry including the playoffs, which leads the league for all backs above 60 carries.

•  Wide Receiver Julian Edelman was targeted 36 times in the regular season on ‘out’ routes which led all wide receivers. On those passes he has 26 catches for 235 yards which also leads all wide receivers. Seattle has only allowed 245 yards on 20 catches on out routes, which is the second lowest in the league.

•  On play action passes, Tom Brady has completed 101 of 151 passes for 1366 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. The 1366 yards led all quarterbacks on play action passes.

•  Fullback James Develin has a +3.9 Blocking Rating this year, which is fourt-best among all fullbacks.

•  Tackle Sebastian Vollmer has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 96.2 which was the third-best for all right tackles.

New England Defense

•  Safety Duron Harmon comes in for 3rd-and-long situations. In the 224 coverage snaps he’s played in the regular and postseason this year, he has been targeted once, has no catches allowed, and has two interceptions. No other safety has played more than 30 snaps this year without allowing a catch.

•  From Week 1 to Week 5, Chandler Jones was averaging 0.6 sacks/hits per game. From Week 6 on, he has averaged 2.1 sacks/hits per game.

•  Safety Patrick Chung has 22 run stops on the year which led to a 6.7 Run Stop Percentage. Both numbers were among the Top 10 for all safeties in the league.

•  Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga has a Run Stop percentage of 12.1% which is second best for all defensive/nose tackles. He has played in over 70% of snaps in three of the last four games.

•  Inside linebacker Jamie Collins has a Pass Rushing Productivity of 25.3 on the season with four sacks, six hits and 16 hurries on 81 pass rushes. He has the highest Pass Rushing Productivity of all defensive players regardless of position with at least 30 pass rushes.

•  Since Week 12, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Logan Ryan have each been thrown at 34 times. Revis and Ryan have both allowed 15 catches each for a catch rate of 44.1% which are both among the Top 10 among cornerbacks over that time. Browner has allowed 19 catches for a low catch rate of 55.9%.

•  The average defense gave up 286 yards on slant routes, while the Patriots only allowed 175 yards which was the lowest amount in the league.

•  Since Week 11, safety Devin McCourty has two interceptions and four passes defended compared to just eight passes allowed for zero touchdowns.

Seattle Offense

•  On quarterback scrambles, Russell Wilson had 12 defenders miss tackles on him which led the league and is three times more than the third-ranked quarterback. He also led the league in yards on scrambles with 529 on 56 attempts.

•  From Week 5 until the end of the regular season, Luke Willson was one of seven tight ends with over 100 receiving yards on deep passes at 128. He also tied all tight ends for the most deep touchdown catches over that time with two.

•  When Seattle is running an option run play, Marshawn Lynch has seven touchdowns which leads all players on that type of play. Tied for second in the league is Russell Wilson at five. The Patriots have defended 68 option run plays this season, and have yet to allow a touchdown.

•  Guard J.R. Sweezy had a Screen Block Rating of +3.0 which is the best for all right guards in the league.

•  Center Max Unger in his 248 pass blocks in the regular and postseason has yet to allow a sack or hit, and has only allowed six pressures. His Pass Blocking Efficiency of 98.2% is fourth-best among centers.

•  Since Week 6, Doug Baldwin has 61 catches and just one drop. His drop rate of 1.61 since Week 6 is third best for those with at least 36 catchable passes.

•  On plays where Russell Wilson throws the ball in 2.5 seconds or less, he has completed 74.3% of his passes which is the fourth-best in the league.

•  For the second straight year, the wide receiver to lead Seattle in Yards Per Route Run is Ricardo Lockette at 2.02. He will likely be the Seahawks’ third wide receiver in the Super Bowl.

Seattle Defense

•  In Richard Sherman’s seven playoff games in his career, he has eight combined interceptions/passes defended compared to eight catches allowed.

•  There were three 4-3 defensive ends with at least 60 pressures from the left side this year, including both Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. Of the 24 4-3 ends with at least 100 snaps from the left, Bennett was third best at Pass Rushing Productivity at 13.5 and Avril was fourth-best at 12.9.

•  In each of the three previous seasons, Earl Thomas had four or more games where he allowed three or more catches. Going back to last year’s Super Bowl, Thomas has gone 19 straight games allowing two or fewer catches.

•  There are only two linebackers in 4-3 or 3-4 fronts with a rating of +1.0 or better in run defense, pass rush, coverage and penalty. Those two are K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner.

•  Cornerback Byron Maxwell is one of five cornerbacks to be thrown at more than 50 times since Week 5 and not allow a single touchdown.

•  Safety Kam Chancellor had a Run Stop Percentage of 8.7% which not only led all starting safeties this year, but was the best single season mark for safeties in the eight years we’ve been grading games.

•  Seattle brings five or more pass rushers on one in every four pass plays. On the plays where they rush with five or more rushers, they get pressure on the quarterback half the time. When they bring four or fewer rushers, then they only get pressure one third of the time.

•  Cornerback Jeremy Lane has allowed 8.0 yards per catch, which is tied with Chris Harris for the lowest in the league for those who have been thrown at 30 or more times.


Follow Nathan on Twitter: @PFF_NateJahnke

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Anonymous

    Sherm has 2 career playoff INT’s (both this year). I think that stat is supposed to say 7 passes defended compared to 8 catches.

    • Chris

      I thought I remembered hearing that he got his first career playoff INT against Carolina.

      Just checked his game logs and you are correct, he only has 2 career playoff INTs.

      • eYeDEF

        The article is right. He has 8 combined INT+PD. That’s 2 INT + 6 PD in his post-season career.

        • Chris

          They edited it. Yesterday it said ‘In Richard Sherman’s seven playoff games in his career, he has seven interceptions compared to just eight catches allowed.’.

  • PetePrisco

    You are going to make us wait until sunday at 5 to post your picks this year. Won’t matter. i bet Sam’s the only one that gets it right like last year.