Sig Stats: Run Stop Percentage, Interior DL

Focusing on our Run Stop Percentage Signature Stat, Mike Renner looks back on the top and bottom of the interior defender ranks.

| 2 years ago

Sig Stats: Run Stop Percentage, Interior DL

2014-Sig-Stats-RSpctDINo player can blow up a run play faster than an interior defensive lineman and as such no position is more important to a team’s run defense. There are a lot of factors that go into run defense and there can be times where a defensive lineman can execute his assignment perfectly and be involved in the tackle. Those plays will show up in our grades, but today we’re just looking at the guys who were able to get the job done themselves.

We define a stop as any instance where the primary tackler prevents an offensive success. ‘Offensive success’ logically varies by down and distance with our official cutoffs for stops being as follows:

1st down:  <40% of required yardage
2nd down: <60% of required yardage
3rd down: <100% of required yardage
4th down: <100% of required yardage

Let’s start off by giving a nod to the iron men on the interior. There were just 16 such players that notched 300 or more snaps last season against the run, down from 26 in 2013.

RSpct iron

–  Seven 3-4 defensive ends and nine defensive/nose tackles make up the list.
–  Dontari Poe led the interior in run snaps for the first time, though he has taken 300+ run snaps in every year of his career.
–  Poe’s 381 run snaps were actually the lowest league leader we’ve had in the PFF era.
–  The highest total we’ve seen belongs to Shaun Rogers who played a ridiculous 451 run snaps with Cleveland back in 2008.

Run Stop Percentage, Defensive Interior, Top 15

RSpct DI T15

–  No surprise at the top as Damon Harrison overtook J.J. Watt this year after finishing second to him a year ago. Marcel Dareus was the only other player to repeat in the Top 15 from a year ago.
–  Fletcher Cox had himself a career year and in the process almost doubled his 6.4 run stop percentage from a year ago.
–  It’s a golden age for the 3-4 as 10 of the 15 players represented hail from such a defense.
–  The highest run stop percentage came back in 2007 when Sione Pouha put up an insane 21.2.

Run Stop Percentage, Defensive Interior, Bottom 15

RSpct DI B15

–  Not a good showing for Atlanta, especially for Tyson Jackson who was brought in last offseason for the express purpose of stopping the run.
–  The same can be said for Miami who also has two representatives after their run defense collapsed late in the season. It obviously struck a chord in the organization as neither Jared Odrick nor Randy Starks are with the Dolphins anymore.
–  Kendall Reyes gets the honor of being the only player on to make the ‘worst’ list each of the last two seasons. The sad part is that Reyes’ 3.8 run stop percentage was actually a career high as he’s been in the bottom 15 ever year of his career.
–  Mike Martin was certainly not a fan of the Titans switch to the 3-4. He had run stop percentages of 11.1 and 10.9 the previous two seasons as a 4-3 defensive tackle.


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| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • PaulK2

    I see lots of bad statistics out there, and so I need to give you credit for thinking your run stop percentage statistic through.

  • Roy

    I believe number 3 on the list should be Sheldon Richardson…not Wilkerson…

    • Mike Renner

      Wilkerson is correct. Richardson’s was 7.4.

      • anon76returns

        Malik Jackson should be listed as #1. I can’t understand why you try to grade Malik and Wolfe as 4-3 DEs (or Von Miller as a 4-3 OLB) when both Malik and Wolfe play 5 tech covered DEs with a LB lined out wide in the 9 tech. That is the same alignment (and same assignment) as a 3-4 DE, which should be counted as defensive interior.
        And that’s just in the 1/3 of snaps they played in base defense- the other 2/3 of the time they were playing DTs in a 4-2-5 nickel defense, which is definitely interior defense.

  • Bri

    Why list Casey as interior? He played DE last year as they switched to 3-4

    • jason witten

      3-4 DE is interior. The edge rushers are the outside linebackers.