Sig Stats: Run Stop Percentage, LBs

Gordon McGuinness offers up the top and bottom of the linebacker lists when it comes to racking up run stops.

| 3 years ago

Sig Stats: Run Stop Percentage, LBs

2013-RSP-LBsThe week we are continuing to take a look at players across the league based on some of our unique Signature Stats. These signature stats are somewhere between your everyday stats and our PFF grades, providing a greater look at player performance than regular stats can provide.

Last week we brought you our look at how running backs perform beyond the help of their offensive line, with our Elusive Rating.  This week we’re switching to the other side of the ball again, casting our eye on how linebackers perform against the run with our Run Stop Percentage Signature Stat.

Tackle stats are one thing, but our Run Stop Percentage Signature Stat measures how often a player records a tackle that results in a defensive stop. As opposed to crediting a player for merely making a tackle somewhere in the field of play, this lets us see which players are making the important tackles.

To qualify, a linebacker needed to have played at least 120 snaps against the run.

Inside Linebackers

The Top 5

Rank Name Team Run Snaps Tackles Stops Stop %
1 Brian Cushing HOU 155 30 28 18.1
2 Sean Lee DAL 221 53 38 17.2
3 Paul Posluszny JAX 452 86 64 14.2
4 Paul Worrilow ATL 199 38 25 12.6
5 Akeem Jordan KC 224 42 28 12.5

The top two players here, Brian Cushing and Sean Lee, both missed significant time for their respective teams in 2013 and both of those teams clearly felt the loss. It’s not much of a surprise to see Cushing here, despite the injury, with him finishing each of the past three seasons with a RSP of 12.3% or higher, and the key for him is obviously just making sure he can get back on the field, and stay there, to help a Texans defense that missed him last year.

Likewise for Lee, with no other Dallas inside linebacker finishing with a RSP above 6.0 when they filled in for him. To put it in perspective, Lee had 38 tackles which resulted in a defensive stop last year, while Ernie Sims and DeVonte Holloman combined for 10.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, undrafted free agent Paul Worrilow may not have had the best rookie year, but he can at least hang his hat on a Top-5 RSP position in his first year in the league. Washington Redskins fans will be pleased to see new signing Akeem Jordan make an appearance, with him much higher up the list their own inside linebackers from last year, Perry Riley and London Fletcher.

The Bottom Five

Rank Name Team Run Snaps Tackles Stops Stop %
52 Dannell Ellerbe MIA 399 54 25 6.3
53 D’Qwell Jackson CLE 437 42 26 5.9
54 A.J. Hawk GB 406 39 21 5.2
55 London Fletcher WAS 399 37 20 5
56 Daryl Smith BAL 416 35 18 4.3

As we mentioned above, Fletcher didn’t have a great year, finishing 2013 with the second-lowest RSP. The lowest, though, was saved for a linebacker playing for the nearby Baltimore Ravens, Daryl Smith. Smith had a great year in coverage, but struggled to get off blocks against the run, something the Ravens have gambled was just a one-year blip as they re-signed him this offseason. A.J. Hawk’s inclusion means he has now featured in the Bottom 5 twice in the past three years, falling back down in 2013 after finishing 2012 in sixth place with a RSP of 11.8%.

4-3 Outside Linebackers

The Top 5

Rank Name Team Run Snaps Tackles Stops Stop %
1 Lavonte David TB 393 64 53 13.5
2 Danny Trevathan DEN 345 54 35 10.1
3 Nate Irving DEN 120 15 12 10
4 Lance Briggs CHI 243 31 24 9.9
5 Malcolm Smith SEA 205 23 20 9.8

It’s really no surprise at all to see Lavonte David’s name at the top of this list, following on from finishing at the top in his rookie season in 2012. He’s emerged as the best 4-3 outside linebacker in football for good reason, and finished the year with 18 more stops against the run that the next highest player at the position.

The Denver  Broncos felt the effects of Von Miller’s injury late in the year, and his suspension earlier, but they at least managed to get two high performers against the run at the position in Danny Trevathan and Nate Irving. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith rounds out the Top 5, highlighting that he wasn’t merely a one-game wonder.

The Bottom Five

Rank Name Team Run Snaps Tackles Stops Stop %
33 Sean Weatherspon ATL 167 15 8 4.8
34 Sio Moore OAK 270 22 12 4.4
35 Thomas Davis CAR 325 26 12 3.7
36 Keith Rivers NYG 238 17 8 3.4
37 Bruce Irvin SEA 217 12 7 3.2

While they had one player in the Top 5, the Seattle Seahawks also had the low man on the list too, as Bruce Irvin made a position change and stood up in his second season in the league. It wasn’t a great year for Irvin, but he did still grade out positively and it will be interesting to see if they keep him at linebacker, or move him back to the defensive line next year.

While signature stats give a clearer look at how linebackers have performed against the run, nothing quite compares to our PFF grades. The grades take into account things whether or not a player has had to beat a block to make the tackle, and gives credit too for the work that leads to the tackle happening. The good news, is that a PFF membership gives you access to both the grades, and our various signature stats, coming in at just $26.99 for a year’s membership.


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| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • WordsOfWisdom82

    Jeff Ireland really screwed the pooch on those Dolphins LBs last year. Ellerbe and Wheeler both stunk last year.

  • [email protected]

    Bruce Irvin flashed potential for sure, the interception on the wheel route 25 yards downfield was impressive for a guy who was DE last year.

    • nogoodnamesleft90210

      Irvin was a bit of a mystery to me last year. He rarely made big plays, but he also rarely got beat in any significant way in run or pass defense. Despite playing a few more snaps than Smith, he had about 1/2 the run tackles and 1/3 the run stops. Is it just the scheme? I think only the Seattle coaches could answer for sure.

      • [email protected]

        I agree, i’m not sure what was happening at all. I never saw him look bad but other than a few plays there wasnt much to see.

  • Jacob Basson

    I know you often group 3-4 OLBs with 4-3 ends but I’d love to know how Clay Matthews stacks up against his peers as far as run stop percentage.