Sig Stats: Tackling Efficiency by Team

Nathan Jahnke offers a team-by-team look at the most efficient tacklers in the league.

| 2 years ago
2014-Sig-Stats-tkleff-team

Sig Stats: Tackling Efficiency by Team


2014-Sig-Stats-tkleff-teamWe have reached Day 2 of our Signature Stat week, and today is all about missed tackles. We tend to focus on individual players like Steve did today looking at the linebackers and defensive backs, but it’s good to know if it’s just an individual or two on your team racking up the misses or if it is a team issue.

Below are the average number of players to miss a tackle on defense per play, starting with the team that is best at not missing tackles; Cleveland.

Team-by-Team Defenses

Rank Team Snaps Missed Tackles Missed Tackles/Snap
1 Cleveland Browns 1188 102 0.086
2 San Francisco 49ers 1072 94 0.088
3 Chicago Bears 1065 97 0.091
4 Philadelphia Eagles 1207 111 0.092
5 Houston Texans 1150 110 0.096
6 Denver Broncos 1100 107 0.097
7 Minnesota Vikings 1109 108 0.097
8 N.Y. Jets 1044 102 0.098
9 Buffalo Bills 1124 110 0.098
10 Tennessee Titans 1169 116 0.099
11 San Diego Chargers 1074 108 0.101
12 Miami Dolphins 1071 110 0.103
13 Carolina Panthers 1056 110 0.104
14 New England Patriots 1111 116 0.104
15 Cincinnati Bengals 1146 120 0.105
16 Baltimore Ravens 1117 117 0.105
17 Seattle Seahawks 1002 105 0.105
18 Indianapolis Colts 1069 113 0.106
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 1010 107 0.106
20 Green Bay Packers 1114 120 0.108
21 Washington Redskins 1060 116 0.109
22 Kansas City Chiefs 1086 120 0.110
23 Arizona Cardinals 1085 122 0.112
24 N.Y. Giants 1076 123 0.114
25 Detroit Lions 1072 124 0.116
26 Atlanta Falcons 1106 132 0.119
27 St. Louis Rams 1077 130 0.121
28 Dallas Cowboys 1054 129 0.122
29 Oakland Raiders 1157 144 0.124
30 Jacksonville Jaguars 1147 144 0.126
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1139 152 0.133
32 New Orleans Saints 1092 148 0.136

The Browns top the list partially thanks to their defensive line. Desmond Bryant played over 700 snaps with just one missed tackle, while nine other players on defense played at least 100 snaps and missed 10 or fewer. If you look at just total missed tackles rather than the rate stat, the 49ers were the best in the league. Only six players on the defense had more than four misses.

Overall, 13 of the top 19 teams are from the AFC while 10 of the bottom 13 come from the NFC. Oddly enough, the eight teams right in the middle of the rankings are eight of the 12 playoff teams from this past year with little differentiation between them. While a team doesn’t need to be great in this category, it is hard to be successful when you’re one of the teams that misses the most tackles.

Special Teams

While the team that missed the most tackles missed about 160% more than the team with the fewest, we see a lot more disparity between the best and worst teams when looking at special teams missed tackles. Below are the number of special teams tackles missed this season:

Rank Team Special Teams Missed Tackles
1 Carolina Panthers 5
2 Baltimore Ravens 9
2 St. Louis Rams 9
4 Pittsburgh Steelers 12
5 Kansas City Chiefs 13
5 Atlanta Falcons 13
7 Dallas Cowboys 14
7 Philadelphia Eagles 14
7 Minnesota Vikings 14
10 Cleveland Browns 15
11 Buffalo Bills 16
12 Green Bay Packers 17
12 Chicago Bears 17
14 New England Patriots 18
14 New Orleans Saints 18
14 Cincinnati Bengals 18
14 Tennessee Titans 18
14 Seattle Seahawks 18
19 Oakland Raiders 19
19 N.Y. Jets 19
21 San Francisco 49ers 20
21 Washington Redskins 20
23 N.Y. Giants 21
24 Miami Dolphins 22
25 Arizona Cardinals 23
25 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
27 San Diego Chargers 25
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 25
27 Indianapolis Colts 25
30 Houston Texans 26
30 Denver Broncos 26
32 Detroit Lions 29

Incredibly, the Panthers only missed five special teams tackles on the year and those came from five different players. There were multiple individual players who had more misses than the Panthers had as a team. The Vikings and Browns were the only two teams in the Top 10 for both defensive missed tackles and special teams missed tackles.

 

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.

  • Jaguars28

    Wow, I would’ve thought Seattle would be first

    • Nick

      did you watch the super bowl?

      • Jaguars28

        Yes. Did you watch any other ofSeattle’s games?

        • Nick

          yes

    • YouBarkIBite

      I think there’s a few reasons why a simple count of missed tackles can be deceiving:
      1) There is no opponent adjustment being done. Nobody in the NFL plays the exact same schedule. Some may be facing better backs and receivers who are better at breaking tackles (i.e. elusiveness rating).
      2) Bad defenders will have less opportunities to miss a tackle due to being out of position (i.e. misdiagnosing the play) or not having the speed/quickness to chase down the play.
      3) Better defenses are able to minimize the damage from a missed tackle because they have other guys swarming to the ball (“gang tackling”).

      Obviously you never want to miss a tackle, but the stat in itself is not really indicative of defensive quality.

      • Jaguars28

        Good point, Seattle is probably the best in the league at swarm-tackling

  • Jeremy

    I’m curious how much the ST tackles are weighted by a different number of returns.

    Can you show Missed ST Tackles/Return?

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    denver’s LBs sure did bail out our team numbers, cuz tj ward and rahim moore were both bottom ten in efficiency at safety