Signature Stats: Yards Per Cover Snap

Mike Renner takes a look at cornerbacks and the yards they've allowed on a per-snap basis.

| 4 years ago

Signature Stats: Yards Per Cover Snap

2013-WK08-YPCS-CBsJust past the midway point of the season and it’s about the time where sample sizes get large enough to accurately assess positions that aren’t directly involved in as many plays. This week we’ll be looking at which cornerbacks have been preventing and allowing yards in coverage. Our work collecting snap and role data as well as assigning coverage responsibility on each play allows us to bring you one of our unique signature stats, Yards per Coverage Snap (YpCS).

Before we get into individual performers, let’s look at some miscellaneous data about the cornerback position this season. A starting cornerback will be tasked with coverage around 30-50 times a game, but they amount of plays they are targeted on can be a fraction of that. The league-average cornerback sees a target on 16.6% of their coverage snaps and allows completions on 59.8% of those targets. The league average YpCS is 1.27 while throwing at cornerbacks has yielded a passer rating of 87.7 for quarterbacks.

Now that we have some context, let’s take a look at the top performers:

Top 15 Yards Per Cover Snap:

# Name Team Snaps QB Rating Yards / Cover Snap
1  Darrelle Revis TB 292 59.9 0.40
2  Kareem Jackson HST 234 85.3 0.59
3  Nickell Robey BUF 224 53.4 0.70
4  Orlando Scandrick DAL 389 68.4 0.71
5  Xavier Rhodes MIN 267 73.4 0.77
6  Aqib Talib NE 230 28.9 0.81
7  Chris Owens CLV 294 91.6 0.83
7  Keenan Lewis NO 263 44.5 0.83
7  Walter Thurmond SEA 229 79.2 0.83
10  Joe Haden CLV 398 72.5 0.87
11  Brandon Browner SEA 247 78.5 0.89
12  Patrick Peterson ARZ 352 66.4 0.91
13  Alterraun Verner TEN 291 23.2 0.92
14  Vontae Davis IND 290 84.5 0.93
15  Tramon Williams GB 298 97.4 0.96

Keenan Lewis has quietly been one of the top free agent signings in the NFL this season. He’s never given up more than 44 yards in a single game and his coverage ability has allowed Rob Ryan’s blitz-heavy schemes to be so effective. If you think that’s stingy, though, just look at some of Darrelle Revis’ stat lines for the season. The last four games the All-Pro has given up a total of 14 yards in 131 coverage snaps. Teams just don’ t bother challenging the Bucs’ corner as he’s targeted on just over 10% of his coverage snaps, the lowest rate in the NFL. Much has been made of the schemes in Tampa and the insistence on zone coverages, but even playing zone Revis has proven that he’s still at the top of his game.

Bottom 15 Yards Per Cover Snap:

# Name Team Snaps QB Rating Yards / Cover Snap
61  Corey Graham BLT 233 120.6 1.51
62  Morris Claiborne DAL 308 97.9 1.54
62  Janoris Jenkins SL 293 120.3 1.54
64  Johnny Patrick SD 203 103.4 1.57
65  Charles Tillman CHI 204 92.9 1.58
65  Brandon Boykin PHI 284 74.9 1.58
67  D.J. Hayden OAK 235 110.0 1.60
68  Brandon Flowers KC 271 89.3 1.66
69  Derek Cox SD 270 109.1 1.79
70  Chris Houston DET 296 95.6 1.80
71  Ike Taylor PIT 259 101.3 1.81
72  Lardarius Webb BLT 273 101.1 1.83
73  Darius Butler IND 206 83.2 1.84
74  Josh Robinson MIN 333 127.3 1.86
75  David Amerson WAS 253 82.9 1.87

Josh Robinson
has been a disaster this season in coverage. He has the worst mark among corners in the following categories: completion percentage (86%), quarterback rating (127.3), yards after catch (303), yards (618), and receptions (51). Somehow he’s second in YpCS, though, just a hair behind rookie David Amerson who has struggled with big plays all season. The Washington corner’s 18.92 yards per catch is second only to Antonio Cromartie (20.0).

Other Notables:

•  Chris Harris’ 35 snaps in Week 4 versus Philadelphia were the most in a single game this season without being targeted.
•  On the other hand, the most targeted corner in a single game this season was Bradley Fletcher, who saw 19 targets back in Week 5 against the Giants.
•  Alterraun Verner has the best passer rating against this season at 23.2 while his YpCS of .92 fell just outside the Top 10.
•  It’s tough to stay on top of your game in the NFL Brandon Flowers, Lardarius Webb, and Charles Tillman have all made at least one PFF All-Pro team since 2009 and all fall into the Bottom 10.
•  Brandon Browner has allowed just 1.1 yards after catch on average this season, easily the lowest in the league.


Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner

| 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.

  • Alex

    I wonder if you apply any sort of correction for drops. The statistics definitely aren’t high enough for effects from drops to even out. Even if I assume that every ball thrown into a corner’s coverage is catchable, the average corner would only have seen ~5 drops from the receivers they’re covering based on the numbers provided here and in last week’s item on drop rate. On top of that, a single drop can, depending on the route, drastically alter a corner’s YpCS. Suppose a corner with 300 coverage snaps had one play where he was beat deep for what should have been a 60 yard touchdown. The difference between the receiver catching that ball and dropping it is 0.27 YpCS, which is larger than the difference between the 3rd best corner and the 15th.

    • Alex

      Whoops, noticed a typo. The above example should be an 80 yard catch.

  • osoviejo

    Does PI factor?

  • ItsJustWerner


  • hunter

    hard to beleive Ike and Brandon flowers are on the list of the worst corners

  • Joe

    There should also be some correction for cornerback partner. Teams could end up throwing away from average corners if the guy on the other side of the field is just a much easier target.

    • [email protected]

      Yards are pretty irrelevant anyways, the only way to stop a semi competent team thats going to throw throw throw is to make them pay with turnovers.

  • alex

    im confused by this statistic. how is brandon boykin so low? he has been a monster this season. he also allows a 74.9 passer rating which is better than some guys in the top 15

    • [email protected]

      All statistics in football are overrated, yards the most so. I’d take a corner any day who makes picks and causes fumbles over one that gives up fewer yards.

  • Erik Griffiths

    Nickell Robey UDFA ROY