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Playbook Confidential: Loss at Tampa Bay

Looking back at the Tampa Bay game, looking ahead to Denver.

Al Messerschmidt

Like most of you, I don't want to dwell on this game too much. The offense moved the ball, did just enough running to keep the defense sort of honest, but in the end boneheaded turnovers did the team in. Turner ran the ball much more than I was expecting given the stuff TB run defense, and was somewhat successful to the tune of 4.6 YPC. However, if you take out the Jackie Battle 'And1' play that he busted out, and the game concession Ronnie Brown run , that healthy YPC dips to an anemic 3.0. Was this Turner smartly slowing down the Tampa pass rush, or a simple refusal to adapt to the opponent?

Down Run Pass Total
1st 13 16 29
2nd 9 12 21
3rd 1 15 16
Total 23 43 66

The YPP chart I introduced last week has been enhanced slightly this week. I color coded the actual results of pass plays red, and rushing plays green. I also added a purple line showing the fixed average YPP for the entire game. The flow of this game on offense was much more spiky with lots of 20 yard plays mixed in with plenty of negative plays. The offense started off well, as it has in recent weeks (aided by that one big touchdown), and also started out the 2nd half better than in recent weeks. Both the 2nd and 4th quarters showed some wheeze out and desperation.


So yeah, that's as much as I could stomach analyzing that game.

Run/Pass Balance against Field Position

The season long look at the data for this week is to look at the way Turner calls Run/Pass depending on where they are on the field. Running is especially low from the 30-60 yards lines (own 30 to opponent 40), but pretty consistent in the low 40's everywhere else that extremely close to either goal line. This might explain why drives with this offense tend to be boom or bust. Norv likes to come out swinging. If that swing (passing) whiffs, drives sputter. If the big swing connects, the running game gets going both in terms of play calling share and on the field.

Ball On Run Pass Total Plays
0-10 69% 31% 16
11-20 44% 56% 64
21-30 42% 58% 92
31-40 27% 73% 78
41-50 38% 62% 53
51-60 35% 65% 63
61-70 45% 55% 56
71-80 44% 56% 48
81-90 44% 56% 41
91-100 51% 49% 41

Next Opponent

It just doesn't get any easier from this point. Denver's defense is studly, most especially against the pass. We should expect to see that Tampa Bay game 35/65 run/pass balance flipped against Denver (doubtful right?). The Tampa Bay game actually improved the San Diego standing in yardage and DVOA methods. The offense has jumped from the bottom of the bottom third to the top of the bottom third. Denver is really good against WRs in the passing game, and weakest against TEs and RBs. Hopefully Antonio Gates can snap out of his funk, and Ryan Mathews can get established early.

Den Defense DVOA Rank Yards/Game Rank
Run -15.9% #10 98 #10
Pass -16.1% #4 218 #11
Overall -16.0% #4 317 #6

SD Offense DVOA Rank Yards/Game Rank
Run -12.0% #23 106 #18
Pass 6.8% #20 229 #16
Overall -7.2% #22 335 #22

TB DVOA vs Skill Players in Passing Game
WR1 -5.3% #10
WR2 -14.0% #8
Other WR -41.2% #2
TE 1.4% #18
RB -8.5% #12

Keep in mind that for defense DVOA, negative is good, while negative is bad for offense DVOA. All VOA, DVOA, YAR and DYAR statistical values are developed, calculated and reported by Football Outsiders. Their explanation can be found here.

A Playbook Confidential intro can be found here.

The cumulative 2012 Chargers play calling log can be found here.