As many of you already know, I am a big fan of ANY/A stats (Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt) as well as the differential between a team’s offensive and defensive ANY/A numbers. Why? Well, I think it’s obvious when you closely examine those stats over the course of the last 20 years that you can build pretty solid power rankings off of them on a week-to-week basis because of how the game now revolves mostly around passing.
Today, I wanted to look at the history of the defensive ANY/A stat as it relates to teams making the Super Bowl. The results are really revealing.
First, here are the stats that make up an ANY/A number, which is an advanced statistic that quantifies the contributions of a quarterbacks passing game by including five key passing statistics;
– passing yards
– passing touchdowns
– interceptions thrown
– times sacked
– yards lost to being sacked.
Below is the formula used to calculate ANY/A on both sides of the football:
ANY/A = (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown) – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks)
Now that we have that recap out of the way, below you will see a list of the last 40 teams to make it to the Super Bowl and the defensive passing stats for each. The final column is that team’s final regular-season defensive ANY/A stat and the teams are ranked from worst to best.
Now for a few observations of those numbers:
For starters, only two teams have managed to make it to the Super Bowl over the course of the last 20 years with a defensive ANY/A greater than 5.94. Strangely enough, the 2008 Arizona Cardinals are one of those two teams to pull that off and they of course lost that year to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. That 2008 Steelers team also boasted the third lowest regular-season defensive ANY/A stat of all 40 teams that have made it to the Super Bowl over the course of the last 20 years.
Now, about that 5.94 number I mentioned above. Through the first 8 weeks of the 2015 season, only 12 teams currently own a defensive ANY/A stat of 5.94 or less. The Steelers are not one of those teams, however, as they enter Week 9 with a defensive ANY/A number of 6.38, which is just slightly higher than the current league average.
When you consider that only 7 teams have managed to make it to the Super Bowl with a defensive ANY/A greater than 5.42, you can clearly see that the Steelers 2015 defense has to get better against the opposition’s passing game during the second half of the season.
Here’s one final observation for you.
The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently own the best regular season defensive ANY/A number of any team that has made it to the Super Bowl over the course of the last 20 years. Curiously enough, their defensive backs coach that year was current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
In a future post, we will look at offensive ANY/A numbers and see if we can draw any conclusions from Super bowl teams using that stat.
Regular Season Defensive ANY/A Stats Of Super Bowl Teams (1995-2014)