I haven’t written much of anything about the ANY/A (adjusted net yards per passing attempt) stats this season not only because of time constraint reasons, but also because they’re not popular posts on week-to-week basis. However, with the playoffs about to start I thought I would quickly touch on the stat in order to point out a couple of intersecting things I’ve noticed and especially when it comes to the defensive side of the football.
For those of you who need a quick refresher on the ANY/A stat, here below is the formula used to compute it:
ANY/A – (pass yards + 20*(pass TD) – 45*(interceptions thrown) – sack yards)/(passing attempts + sacks)
Now that we have the description of that stat out of the way let me start by showing you the current defensive ANY/A stats of the 15 teams still in the hunt to win the Super Bowl this season. Keep in mind that the lower the number the better and also remember that there is still one week remaining in the 2017 regular season.
Now is a perfect time to let you know that dating back to 1982 when sacks became an official stat, no team has ever won a Super Bowl with a regular season defensive ANY/A stat greater than 5.9. As you can see in the table above, five of the 15 teams still alive to win this year’s Super Bowl have a defensive ANY/A greater than 5.9 and the New England Patriots are one of them and they have the highest number of those teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in the middle of the pack with a 5.1 number. This is the good news, historically speaking, when it comes to this stat.
If you are now currently feeling good about the Patriots possibly not winning a Super Bowl this season based only on the history of this stat, you shouldn’t be and that’s because of their quarterback Tom Brady and their head coach Bill Belichick and their history together. Additionally, while the Patriots current defensive ANY/A stat for the entire season is the highest of the 15 teams in this study, from Week 10 to Week 16 of the regular season their stat is just 4.8, which is the sixth-lowest when compared to the other 14 teams still in the hunt this season. In short, the Patriots pass defense has been a lot better over the course of their last seven games.
When it comes to the Steelers defensive ANY/A stat from Weeks 10 to 16 their 6.0 number is the fourth-highest when compared to the other 14 teams still in the hunt this season. Now, before you start getting all depressed it’s important to point out that the Steelers were without the services of cormerback Joe Haden starting from early in their Week 10 game against the Indianapolis Colts until their Week 16 game against the Houston Texans. In that span of six games that Haden missed, the Steelers defensive ANY/A stat was a very ugly 6.6. In case you’re curious, the Steelers defensive ANY/A from Weeks 1 to 9 when Haden was on the field was a very impressive 4.3. While you can read into that summary what you wish, Haden’s absence from the Steelers defense during those six weeks was very noticeable both on tape and in the stats.
Let me end this post by pointing out that both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens have very impressive pass defenses this season and that’s backed up by their very stable season-long ANY/A stats. Assuming the current seeds in the AFC remain unchanged after Week 17, the Patriots would face either the Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. While the Chiefs have already beaten the Patriots this season, that was a long time ago. In short, the Ravens might have the better chance at knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs. As for the Steelers Divisional Round opponent, I have a feeling it will ultimately be the Jaguars, a team they were blown out by earlier in the season. Much as it was back in Week 5, their defense is still very scary.
|Defensive Passing Stats 2017 Season Weeks 1-9|
|Defensive Passing Stats 2017 Season Weeks 10-16|