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2020 Adjusted Games Lost: Part I

2020 Adjusted Games Lost: Part I Vincent Verhei 22 Mar 2021, 10:23 am

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton

Football Outsiders has rallied detailed injury information from the NFL’s weekly injury reports each year since 2001. And as you might imagine, 2020 “ve been a little” different. The specter of COVID-1 9 clouded those injury reports and at times–shout out to the Week 12 Broncos !–sabotaged teams’ competitive occasions. That said, the season progressed more smoothly than many expected. And in fact, the 67 actors who opted out of the season in August procreated more of an impact on adjusted sports lost–even with its heavy weighting of starters and rotation players–than the players who missed period due to COVID( or COVID etiquettes) during the season. Without the opt-outs, units averaged precisely 4.8 adjusted sports lost because of COVID, and no squad reached 20.0. But with them, squads averaged 12.5 adjusted plays lost and seven units contacted 20.0. And one squad lost far more than any other.

Team With COVID Rk Without

COVID Rk COVID

Only Rk NE 134.8 31 65.8 16 69.0 32

NYG 104.4 25 77.4 23 27.0 31

DEN 108.4 26 83.4 24 25.0 30

ARI 95.7 23 73.7 21 22.0 29

GB 73.1 15 52.1 10 21.0 28

BUF 63.1 9 43.1 4 20.0 26

MIA 65.7 12 45.7 7 20.0 26

CHI 87.1 19 69.1 20 18.0 20

DET 83.7 17 65.7 15 18.0 20

KC 65.2 11 47.2 9 18.0 20

LV 86.9 18 68.9 19 18.0 20

MIN 83.5 16 65.5 14 18.0 20

NYJ 123.9 29 105.9 29 18.0 20

BAL 59.6 8 46.6 8 13.0 18

CLE 89.7 22 76.7 22 13.0 18

Excavation 55.2 5 45.2 6 10.0 17

LAC 109.1 27 101.1 28 8.0 15

NO 49.2 4 41.2 3 8.0 15

ATL 48.0 3 41.0 2 7.0 14

CAR 73.1 14 68.1 17 5.0 11

SF 166.6 32 161.6 32 5.0 11

TB 30.6 1 25.6 1 5.0 11

IND 72.9 13 68.9 18 4.0 10

HOU 58.2 7 55.2 11 3.0 9

DAL 118.5 28 116.5 30 2.0 6

LAR 45.6 2 43.6 5 2.0 6

PHI 128.1 30 126.1 31 2.0 6

CIN 88.8 21 87.8 25 1.0 4

TEN 57.5 6 56.5 12 1.0 4

JAX 63.4 10 63.4 13 0.0 1

SEA 88.3 20 88.3 26 0.0 1

WAS 97.0 24 97.0 27 0.0 1

Cam Newton was the natural participate to condemn for the Patriots’ first losing season since Bill Belichick’s first with the team in 2000, and that became truer the deeper Tom Brady made his new Buccaneers team in the playoffs. But Newton also had some uncommon privations beyond his own COVID bout and a lack of experienced receivers. The Patriots had eight total opt-outs, three more than the second-place Browns. And four members of the Pats’ opt-outs were inferred starters Marcus Cannon, Matt LaCosse, Dont’a Hightower, and Patrick Chung. The Whale were the only other squad with more than one starter to opt out, and that’s only because we counted Sam Beal as a half-season inferred “new starter, ” estimating that a myriad of defensive back gashes would have leant Beal in the starting lineup eventually. Meanwhile, the Patriots did not have the breadth to cover up their damages, especially at linebacker, where Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, and Elandon Roberts had previously been started in free bureau. A year after grading first in defensive DVOA, the Patriots came to 26th in 2020 and 32 nd against the run.

The Patriots may have suffered the worst, but other teams also lost critical actors to opt-outs. In addition to Beal, the Giants lost left undertake Nate Solder. Solder had his career-worst season in 2019 with a 4.4% blow block charge according to Sports Info Solutions charting, but even a modest rebound toward his previous vocation standard would have represented an upgrade over rookie Andrew Thomas and his 4.6% blow block pace. The Broncos, Cardinals, and Chiefs lost linemen as well in Ja’Wuan James, Marcus Gilbert, and Laurence Duvernay-Tardif, respectively. Prior to February, I would have pegged the prior two musicians as “the worlds biggest” losses as they triggered their teams’ falls into the bottom 10 in adjusted sack rate. But then the Super Bowl exposed the Chiefs’ lack of offensive word profundity with Eric Fisher out with a torn Achilles and Mike Remmers and Andrew Wylie forced to play through groin and ankle injuries.

Defensively, the Vikings and Plane accepted clear jolt opt-out losings in defensive attack Michael Pierce and linebacker C.J. Mosley. Having previously liberated two-time Pro Bowler Linval Joseph, the Vikings declined to 30 th in drain protection DVOA and 32 nd in adjusted line yards in 2020 without their biggest free-agent addition. The Jet fared considerably better against the running( eighth in DVOA ), but Mosley earned his contract with his three-down skill-set. He accepted really 6.0 grounds per target with Baltimore in 2018, the last season when he played more than two games. Without him, the Flow stood the sixth-highest DVOA to tight objectives in 2020. And lastly, the Bears can likely attribute some of their regression to 13 th in pass protection DVOA to the loss of Eddie Goldman. Goldman isn’t a special interior pass-rusher like his teammate Akiem Hicks, but he still lent solid totals of 13 and 15 hastes in 2018 and 2019.

Las Vegas was the one team to lose more than 16 AGL without an opt-out starter. Las Vegas( 18 ), Baltimore( 13 ), Cleveland( 13 ), Pittsburgh( 10 ), and Denver( 9) lost the most AGL from the in-season COVID list. Note that this includes all players on the COVID list, whether they missed competitions due to illness or simply due to close contact.

Full Results

The COVID focus employed the cart a bit before the horse, so I’ll step back to explain that adjusted plays lost aims to measure the impact of gashes on crews. As you likely intuit, a starting offensive tackle affairs more to his team than a special teams player. Adjusted tournaments lost captivates such a distinction with separate weightings of starters, replacing starters, situational players, and terrace players. In addition, the metric adjusts the weightings of active musicians who appeared on their teams’ injury reports prior to playing to account for an anticipated decrease in effectiveness while playing hurt.

All generates included, 2020 saw a record average of 83.2 adjusted play lost per team. But putting COVID aside, teams averaged 70.8 adjusted tournaments lost, the lowest total since 2013, though not dramatically lower than recent seasons which wandered from 71.8 to 82.2. Even that meagre lessening is notable since injuries increased crisply and consistently between 2002( 32.6 adjusted competitions lost) and 2014( 77.8 ). Some of the 2020 increase shows a rule change obligated for COVID that had a broader impact: for the first and maybe only time, units could return an unlimited number of their actors from disabled substitute and could trigger them after a reduction in minimum of three missed weeks. That said, the recent plateauing of adjusted competitions lost proposes other criminals for the lessen such as the rule modifications for improved player safety.

2020 AGL Results( with COVID)

Team 2020 AGL Rk 2019 AGL Rk Dif DVOA TB 30.6 1 39.5 2 -8.9 31.5%

LAR 45.6 2 60.6 10 -15.0 15.4%

ATL 48.0 3 53.2 5 -5.2 -4. 2%

NO 49.2 4 58.3 8 -9.1 33.3%

Excavation 55.2 5 60.5 9 -5.3 16.8%

TEN 57.5 6 43.6 3 +13.9 2.9%

HOU 58.2 7 78.2 19 -20.0 -1 2.5%

BAL 59.6 8 68.7 16 -9.1 18.6%

BUF 63.1 9 64.6 11 -1.5 23.8%

JAX 63.4 10 100.2 29 -36.8 -2 7.9%

KC 65.2 11 75.8 18 -10.6 19.5%

MIA 65.7 12 100.0 28 -34.3 4.6%

IND 72.9 13 65.3 12 +7.6 14.3%

CAR 73.1 14 66.2 15 +6.9 -6. 7%

GB 73.1 15 65.6 14 +7.5 25.9%

MIN 83.5 16 25.6 1 +57.9 -6. 4%

DET 83.7 17 87.8 24 -4.1 -1 5.7%

LV 86.9 18 93.4 26 -6.5 -6. 3%

CHI 87.1 19 65.4 13 +21.7 -0. 5%

SEA 88.3 20 56.5 6 +31.8 20.1%

CIN 88.8 21 83.2 20 +5.6 -2 4.7%

CLE 89.7 22 56.8 7 +32.9 -5. 6%

ARI 95.7 23 85.0 22 +10.7 3.6%

WAS 97.0 24 131.0 31 -34.0 -2. 3%

NYG 104.4 25 72.6 17 +31.8 -1 3.8%

DEN 108.4 26 89.2 25 +19.2 -2 2.1%

LAC 109.1 27 103.0 30 +6.1 -1 4.7%

DAL 118.5 28 51.8 4 +66.7 -1 1.1%

NYJ 123.9 29 160.1 32 -36.2 -3 0.5%

PHI 128.1 30 84.4 21 +43.7 -1 8.8%

NE 134.8 31 85.0 23 +49.8 -7. 1%

SF 166.6 32 95.8 27 +70.8 5.4%

While the Patriots checked their thin listing wither thinner with absences, the Bucs experienced the healthiest season in football with exclusively 30.6 adjusted recreations lost. Belichick may find that ranking ironic since a nervousnes of hurt and decline likely motivated his willingness to let the 43 -year-old Brady leave in free agency. Nonetheless, health may have attracted Brady to the Bucs as much as their talented receivers. Tampa Bay finished third in adjusted competitions lost in 2019, and the metric links from time to year with a persuasivenes of about 0.30. Age likely plays a role there, and the Bucs had the fifth-lowest snap-weighted age( 25.8) in 2019 and( with the obvious exclusion of Brady) weren’t much older last-place season.

The Bucs were the healthiest team on offense( 12.4 adjusted games lost) and second-healthiest team on defense( 18.2 ), but they still faced catastrophe in their course to a title. Star defensive undertake Vita Vea missed three months with a break-dance leg, and the team lost several starters including Alex Cappa, Antonio Brown, and Antoine Winfield for portions of the playoffs( though playoff games are not a part of adjusted activities lost ). But the Bucs were resilient. The squad maintained their No. 1-ranked control defense DVOA without Vea, and, well, you encountered their postseason success.

Casual football devotees discovered the excellence of the Bucs defense in that recent run to the Super Bowl. Football Outsiders readers likely recognized it in 2019 when the team finished sixth in defensive DVOA despite a Jameis Winston-interceptions-aided bottom-five total of 449 sites admitted. But adjusted plays lost assists an polemic that the team’s defensive progress happened more gradually than either group would support. Tampa Bay graded 32 nd in defensive DVOA in both 2017 and 2018, but their latter legion suffered from 91.4 adjusted plays lost, the highest defensive total since 2001. That nadir stimulated the biggest year-to-year health improvement( 66.1) for a protection in our database between 2018 and 2019 and cured catapult the Bucs defense to their top-six DVOA finishes the last two seasons.

Teams such as the 49 ers, Eagles, and Jets with large-hearted adjusted sports lost totals in 2020 are likely eager to envision themselves as the next Buccaneers, but I suspect one could draw the wrong lesson from the latter’s apparent injury regression. As stated, team adjusted tournaments lost totals do correlate from year to year. In fact, the Bucs are impossible to fissure the top 10 in adjusted sports lost each year from 2003 to 2018, and merely experienced their renaissance after they administered their roster with a assortment of young starters–the team’s snap-weighted age improved from 26.3 in 2018 to 25.8 in 2019. That opinion constructs me more self-confident that the 49 ers can rebound with their current roster than the Eagles. The onetime comprehend their much stronger injuries punched participates such as Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa, and Solomon Thomas, “whos doing” 25 year olds or younger. In contrast, the Eagles looked their pass shield devastated by hurts to Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, and Andre Dillard, the first two of whom are on the wrong side of 30.

That said, adjusted plays lost tends do not always paint clear videos. Yes, the Eagles’ flip from top-1 2 standings from 2013 -to-2 017 to bottom-1 2 positions in the last 3 seasons parallels a narrative of a squad that got old. But the 49 ers have finished in the bottom 12 for eight straight seasons–or, twice as long as Kyle Shanahan has been head coach. Perhaps they need a better medical staff? Washington( seven years) is the only other unit with a bottom-1 2 flash longer than the Eagles’ current flash of three years.

The streak itself was bad enough, but Shanahan’s 49 ers suffered a particularly draconian fate with 166.6 adjusted activities lost, the highest total in 2020 and second-highest since 2001 behind exclusively the 2016 Bears at 171.6( had pointed out that their total was rolled at 155.1 prior to last year’s methodology change ). Given that adjusted plays has a stronger year-over-year correlation with DVOA than it does with itself, Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh may have accomplished more in their 11 th neighbourhood DVOA finish last year than they done so in their fifth-place DVOA finish in their Super Bowl season. A healthful quarterback would be a great start–Shanahan is 24 -9 with the 49 ers with Jimmy Garoppolo as his starter.

At least the 49 ers can have confidence in the direction of their franchise. Saleh’s brand-new unit, the Flow, has come to an end 32 nd and 29 th in adjusted plays lost the last two seasons, and that has induced it practically impossible to evaluate quarterback Sam Darnold. In 2019, Darnold overcame half-season omissions from offensive linemen Alex Lewis, Brian Winters, and Ryan Kalil and full-season absences from receivers Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon to go 7-6 as a starter with a appetizing -2 0.4% delivering DVOA. But last season, he fared much worse in both respects( 2-10, -3 2.2%) with top receivers Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, and Jamison Crowder all missing meter. A poverty-stricken overall record yields the Sprays the ability to reset with a new right quarterback from the top of the draft, but recent hurt misfortune might seduce the team to ride with Darnold for another season.

All that said about the 49 ers, Eagles, and Spurt, the best bets to follow in the Bucs’ footsteps are likely Washington and Miami since they have already espoused a youth shift and in 2020 experienced two of the five biggest improvements in their adjusted competitions lost totals from the previous year. Washington’s makeover didn’t claw them out of the bottom 12( although they finished 14 th on defense where the bulk of their blue chippers play ), but the Dolphins landed at 12 th( seventh exclude COVID) after a four-year stay in that bottom third. The Dolphins also bested Washington with a 32nd-to-12th versus 30 th-to-1 6th jump in team DVOA. It exactly didn’t land them in the playoffs with the exceptional Bills in their division.

On the whole, the playoffs were full of healthy crews. Seven of the top 10 units in adjusted tournaments lost reached the postseason, and merely Washington won their division while finishing in the bottom third. That vogue should likely inform the Falcons'( 48.0 adjusted sports lost, third) and Texans'( 58.2, seventh) decisions to either try to compete immediately or rehabilitate. They have little apartment to improve in the harm department, which implies the whole of their additions is derived from improved gambling. In contrast, units such as the Chargers( 109.1, 27 th) and Cowboys( 118.5, 28 th) may already have hopefuls and time need a bit better luck to realize that potential.

Offense vs. Security

The Vikings couldn’t match the 49 ers or Cowboys in overall adjusted activities lost increase, but it’s interesting to see how center their harms were in 2020. In 2019, they only the healthiest team in football and top-three on both offense and defense. Last year, they remained in the top five on pique but precipitated to 30 th on defense.

Offensive and Defensive AGL, 2020( with COVID)

Team Offensive AGL Rk Defensive AGL Rk Dif

TB 12.4 1 18.2 2 +5.8 ATL 13.1 2 35.0 15 +21.9 HOU 15.5 3 42.7 17 +27.2 LAR 17.3 4 28.3 9 +11.0 MIN 18.6 5 64.8 30 +46.2 JAX 18.9 6 44.4 19 +25.5 TEN 27.8 7 29.7 10 +1.9 BUF 28.9 8 34.2 13 +5.3 Quarry 29.1 9 26.1 7 -3.0 NO 29.9 10 19.2 3 -10.7 CLE 31.4 11 58.3 27 +26.9 DET 32.5 12 51.1 22 +18.6 SEA 33.6 13 54.7 25 +21.1 CAR 34.1 14 38.9 16 +4.8 ARI 34.8 15 60.9 28 +26.1 BAL 37.4 16 22.2 6 -15.2 CIN 39.0 17 49.9 21 +10.9 CHI 40.2 18 46.9 20 +6.7 MIA 43.6 19 22.1 5 -21.5 LAC 45.6 20 63.4 29 +17.8 IND 46.3 21 26.6 8 -19.7 NYJ 46.6 22 77.3 31 +30.7 DEN 50.2 23 58.2 26 +8.0 KC 50.7 24 14.5 1 -36.2 NYG 50.9 25 53.5 24 +2.6 GB 52.1 26 21.0 4 -31.1 LV 54.3 27 32.6 11 -21.7 WAS 62.5 28 34.6 14 -27.9 DAL 75.6 29 42.9 18 -32.7 SF 78.7 30 87.9 32 +9.2 NE 83.5 31 51.3 23 -32.2 PHI 94.6 32 33.5 12 -61.1

The Vikings accepted losses on all three defensive positions. Two-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Danielle Hunter missed the season with a neck injury and left a line already missing the COVID opt-out Pierce in shambles. Linebacker Anthony Barr administered precisely two recreations before a rend pectoral muscle shored him on disabled substitute. Mike Hughes and Holton Hill frisked precisely eight competitions between individuals and coerced the team to start a duo of rookie cornerbacks in Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. This was head coach Mike Zimmer’s firstly finish outside of the top seven in defensive DVOA in five seasons, and there’s little wonder why.

The Browns demo a less extreme gap than the Vikings, but even theirs sparks optimism for a love locate whose first taste of the postseason in nearly two decades has them hungry for another experience with it. The Browns examined their harms concentrated in the secondary, with second-round assortments from the last 2 seasons Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams missing the year with Achilles and shoulder gashes and Denzel Ward and Ronnie Harrison missing time as well. It’s easy to representation a defensive resurgence in 2021 to parallel the team’s offensive boost from 2020 with better injury luck and with some new additives such as free agent safety John Johnson.

Finally, the Cowboys deserve a second mention because their top-five overall total of adjusted competitions lost was concentrated on offense, and more specifically the quarterback and line that represented the awaited forte of their unit. Dak Prescott was sixth in passing DVOA in 2019 and eighth in 2020 before his ankle injury. Meanwhile, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, La’el Collins, Cameron Erving, and Joe Looney all missed meter on the offensive path. Smith and Martin have 12 Pro Bowl places and six first-team All-Pro distinctions between them, and so it was little surprise to see the Cowboys decline from second in both adjusted front gardens and adjusted sacking frequency in 2019 to 12 th and 14 th in those metrics last year.

Later this week in Part II: a look at AGL by predicament group.

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