A common misconception is that quantitative types don’t care about running backwards. While analysts It has been indicated often This production of the position It can be replaced more easily From other players, ball carriers still play an important role in the modern game Forcing defenses to respect running. And the big way you play is to participate How RB is deployed by his team.
After one week of playing we know the usage to expect from some of the lagging teams across the league. But how a number of teams use the dash is still a mystery. To work around the noise and identify the true leader for each team that retreats, we thought we’d use some math to figure out where some of the more confusing backfields were in Week Two.
To this end, we will use a scale Created by Joe Sedlowski and Tan is the Occupational Opportunity-Based Projected Point (OEP). Now you might be thinking: “What is an OEP, and why should I care?” The OEP determines the expected point value for each chance of a dip in play, Regardless of the outcome of the play. In the NFL, a lot of the value of a dip stems from the kinds of opportunities he’s had. For example, a load from the 3-yard line is more valuable than one in 45 because the load of the red area has a much higher chance of scoring. Other factors can affect how many yards we expect a linebacker to gain in play, including how much time is left in the game, how close the attack is to the first touchdown or whether the defense expects a pass.
In other words, the OEP helps us look at which runners get the initial chances. And according to the OEP, few situations are less clear-cut than those in Jacksonville. Linebacker James Robinson was responsible for 12 of 22 points for the Jaggs on Sunday, catching a 3-yard drop from quarterback Trevor Lawrence and scoring from 11 yards in the fourth quarter Sprinting to raise Jaguars by 8 with just under 12 minutes to play. (Being Jaguars, they’d lose anyway, giving up 14 consecutive points in the fourth quarter after being collected 85.5% winning probability.)
Just looking at the square’s score, you’d be forgiven for thinking Robinson is the obvious #1 in Jacksonville. After all, he Carried 11 times for 66 yards to align with these two declines. But while JRob might eventually end up with bell backon Sunday, he nearly equaled second-year quarterback Travis Etienne in the OEP – despite Etienne receiving seven times less.
Against the leaders, Etienne’s chances were an expected 11 points despite having only four carriers and four goals, largely due to three goals falling into the red. In the first quarter, with the Jags attacking Washington’s 15-yard line, quarterback Trevor Lawrence targeted Etienne in the end zone – but He overthrew his former college classmate for not being completed. Later, when Jacksonville was on the 3-yard line, Etienne Drop for sure On the swing pass to the right flat. His other two goals came when offense on the 14th and 32nd were chances, each with a relatively high expected value. Meanwhile, only three of Robinson’s 13 chances were in the red (but he scored in two of them!). In the end, an extra chance within the scoring range was all Etienne needed to make roughly five fewer appearances.
The Detroit Lions are another team with an uncertain pecking order. Detroit fans were clamoring for D’Andre Swift Get more pregnancyAnd it’s easy to see why after Swift owned 144 yards – including a coil 50 yards gallop In the Lions’ inaugural campaign – and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
But Swift didn’t get the ball in as many high-value positions in Week 1. Instead, that honor went to Jamal Williams.
Williams had four fewer campaigns than Swift and scored two goals for Swift’s three, but five of Williams’ campaigns occurred in the all-important red zone. And when you think about it, a run of just 28 yards makes sense in this context. After all, it’s hard to earn a lot of yardage when two out of 11 lunge attempts occur on the 1-yard line.
Swift looks like he showed up with juice in his legs to lead the league in rush and earn a spot among the league’s elite. But he will Need to stay healthy And get more red zone chances to make his way into the MVP discussion. Unfortunately for Swift, head coach Dan Campbell decides who gets those high-value touches — and so far, Campbell has given Williams more quality chances.
However, there is one team that seems to have a clear preference in distributing high-value touches among their appearances – even if that’s not the preference we were expecting. Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams doubled OEP for Melvin Gordon during the team upsetting loss To the Seattle Seahawks Monday night.
Gordon outperformed Williams in rushing attempts overall, 12 to seven, but only two of Gordon’s carriers came in the red (Gordon fumbled one attempt). Meanwhile, Williams dominated the passing game, scoring 12 goals and hitting 11 of them, including the play that set up Denver’s game. Disastrous 64-yard field goal attempt To finish the game.
Some analysts (ahem) thought Gordon was a good bet to capture high-value touches on the Denver offense, but during the first week, that prediction sailed as wide as Brandon McManus’ 60-yard boot. I’ve spoken OEP numbers, and Javonte Stans – of which there are many – He should breathe easily.
And if you’re curious, here’s the OEP for every comeback from week one, in searchable form:
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