Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterbackAlex Smith
(11) is tackled by Green Bay Packers linebackerClay Matthews
(52) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive Stat Stuffing
When you look at only the box score, the defense may seem to have had a bad day; 28 points and 326 total yards tends to affect perception that way.
You must pay attention to the context of the game though to understand the whole story.
As I mentioned in talking about the hot start, the Packers were up 24-7 at the half. At one point, the score ended up being 31-7. When a score becomes a blowout like this, defenses tend to give up more yardage due to a combination of usually taking a more basic approach and the opposing offense needs to go into a hurry-up mode, throwing the ball more often.
Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is sacked by Green Bay Packers defensive endMike Daniels
(76) and linebackerMike Neal
(96) during the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Taking that into account, this was an overall decent game for the defense. The biggest area of impact for them was in stuffing their stat sheet.
The most meaningful spot to start is rushing yards; against a team led by a top-5 back like Jamaal Charles this was undoubtedly key. For the night Kansas City was only able to garner 75 yards on the ground. Of those, Charles garnered only 49 yards on 11 carries; pretty good, I’d say.
Now the more exciting stats!
There were 2 forced fumbles; unfortunately neither was recovered, but forcing them still matters since it’s been shown that recoveries are mostly random occurrences. There was also an interception by Sam Shields (there was also a second one made by Casey Hayward, but it was nullified due to a free play), plus four other passes defensed.
Even better, the defensive rush got into the backfield on many occasions. There were seven total sacks, led by Clay Matthews (2) and Mike Daniels (1.5). There were also 8 total quarterback hits and 9 tackles for loss.
Pure statistics never tell the whole story, and in many cases can skew the performance to appear better than it was.
There’s obviously some level of that here, but for the most part the stats accumulated here give a pretty good view of the positive force being brought on by the defense on Monday night.
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