Kudos to the guys at Pro Football Focus, and the fine folks at The Falcoholic, for pointing out what mere mortals, like me, would be utterly confused by.
A few months ago, I spotlighted a Pro Football Focus report that Brooks Reed was a top 30 DE during the 2010 season. This week, Pro Football Focus works its statistics sorcery on and determines that he is the most productive defensive end in the NFL for the past three seasons.
Based on a minimum of 700 snap counts from a defensive end or outside linebacker, PFF reports that, per play, The Predator is the most dominant defensive end in the league since 2008.
How, you ask? Well, you're going to be sorry you asked that question.
PFF puts together a formula to determine a nice, digestible number that displays pass-rushing productivity. They do this by adding up sacks, hits and hurries and dividing it by the number of snaps those defensive ends and outside linebackers spent rushing the passer. Take that number and multiply it by 100 and, voila! Magical stats that put a vast amount of information into a compact number.
When all that wizardry that I don't quite understand is done, Abraham stands strong at the top of the list, with Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney and Pittsburgh OLB James Harrison in tow.
I know you're probably thinking this is impossible considering Abraham's sack total — just 5.5 — during the 2009 season when, in fact, you should probably be thinking about how impressive this feat is considering that stat. Remember, PFF's formula accounts for hits and hurries, and during the 2009 season, Abraham was always a half-second away from eating some quarterback's lunch before he got rid of the ball.
If you look at the PFF list of most productive pass rushers of the past three years, you'll notice that Abraham didn't have the most QB disruptions or the most snap attempts, but play-for-play, there was no one more productive during the past three seasons. That's good enough for me.
What about you?