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Monday, June 27, 2011
Rewind'10: 'Stop Rate' against the pass

By Kevin Seifert

As June winds down into what we hope is a more exciting July, our friends at Football Outsiders continue to offer up unique analysis of your favorite NFC North players. Recently, Aaron Schatz published a number of tables that help us make a dent in the relationship between quality pass defense and tackle numbers.

Antoine Winfield
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was one of the NFL's most effective pass defenders last season.
(Really. I know we've debated this before. At least a few of us. Ok, maybe just me. But it's real and it's a debate so let's fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!)

Typically, a cornerback with high tackle totals is associated with poor pass defense. The same goes for linebackers and safeties, to a lesser extent. The idea: Either quarterbacks avoid the best pass defenders, or the best pass defenders prevent more than their share of completions on balls thrown their way.

But that's not always the case, obviously. To that end, Football Outsiders has developed a "Stop Rate," which is the percentage of plays "that prevent a successful play by the offense, defined as 45% of needed yards on first down, 60% of needed yards on second down, and 100% of needed yards on third or fourth down." In other words, a "stop" is a successful defensive play, even if it results in a yardage gain by the offense.

Schatz offers a number of applicable individual marks under this category. The NFC North highlights: