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Thursday, July 14, 2011
Following up: When teams brought heat

By Mike Sando

Hank Gargiulo of ESPN Stats & Information has come through with a hefty file showing how NFL defenses have fared when sending regular or added pressure against opposing quarterbacks.

I'm only beginning to sift through the numbers.

The charts displaying later in this item focus on first-and-10 situations for each NFC West team. I looked at overall numbers back in late June. Someone -- and I'm not sure who it was -- asked to see the numbers broken down by situation. Hank came through with stats for every down and distance.

There's nothing magical about first-and-10, but it's a situation teams face frequently and one where blitzing seems most optional. I'll check out other situations as well, particularly if anything jumps out.

A few thoughts upon looking at the first-and-10 results:
The charts break down each team's stats based on the number of pass-rushers deployed and overall, beginning with the 49ers.

The Rams allowed a division-worst 9.3 yards per attempt when sending four or fewer rushers on first-and-10. That explains why opposing passers posted a 91.9 rating in these situations despite tossing three picks.

The Seahawks allowed a division-high five touchdown passes when sending four or fewer rushers on first-and-10. Their defensive production spiked when sending added pressure.

The Cardinals collected a division-high seven interceptions when they did not send extra pressure on first-and-10. They collected a division-low three sacks when they did send extra pressure.