Breaking Down The Chiefs Cornerbacks


Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson hauls in a pass ahead of the coverage by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) during their NFL football game in Houston October 17, 2010. REUTERS/Richard Carson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

How well are the Chiefs conrners playin? We've got the answers. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

Last week we got some stats on Kansas City Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers that showed just how remarkable of a season he is having. While I was impressed with Flowers’ stats I wondered how well the Chiefs other CB’s, Brandon Carr and Javier Arenas were performing.

Too often today people throw around stats and make judgments without really understanding the entire story. We’ve even done that here at AA. However, thanks to the good folks at Pro Football Focus, we are about to kick our statistical accuracy up a notch.

Pro Football Focus is the absolute best resource in the business for accurate NFL stats.

How accurate?

Pro Football Focus breaks down every single snap for every single player of every single game. They grade each and every play for each player and have received national recognition for the accuracy of their information. Their site is not free and really, given all the work they do, it shouldn’t be. The price is worth it if you want the most in depth and accurate view of how an NFL player or team is performing. I highly recommend them.

Here at Arrowhead Addict, we do have a subscription to PFF and we will now be bringing you the best statistical view of your Kansas City Chiefs.

After five weeks, I wanted to take a look at how well the Chiefs young corners are performing. After the jump, get the real numbers on Brandon Flowers, Javier Arenas and Brandon Carr.

First a quick and basic explanation of how Pro Football Focus grades players.

PFF grades every play of every game on a scale of -2 to +2.

2) What Do We Grade?
Throughout the course of the season (regular season and playoffs) we grade every single offensive, defensive and special teams snap. We log data such as the point of attack of a running play, the location a pass was thrown and hang time of kicks and punts before moving on to the player-performance analysis.

A typical line of analysis will describe an offensive and defensive player being graded for a one-on-one confrontation. This will include their names and grades as well as a comment describing the play. So for example, a match p between a right guard and left defensive tackle could result in the following comment:

“The RG drove the DLT down the line of scrimmage opening a wide hole off his outside hip for the running back (##) to pick up the first down on 3rd & 3.”

This type of notation serves a few purposes. First, it captures detail for grading, a concise comment that can be referenced back to individual players for further analysis at a later date. Also, due to each play having a unique ID, it also creates a clear and accessible audit trail for all analysis.

3) How Do We Grade?
Each grade given is between +2 and -2, with 0.5 increments and an average of 0. A positive intervention in the game rates a positive grading and vice-versa. Very (very) few performances draw a +/-2 rating. In fact, the distribution of non-zero grades is like this:

+2.0 0.01percent
+1.5 0.3percent
+1.0 16percent
+0.5 37percent (unbalanced because of the way WRs and HBs are rated)
-0.5 24percent
-1.0 22percent
-1.5 0.5percent
-2.0 0.01percent

To simplify, say Flowers played only 4 plays in a game. His grade for each play was -1, 0, +1, +1 then his grade for the game would be +1. If he received that same grad (+1) in all five games he has played in this year, his overall grade would be +5

Now on to the numbers.

Brandon Flowers

Brandon Flowers is having the best season of any CB in the NFL. If he continues his current pace it would be a crime if he doesn’t win Defensive Player of the Year.

The Breakdown:

Flowers has played 324 snaps and has been thrown at 41 times.

He has allowed 16 receptions for 143 yards. That is an average of 8.9 yards.

Only 39% of the balls thrown at a WR covered by Flowers have been caught.

He has defended 6 passes and recorded 2 interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

When throwing at man covered by Brandon Flowers, Passers have a QB rating of 28.8.

Pro Football Focus gives Flowers the best overall grade in the NFL of 14.3. The next best grade is 9.6.

Against Andre Johnson:

Johnson was thrown at 5 times while being covered by Flowers. Johnson caught 3 of those passes for 46 yards. He got 5 only 5 yards after his catches. 31 of his 46 yards against Flowers came on 1 play.

Can you guess which play it was? Yep. It was the pass interference call in the 4th quarter. The reason the stats counted is because the Texans declined the PI penalty because Johnson did in fact catch the ball in bounds. However, the point of contention of Brandon Flowers is that Johnson shoved him in the back thus committing offensive pass interference. I have watched the play and it is painfully obvious that Johnson pushed Flowers, causing the CB to lose his balance. The separation gave Johnson enough time to catch the ball. It was a heck of a throw by Schaub and there is no guarantee that Flowers would have broken up the play without the interference but the simple fact is that it was offensive interference and the play should have been erased.

Had the officials gotten the call correct, Flowers’ numbers against Johnson would have been 2 catches for 15 yards.

It makes a big difference and it hurt Flowers statistically but he will make up for it as the season goes on. Even with the penalty, Flowers played great against arguably the best receiver in the league.

Brandon Carr

The Breakdown

Carr has played 338 snaps and has been targeted 37 times, allowing 20 catches for 237 yards. That is an average of 13.7 yards per pass.

Only 54.1% of balls thrown at a WR covered by Carr have been caught.

He has defended 6 passes.

When throwing at a man covered by Brandon Carr, Passers have a QB rating of 77.0.

Pro Football Focus gives Carr an overall grade of 0.9. Keep in mind 0 would be considered average.

Carr’s biggest problem appears to be giving up yards after the catch. He has given up 83 yards after the catch through 5 games. By comparison, Flowers has only given up 30 yards after the catch.

Javier Arenas

The Breakdown:

Arenas has played

Arenas has played 137 snaps (on defense) and has been targeted 25 times, allowing 15 catches for 153 yards. That is an average of 10.2 yards per pass.

60% of balls thrown to a man covered by Arenas have been caught.

He has defended 2 passes.  

When throwing at a man covered by Javier Arenas, Passers have a QB rating of 77.6.

Pro Football Focus gives Arenas an overall grade of 0.9.

Arenas has actually been playing very well as a corner. He has struggled the last two weeks against Manning and Schaub. Prior to the Colts game, Arenas had been targeted 10 times, allowing 2 receptions for 37 yards. He was only thrown at 1 time in each game against the Browns and 49ers and he allowed no catches.

For a rookie, Arenas is playing pretty darn well and it is to be expected that he might get cut up a bit by guys like Manning and Schaub.

Well there you have it Addicts. The real scoop on how the Chiefs CB’s are performing this season. We hope to bring you more analysis of different positions of interest as the season goes on.

Thoughts?

Tags: Andre Johnson Brandon Carr Brandon Flowers Javier Arenas Kansas City Chiefs Matt Schaub