How Often Does Peyton Manning Target Team’s #1 Cornerbacks?

A lot of talk has gone into the Peyton ManningRichard Sherman battle that will take place this Sunday in the Super Bowl, and while there are other topics that are ignored (the main one is the fact the Seahawks other cornerbacks are as good as some teams starting cornerback) but I wanted to take a look at this from another angle, how often does Peyton target a teams #1 cornerback in any given game? The question has been raised if Peyton will avoid or go after Sherman in this game so I wanted to see if Peyton’s tenancy was to just smartly avoid team’s top corners or if he doesn’t shy away from them at all.

To do this I set out to look at each Broncos opponent this season and see how Peyton did when, and how often, he targeted that teams top corner. We’ll then compare this level of play against the rest of the defense to see if he plays better, worse, or about the same against that top corner. Now not all #1 corners are made the same, Sherman is the best corner in the game, some teams top corners are more like #2 corners on other teams, but that doesn’t change Peyton’s mentality, does he shy away from the best corner on opposing teams? So here are the categories we’ll be look at (in order they’ll appear on the table):

– Total attempts by Peyton in that game
– Opposing teams top corner
– Attempts towards that top corner
– Attempts toward that corner divided by total attempts to get a percentage of total attempts (shows how often Peyton targeted that corner as a percentage)- Reception completed when targeting that corner
– Catch percentage allowed by that corner
– Yards allowed by that corner
– Yards per attempt allowed
– Touchdowns allowed
– Interceptions
– Passer rating against the corner

I’ll then take these metrics and apply them to the rest of the team, ignoring the top corner. You are then able to compare how they stacked up.

Here is the table.

My Takeaways

Peyton is surprisingly consistent and doesn’t shy away from top corners, now he did have a few bad games against quality corners (Vonte Davis, DeAngelo Hall and Shareece Wright in the 2nd San Diego game all had strong outings) but for the most part he was very good and didn’t avoid teams #1 corners, targeting them 16.5% of the time. The big difference seems to come in the red zone where Peyton tended to avoid them, preferring to target them when he had more space to throw the receiver open, which is harder to do in the red zone when the defense has the advantage.

End of the Season Numbers Updated

The Broncos ended the regular season strong going 13-3, here is a start to see how it happened.

Broncos defensive line pass rushing productivity
Broncos running back data including yards after contact, negative runs and long runs
Broncos wide receivers, tight ends and running backs receiving data which includes yards per target, touchdown percentage and the passer rating when targeting each player

Enjoy!

Hopefully this week I’ll get more done in terms of charting snap count trends, which stats predict the winner of games the best, and much more.

The Broncos Numbers Updated With Week 15’s Data

While it was a tough loss to the San Diego Chargers, it doesn’t stop the march of the season or the collection of data so the pages have been updated:

Broncos defensive line pass rushing productivity
Broncos running back data including yards after contact, negative runs and long runs
Broncos wide receivers, tight ends and running backs receiving data which includes yards per target, touchdown percentage and the passer rating when targeting each player

Enjoy! I’ll be reviewing more of the run game this week than normal since it’s a longer week and the longest run of the week was 6 yards. I’ll give some foreshadowing, the offensive line doesn’t look good. I’m also hoping to review the safety play as well if time permits.

Broncos Receiving Rating 2013

*Updated With Week 17’s Data*

Wide Receiver Rating (WR Rating) is basically the Passer Rating in reverse. You take the numbers (change attempts into targets, etc) of a wide receiver and insert them into the Passer Rating formula and there you go. Now interceptions may be confusing but that is actually pretty simple, that is any interception by the defense when the ball is targeted at that receiver and the WR made a mistake. Like interceptions for quarterbacks, it’s not perfect since other factors are ignored, but it still tells a big part of the story. It can, and will be, applied to other positions as well and we will apply it to the Broncos tight ends and running backs.

Something to keep in mind is yards per target (Y/T) is similar to yards per attempt (Y/A) for a quarterback and is a better metric than yards per completion/reception since it also takes completion percentage into account. I also included the catch and drop percentages which help expand the picture of how each receiver plays. I also include touchdown percentage which is touchdowns divided by target, that way we can get a picture of how often a player is catching a touchdown per target.

Since WordPress does not support tables in browser, here is the link to the data.