2014 Top Cornerback Metrics Breakdown

Posted on November 30, 2013


So I’m going to do things a bit different with the CBs. If you’ve read my previous post on the problems with CB stats (HERE), you’ll understand that the stats are rather ambiguous and need to be explained in detail to make sense. I’m going to have this post serve as the main stats page for the CBs with the overall charts and brief explanations. As I go, I’ll add individual write-ups for each CB so they can be explained in the detail they deserve.

All numbers are hand charted by me. They don’t extend through the end of the season, but each CB has around 9 games in the books – or more than enough for a good sample size. Eventually the numbers will be updated to the end of the season.

The Trinity of CB Stats

These are what I like to call the trinity of CB stats. Burn rate, which is the number of completions against a defensive back divided by the total number of targets. PD Rate which measures how often a DB gets their hands on the ball – a PD rate of 5 would mean the DB defenses the ball once every 5 targets. Finally Snaps/ Targets describes how often the DB is thrown at – the lower the number the more often a DB is targeted


  • There’s three different types of burn percentages for you to choose from. Burn percentage is the numbers without any manipulation – pass interference counts as a completion for this stat. 
  • SIP Burn % is named as such because it removes screens and pass interference penalties.
    • Adjusted Burn % uses the SIP Burn % and then attempts to adjust for how often a DB was targeted at the different depths. If a DB was mostly targeted underneath due to scheme, the formula attempts to compensate for that to create an “average passing attack” that the DBs would face.
  • Ideally we’d like to see a DB have above-average stats in each category, but there are exceptions. For instance, I’m not too worried if Kyle Fuller was targeted frequently if he’s not getting beat often.  You can choose what categories to weight more heavily, some prefer a DB with ball skills, others with shutdown ability.

 Where the Ball was Thrown?


  • This represents the total percentage of targets for each DB. Targets may not seem important when you can look at YPA/YPC (which we’ll get to), but it’s important to know if those are being skewed by a number of short or long throws.
  • I’ve removed screens as they really don’t add anything to this chart.
  • Green represents a below-average amount of targets while red represent an above-average number of targets. One isn’t better than the other, that’s just the scale I’m using.


  • The completion percentage and target charts are essentially linked. It’s doesn’t matter if someone is getting beat 100% of the time if that only represents 5% of their total targets.
  • For the most part we’re dealing with good sample sizes for each zone, but some zones may only have 4 targets.
  • Green is representative of an above-average completion percentage meaning that the DB defends those zones better than average. Red, of course, means their completion percentage is worse than average.


  • Pretty self-explanatory, YPC represents yards per completion including screens. YPA represents yards per attempt (target), also including screens

In the upcoming days, I’ll add links on this page (and send them out on Twitter) to individual player profiles to really break down what these numbers mean for each player. Right now this page is acting more as a repository for all of the main statistics for the CBs. As always, follow on Twitter   for extra info/ updates on more posts. Thanks for reading y’all

Posted in: Cornerbacks