Singletary’s Formula for Success through 14 Games

AUTHOR'S NOTE: FYI...here's today's bowl game thread if you want to join the conversation.

Welcome back for this week's look at how the 49ers are doing according to Mike Singletary's Formula for Success. For those that don't remember Singletary's Formula for Success, here it is:

  1. Total Ball Security
  2. Execute
  3. Dominate the Trenches
  4. Create Good Field Position
  5. Finish

It's that time of year again. You know, the time of year when the 49ers have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. If we've been paying attention at all for the past few seasons, we all know how the rest of the season will go. The Niners will beat the Lions and Rams, and everyone will be soooooo excited about 2010 based on a strong finish to 2009, which puts them at a standards-have-been-lowered-beyond-all-recognition "non-losing" record of 8-8.

As a symbolic protest against the 49ers' continued satisfaction with mediocrity, and given that said mediocrity can be traced to inadequate performance with respect to their head coach's Formula, I'm going to be mailing in the rest of the season too. All you'll be seeing from me is this post and 1 more in-season Formula post. In other words, to (dis)honor our favorite 8-8 team, I'm going to be an 8-8 writer for the rest of the season; all mediocrity all the time. Don't worry, though. I'll be back to my 12-4 form once the season ends, with all my usual season recap, draft, and offseason posts.

So, for this post, I'm just going to post the Adjusted BS Rates for the entire league, and present the Niners' Formula for Success stats. I'll spend more time commenting on the BS stuff because week-to-week fluctuations in Niner stats are - at this point - meaningless when we already know how the story ends. Wait, I guess that makes it BS too. Perfect.

After the jump, the BS...

ADJUSTED BS RATES

Below you'll find Adjusted Ball Security (BS) Rates, Unadjusted BS Rates, Fumble Rates (FR), Interception Rates (IR), and Adjusted IRs for each NFL team through 14 games (Niner stats and top 8 for each category in bold; bottom 8 for each category in italics):

Team

Adj BS Rate

Last Wk

W-L

BS Rate

Rk

FR

Rk

IR

Rk

Adj IR

Rk

1

NE

98.82%

2

9-5

98.30%

5

1.41%

4

2.27%

7

0.73%

1

2

MIN

98.77%

1

11-3

98.66%

1

1.27%

2

1.47%

3

1.12%

4

3

IND

98.48%

4

14-0

98.33%

4

0.93%

1

3.00%

20

2.59%

17

4

SD

98.43%

3

11-3

98.41%

2

1.38%

3

2.02%

6

1.97%

9

5

DAL

98.39%

7

9-5

98.15%

7

2.04%

14

1.46%

2

0.74%

2

6

ATL

98.35%

5

7-7

97.99%

10

1.51%

6

3.00%

21

1.92%

8

7

DEN

98.28%

6

8-6

98.35%

3

1.51%

5

1.95%

5

2.19%

11

8

GB

98.18%

14

9-5

98.29%

6

1.85%

11

1.41%

1

1.78%

6

9

PHI

98.15%

10

10-4

98.08%

8

1.64%

7

2.49%

10

2.29%

12

10

JAX

98.09%

9

7-7

97.93%

12

2.31%

20

1.54%

4

1.05%

3

11

HOU

98.00%

13

7-7

97.81%

13

1.84%

10

2.87%

18

2.33%

13

12

NO

97.99%

8

13-1

97.81%

14

2.14%

16

2.30%

8

1.72%

5

13

BAL

97.99%

11

8-6

98.02%

9

1.70%

8

2.58%

13

2.70%

19

14

PIT

97.98%

15

7-7

97.96%

11

1.81%

9

2.53%

11

2.45%

15

15

MIA

97.81%

12

7-7

97.38%

19

2.34%

21

3.26%

22

1.85%

7

16

NYG

97.77%

19

8-6

97.66%

16

2.34%

22

2.34%

9

1.98%

10

17

CIN

97.68%

16

9-5

97.73%

15

2.15%

17

2.54%

12

2.73%

21

18

SF

97.60%

17

6-8

97.50%

17

2.26%

19

2.99%

19

2.68%

18

19

CLE

97.55%

18

3-11

97.37%

20

1.99%

13

4.10%

26

3.50%

26

20

TEN

97.50%

20

7-7

97.39%

18

2.53%

26

2.81%

16

2.42%

14

21

STL

97.44%

21

1-13

97.36%

21

2.12%

15

3.73%

25

3.47%

25

22

WAS

97.32%

22

4-10

97.13%

23

2.65%

28

3.32%

23

2.75%

22

23

CAR

97.29%

24

6-8

97.04%

26

2.21%

18

4.74%

28

3.90%

28

24

KC

97.24%

27

3-11

97.19%

22

2.84%

29

2.74%

15

2.58%

16

25

BUF

97.21%

23

5-9

97.00%

27

2.41%

25

4.39%

27

3.66%

27

26

ARI

97.07%

28

9-5

97.07%

25

2.97%

30

2.85%

17

2.85%

23

27

SEA

97.04%

25

5-9

97.08%

24

3.10%

32

2.59%

14

2.71%

20

28

NYJ

97.03%

26

7-7

96.70%

30

2.39%

23

5.87%

32

4.61%

30

29

DET

97.01%

29

2-12

96.92%

28

1.92%

12

5.41%

30

5.12%

32

30

TB

97.00%

30

2-12

96.61%

31

2.41%

24

5.41%

31

4.23%

29

31

OAK

96.85%

31

5-9

96.83%

29

3.03%

31

3.49%

24

3.41%

24

32

CHI

96.61%

32

5-9

96.50%

32

2.59%

27

5.28%

29

4.96%

31

If you don't know what each of these stats mean, see my detailed explanation here.

The Patriots overtook the Vikings this week to move into the #1 spot, with the switch coming almost entirely via each team's Adjusted IR: MIN's dropped from 1st to 4th, whereas NE's rose from 3rd to 1st. Why the Adjusted IR changes? Well, mainly because NE just finished playing the highest-IR pass DEF in the NFL (the Bills), and now have faced the toughest IR strength of schedule (SOS) in the NFL. Regardless of which team is #1, however, both are clearly the best two when it comes to ball security. Namely, they're both a full 0.30% clear of the #3 team - which is a relatively huge gap when you look at the rest of the table - and they're the only 2 teams ranked in the top 8 in all of the rates in the table.

Even considering the switch at the top, 7 of the top 8 spots in the rankings are populated by the same teams as last week. The only team that fell out of the Elite 8 was the Saints, but that's to be expected after their ball security fail against the Cowboys. Speaking of the Cowboys, they're now the 5th-best team in the NFL when it comes to Total Ball Security. In the offseason, I'll look into it deeper, but I wonder how much of an impact increased ball security is having on avoiding their usual December collapse.

Other things worth mentioning are as follows:

  • Through 14 games, the top 8 teams in Adjusted BS Rate have a combined record of 78-34 (69.6% winning pct), while the bottom 8 have a combined record of 40-72 (35.7%). And, interestingly enough, the combined record for the top half of the rankings (145-79, 64.7%) is exactly opposite that of the bottom half of the rankings (79-145, 35.3%).
  • With the Falcons, Texans, Steelers, and Dolphins winning last week, none of the 16 teams in the top half of the Adjusted BS Rate rankings have a losing record.
  • Much has been made of Jay Cutler's penchant for throwing INTs this season. What's not really talked about, though, is that the Bears also fumble the ball quite frequently when compared to the rest of the league.
  • Check out the definition of mediocrity: SF's rankings.

THE REST OF THE 49ERS' FORMULA STATS

The following table displays the Niners' stats this week according to Singletary's Formula for Success, what those stats were last week, and what the extent of change was between this week's stats and last week's stats (top-8 in bold; bottom-8 in italics):

 

 

This Week

 

Last Week

 

Change

Formula Ingredient

Statistic

Value

Rk

Value

Rk

Value

Rk

Total Ball Security

Adj BS Rate

97.60%

18

 

97.58%

17

 

+0.02%

-1

Total Ball Security

BS Rate

97.50%

17

 

97.68%

16

 

-0.18%

-1

Total Ball Security

FR

2.26%

19

 

2.20%

18

 

-0.06%

-1

Total Ball Security

IR

2.99%

19

 

2.55%

14

 

-0.44%

-5

Total Ball Security

Adj IR

2.68%

18

 

2.85%

16

 

+0.17%

-2

Execute

Total

-1.0%

20

4.9%

18

-5.9%

-2

Execute

OFF

-9.6%

22

 

-7.0%

22

 

-2.6%

0

Execute

DEF

-8.4%

6

 

-11.8%

4

 

-3.4%

-2

Execute

ST

0.2%

19

 

0.1%

20

 

+0.1%

+1

Execute

1Q OFF

-32.7%

28

 

-32.3%

29

 

-0.4%

+1

Execute

1Q DEF

-10.5%

10

 

-11.7%

8

 

-1.2%

-2

Dominate the Trenches

OL ALY

3.47

31

 

3.42

31

 

+0.05

0

Dominate the Trenches

OL ASR

8.1%

25

 

8.1%

25

 

0.0%

0

Dominate the Trenches

DF7 ALY

3.83

10

 

3.73

8

 

-0.10

-2

Dominate the Trenches

DF7 ASR

7.2%

7

 

7.6%

5

 

-0.4%

-2

Create Great Field Position

FG/XP Pts

1.2

16

 

1.1

15

 

+0.1

-1

Create Great Field Position

KO Pts

3.1

16

 

4.1

13

 

-1.0

-3

Create Great Field Position

KR Pts

-1.9

17

 

-3.0

16

 

+1.1

-1

Create Great Field Position

P Pts

14.7

2

 

13.7

2

 

+1.0

0

Create Great Field Position

PR Pts

-16.1

32

 

-15.5

32

 

-0.6

0

Create Great Field Position

Own 1-20 OFF

-33.5%

31

 

-31.5%

30

 

-2.0%

-1

Create Great Field Position

Opp 1-20 DEF

16.9%

25

 

8.1%

19

 

-8.8%

-6

Finish

4Q OFF

5.9%

13

 

9.5%

13

 

-3.6%

0

Finish

4Q DEF

6.0%

16

 

-1.0%

14

 

-7.0%

-2

Finish

Late/Close OFF

-19.7%

28

 

-21.5%

27

 

+1.8%

-1

Finish

Late/Close DEF

-5.3%

13

 

-11.9%

7

 

-6.6%

-6

I'll keep my promise of short commentary. There's only one observation I'll make: Check out how, contrary to what you might have thought watching the Eagles game, it was the Niners' DEF - not it's OFF -- that laid an absolute statistical egg. Sure Alex Smith threw some INTs, but they were against the 4th-best IR DEF in the league, and 2 of the 3 were more about brilliant PHI coaching than him making a bad throw. Not to mention that the Niners actually ran the ball pretty effectively.

On the other hand, changes to the 49ers' defensive rankings in the above table were the result of across-the-board epic fails against PHI. They didn't execute overall or in the 1st quarter, they got dominated in the trenches, they bailed PHI out of horrible field position, and they sure as hell didn't finish. All in all, that's just what I wanted to see after their 7-turnover performance against the Cardinals, and given that their season was on the line. Yes, definitely what I wanted to see.

BOTTOM LINE

Based on Mike Singletary's Formula for Success:

8-8

 

*DVOA, ALY, and ASR statistics used to produce this article were obtained from Football Outsiders.

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