Havoc Rate is a statistic that attempts to capture an offense’s ability to prevent negative plays and a defense’s ability to create negative plays. We have altered and expanded the traditional formula to include third and fourth down failures/stops.
Havoc Rate Leaderboards
The Offense and Defense leaderboards heading into Week 14 (as well as their rates expressed in standard deviations) are as follows:
Using Havoc, what are the projected Week 15 mismatches? Here are the top 10:
Cardinals Defense vs. Eagles Offense
In last week’s article, we highlighted the matchup between the Eagles offense and the Saints defense. Havoc forecasted the Saints defense to have the largest advantage of the week, but we pointed out that turning to Jalen Hurts might neutralize the mismatch. Our primary reason was the dichotomy between Carson Wentz’s tendency to hold onto the ball (33rd in Time to Throw, 30th in Pocket Time) and Hurts’ quicker decision-making (T-1st in Pocket Time among full season qualifiers). In the game, Hurts was pressured 14 times and the Eagles gained 82 yards with 0 negative plays. Like we suggested, Hurts displayed quicker decision-making and a willingness to scramble when his primary reads were taken away.
This week, Hurts faces an ascending Cardinals defense that now ranks 12th in Defensive Havoc Created. Last week, the Cardinals defense constantly pressured the Giants quarterbacks, totaling 14 pressures including 8 sacks, for a pressure rate of 44%. Cardinals defender Hassan Reddick shined, totaling 5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Will Hurts be able to neutralize the opposing team’s ability to create Havoc?
Once again, we see reasons for optimism for the Eagles’ offense. Hurts ran for 106 yards against the best run defense in the NFL and now gets a plus matchup. The Cardinals have allowed QBs the 6th-most rushing yards and rank 27th in explosive run percentage. Similarly mobile QBs have consistently run on Arizona:
- Russell Wilson, Week 7: 6 carries for 84 yards
- Tua Tagovailoa, Week 9: 7 carries for 35 yards
- Josh Allen, Week 10: 7 carries for 38 yards
- Russell Wilson, Week 11: 10 carries for 42 yards
- Cam Newton, Week 12: 9 carries for 46 yards
This makes sense considering the Cardinals are in the top 3 in the NFL in man-coverage rate. Hurts should have the advantage when he decides to take off and run.
To save their season, the Eagles will once again need Hurts to avoid negative plays. If the Cardinals stick to their season-long tendencies, Hurts could neutralize a streaking Arizona defense.