Offense vs. defense; chicken vs. egg
June 26, 2023 by Paul Würtztack in Analysis with 0 comments
Week 91 Highlights
Oakland, Seattle, Salt Lake, and Portland occupy the bottom four spots in the number of opponent holds per game (not opponent hold percentage), which is one reason their games tend to generate a large share of notable offensive performances from week to week. This also helps explain why we see a slate of almost entirely new players on the EDGE leaderboard this week—none of those four teams played.
The high-scoring nature of their games has cast the entire West division as defensively suspect, but the alternative is that their offenses are simply a cut above, particularly SLC, Colorado, and Oakland, three of the top four teams in the league in goals-per-game average.2
One can’t read too much into Colorado’s 25-15 dismantling of Minnesota—in which Colorado only gave up two breaks, had a 70 percent O-line conversion rate, and recorded a block advantage of 13 to 5—but it certainly supports the second narrative better than the first. One can also note that the two Shred-Summit games were played to less than league-average scoring totals, and that the idea that these two teams share any defensive characteristics with Seattle and Portland was a phony set-up in the first place. Nevertheless, the anticipation of the Empire’s road trip west in three weeks is only building.
- Andrew Sjogren used to land on the leaderboard with regularity over the previous two seasons, in valiant efforts during inevitable Detroit losses. Enough of being valiant; now with the Union, he scorched his old team for 513 yards and eight scores to top the leaderboard this week, but moreover leads the 5-3 Union in total EDGE for the season.
- Alex Atkins paced Colorado’s win this past weekend, and despite missing three games early in the season, has steadily climbed up a number of season-stat categories, averaging better than 4.1 EDGE over his past five games.
- Justin Burnett has stayed hot since winning the Callahan, going back-to-back in D-Line EDGE of the Week.
The EDGE, D-Line EDGE, and EDGE-B leaderboards from Week 9 are below.
At compilation time, the stats for Toronto in Sunday’s game against MTL were still not posted, meaning we could not calculate stats for that game. ↩
Austin is third, in part because they’ve averaged 28 goals in two games against Dallas, which has given up 2.5 goals per game more than then the next closest team, Detroit. ↩
Better Box Score Metrics: High-Scoring West [AUDL Week 9, 2023] is only available to Ultiworld Subscribers
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