How Defenses impact Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow
Predicting the Chiefs offense for the 2022 season
It’s been a long time since I’ve hit the ol’ blogosphere, so please bear with me as we knock the rust off. This article's purpose is to explain how I came to my prediction for the Chiefs’ offense in 2022. This article is to be used as a companion resource to the YouTube video from RGR Football.
How Defenses Impact Reid/Mahomes
I wanted to be lazy whenever I started the groundwork for building a prediction for the Chiefs offense in 2022. I wanted to be able to say, “Andy Reid doesn’t care about defenses. He and Mahomes are unchanged by whether or not they face a good defense.”
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and I had to take into account the defenses the Chiefs would be facing in 2022. I was able to come to this conclusion by taking all the game data from the Mahomes/Reid era, their opponent’s defensive SRS score, and then using a correlation coefficient to see if better defenses had an impact on the Mahomes/Reid pairing.
Just for grins, I included data for Josh Allen/Sean McDermott and Joe Burrow/Zac Taylor as well. I wanted to see how Mahomes stacked up with these other two top-flight HC/QB pairings.
In the graphs below, the x-axis represents points scored, and the y-axis represents the defensive SRS score of the opponents. The bold red number represents the correlation coefficient — a number between -1 and 1 that denotes a positive or negative relationship between the two numbers as well as the strength of the impact of the relationship.
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Joe Burrow/Zac Taylor
When taking the DSRS rating, and the offensive point totals from Bengals games with Joe Burrow as the QB — it became apparent that Joe Burrow was negatively impacted by good defenses. This means that Burrow has been less resilient against top-flight defenses than Mahomes and Allen.
It’s still early in Burrow’s career, but there is a clear and obvious correlation that shows Burrow is affected by good defenses. This should come as no surprise, as Burrow’s offensive lines have been terrible.
Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid
Mahomes was the second of the three QBs in terms of impact by good defenses. The correlation is not strong, but it’s also not incredibly weak. This means there is a small but prevalent impact on Mahomes’ offensive output when facing better defenses.
I was surprised Mahomes didn’t beat out Allen on this metric, but it goes without saying that Mahomes’ offensive output over the course of his career has been much greater than Allen’s. Josh Allen being more resilient doesn’t mean he is a better QB than Mahomes, it only means that Allen’s typical production hasn’t been impacted by good defenses as much as Mahomes’ typical production has been.
This also meant I had to take into account the defenses the Chiefs will face in 2022 as part of my prediction. Darn it all to heck, and I just wanted to be lazy!
Josh Allen/Sean McDermott
Of the three QBs Josh Allen was the most resilient. While Mahomes has better numbers in terms of PPG, QB rating, TDs, passing yards, etc — Allen has been more resilient towards good defenses than Mahomes.
So Allen has that going for him, which is nice.