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2019 NFL advanced statistic awards: Top performers in pass-rushing, blocking, coverage and more

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Which important NFL stats don't get a lot of love? (1:39)

Rob Ninkovich, Damien Woody and Field Yates pick the NFL statistics that are too often overlooked. (1:39)

How about a few more 2019 NFL awards? But instead of relying on humans in the selection process -- as is the case for the MVP, All-Pro selections or Comeback Player of the Year -- we're putting these in the hands of numbers (thus avoiding rogue Julian Edelman votes).

Advanced statistics allow us to better evaluate on-field performance, so it would only make sense for us to go to those analytics for some extra accolades this season. We're handing out trophies in a variety of those advanced stat categories. These stats come from ESPN Stats & Information, NFL Next Gen Stats or a combination of the two.

Since quarterbacks and skill positions typically get all the glory, let's kick this awards show off with some top performers near the line of scrimmage.

Jump to:
Pass-rush | Blocking
Passing | Receiving | Coverage

PASS-RUSHERS

Best pass-rushing edge rusher: Robert Quinn, Dallas Cowboys

Find someone who loves you the way pass rush win rate (PRWR) loves Robert Quinn. Last year, Quinn also topped this category, and it seemed strange. He had an unheralded 6.5-sack season in Miami, and his PRWR performance had me wondering. He was rushing outside the tackle quite a bit, so perhaps Quinn was just receiving credit for getting by the tackle despite riding far beyond the quarterback and not generating pressure?

But then this season happened. Quinn repeated his PRWR crown while also picking up 11.5 sacks.

While there was a small subsection of the plays with which you could make the case that my outside rush theory applied in 2019, I came away with two thoughts from watching the tape:

  • He cut inside the tackle more than I would have guessed and generated a fair amount of pressure there.

  • There were a bunch of plays in which I thought his outside rush would take him well past the QB, but he displayed so much speed and bend that in a blink of an eye his hand was on the quarterback or the football itself.

Robert Quinn, you are legit.


Best pass-rushing defensive tackle: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams