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Projecting Nate Livings in 2013

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At NBC, I continued my series of player projections with Nate Livings:

Left guard Nate Livings was basically the “anti-Smith” in 2012; he was quite underrated in pass protection, but people felt that he played poorly because he gave up five sacks—a high mark for an interior lineman. However, Livings allowed pressure on just 1.9 percent of his snaps in pass protection. Based on that, Livings’ most likely total for sacks allowed was 3.5. This is the perfect example of why we should be using pressure stats to predict future sacks. By looking at pressures, we know that Smith is likely to allow more than three sacks in 2013, while Livings will probably check in under five.

Livings was in pass protection on 736 snaps in 2012. That number will probably drop in 2013 because the Cowboys figure to be more balanced, so we should see around 650 snaps from Livings. We might expect his pressure rate to jump just a bit simply because he’s 31 years old, but Livings will also have more experience playing in the Cowboys’ system. I think those two effects will cancel out, meaning we can project Livings at the same 1.9 percent pressure rate he posted last year. At 650 snaps, a 1.9 percent pressure rate would lead to 12 pressures. Based on historic sack-to-pressure ratios, that’s a number that would typically result in three sacks allowed over the long haul.

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