NOTICE: This league is using the BLEEDING EDGE game engine. For more information, click here.

League Forums

Main - Beta Chat


By setherick
1/04/2017 8:39 am
I've been watching linebacker play closely to see why they don't perform to their attributes, and I have a few observations.

1) It looks linebacker distance from LOS is too shallow. Many of the defensive calls, especially the ones where the LB takes the RB man-to-man, have the LBs within five yards of the LOS. This means that LBs are being sucked up into run blocks too frequently. Moving their distance back from the LOS may improve their performance because it would allow them better pursuit angles and not have them get sucked up into the block.

2) Linebackers move laterally, but only to a point. On pass plays, when covering a running back out of the backfield, LBs will move laterally along the LOS until the running back gets past the LOS and then the LB will pursue. This works really well. But on running plays, linebackers will only move laterally until they have a "pursuit angle" and then they will bee line to the RB. Because they are playing so shallow, this gets them sucked up into the OL. It also means they miss a lot of tackles because they pursue "too early" instead of moving laterally with the RB until the RB angles toward the LOS. So when the RB suddenly stops and does a 135 degree jump cut back to the middle of the field, the LB can't change directions as fast. (This is of course another matter altogether.)

Re: Linebackers

By setherick
1/06/2017 8:32 am
Another observation about linebackers. When they are in man coverage and the player they are supposed to cover stays in to block, the linebacker does nothing:

Re: Linebackers

1/06/2017 11:45 pm
Mine pretty much do nothing all game. Well, except make the other team look awesome.

Re: Linebackers

By Tecra031
1/07/2017 8:32 am
Mine pretty much do nothing all game. Well, except make the other team look awesome.

I agree here 100%. I think I have a good set of starting LBs, but they are not effective. So I did just a little research, which comfirmed my thoughts that LBs are not as effective as they should be.

So far in the 2030 season:
- 7 of my top 8 tacklers are DBs, including one that only played 2 games so far.
- in MFN-1, the top 40 tacklers YTD are ALL DBs.
- I compared this to NFL stats for 2016 - 33 of the top 40 tacklers were LBs.

Good LBs typically lead a team in tackles on almost every team, every year, yet they don't have the same impact here. I think this is something that should be looked at rather quickly. LBs game play needs to get better and have more impact instead of standing around and staring at plays happen frequently. This also contributes to the running game being OP for even mediocre RBs.

Re: Linebackers

By WarEagle
1/07/2017 6:38 pm
Enough with the "these stats aren't the same as the NFL stats" complaints already.

The stats in MFN are never going to be the same as those in the NFL for a hundred different reasons that have been mentioned over and over and over...

Many of those reasons are not even possible to address in MFN.

If you want to discuss how LBs play in MFN I'm all for it, but quit comparing MFN stats to NFL stats as if it somehow proves that there is something wrong in MFN.

I am not saying that LB play does not need to be improved, only that NFL stats are not the reason.
Last edited at 1/07/2017 6:39 pm

Re: Linebackers

By setherick
1/07/2017 8:04 pm
I like using NFL stats as a cross comparison. I don't necessarily need complete statistical realism, but it helps when making an argument about what positions should do what.

Re: Linebackers

By WarEagle
1/07/2017 8:20 pm
setherick wrote:
I like using NFL stats as a cross comparison. I don't necessarily need complete statistical realism, but it helps when making an argument about what positions should do what.

How does it help make an argument when you KNOW there are real, explainable reasons why MFN stats will NEVER resemble NFL stats?

The comments you make about HOW players should play (LBs / OL / etc.) are good information that helps to identify potential issues / fixes. Comparing how players play is helpful.

Comparing stats in MFN to stats in the NFL / NCAA / CFL / Arena League does nothing at all and often leads to a misconception about what the real issues are.

Such as:
"we need to increase/decrease the RB ability so that league leaders are averaging about 4.9 yards per carry"

When what should be said is:
"RBs need to have the ability to find a hole, make cutbacks, break some tackles; while the OL needs to be able to hold a block: while the DL needs to be able to shed a block; while the LBs need to be able to pursue and tackle, etc.".

Stats in MFN are too misleading.

"Running needs to be made harder because when I play against setherick I'm averaging 10 yards a carry" (not true, but let's assume it was)....
...while at the same time "Running needs to be made easier because when I play lellow I'm averaging 0.8 yards a carry".

Stats in MFN are super-dependent on the opponent you are playing.

Re: Linebackers

By setherick
1/08/2017 12:05 pm
Here's another good example of how bad LB reactions and reaction times are. Watch my opponents MLB 95.

He's lined up only 4 yards deep before the snap. On the snap, the MLB waits. He sees the RB take the handoff and head to a hole forming on the weak side. He waits. The LG makes it up to the second level for a block. He waits. The LG engages in the block. Finally he reacts:

I didn't see what the defensive play call was so I don't know what the LB was supposed to do, but as soon as the handoff was made, he should have been moving laterally in the direction the ball carrier was moving. If he had been 5-6 yards from the LOS and not 4, he could have reacted quicker to the OL coming to make the second level block. He may have been blocked, but it wouldn't have been a dead on block.

The LB allows what should have been a 2-5 yard run by my crappy RB2 to turn into a 58 yard broken play after the safeties whiff the clean up tackles.

EDIT: I looked at my LB number 95 who is a terrible player, so attributes have been changed. My opponents 95 on the play is listed as a WLB, which means he'd have been covering the WR5 on this play, which should be the RB I would assume since I'm in a 113 set. So the player supposed to cover the RB doesn't react when the RB gets the ball.
Last edited at 1/08/2017 12:24 pm

Re: Linebackers

By Infinity on Trial
1/08/2017 12:47 pm
setherick wrote:
I didn't see what the defensive play call was so I don't know what the LB was supposed to do.

Play is "Nickel Normal Man Cover 2" — MLB is in m2m with WR4 (given his alignment, he's clearly covering the ballcarrier one-on-one). Also, the defense is in run key here.

Notice how the LB has his back turned, facing toward the bottom of the screen, while the RB is moving away from him.

It's like the LB has decided it's more important to square up and engage the blocker than to pursue the RB.

Re: Linebackers

By setherick
1/12/2017 8:12 am
Another good example of how linebacker logic in M2M is flawed. Watch white #50. He's playing WLB in M2M against the WR5 (the FB) on this play. His man stays in to block, so instead of playing middle zone or blitzing, he decides to stand there and watch: