- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The Washington Commanders are one of the least analytically advanced teams in the league, according to a survey of NFL analytics staffers published by ESPN Tuesday.

ESPN sent a survey to the analytics groups of all 32 teams and 21 responded, answering a wide range of questions about where they believe NFL organizations stand in their analytics operations. 

According to the poll, the Commanders are the second-least “analytically advanced” team in the NFL. The only organization analytically worse off than the Commanders is the Tennessee Titans.

Seven of the respondents picked the Titans, while five selected the Commanders. No other team garnered more than two votes for this question. The others to get votes were the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

While the survey doesn’t ask for a definition of what makes a team analytically advanced or not, one staffer told ESPN that they “don’t know much” about the Commanders’ and Titans’ analytics operations. One example that was included in the survey was whether a team allows a member of its analytics department on the coaching headset during games. Thirteen of the 21 respondents said their teams do have an analytics staffer on the headset.

One of the respondents also picked Commanders defensive end Chase Young as one of the most overrated players in the NFL. Young has yet to play this season as he recovers from his ACL tear last year.

Other players the staffers deemed as overrated include Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, Titans running back Derrick Henry and Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt. 

For underrated players, former Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins was one of three players to get more than two votes. Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett and Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons were also each deemed underrated by two respondents. 

For the second straight year in the ESPN poll, the most analytically advanced team in the NFL is the Cleveland Browns. Nearly half of the respondents picked the Browns. The Ravens were second with four votes, while the Eagles were third with three. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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