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Data Crunch: Linebacker Comparison

Posted Oct 31, 2013

In the fourth of our weekly ventures into data visualization, we give you a graphical look at the many ways in which second-year LB Lavonte David is playing at a Pro Bowl level.

Every week, we football fans consume the NFL through live game action, replays and highlight shows. And then we consume it again through the numbers. Whether it's via fantasy football, statistical analysis or simply the league standings, numbers help us understand and digest the game we love.

This season, Buccaneers.com wants to help you see what the numbers are saying.

Welcome back to Data Crunch, our weekly foray into data visualization that will help tell the story of Tampa Bay Buccaneers football and the 2013 NFL season as a whole. Here, we will not only dive deep into the statistics generated each week by the Buccaneers but we'll present it to you in graphical form to better convey what the numbers are telling us. These interactive graphs allow the user to identify trends, gaining a better understanding of how wins and losses are generated and where the team is headed.

Our fourth data visualization exercise of 2013 focuses on the many ways that linebacker Lavonte David has contributed to the Buccaneers' defense. By comparing David's numbers to those of 99 other NFL linebackers in seven different statistical categories, we can provide evidence that the second-year linebacker is playing at Pro Bowl level and is worthy of serious all-star consideration this year.

In addition to such basic – and important – statistical categories as sacks, tackles and interceptions, we also provide you with a comparison of those 100 linebackers in terms of Win Probability Added (WPA) and Expected Points Added (EPA). These more complex statistical evaluations combine many facets of a player's production to see how he compares to a baseline of production and other players at his position around the NFL.

Scroll through the tabs below to see how David compares to his linebacking peers around the NFL this year. By moving your mouse over any of the circles, you can see which linebacker is represented and what his production this season is. You'll notice that David is very high in almost every category.