The Defensive Hog Index has generated plenty of publicity over the years. Football fans love the fact that we have a way to quantify with hard data the best defensive fronts in football. In the past, most analysts sized up defensive fronts with nothing more than the unreliable old eye test.
Fans also love the fact that the Defensive Hog Index consistently identifies Super Bowl contenders. We introduced the indicator in 2007. The No. 1 Defensive Hogs that year belonged to the Giants
. They won the Super Bowl. The No. 1 Defensive Hogs in 2008 belonged to the Steelers
. They, too, won the Super Bowl.
The Defensive-Hog-dynasty-Steelers boasted the No. 1 unit again in 2010. They won the AFC title, before falling to the Packers in the Super Bowl. Bottom line: great Defensive Hogs help create champion contenders.
With all that said, though, we were surprised to find that the Defensive Hog Index had a relatively low rate of success as a predictive indicator.
Our new Predictive Rate of Victory chart
revealed that teams with the better Defensive Hogs went just 130-126 (50.8%) in 2010. The DHI showed a similar rate of success in the postseason, where the better D-Hogs went just 6-5 (54.5%), including the Super Bowl loss by Pittsburgh (No. 1 Defensive Hogs) to Green Bay (No. 10 Defensive Hogs).