2013 COAS/SSLYAR Pigskin Pick’Em: Week 13

Apologies to everyone involved for throwing these picks up late – traveling 370 miles to visit family on Thanksgiving Day doesn’t leave much time for writing NFL synopses, but better late than never! At least that’s what I’m hoping. In the interest of full disclosure, here’s how Lucas and I picked yesterday’s games:

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-5.5)

Lucas: Packers. I know, Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing, and this isn’t 2011, but remember the last time Matt Flynn played Detroit? Also, it’s Thanksgiving, so Ndamukong Suh is due to do something that reminds us all that he’s a dirty player. If you don’t believe me, Evan Dietrich-Smith’s arm and Matt Schaub’s balls would like a word with you.

Nathaniel: Lions. I predict the Lions will rack up over 500 yards of offense and the Packers won’t crack 100 until James Jones catches a long pass on their last possession of the game. I also predict Aaron Rodgers’ mustache will look awesome on the sideline.

Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (-9.5)

Lucas: Raiders. This is less about Matt McGloin starting and more about I don’t trust the Cowboys to win by double digits. I think they win; it is November, after all, but I like the points here.

Nathaniel: Raiders. I predict that the Cowboys will find a way to give up a touchdown on their opening kickoff return of the game, but still win anyway. I also predict Sebastian Janikowski will lead an inspiring last second backdoor cover for the Raiders.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)

Lucas: Ravens. General rule of thumb: take the Ravens at home. Pitt will make this a game, but the Ravens are a better team at home than they are on the road.

Nathaniel: Ravens. I predict the Steelers will score three touchdowns on their final possession but only one of them will stand. I also predict that Emmanuel Sanders will suck at catching passes like he always does.

Okay, fine, I wrote my synopses retroactively – all the picks are accurate, however. Lucas went 1-2 yesterday and I went 2-1. Lucas still leads overall this year by five games. Here’s how we’re picking the rest of Week 13’s games:

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-0.5)

Lucas: Vikings. Be prepared to hear a lot of this on Sunday, Bears fans.

Nathaniel: Bears. You don’t have to remind me how bad the Bears defense has been this year, but how exactly does a matchup with 2-8-1 team vs. a 6-5 team get called a virtual pick’em? There’s a reason the 2-8-1 team’s only won two games all year.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (-7.5)

Lucas: Jaguars. Why am I on a Jaguars kick lately? This was a team that just a month ago was being hyped up as maybe the worst team ever! Hey, morons, still think the best college teams can beat Jacksonville? Also, Brandon Weeden.

Nathaniel: Jaguars. In five short weeks, Browns fans will (Lord-willing) never be subjected to Brandon Weeden’s sadistic forms of torture ever again. For the love of God, please find something else to do at 1 o’clock on Sundays in December, Browns fans.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)

Lucas: Colts. Indy has been kind of awful lately, but coming home to face a mediocre Titans team might be just what the doctor ordered.

Nathaniel: Titans. I don’t like having to put my faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but I really don’t think the Colts are a good team right now and Reggie Wayne isn’t walking through that door any time soon.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-1.5)

Lucas: Jets. Maybe Nathaniel is right and the Jets can only win in odd numbered weeks.

Nathaniel: Dolphins. Sure hope I’m wrong this week, though!

New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+8.5)

Lucas: Patriots. I’d make a “Bill Belichick takes the wind” joke here, but it wouldn’t fit indoors. What also won’t fit indoors will be the sound of the boos coming from the Texans fans after another clunker.

Nathaniel: Patriots. Who thought in August that the Texans would be the favorite to secure the #1 pick in the 2014 draft going into December? This after starting 2-0, too! What a bizarre tailspin this team’s been in.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5)

Lucas: Cardinals. I know the Eagles offense has been pretty good, but why is there no real fear in Vegas of the Arizona defense? I feel like they can contain Nick Foles and company.

Nathaniel: Cardinals. The NFC representative in this year’s Super Bowl seems likely to be either Seattle or New Orleans, but Arizona would be a pretty intriguing dark horse if they could sneak in as a wild-card. They’re secretly one of the ten best teams in the league and nobody would want to see that defense in January. This is definitely the best of the early games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-8.5)

Lucas: Panthers. This is a pretty big spread considering Tampa has won three in a row. Carolina has had a resurgence though, and I’m not sure they can contain Cam Newton and company.

Nathaniel: Buccaneers. Is Greg Schiano actually saving his job now? Cue to all seven Buccaneers fans screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (-3.5)

Lucas: Falcons. As bad as the Falcons are, I don’t think they’re 2-9 bad. Give them one.

Nathaniel: Falcons. Only because the Bills’ excellent home-field advantage goes out the window when they play in Toronto.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)

Lucas: Rams. To my chagrin, I picked the Rams last time, but I’m sticking to my guns. Mainly because I think Tavon Austin is still running.

Nathaniel: Rams. The Rams are back to being the team Jeff Fisher always hopes his teams will be at the end of the year – .500 and not having any chance at the playoffs, but a real pain in the tucus to play. Doesn’t seem likely that the 49ers will have enough offensive firepower to make this line stand up.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (-1.5)

Lucas: Bengals. I’m already supporting one ginger quarterback. Why not another?

Nathaniel: Chargers. If anyone of those AFC wild-card hopefuls in that 5-6 quagmire has a real shot of reaching 9-7, it’s probably the Chargers. They’ve got four home games left and they may very well have the best offense in the league. They also may very well have the worst defense, but let’s forget about that for now.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5)

Lucas: Broncos. Andy Reid was going to take the wind, but he was too busy wolfing down his 34th barbecued turkey.

Nathaniel: Broncos. Just can’t envision the Chiefs scoring enough to win this game.

New York Giants at Washington Redskins (+1.5)

Lucas: Giants. I just don’t trust the Skins this year. I feel like there’s too much dysfunction in that locker room and RGIII isn’t the same and their defense sucks… there’s probably more, but I think that suffices.

Nathaniel: Giants. Looks like NBC forgot they can flex games out of Sunday Night Football late in the year. Blech.

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-5.5)

Lucas: Seahawks. Originally, I was going to pick the Saints. I feel like they’re one of only a handful of teams that can take the Seahawks in Seattle. Then I saw the weather forecast for Monday and remembered that Drew Brees sucks in the cold. Also, the last time the Saints were in town, Marshawn Lynch caused an earthquake.

Nathaniel: Saints. Nothing much on the line here, just home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Let’s enjoy this one, folks!

2013 records:

Lucas: 92-88 (7-7 last week, 1-2 so far this week)

Nathaniel: 87-93 (7-7 last week, 2-1 so far this week)

Also, here’s this week’s Predictive Yards per Play rankings (not including Thanksgiving’s games):

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 12:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 San Diego Chargers 4485 722 22 8 6 8 -0.22 6.91
2 New Orleans Saints 4565 739 28 8 7 9 -0.06 6.67
3 Green Bay Packers 4668 746 17 10 11 13 -0.02 6.42
4 Atlanta Falcons 3830 682 18 12 5 12 0.42 5.93
5 Denver Broncos 4967 803 36 7 14 26 -0.32 5.62
6 Indianapolis Colts 3738 692 15 8 11 6 0.22 5.59
7 Philadelphia Eagles 4536 719 21 7 10 14 -0.25 5.58
8 Chicago Bears 4097 703 20 9 9 13 -0.04 5.56
9 Detroit Lions 4533 762 24 12 9 17 -0.19 5.51
10 Carolina Panthers 3507 711 17 9 11 10 0.27 5.46
11 Seattle Seahawks 3943 673 20 6 11 20 0.02 5.44
12 New England Patriots 4080 784 17 7 12 19 0.15 5.04
13 Houston Texans 3998 764 16 13 2 14 0.19 5.03
14 Tennessee Titans 3672 696 15 8 10 20 0.08 4.89
15 Pittsburgh Steelers 3734 716 19 10 4 12 0.13 4.87
16 Dallas Cowboys 3605 653 23 7 6 12 -0.17 4.82
17 Cincinnati Bengals 4010 756 21 15 7 15 0.12 4.80
18 St. Louis Rams 3571 687 18 6 6 15 0.02 4.77
19 Washington Redskins 4311 768 14 13 12 18 -0.54 4.76
20 San Francisco 49ers 3394 651 14 7 15 16 0.10 4.50
21 Arizona Cardinals 3674 694 16 15 8 17 0.09 4.44
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3337 705 16 7 4 13 -0.02 4.41
23 Kansas City Chiefs 3595 728 14 5 9 12 -0.15 4.38
24 Minnesota Vikings 3624 687 11 13 15 17 -0.15 4.35
25 Buffalo Bills 3642 774 12 9 9 20 0.35 4.34
26 Cleveland Browns 3548 751 18 13 1 13 0.13 4.33
27 Miami Dolphins 3410 683 15 12 7 10 -0.08 4.25
28 Baltimore Ravens 3397 749 14 14 6 11 0.17 4.14
29 Oakland Raiders 3671 692 11 12 10 17 -0.22 4.11
30 New York Jets 3468 702 9 18 6 13 0.12 3.92
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 3113 692 5 16 7 13 0.20 3.68
32 New York Giants 3563 694 14 18 7 16 -0.53 3.50

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 12:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 San Francisco 49ers 3428 712 11 12 9 17 0.28 3.77
2 Arizona Cardinals 3488 729 19 15 4 12 0.27 3.84
3 Seattle Seahawks 3226 697 12 16 4 23 -0.07 3.90
4 Baltimore Ravens 3619 716 17 9 1 17 -0.15 4.26
5 New York Jets 3552 715 20 6 6 15 0.05 4.30
6 Cincinnati Bengals 3444 745 14 12 4 12 -0.19 4.34
7 New York Giants 3688 729 16 12 7 16 0.16 4.36
8 Houston Texans 3194 644 18 4 8 11 -0.06 4.38
9 Cleveland Browns 3367 757 18 8 9 9 -0.19 4.40
10 Carolina Panthers 3272 658 9 15 3 14 -0.26 4.47
11 Kansas City Chiefs 3860 718 13 12 6 17 -0.13 4.50
12 Tennessee Titans 3655 692 8 9 15 17 -0.08 4.64
13 New Orleans Saints 3409 652 11 10 9 13 -0.13 4.68
14 Buffalo Bills 3826 752 22 16 4 10 -0.22 4.70
15 Miami Dolphins 3944 764 12 14 11 9 0.32 4.74
16 Oakland Raiders 3929 716 21 7 7 22 0.05 4.76
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3807 702 22 15 5 12 0.34 4.76
18 Denver Broncos 4158 767 21 13 10 18 -0.09 4.76
19 New England Patriots 3961 783 18 13 5 17 -0.04 4.77
20 St. Louis Rams 3942 688 17 12 12 20 0.11 4.83
21 Pittsburgh Steelers 3775 711 13 7 13 14 -0.27 5.12
22 Detroit Lions 4013 691 21 11 5 11 -0.07 5.12
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 4134 721 20 5 15 19 0.14 5.14
24 Washington Redskins 4203 696 22 10 15 10 0.34 5.36
25 Chicago Bears 4136 685 16 14 14 19 0.10 5.43
26 Philadelphia Eagles 4597 824 17 13 7 15 -0.08 5.69
27 Indianapolis Colts 4060 696 16 8 9 14 -0.03 5.71
28 Minnesota Vikings 4411 786 24 8 13 12 0.21 5.83
29 Green Bay Packers 3956 700 19 4 9 11 -0.24 5.96
30 Dallas Cowboys 4754 772 22 12 11 14 0.10 6.10
31 Atlanta Falcons 4193 692 23 6 8 7 0.08 6.43
32 San Diego Chargers 4285 668 18 6 9 10 -0.11 6.69

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 12:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 New Orleans Saints 1.99 12.33 12.40
2 Seattle Seahawks 1.54 6.52 13.46
3 Carolina Panthers 0.99 7.96 10.75
4 Denver Broncos 0.85 1.16 12.09
5 San Francisco 49ers 0.73 -0.85 9.96
6 Houston Texans 0.64 -1.72 4.65
7 Arizona Cardinals 0.60 10.14 9.67
8 Cincinnati Bengals 0.47 -12.80 10.16
9 Green Bay Packers 0.45 -6.68 8.14
10 Detroit Lions 0.38 -16.46 9.04
11 New England Patriots 0.27 -3.74 10.82
12 Tennessee Titans 0.25 0.00 7.62
13 San Diego Chargers 0.23 -9.55 7.88
14 Chicago Bears 0.13 -13.44 8.81
15 St. Louis Rams -0.06 22.79 6.55
16 Cleveland Browns -0.07 -6.90 6.44
17 Philadelphia Eagles -0.11 -11.80 8.65
18 Indianapolis Colts -0.12 -6.65 9.16
19 Kansas City Chiefs -0.12 -2.57 11.51
20 Baltimore Ravens -0.12 -5.79 7.57
21 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.25 -4.73 7.61
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.34 14.33 4.65
23 Buffalo Bills -0.37 -12.65 6.52
24 New York Jets -0.38 -8.94 7.26
25 Miami Dolphins -0.49 -4.94 7.31
26 Atlanta Falcons -0.50 2.09 4.00
27 Washington Redskins -0.60 -22.26 5.57
28 Oakland Raiders -0.65 0.08 5.91
29 New York Giants -0.86 4.65 5.62
30 Dallas Cowboys -1.29 -11.67 8.11
31 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.46 -8.96 3.60
32 Minnesota Vikings -1.48 -4.63 4.15

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 12:

RDS PER PLAY RANKINGS

Busy week offline for me, so this will mostly just be a data dump. One important thing to note: Denver’s win over Kansas City Sunday Night reinstalled the Broncos as slight favorites to win the AFC West and, by extension, home field advantage throughout the playoffs in Predictive Yards per Play’s eyes. Of course, the rematch at Arrowhead Stadium on Thanksgiving Weekend will ultimately be the deciding factor.

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 11:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 San Diego Chargers 3994 655 19 8 4 7 -0.26 6.78
2 New Orleans Saints 4191 680 26 8 7 9 0.05 6.61
3 Green Bay Packers 4174 657 16 10 9 13 0.10 6.54
4 Denver Broncos 4555 717 34 6 13 21 -0.30 5.79
5 Atlanta Falcons 3475 616 18 12 4 11 0.38 5.79
6 Detroit Lions 4143 690 21 8 9 14 -0.16 5.72
7 Indianapolis Colts 3499 637 14 7 11 6 0.09 5.66
8 Philadelphia Eagles 4536 719 21 7 10 14 -0.18 5.63
9 Carolina Panthers 3212 642 16 8 10 10 0.23 5.55
10 Chicago Bears 3673 629 18 8 8 10 -0.06 5.50
11 Seattle Seahawks 3943 673 20 6 11 20 -0.02 5.39
12 New England Patriots 3640 700 14 7 11 13 0.15 5.20
13 Houston Texans 3780 707 16 12 2 14 0.27 5.20
14 Washington Redskins 4121 710 14 12 12 17 -0.67 4.94
15 Pittsburgh Steelers 3432 648 17 10 4 12 0.13 4.88
16 Cincinnati Bengals 4010 756 21 15 7 15 0.12 4.79
17 Dallas Cowboys 3278 591 21 6 6 11 -0.26 4.67
18 Tennessee Titans 3246 623 13 8 10 17 0.08 4.65
19 San Francisco 49ers 3090 592 11 7 15 13 0.18 4.60
20 St. Louis Rams 3165 634 17 6 3 15 0.05 4.51
21 Kansas City Chiefs 3200 669 11 4 7 11 0.03 4.47
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3108 656 14 7 4 12 -0.04 4.46
23 Minnesota Vikings 3177 608 10 13 14 15 -0.03 4.38
24 Cleveland Browns 3181 678 17 12 1 10 0.15 4.36
25 Buffalo Bills 3642 774 12 9 9 20 0.35 4.33
26 Arizona Cardinals 3264 623 14 15 7 16 0.11 4.16
27 Miami Dolphins 3078 621 14 11 7 10 -0.11 4.16
28 Baltimore Ravens 3085 687 13 13 6 11 0.15 4.04
29 New York Jets 3248 647 9 16 6 12 0.02 4.00
30 Oakland Raiders 3318 637 10 11 10 15 -0.26 3.92
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 2780 627 5 16 6 12 0.19 3.55
32 New York Giants 3207 632 12 18 7 15 -0.40 3.51

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 11:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 Arizona Cardinals 3249 674 18 14 4 12 0.23 3.88
2 San Francisco 49ers 3238 654 11 11 9 16 0.26 3.92
3 Seattle Seahawks 3226 697 12 16 4 23 -0.11 3.93
4 New York Jets 3240 653 19 5 6 15 0.11 4.21
5 New York Giants 3361 667 14 11 7 15 0.24 4.24
6 Cincinnati Bengals 3444 745 14 12 4 12 -0.15 4.29
7 Baltimore Ravens 3399 661 17 7 1 16 -0.01 4.30
8 Cleveland Browns 3065 689 16 8 9 9 -0.17 4.33
9 Houston Texans 2861 579 18 4 7 10 -0.05 4.38
10 Kansas City Chiefs 3369 651 10 12 4 16 -0.30 4.39
11 Carolina Panthers 2940 596 8 14 3 14 -0.25 4.43
12 Tennessee Titans 3302 637 7 8 15 15 -0.03 4.53
13 Oakland Raiders 3503 643 19 7 7 19 0.09 4.61
14 New Orleans Saints 3054 586 11 10 8 12 -0.27 4.63
15 Buffalo Bills 3826 752 22 16 4 10 -0.19 4.66
16 St. Louis Rams 3518 614 15 11 11 17 0.05 4.81
17 Miami Dolphins 3649 695 11 13 10 9 0.28 4.82
18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3417 630 19 11 5 9 0.29 4.90
19 Denver Broncos 3718 683 18 13 9 12 -0.15 4.93
20 New England Patriots 3549 697 16 12 4 12 -0.10 4.95
21 Pittsburgh Steelers 3408 638 12 6 13 11 -0.25 5.21
22 Chicago Bears 3730 632 15 14 11 19 0.15 5.22
23 Detroit Lions 3784 642 19 11 5 10 -0.04 5.25
24 Jacksonville Jaguars 3916 664 20 4 15 19 0.10 5.33
25 Washington Redskins 3899 637 19 10 15 7 0.44 5.38
26 Indianapolis Colts 3650 625 14 8 8 13 -0.02 5.56
27 Philadelphia Eagles 4597 824 17 13 7 15 -0.06 5.65
28 Minnesota Vikings 3917 697 23 8 11 12 0.14 5.86
29 Green Bay Packers 3509 621 18 4 8 9 -0.18 5.94
30 Dallas Cowboys 4398 710 20 12 11 13 0.26 5.96
31 Atlanta Falcons 3819 633 21 6 8 7 -0.08 6.53
32 San Diego Chargers 3890 609 15 5 7 9 -0.07 6.77

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 12:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 New Orleans Saints 1.99 12.33 12.40
2 Seattle Seahawks 1.54 6.52 13.46
3 Carolina Panthers 0.99 7.96 10.75
4 Denver Broncos 0.85 1.16 12.09
5 San Francisco 49ers 0.73 -0.85 9.96
6 Houston Texans 0.64 -1.72 4.65
7 Arizona Cardinals 0.60 10.14 9.67
8 Cincinnati Bengals 0.47 -12.80 10.16
9 Green Bay Packers 0.45 -6.68 8.14
10 Detroit Lions 0.38 -16.46 9.04
11 New England Patriots 0.27 -3.74 10.82
12 Tennessee Titans 0.25 0.00 7.62
13 San Diego Chargers 0.23 -9.55 7.88
14 Chicago Bears 0.13 -13.44 8.81
15 St. Louis Rams -0.06 22.79 6.55
16 Cleveland Browns -0.07 -6.90 6.44
17 Philadelphia Eagles -0.11 -11.80 8.65
18 Indianapolis Colts -0.12 -6.65 9.16
19 Kansas City Chiefs -0.12 -2.57 11.51
20 Baltimore Ravens -0.12 -5.79 7.57
21 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.25 -4.73 7.61
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.34 14.33 4.65
23 Buffalo Bills -0.37 -12.65 6.52
24 New York Jets -0.38 -8.94 7.26
25 Miami Dolphins -0.49 -4.94 7.31
26 Atlanta Falcons -0.50 2.09 4.00
27 Washington Redskins -0.60 -22.26 5.57
28 Oakland Raiders -0.65 0.08 5.91
29 New York Giants -0.86 4.65 5.62
30 Dallas Cowboys -1.29 -11.67 8.11
31 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.46 -8.96 3.60
32 Minnesota Vikings -1.48 -4.63 4.15

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 12:

  1. Denver (12.1 wins)
  2. New England (10.8 wins)
  3. Cincinnati (10.2 wins)
  4. Indianapolis (9.2 wins)
  5. Kansas City (11.5 wins)
  6. San Diego (7.9 wins)

In the hunt: Tennessee (7.6 wins), Pittsburgh (7.6 wins), Baltimore (7.6 wins), Miami (7.3 wins), NY Jets (7.3 wins), Buffalo (6.5 wins), Cleveland (6.4 wins)

Mediocre: Oakland (5.9 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Houston (4.7 wins), Jacksonville (3.6 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 12:

  1. Seattle (13.5 wins)
  2. New Orleans (12.4 wins)
  3. Detroit (9.0 wins)
  4. Philadelphia (8.7 wins)
  5. Carolina (10.8 wins)
  6. San Francisco (10.0 wins)

In the hunt: Arizona (9.7 wins), Chicago (8.8 wins), Green Bay (8.1 wins), Dallas (8.1 wins)

Mediocre: St. Louis (6.6 wins), NY Giants (5.6 wins), Washington (5.6 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Tampa Bay (4.7 wins), Atlanta (4.0 wins), Minnesota (4.2 wins)

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Week 12 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Busy week offline for me, so this will mostly just be a data dump. One important thing to note: Denver’s win over Kansas City Sunday Night reinstalled the Broncos as slight favorites to win the AFC West and, by extension, home field advantage throughout the playoffs in Predictive Yards per Play’s eyes. Of course, the rematch at Arrowhead Stadium on Thanksgiving Weekend will ultimately be the deciding factor.

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 11:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 San Diego Chargers 3994 655 19 8 4 7 -0.26 6.78
2 New Orleans Saints 4191 680 26 8 7 9 0.05 6.61
3 Green Bay Packers 4174 657 16 10 9 13 0.10 6.54
4 Denver Broncos 4555 717 34 6 13 21 -0.30 5.79
5 Atlanta Falcons 3475 616 18 12 4 11 0.38 5.79
6 Detroit Lions 4143 690 21 8 9 14 -0.16 5.72
7 Indianapolis Colts 3499 637 14 7 11 6 0.09 5.66
8 Philadelphia Eagles 4536 719 21 7 10 14 -0.18 5.63
9 Carolina Panthers 3212 642 16 8 10 10 0.23 5.55
10 Chicago Bears 3673 629 18 8 8 10 -0.06 5.50
11 Seattle Seahawks 3943 673 20 6 11 20 -0.02 5.39
12 New England Patriots 3640 700 14 7 11 13 0.15 5.20
13 Houston Texans 3780 707 16 12 2 14 0.27 5.20
14 Washington Redskins 4121 710 14 12 12 17 -0.67 4.94
15 Pittsburgh Steelers 3432 648 17 10 4 12 0.13 4.88
16 Cincinnati Bengals 4010 756 21 15 7 15 0.12 4.79
17 Dallas Cowboys 3278 591 21 6 6 11 -0.26 4.67
18 Tennessee Titans 3246 623 13 8 10 17 0.08 4.65
19 San Francisco 49ers 3090 592 11 7 15 13 0.18 4.60
20 St. Louis Rams 3165 634 17 6 3 15 0.05 4.51
21 Kansas City Chiefs 3200 669 11 4 7 11 0.03 4.47
22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3108 656 14 7 4 12 -0.04 4.46
23 Minnesota Vikings 3177 608 10 13 14 15 -0.03 4.38
24 Cleveland Browns 3181 678 17 12 1 10 0.15 4.36
25 Buffalo Bills 3642 774 12 9 9 20 0.35 4.33
26 Arizona Cardinals 3264 623 14 15 7 16 0.11 4.16
27 Miami Dolphins 3078 621 14 11 7 10 -0.11 4.16
28 Baltimore Ravens 3085 687 13 13 6 11 0.15 4.04
29 New York Jets 3248 647 9 16 6 12 0.02 4.00
30 Oakland Raiders 3318 637 10 11 10 15 -0.26 3.92
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 2780 627 5 16 6 12 0.19 3.55
32 New York Giants 3207 632 12 18 7 15 -0.40 3.51

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 11:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS Predictive Yards per Play
1 Arizona Cardinals 3249 674 18 14 4 12 0.23 3.88
2 San Francisco 49ers 3238 654 11 11 9 16 0.26 3.92
3 Seattle Seahawks 3226 697 12 16 4 23 -0.11 3.93
4 New York Jets 3240 653 19 5 6 15 0.11 4.21
5 New York Giants 3361 667 14 11 7 15 0.24 4.24
6 Cincinnati Bengals 3444 745 14 12 4 12 -0.15 4.29
7 Baltimore Ravens 3399 661 17 7 1 16 -0.01 4.30
8 Cleveland Browns 3065 689 16 8 9 9 -0.17 4.33
9 Houston Texans 2861 579 18 4 7 10 -0.05 4.38
10 Kansas City Chiefs 3369 651 10 12 4 16 -0.30 4.39
11 Carolina Panthers 2940 596 8 14 3 14 -0.25 4.43
12 Tennessee Titans 3302 637 7 8 15 15 -0.03 4.53
13 Oakland Raiders 3503 643 19 7 7 19 0.09 4.61
14 New Orleans Saints 3054 586 11 10 8 12 -0.27 4.63
15 Buffalo Bills 3826 752 22 16 4 10 -0.19 4.66
16 St. Louis Rams 3518 614 15 11 11 17 0.05 4.81
17 Miami Dolphins 3649 695 11 13 10 9 0.28 4.82
18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3417 630 19 11 5 9 0.29 4.90
19 Denver Broncos 3718 683 18 13 9 12 -0.15 4.93
20 New England Patriots 3549 697 16 12 4 12 -0.10 4.95
21 Pittsburgh Steelers 3408 638 12 6 13 11 -0.25 5.21
22 Chicago Bears 3730 632 15 14 11 19 0.15 5.22
23 Detroit Lions 3784 642 19 11 5 10 -0.04 5.25
24 Jacksonville Jaguars 3916 664 20 4 15 19 0.10 5.33
25 Washington Redskins 3899 637 19 10 15 7 0.44 5.38
26 Indianapolis Colts 3650 625 14 8 8 13 -0.02 5.56
27 Philadelphia Eagles 4597 824 17 13 7 15 -0.06 5.65
28 Minnesota Vikings 3917 697 23 8 11 12 0.14 5.86
29 Green Bay Packers 3509 621 18 4 8 9 -0.18 5.94
30 Dallas Cowboys 4398 710 20 12 11 13 0.26 5.96
31 Atlanta Falcons 3819 633 21 6 8 7 -0.08 6.53
32 San Diego Chargers 3890 609 15 5 7 9 -0.07 6.77

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 11:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 New Orleans Saints 1.98 7.98 12.29
2 Seattle Seahawks 1.46 6.34 13.27
3 Carolina Panthers 1.12 7.64 10.48
4 Denver Broncos 0.87 4.93 12.74
5 Houston Texans 0.82 -14.42 5.71
6 San Francisco 49ers 0.68 -7.83 9.70
7 Green Bay Packers 0.60 -17.88 8.36
8 Cincinnati Bengals 0.50 -16.10 10.14
9 Detroit Lions 0.47 -23.03 9.80
10 Chicago Bears 0.28 -13.43 9.34
11 Arizona Cardinals 0.28 1.87 9.28
12 New England Patriots 0.25 0.04 10.17
13 Tennessee Titans 0.12 -2.04 7.05
14 Indianapolis Colts 0.09 -3.48 9.64
15 Kansas City Chiefs 0.07 -2.35 12.14
16 Cleveland Browns 0.03 -11.28 7.12
17 San Diego Chargers 0.02 -4.80 7.25
18 Philadelphia Eagles -0.02 -15.31 8.74
19 New York Jets -0.21 -8.92 7.83
20 Baltimore Ravens -0.26 -11.30 7.07
21 St. Louis Rams -0.30 16.84 5.96
22 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.33 -5.21 7.08
23 Buffalo Bills -0.33 -21.77 6.77
24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.44 18.84 3.81
25 Washington Redskins -0.45 -21.82 6.01
26 Miami Dolphins -0.67 -1.34 7.42
27 Oakland Raiders -0.70 -0.36 6.21
28 New York Giants -0.73 -4.45 6.32
29 Atlanta Falcons -0.74 11.68 4.07
30 Dallas Cowboys -1.29 -12.84 7.47
31 Minnesota Vikings -1.48 1.43 3.75
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.78 -2.10 2.34

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 11:

  1. Denver (12.7 wins)
  2. New England (10.2 wins)
  3. Cincinnati (10.1 wins)
  4. Indianapolis (9.6 wins)
  5. Kansas City (12.1 wins)
  6. NY Jets (7.8 wins)

In the hunt: Miami (7.4 wins), San Diego (7.3 wins), Cleveland (7.1 wins), Pittsburgh (7.1 wins), Baltimore (7.1 wins), Tennessee (7.1 wins), Buffalo (6.8 wins), Oakland (6.2 wins)

Mediocre: Houston (5.7 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (2.3 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 11:

  1. Seattle (13.3 wins)
  2. New Orleans (12.3 wins)
  3. Detroit (9.8 wins)
  4. Philadelphia (8.7 wins)
  5. Carolina (10.5 wins)
  6. San Francisco (9.7 wins)

In the hunt: Chicago (9.3 wins), Arizona (9.3 wins), Green Bay (8.4 wins), Dallas (7.5 wins)

Mediocre: NY Giants (6.3 wins), Washington (6.0 wins), St. Louis (6.0 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Atlanta (4.1 wins), Tampa Bay (3.8 wins), Minnesota (3.8 wins)

Week 9 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

After a very strange week that saw the playoff picture tighten considerably, here are the Predictive Yards per Play rankings at the midpoint of the season

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 9:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 San Diego Chargers 3230 524 17 7 3 6 -0.27 6.83
2 Green Bay Packers 3384 528 15 5 8 12 0.06 6.67
3 New Orleans Saints 3179 533 21 7 3 5 0.13 6.28
4 Denver Broncos 3731 581 29 6 11 18 -0.20 5.91
5 Atlanta Falcons 2829 496 15 10 3 8 0.31 5.90
6 Detroit Lions 3328 556 16 6 8 11 -0.07 5.81
7 Carolina Panthers 2662 522 13 7 9 7 0.17 5.64
8 Indianapolis Colts 2727 499 13 3 8 5 -0.07 5.58
9 Houston Texans 3151 568 12 11 2 10 0.17 5.55
10 Chicago Bears 3016 499 15 7 8 8 -0.13 5.54
11 Philadelphia Eagles 3719 599 18 7 7 13 -0.15 5.47
12 Cincinnati Bengals 3422 610 16 10 7 14 0.06 5.32
13 San Francisco 49ers 2743 484 9 5 15 11 0.25 5.23
14 Seattle Seahawks 3130 554 16 6 8 19 0.22 5.17
15 New England Patriots 3250 633 13 6 10 12 0.07 4.88
16 Pittsburgh Steelers 2734 508 12 9 3 11 0.13 4.82
17 Washington Redskins 3261 556 9 11 12 13 -0.60 4.73
18 Dallas Cowboys 3085 548 20 6 5 11 -0.37 4.68
19 Tennessee Titans 2544 499 10 7 7 11 0.16 4.68
20 Cleveland Browns 2851 599 16 9 1 8 0.16 4.62
21 St. Louis Rams 2793 579 15 6 2 13 0.17 4.53
22 Buffalo Bills 3102 643 9 8 8 18 0.38 4.48
23 Kansas City Chiefs 2856 596 9 4 7 9 -0.02 4.44
24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2434 531 11 6 1 12 0.15 4.41
25 Minnesota Vikings 2534 486 6 9 12 12 -0.05 4.38
26 Baltimore Ravens 2579 541 10 9 5 8 0.12 4.28
27 Miami Dolphins 2522 505 11 9 6 10 0.09 4.24
28 New York Jets 2981 591 8 13 5 10 -0.03 4.12
29 Arizona Cardinals 2516 492 10 14 6 13 0.10 3.93
30 Oakland Raiders 2764 517 7 10 8 13 -0.56 3.90
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 2292 511 4 12 3 9 -0.03 3.61
32 New York Giants 2622 506 10 16 5 12 -0.43 3.36

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 9:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Arizona Cardinals 2740 547 14 12 3 11 0.45 3.92
2 Seattle Seahawks 2664 573 9 13 4 19 -0.13 4.02
3 San Francisco 49ers 2601 521 10 9 7 10 0.04 4.23
4 Baltimore Ravens 2716 515 14 4 1 13 0.08 4.27
5 Kansas City Chiefs 2942 575 9 12 2 15 -0.43 4.31
6 New York Jets 2927 586 17 5 5 14 0.08 4.32
7 New York Giants 2754 558 14 7 5 14 0.14 4.33
8 Houston Texans 2188 452 13 3 6 7 0.18 4.33
9 Cleveland Browns 2841 630 13 6 9 9 -0.04 4.46
10 Carolina Panthers 2399 477 7 12 2 12 -0.36 4.52
11 Tennessee Titans 2722 512 7 6 10 12 0.09 4.60
12 Cincinnati Bengals 2925 595 11 7 4 9 -0.04 4.69
13 New England Patriots 3249 643 13 12 4 12 -0.14 4.71
14 Miami Dolphins 2950 572 9 11 9 9 0.23 4.73
15 Oakland Raiders 2858 508 17 5 6 13 0.21 4.81
16 Buffalo Bills 3259 629 20 12 2 7 -0.11 4.81
17 St. Louis Rams 3112 545 14 7 11 16 0.02 4.88
18 New Orleans Saints 2665 487 8 9 7 11 -0.33 5.01
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2784 506 15 8 4 8 0.17 5.06
20 Detroit Lions 3048 498 13 10 5 10 -0.02 5.09
21 Washington Redskins 3190 523 17 9 10 6 0.57 5.18
22 Indianapolis Colts 2938 516 11 8 5 10 0.13 5.21
23 Denver Broncos 3045 542 15 13 8 9 -0.39 5.23
24 Chicago Bears 3049 496 11 11 10 16 0.18 5.31
25 Pittsburgh Steelers 2730 501 9 4 12 8 -0.33 5.46
26 Green Bay Packers 2760 500 14 3 7 8 0.03 5.47
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 3138 525 16 3 13 13 0.30 5.53
28 Dallas Cowboys 3773 630 16 12 8 12 0.09 5.61
29 Minnesota Vikings 3161 570 18 8 9 10 0.12 5.65
30 Philadelphia Eagles 3774 672 14 10 7 11 -0.28 5.90
31 Atlanta Falcons 2919 499 17 6 5 7 -0.23 6.26
32 San Diego Chargers 3150 491 10 4 6 7 -0.15 6.94

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 9:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 New Orleans Saints 1.27 -1.70 11.49
2 Houston Texans 1.22 -23.28 7.68
3 Green Bay Packers 1.20 -21.31 9.72
4 Seattle Seahawks 1.15 -17.69 13.01
5 Carolina Panthers 1.13 6.79 9.79
6 San Francisco 49ers 1.00 -2.98 10.99
7 Detroit Lions 0.73 -23.04 10.21
8 Denver Broncos 0.67 8.49 11.90
9 Cincinnati Bengals 0.63 -15.64 10.11
10 Indianapolis Colts 0.37 -13.39 10.07
11 Chicago Bears 0.24 -16.83 9.32
12 New England Patriots 0.18 12.86 10.21
13 Cleveland Browns 0.15 -14.80 7.78
14 Kansas City Chiefs 0.12 7.03 12.56
15 Tennessee Titans 0.08 -19.09 8.34
16 Arizona Cardinals 0.02 -10.61 8.44
17 Baltimore Ravens 0.01 -10.36 7.20
18 San Diego Chargers -0.11 -3.58 8.29
19 New York Jets -0.20 -9.08 8.41
20 Buffalo Bills -0.33 -25.98 6.61
21 St. Louis Rams -0.35 10.80 4.44
22 Atlanta Falcons -0.36 11.17 5.29
23 Philadelphia Eagles -0.43 -12.75 7.32
24 Washington Redskins -0.45 -23.20 6.82
25 Miami Dolphins -0.50 -7.27 7.58
26 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.65 -4.77 5.67
27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.66 3.13 2.55
28 Oakland Raiders -0.90 7.04 5.39
29 Dallas Cowboys -0.92 -7.31 8.16
30 New York Giants -0.97 -8.75 4.70
31 Minnesota Vikings -1.27 -23.23 3.90
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.91 2.93 1.40

Obviously, the biggest development to come out of Week 9 – arguably also the single biggest development of the season to date – was the fractured collarbone suffered by Aaron Rodgers in the first series of Monday night’s game against the Bears. It’s the first major in-season injury to a starting quarterback on a Super Bowl-contending team since Matt Schaub’s lisfranc injury derailed the Texans’ Super Bowl hopes two years ago (my, how things have changed quickly). Obviously, though, Rodgers is a better quarterback than Schaub ever was and the effect his absence will have on the Packers offense is likely to be more in line with how the Colts fared without Peyton Manning in 2011.

The initial timetable for Rodgers’ return, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, was three weeks; reports coming out today are now suggesting Rodgers will miss four to six weeks. In this case, the difference between Rodgers missing three games or four is enormous because that fourth game would be the Thanksgiving Day matchup in Detroit against the NFC North co-leading Lions. The three games Rodgers seems certain to miss – home against Philadelphia and Minnesota, away at the Giants – are all still winnable even with Seneca Wallace at quarterback. It’s tough to envision the Packers going into Detroit and beating the Lions, though, without Rodgers and that puts the Packers in a dicey spot in regards to their playoff chances.

Obviously, the dropoff in quality from Rodgers to Wallace is severe and should be accounted for in the Packers’ projection for the rest of the season. But to what degree should we expect the Packers offense to sag? Well, Rodgers’ career Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt figure is 7.61. Wallace’s is 5.16 – actually pretty good for a backup quarterback, but still solidly below average. The difference between the two is 2.45 – in other words,Wallace has averaged about two and a half yards fewer per attempt than Rodgers has. 

Assuming the Packers would normally throw the ball somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 times if Rodgers was healthy and playing, that would mean the dropoff between Rodgers and Wallace is about 98 yards per game. And since it’s generally been held that 14 or 15 yards are worth about one point, 98 fewer yards would likely mean seven fewer points per game.

Additionally, quarterback with higher completion percentages tend to do better in situational football (3rd downs, red zone, etc.) than quarterbacks with low completion rates. Rodgers’ career completion rate of 65.8% is outstanding; Wallace’s completion percentage of 59.1% is poor. Using a regression formula based off of QB completion percentages and its correlation on points scored over the previous five seasons, I estimate that Wallace’s relative inaccuracy compared to Rodgers will cost the Packers an additional four points per game.

So the statistical difference between Rodgers and Wallace looks to be about 11 points per game. In actuality, that may be downplaying the significance of the dropoff between the two. Or it might be overrating it, considering Wallace has never quarterbacked an offense with as much talent surrounding him as the Packers possess. For purposes of projecting the Packers’ future performance, though, I whacked 11 points per game off their total projection for the fewest amount of games Rodgers is projected to miss, which currently is four. In other words, the Packers’ complete projection has now been downgraded by 44 points, which is worth a little more than one projected win.

It’s tough to understate the magnitude of Rodgers’ injury. Had he played the whole game Monday Night, it’s probably fair to say the Packers would have won a game they lost by seven points (although Chicago’s point total of 27 is certainly not something to scoff at). If they had won Monday night, they likely would have improved upon their win projection from last week of 11.7 and would have become the favorite to snag the #2 seed over New Orleans.

Now? After adjusting for Rodgers’ injury, Predictive Yards per Play now projects the Packers to narrowly miss the playoffs – their projected win total of 9.7 games is a half game behind Detroit for the NFC North title and a tenth of a game behind Carolina for the final wild-card spot. Now, a tenth of a game is a silly distinction to make between two teams – for all intents and purposes, Green Bay and Carolina are basically projected to wind up with the same record. And if the Packers still make the playoffs, they would likely enter the postseason with not only Rodgers back but also Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb. Getting to that point no longer is certain, however.

Rodgers’ injury is clearly the most significant in the league this season, but it’s not the only one suffered by a star player. I’ve adjusted several other teams’ projections going forward after determining their ratings don’t adequately account for a key injury suffered. These are the teams whose projection I’ve downgraded and the players/injuries that caused the downgrade.

Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, out for the season (-14 points total)

Chicago Bears: Lance Briggs, out approximately 2-5 weeks (-12 points total)

Cincinnati Bengals: Geno Atkins, out for the season (-14 points total)

Houston Texans: Brian Cushing, out for the season (-16 points total)

Indianapolis Colts: Reggie Wayne, out for the season (-20 points total)

St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, out for the season (-42 points total)

Week 9 was plenty zany even before Rodgers got hurt Monday Night. New Orleans lost to a team that had lost by 40 points the week before but still wound up rising three spots to become the fourth team to claim the top spot in this year’s Predictive Yards per Play rankings. Seattle and Kansas City both did their best to blow the most winnable games left on their schedules but still project as the #1 seeds in their respective conferences. And after the Jets’ aforementioned win over the Saints and the Chargers’ overtime defeat to the Redskins, there are now SEVEN teams projected to wind up within one game of the final wild-card spot in the AFC. Even after adjusting for PY/P’s morbid fascination with Houston, it’s clear that the race for the #6 seed is going to crazy the rest of the season.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 9:

  1. Kansas City (12.6 wins)
  2. New England (10.2 wins)
  3. Cincinnati (10.1 wins)
  4. Indianapolis (10.1 wins)
  5. Denver (11.8 wins)
  6. NY Jets (8.4 wins)

In the hunt: Tennessee (8.3 wins), San Diego (8.3 wins), Cleveland (7.8 wins), Houston (7.7 wins), Miami (7.6 wins), Baltimore (7.2 wins),

Mediocre: Buffalo (6.6 wins), Pittsburgh (5.7 wins), Oakland (5.4 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.4 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 9:

  1. Seattle (13.0 wins)
  2. New Orleans (11.5 wins)
  3. Detroit (10.2 wins)
  4. Dallas (8.2 wins)
  5. San Francisco (11.0 wins)
  6. Carolina (9.8 wins)

In the hunt: Green Bay (9.7 wins), Chicago (9.3 wins), Arizona (8.4 wins), Philadelphia (7.4 wins), Washington (6.8 wins)

Mediocre: Atlanta (5.3 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: NY Giants (4.7 wins), St. Louis (4.4 wins), Minnesota (3.9 wins), Tampa Bay (2.6 wins)

Week 8 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Week 8’s Predictive Yards per Play Rankings are coming up right about…now.

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 8:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Green Bay Packers 3072 473 15 4 6 10 0.22 7.20
2 San Diego Chargers 2820 461 15 5 3 6 -0.14 6.82
3 New Orleans Saints 2772 467 19 5 3 4 -0.12 6.08
4 Atlanta Falcons 2540 448 14 7 3 7 0.10 6.05
5 Denver Broncos 3731 581 29 6 11 18 -0.09 6.01
6 Detroit Lions 3328 556 16 6 8 11 -0.01 5.86
7 Carolina Panthers 2289 451 12 5 7 6 0.36 5.68
8 Indianapolis Colts 2413 441 10 3 8 5 -0.07 5.62
9 Houston Texans 2668 500 9 11 2 9 0.28 5.42
10 San Francisco 49ers 2743 484 9 5 15 11 0.42 5.40
11 Cincinnati Bengals 2957 517 16 7 5 13 -0.07 5.33
12 Chicago Bears 2574 424 13 7 7 8 -0.05 5.33
13 Philadelphia Eagles 3178 542 11 7 7 13 -0.18 5.06
14 Seattle Seahawks 2715 493 14 4 7 17 0.19 4.96
15 Tennessee Titans 2181 438 10 5 3 10 0.23 4.79
16 Dallas Cowboys 2735 485 18 5 5 11 -0.20 4.73
17 Washington Redskins 2761 484 9 10 8 13 -0.35 4.70
18 Kansas City Chiefs 2646 542 9 4 7 8 -0.06 4.49
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 2255 435 8 7 3 10 0.03 4.48
20 Cleveland Browns 2536 531 13 9 1 7 -0.01 4.48
21 Baltimore Ravens 2301 474 8 8 5 7 0.07 4.30
22 New England Patriots 2640 562 9 6 7 11 -0.05 4.22
23 Minnesota Vikings 2141 418 5 8 10 10 -0.04 4.21
24 St. Louis Rams 2430 510 14 6 0 11 -0.10 4.09
25 Miami Dolphins 2177 444 11 9 5 9 -0.03 4.07
26 Buffalo Bills 2632 566 8 6 8 17 0.19 4.05
27 Arizona Cardinals 2516 492 10 14 6 13 0.20 4.03
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2084 466 8 6 1 11 -0.12 3.92
29 New York Jets 2643 533 8 13 3 10 -0.09 3.88
30 Oakland Raiders 2204 425 7 8 6 11 -0.32 3.83
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 2292 511 4 12 3 9 0.05 3.69
32 New York Giants 2622 506 10 16 5 12 -0.37 3.41

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 8:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Seattle Seahawks 2314 508 6 13 4 18 0.02 3.59
2 Kansas City Chiefs 2472 498 8 10 2 14 -0.33 3.91
3 Arizona Cardinals 2740 547 14 12 3 11 0.38 3.98
4 San Francisco 49ers 2601 521 10 9 7 10 0.11 4.15
5 Baltimore Ravens 2401 447 11 4 1 12 0.11 4.16
6 Houston Texans 1874 394 10 3 6 7 0.17 4.18
7 Oakland Raiders 2316 451 10 5 6 13 0.24 4.29
8 New York Giants 2755 558 14 7 5 14 0.14 4.33
9 Cleveland Browns 2563 563 11 5 9 8 0.05 4.43
10 New York Jets 2520 520 15 3 5 13 -0.19 4.46
11 Tennessee Titans 2359 443 6 6 8 10 0.12 4.48
12 New England Patriots 2770 570 9 10 4 11 -0.19 4.58
13 Cincinnati Bengals 2580 534 11 7 3 8 -0.03 4.67
14 St. Louis Rams 2749 484 14 5 7 15 0.15 4.67
15 Carolina Panthers 2110 429 6 9 2 11 -0.59 4.81
16 Pittsburgh Steelers 2120 430 5 4 9 7 -0.28 4.87
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2369 445 13 6 3 7 0.10 4.87
18 New Orleans Saints 2327 429 8 9 5 11 -0.34 4.87
19 Miami Dolphins 2485 479 9 8 7 8 0.14 4.88
20 Indianapolis Colts 2455 448 8 8 5 9 0.14 4.92
21 Buffalo Bills 3049 575 20 12 2 6 -0.09 4.93
22 Detroit Lions 3048 498 13 10 5 10 0.02 5.04
23 Denver Broncos 3045 542 15 13 8 9 -0.28 5.12
24 Green Bay Packers 2318 425 12 3 6 8 0.04 5.13
25 Washington Redskins 2780 460 15 7 10 6 0.41 5.20
26 Jacksonville Jaguars 3138 525 16 3 13 13 0.31 5.50
27 Minnesota Vikings 2811 507 16 7 9 10 0.18 5.55
28 Dallas Cowboys 3380 562 15 11 6 10 0.17 5.56
29 Philadelphia Eagles 3214 580 14 8 5 9 -0.18 5.68
30 Chicago Bears 2737 441 11 10 8 14 -0.04 5.68
31 Atlanta Falcons 2546 428 16 4 3 6 -0.45 6.39
32 San Diego Chargers 2650 419 10 3 2 7 -0.07 6.64

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 8:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 Green Bay Packers 2.07 -19.45 11.74
2 Seattle Seahawks 1.36 -18.65 13.04
3 San Francisco 49ers 1.25 1.20 11.04
4 Houston Texans 1.24 -15.42 8.72
5 New Orleans Saints 1.21 3.42 12.06
6 Denver Broncos 0.89 18.11 11.80
7 Carolina Panthers 0.87 0.54 9.27
8 Detroit Lions 0.82 -15.80 10.02
9 Indianapolis Colts 0.70 6.75 9.87
10 Cincinnati Bengals 0.66 -8.41 10.98
11 Kansas City Chiefs 0.59 15.79 12.07
12 Tennessee Titans 0.31 -5.15 7.40
13 San Diego Chargers 0.17 1.88 9.04
14 Baltimore Ravens 0.14 -6.76 7.86
15 Arizona Cardinals 0.05 1.49 7.91
16 Cleveland Browns 0.05 -10.97 6.84
17 Atlanta Falcons -0.34 21.88 6.02
18 Chicago Bears -0.35 7.45 8.09
19 New England Patriots -0.36 7.73 9.34
20 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.38 1.48 6.54
21 Oakland Raiders -0.46 6.34 6.42
22 Washington Redskins -0.50 -15.76 5.92
23 New York Jets -0.58 -6.69 7.39
24 St. Louis Rams -0.58 11.43 5.69
25 Philadelphia Eagles -0.63 -4.71 6.25
26 Miami Dolphins -0.81 -11.08 6.59
27 Dallas Cowboys -0.83 -7.16 7.77
28 Buffalo Bills -0.88 -25.85 6.60
29 New York Giants -0.92 5.95 4.68
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.95 14.61 1.95
31 Minnesota Vikings -1.35 9.06 3.36
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.82 8.45 1.62

Green Bay’s nearly-perfect offensive showing Sunday Night against the Vikings boosted their offensive rating through the roof and, as a result, moves them past Seattle for the #1 spot in this week’s rankings. It’s still early, but this Packers offense is actually on pace to fly past the vaunted 2011 unit’s PY/P rating by a full yard per play. Considering Aaron Rodgers submitted one of the four or five best quarterback seasons of all time that year, I’d say that’s a pretty good start to the year for the Packers offense.

Rodgers hasn’t quite played up to his 2011 level this year – he’s merely playing at an MVP level rather than an otherworldly level -but the Packers now have an excellent running attack to back up their top-three (or top-two or top-one) quarterback. Football Outsiders ranked the Packers’ offensive line as the best run blocking unit in the league by their Adjusted Line Yards metric going into last week and I could only assume Sunday Night’s performance didn’t hurt that ranking too badly. Defensively, the Packers still rate well below average but have an ace in the hole whenever Clay Matthews returns from injury. If the Packers maintained this rating for the entire season – an unlikely proposition, but not an impossible one – they would easily rank as the best regular season team of the Rodgers/McCarthy era.

However, Seattle is still the favorite to win the top seed in the NFC despite falling to #2 in the overall PY/P rankings and, given their incredible home-field advantage, have to still be considered the main favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. In fact, despite rating .71 yards per play better than any other team in the league, Green Bay is still currently projected to lose the #2 seed and other first-round bye to New Orleans. Given how top-heavy the NFC is this year, the first-round byes may hold more significance than usual – having to win back-to-back road games at New Orleans or Green Bay and then Seattle seems like a nearly impossible task off-hand.

The rest of this week’s overall top ten consists of San Francisco, Houston (sigh), New Orleans, Denver, Carolina, Detroit, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Both the Panthers and Lions have come on strong in recent weeks and look like the main challengers for the last wild-card slot in the NFC playoffs. Detroit’s currently the favorite to wrest that spot away because of a significantly easier schedule.

Nothing changed in the AFC playoff projections from last week – Cincinnati became a stronger favorite to pick up the #2 seed after their thrashing of the Jets, but no actual spots changed hands this week. Kansas City and Denver are still projected to be the two winningest teams in the conference, but both are slated to wind up around 12 wins because of schedules that rank as the two toughest remaining in the AFC. The two games the teams play against each other – and the two each will play against San Diego – will probably be the main factors in shaking out the AFC playoff race.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 8:

  1. Kansas City (12.1 wins)
  2. Cincinnati (11.0 wins)
  3. Indianapolis (9.9 wins)
  4. New England (9.3 wins)
  5. Denver (11.8 wins)
  6. San Diego (9.0 wins)

In the hunt: Houston (8.7 wins), Baltimore (7.9 wins), Tennessee (7.4 wins), NY Jets (7.4 wins)

Mediocre: Cleveland (6.8 wins), Buffalo (6.6 wins), Miami (6.6 wins), Pittsburgh (6.5 wins), Oakland (6.4 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.6 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 8:

  1. Seattle (13.0 wins)
  2. New Orleans (12.1 wins)
  3. Green Bay (11.7 wins)
  4. Dallas (7.8 wins)
  5. San Francisco (11.0 wins)
  6. Detroit (10.0 wins)

In the hunt: Carolina (9.3 wins), Chicago (8.1 wins), Philadelphia (6.3 wins), Washington (5.9 wins)

Mediocre: Arizona (7.9 wins), Atlanta (6.0 wins), St. Louis (5.7 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: NY Giants (4.7 wins), Minnesota (3.4 wins), Tampa Bay (2.0 wins)

Week 7 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Below are Week 7’s rankings for your perusal:

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 7:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 San Diego Chargers 2820 461 15 5 3 6 -0.03 6.93
2 Atlanta Falcons 2248 369 13 3 3 7 0.12 6.71
3 Green Bay Packers 2608 400 13 4 4 10 0.13 6.56
4 Denver Broncos 3285 501 25 3 10 17 -0.05 6.23
5 New Orleans Saints 2386 403 14 5 3 4 -0.09 6.09
6 Philadelphia Eagles 2977 484 11 5 7 8 -0.13 5.73
7 Indianapolis Colts 2413 441 10 3 8 5 -0.03 5.66
8 Detroit Lions 2705 478 15 4 5 9 -0.07 5.62
9 Carolina Panthers 1965 389 10 5 5 6 0.17 5.43
10 Houston Texans 2668 500 9 11 2 9 0.28 5.42
11 Washington Redskins 2495 414 8 6 7 10 -0.28 5.40
12 Seattle Seahawks 2580 453 12 4 7 17 0.19 5.32
13 Chicago Bears 2574 424 13 7 7 8 -0.17 5.21
14 Cincinnati Bengals 2555 461 11 6 5 11 -0.12 5.09
15 Dallas Cowboys 2467 429 15 5 5 10 -0.25 5.03
16 San Francisco 49ers 2345 429 8 5 11 8 0.27 4.98
17 Pittsburgh Steelers 1979 366 7 5 2 10 0.10 4.90
18 Tennessee Titans 2181 438 10 5 3 10 0.29 4.85
19 Kansas City Chiefs 2315 471 7 4 7 7 -0.01 4.46
20 New England Patriots 2388 500 8 5 5 11 0.08 4.44
21 Oakland Raiders 1925 366 7 6 3 9 -0.23 4.28
22 Cleveland Browns 2196 479 11 9 1 6 -0.04 4.28
23 Baltimore Ravens 2301 474 8 8 5 7 -0.03 4.20
24 St. Louis Rams 2091 439 14 4 0 10 -0.01 4.17
25 Buffalo Bills 2333 498 7 5 7 13 0.19 4.10
26 New York Jets 2403 468 8 11 3 10 -0.03 4.09
27 Miami Dolphins 1876 365 9 7 5 8 -0.01 4.07
28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1787 398 7 6 1 8 -0.06 3.97
29 Minnesota Vikings 1898 375 5 8 7 10 -0.17 3.89
30 Arizona Cardinals 2168 441 8 13 5 12 0.16 3.82
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 1974 441 3 12 3 8 0.01 3.42
32 New York Giants 2297 435 10 16 5 11 -0.21 3.41

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 7:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Kansas City Chiefs 2132 446 6 10 2 13 -0.20 3.57
2 Seattle Seahawks 1975 437 6 11 4 17 -0.05 3.60
3 New York Jets 2118 464 10 2 5 11 -0.06 3.98
4 San Francisco 49ers 2283 451 9 9 7 9 0.16 4.00
5 Baltimore Ravens 2401 447 11 4 1 12 0.08 4.21
6 Houston Texans 1874 394 10 3 6 7 0.11 4.25
7 Arizona Cardinals 2448 468 13 8 3 11 0.16 4.34
8 Cleveland Browns 2232 492 9 5 9 7 -0.07 4.46
9 Tennessee Titans 2359 443 6 6 8 10 0.14 4.46
10 New England Patriots 2469 491 7 8 4 10 -0.03 4.51
11 Oakland Raiders 2040 382 9 3 5 13 0.29 4.54
12 Carolina Panthers 1813 361 5 9 2 8 -0.43 4.73
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2045 383 11 6 1 7 0.12 4.73
14 Buffalo Bills 2663 511 15 12 2 6 -0.27 4.84
15 New York Giants 2554 500 14 5 5 9 0.08 4.88
16 Cincinnati Bengals 2340 469 11 5 3 8 0.01 4.90
17 New Orleans Saints 2028 361 7 8 4 7 -0.17 4.92
18 Indianapolis Colts 2455 448 8 8 5 9 0.13 4.94
19 Miami Dolphins 2233 417 8 7 5 8 0.19 4.99
20 Green Bay Packers 2075 382 12 3 3 8 0.00 5.06
21 St. Louis Rams 2614 444 12 5 7 15 0.05 5.17
22 Pittsburgh Steelers 1841 371 5 2 6 5 -0.27 5.21
23 Minnesota Vikings 2347 434 14 7 7 10 -0.14 5.36
24 Dallas Cowboys 2757 484 14 9 3 8 0.17 5.36
25 Jacksonville Jaguars 2740 470 15 3 9 10 0.30 5.40
26 Denver Broncos 2779 472 14 9 7 6 -0.20 5.43
27 Washington Redskins 2334 380 11 4 9 5 0.24 5.49
28 Detroit Lions 2780 442 10 10 5 10 -0.09 5.50
29 Philadelphia Eagles 2889 509 14 8 5 8 0.07 5.61
30 Chicago Bears 2737 441 11 10 8 14 -0.05 5.70
31 Atlanta Falcons 2198 377 14 3 2 5 -0.28 6.23
32 San Diego Chargers 2650 419 10 3 2 7 0.00 6.59

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 7:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 Seattle Seahawks 1.72 -23.27 12.99
2 Green Bay Packers 1.50 -18.62 11.09
3 Houston Texans 1.18 -23.07 8.65
4 New Orleans Saints 1.17 3.05 11.49
5 San Francisco 49ers 0.97 -5.31 10.77
6 Kansas City Chiefs 0.89 12.35 11.75
7 Denver Broncos 0.80 14.07 11.52
8 Indianapolis Colts 0.72 -2.19 9.80
9 Carolina Panthers 0.69 5.63 8.25
10 Atlanta Falcons 0.48 18.60 7.51
11 Tennessee Titans 0.38 -15.61 7.62
12 San Diego Chargers 0.34 2.41 9.00
13 Cincinnati Bengals 0.19 -14.78 10.45
14 Detroit Lions 0.12 -18.55 9.04
15 Philadelphia Eagles 0.12 -16.07 7.45
16 New York Jets 0.11 -5.02 8.35
17 Baltimore Ravens -0.01 -10.77 7.86
18 New England Patriots -0.06 -2.82 9.50
19 Washington Redskins -0.09 -1.18 6.64
20 Cleveland Browns -0.18 -4.71 6.62
21 Oakland Raiders -0.25 8.58 6.07
22 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.31 -5.83 7.42
23 Dallas Cowboys -0.33 -3.96 8.79
24 Chicago Bears -0.49 1.84 8.19
25 Arizona Cardinals -0.52 2.14 6.57
26 Buffalo Bills -0.74 -7.48 6.77
27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.76 13.11 2.44
28 Miami Dolphins -0.92 -5.63 6.77
29 St. Louis Rams -1.00 12.15 5.79
30 Minnesota Vikings -1.46 15.35 3.50
31 New York Giants -1.47 10.64 3.62
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -1.98 3.27 1.45

The top five teams in this week’s Predictive Yards per Play rankings remain the same and stay in the exact same order. Seattle remains the clear #1 team, although Green Bay did make some notable gains on them this week. Then comes – sigh – Houston, followed by idle New Orleans and San Francisco. The biggest risers this week were Washington and (weirdly, given their blowout loss to the 49ers) Tennessee, both of whom rose four spots. Chicago and New England both fell four spots, making those two the biggest falls in this week’s rankings.

The most interesting development to come out of this week’s rankings, though, is a complete reshuffling of the Predictive Yards per Play playoff projections for the AFC from last week. Five of the six teams remain the same, but each projected seed is different from the post-Week 6 rankings. Most notably, Denver’s loss to Indianapolis has now installed Kansas City as a slight favorite to win the AFC West and the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs that’s likely to come with the title.

Even so, though, the projection model only sees Kansas City going roughly 5-4 the rest of the way – they still have both games against Denver and San Diego (the two current projected wild-card teams) remaining and have to play Indianapolis the second-to-last week of the season. Cincinnati, meanwhile, is the new favorite to get the second bye in the AFC, but is projected to do so with only 10.5 wins.  In other words, Predictive Yards per Play doesn’t really forecast any AFC team to go off on a wild tear in the second half of the season. Well, except for Houston, but that’s a bug in the system that unfortunately doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

That probably speaks to the state of the AFC this season – it’s the undeniably deeper conference in 2013, but all of the top contenders have notable flaws. I talked last week about the struggles of Kansas City’s offense and Denver’s defense. Both units trended upward this week, but remain worse than any unit that has ever been apart of a Super Bowl-winning team. Cincinnati is slightly above-average on both sides of the ball – not exactly the most terrifying combination to face in the postseason. It’s possible this is the year that the wheels have actually fallen off for Tom Brady and Indianapolis just lost Reggie Wayne, by far their best receiver, to a torn ACL.

In other words? Things still look pretty wide open in the AFC. In the NFC, on the other hand, it’s pretty tough to imagine the conference’s Super Bowl representative not coming from the Seattle-Green Bay-New Orleans-San Francisco quadrumvirate. Dallas’s victory at Philadelphia re-installed them as the favorites to win the NFC East and Detroit remains the most likely recipient of the last wild-card slot because of a very easy remaining schedule. Seattle’s the highest-rated team in the league so far, however, and also has the easiest remaining schedule in the league. Green Bay and San Francisco also have easier than average schedules the rest of the way and the Saints have three home games in their next four overall that should build some cushion for when they have to play four away games out of five starting in late November.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 7:

  1. Kansas City (11.8 wins)
  2. Cincinnati (10.5 wins)
  3. Indianapolis (9.8 wins)
  4. New England (9.5 wins)
  5. Denver (11.5 wins)
  6. San Diego (9.0 wins)

In the hunt: Houston (8.7 wins), NY Jets (8.4 wins), Baltimore (7.9 wins), Tennessee (7.6 wins), Pittsburgh (7.4 wins)

Mediocre: Buffalo (6.8 wins), Miami (6.8 wins), Cleveland (6.6 wins), Oakland (6.1 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.5 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 6:

  1. Seattle (13.0 wins)
  2. New Orleans (11.5 wins)
  3. Green Bay (11.1 wins)
  4. Dallas (8.8 wins)
  5. San Francisco (10.8 wins)
  6. Detroit (9.0 wins)

In the hunt: Carolina (8.3 wins), Chicago (8.2 wins), Atlanta (7.5 wins), Philadelphia (7.5 wins)

Mediocre: Washington (6.6 wins), Arizona (6.6 wins), St. Louis (5.8 wins),

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: NY Giants (3.6 wins), Minnesota (3.5 wins), Tampa Bay (2.4 wins)

Week 6 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Here are my Week 6 NFL power rankings (which don’t include stats from last night’s Seattle-Arizona game):

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 6:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Green Bay Packers 2251 334 10 4 3 9 0.33 6.74
2 Denver Broncos 2856 428 22 2 9 13 -0.11 6.74
3 Atlanta Falcons 1957 325 10 3 3 6 0.06 6.70
4 Philadelphia Eagles 2699 409 11 2 7 8 -0.08 6.32
5 San Diego Chargers 2386 394 14 5 1 6 -0.16 6.29
6 Indianapolis Colts 2079 370 7 3 7 4 0.15 6.14
7 New Orleans Saints 2386 403 14 5 3 4 -0.10 6.07
8 Seattle Seahawks 2236 389 9 4 6 13 0.24 5.53
9 Houston Texans 2374 446 8 11 2 7 0.30 5.49
10 Carolina Panthers 1683 332 9 5 4 5 0.07 5.47
11 Chicago Bears 2215 372 12 6 4 8 0.00 5.38
12 Dallas Cowboys 2099 354 14 3 4 9 -0.17 5.33
13 Detroit Lions 2271 402 12 4 5 9 -0.18 5.10
14 Washington Redskins 1996 341 6 5 4 8 -0.36 4.98
15 Cincinnati Bengals 2134 408 8 6 5 10 -0.07 4.73
16 Tennessee Titans 1813 381 8 4 3 9 0.28 4.61
17 New England Patriots 2093 430 8 4 3 8 0.06 4.60
18 Pittsburgh Steelers 1693 311 6 5 2 9 0.07 4.57
19 San Francisco 49ers 1996 365 8 5 8 8 0.05 4.56
20 Minnesota Vikings 1692 307 5 7 7 8 -0.06 4.45
21 Cleveland Browns 1980 411 10 8 1 6 0.06 4.42
22 Buffalo Bills 2065 432 7 4 6 11 0.29 4.32
23 Miami Dolphins 1583 301 6 5 5 7 0.00 4.27
24 St. Louis Rams 1774 380 13 3 0 6 0.00 4.27
25 Oakland Raiders 1925 366 8 6 3 9 -0.16 4.20
26 New York Jets 2020 379 7 10 2 8 0.01 4.09
27 Kansas City Chiefs 1958 403 7 3 7 9 -0.17 3.91
28 Arizona Cardinals 1934 371 7 11 4 10 0.12 3.89
29 Baltimore Ravens 2014 413 7 8 5 6 -0.12 3.85
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1450 323 5 6 1 6 0.01 3.83
31 New York Giants 2040 362 9 16 4 8 -0.30 3.55
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 1621 382 3 11 3 8 0.02 3.02

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 6:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Kansas City Chiefs 1838 392 5 10 2 11 -0.20 3.41
2 San Francisco 49ers 1915 394 7 8 7 8 0.33 3.56
3 Seattle Seahawks 1741 367 5 9 3 15 -0.10 3.74
4 Baltimore Ravens 2115 392 10 4 1 11 0.23 3.87
5 New York Jets 1823 394 10 1 3 9 0.02 3.98
6 Houston Texans 1517 326 10 2 4 6 0.03 4.18
7 Cleveland Browns 1875 426 6 5 8 6 -0.23 4.35
8 New England Patriots 2086 402 6 7 3 8 0.05 4.39
9 Cincinnati Bengals 1906 393 8 5 3 8 0.07 4.40
10 Tennessee Titans 2010 379 6 6 5 10 -0.06 4.49
11 Arizona Cardinals 2104 404 10 8 2 7 0.00 4.59
12 Oakland Raiders 2040 382 9 3 5 13 0.10 4.62
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1754 339 8 6 1 6 0.01 4.69
14 Carolina Panthers 1496 302 4 8 2 4 -0.21 4.69
15 New Orleans Saints 2028 361 7 8 4 7 -0.06 4.79
16 Pittsburgh Steelers 1554 310 4 2 6 4 -0.16 4.92
17 Buffalo Bills 2370 447 12 10 2 5 -0.21 4.93
18 Jacksonville Jaguars 2306 403 14 3 7 10 0.20 5.01
19 Detroit Lions 2359 389 7 10 5 9 0.00 5.02
20 New York Giants 2348 432 14 4 5 7 0.22 5.26
21 Indianapolis Colts 2026 375 5 7 4 6 -0.11 5.27
22 St. Louis Rams 2332 387 11 5 6 14 -0.03 5.40
23 Green Bay Packers 1859 314 11 2 3 8 -0.21 5.40
24 Miami Dolphins 1965 351 8 6 4 6 0.27 5.41
25 Washington Redskins 1975 328 10 3 6 5 0.30 5.43
26 Chicago Bears 2238 368 9 9 5 12 -0.13 5.54
27 Minnesota Vikings 2090 361 13 7 6 7 -0.02 5.79
28 San Diego Chargers 2297 360 10 2 2 7 0.24 5.88
29 Denver Broncos 2445 401 11 9 6 5 -0.28 5.93
30 Dallas Cowboys 2479 409 14 6 3 8 -0.02 5.95
31 Philadelphia Eagles 2521 434 13 6 4 7 -0.07 6.10
32 Atlanta Falcons 1861 302 12 3 2 3 -0.12 6.28

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 6:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 Seattle Seahawks 1.79 -25.65 12.86
2 Green Bay Packers 1.34 -15.71 10.28
3 Houston Texans 1.31 -22.59 9.64
4 New Orleans Saints 1.28 -0.44 11.40
5 San Francisco 49ers 1.00 -11.00 10.86
6 Indianapolis Colts 0.86 -1.71 9.12
7 Denver Broncos 0.80 10.65 12.41
8 Carolina Panthers 0.77 -4.17 7.71
9 Kansas City Chiefs 0.50 17.30 10.48
10 Atlanta Falcons 0.42 1.90 7.36
11 San Diego Chargers 0.41 -11.07 8.81
12 Cincinnati Bengals 0.32 -8.21 9.89
13 Philadelphia Eagles 0.22 -19.20 8.15
14 New England Patriots 0.20 0.71 10.37
15 Tennessee Titans 0.11 -14.15 7.50
16 New York Jets 0.11 -7.58 7.71
17 Detroit Lions 0.09 -17.32 9.71
18 Cleveland Browns 0.07 5.25 7.08
19 Baltimore Ravens -0.02 0.58 7.98
20 Chicago Bears -0.16 3.00 8.94
21 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.34 -6.19 7.12
22 Oakland Raiders -0.42 6.10 6.06
23 Washington Redskins -0.46 -4.19 5.91
24 Buffalo Bills -0.61 -12.29 6.33
25 Dallas Cowboys -0.62 -2.31 8.15
26 Arizona Cardinals -0.70 7.68 6.45
27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.85 17.46 2.46
28 St. Louis Rams -1.13 12.80 6.14
29 Miami Dolphins -1.14 -11.19 7.37
30 Minnesota Vikings -1.34 11.08 4.87
31 New York Giants -1.71 -0.73 3.07
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -2.00 3.14 1.45

After outplaying Tennessee by a significantly larger margin than the 20-13 final score would indicate, Seattle widens its lead as the #1 team in Predictive Yards per Play Differential this week. Green Bay leapfrogs Houston, who have now thoroughly perfected the art of outplaying their opponents in most key statistical indicators and still get blown out anyway, for the #2 position. New Orleans and San Francisco round out the top five, perhaps indicating the prevailing preseason view of the NFC being the superior conference wasn’t so wrong after all.

The most noticeable trend I saw this week when compiling the ratings is how one-dimensional most of the highly ranked teams seem to be this season. That is, most well-rated teams are performing extremely well on either offense or defense but poorly on the other side of the ball. All of the current top six teams on offense – Green Bay, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego and Indianapolis – rate well below average on defense. And on the other side, Kansas City, San Francisco, Baltimore and the New York Jets are all in the top five defensively but come out well below average on offense.

Only four teams right now have above-average ratings on both offense and defense – two you would expect (Seattle and New Orleans) and two you wouldn’t (Houston and Carolina). Since the Texans have crossed over into full-blown implosion mode and the Panthers can’t be taken seriously in any game that’s not decided by fewer than 25 points, that would seem to suggest that the Seahawks and Saints deserve to be the two biggest favorites to win Super Bowl XLIII, right?

In actuality, while those two teams deserve to be mentioned at the top of any Super Bowl contenders list, history suggests that not all hope is lost for the rest of the league. I looked back at the Predictive Yards per Play ratings that I’ve run back to the 1970 season and compiled a list of all the Super Bowl champions that rated below average on one side of the ball or the other. The list, as you can see below in reverse chronological order, is rather larger than I expected.

  • 2009 Saints (-0.32 defensively)
  • 2008 Steelers (-0.01 offensively)
  • 2006 Colts (-0.08 defensively)
  • 2002 Buccaneers (-0.31 offensively)
  • 2000 Ravens (-0.28 offensively)
  • 1998 Broncos (-0.31 defensively)
  • 1995 Cowboys (-0.02 defensively)
  • 1987 Redskins (-0.26 defensively)
  • 1984 49ers (-0.16 defensively)
  • 1983 Raiders (-0.11 offensively)
  • 1980 Raiders (-0.22 offensively)
  • 1978 Steelers (-0.01 offensively)
  • 1976 Raiders (-0.27 defensively)
  • 1974 Steelers (-0.19 offensively)
  • 1970 Colts (-0.36 offensively, -0.49 defensively)

So 15 of the past 43 Super Bowl champions – about 35% of the title winners since 1970, in other words – have been below average on offense and/or defense. Clearly, being subpar on one side of the ball or the other isn’t an insurmountable barrier to winning the Super Bowl. It obviously helps to be good at both offense and defense, but being great at one or the other certainly seems to have worked out for a lot of teams.

The main kernel of wisdom I take away from that list is that you can definitely win a Super Bowl with a below-average unit as long as that unit isn’t truly terrible. Some of the teams showing up on that list were so slightly below average on one side of the ball that it’s probably splitting hairs to call them something other than “roughly average.” The others were all within enough shouting distance of league average to not wipe out their vastly superior units’ gains and could all potentially provide something of value to the team. The 1970 Colts are the only exception provided in the past 43 seasons and their postseason success can be easily explained away as a byproduct of the turmoil the AFC went through in its first post-merger season in the NFL.

With that last paragraph in mind, let’s take a look at the two undefeated AFC West teams, Denver and Kansas City. Both are in virtual ties for first place on one side of the ball – the Broncos obviously on offense and the Chiefs on defense – but rate so far below average on the other that it would be historically unprecedented for either team to win the Super Bowl if they maintained their current ratings throughout the course of the season. Denver’s defense rates a full yard below average and gave up 362 yards of offense last week to Jacksonville, who had seemingly only gained 362 yards of offense in the five games prior. Champ Bailey came back from injury in that game and Von Miller’s six-game suspension is now in the books, so that unit will likely improve but right now they’re not even in the same zip code as league average.

The Chiefs’ offense is almost as bad – they rank 27th this week with 3.91 Predictive Yards per Play, also a yard below average. Excluding the fluky 1970 Colts, the two other worst offensive Super Bowl champions – the 2002 Bucs and 2000 Ravens – both had historically great defenses to fall back on. If the Chiefs maintained their current defensive performance, they would probably deserve to be called a historically great defense – however, this is the same defense that finished 26th in the league in Defensive PY/P last season, so a drop-off in quality could very well be forthcoming.

Other Super Bowl contenders that may be in danger of being too one-sided are the Packers and 49ers – Green Bay’s defense rates .48 yards per play below average and the 49ers’ offense is currently .37 yards per play below average. Both those marks would also rate as the worst Super Bowl champion unit (non-1970 Colts division) of all time.

The only change in this week’s playoff projections comes from the NFC East, where Philadelphia is now expected to win .003 games more than Dallas. PRINT THOSE PLAYOFF TICKETS NOW, EAGLES FANS. For all intents and purposes, let’s just say that the NFC East is probably going to come down to the two games between the Cowboys and Eagles. Otherwise, the computer is still stubbornly clinging to its vision of a 2013 AFC South title for the Texans, not knowing that one more pick-six will cause the fanbase to burn Reliant Stadium to the ground. I pray next week will finally be the time the computer agrees with the other 99.9999999% of Football America and predicts the Colts will win the AFC South.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 6:

  1. Denver (12.4 wins)
  2. New England (10.4 wins)
  3. Cincinnati (9.9 wins)
  4. Houston (9.6 wins)
  5. Kansas City (10.5 wins)
  6. Indianapolis (9.1 wins)

In the hunt: San Diego (8.8 wins), Baltimore (8.0 wins), NY Jets (7.7 wins), Tennessee (7.5 wins), Miami (7.4 wins)

Mediocre: Pittsburgh (7.1 wins), Cleveland (7.1 wins), Buffalo (6.3 wins), Oakland (6.1 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.5 wins)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 6:

  1. Seattle (12.9 wins)
  2. New Orleans (11.4 wins)
  3. Green Bay (10.3 wins)
  4. Philadelphia (8.2 wins)
  5. San Francisco (10.9 wins)
  6. Detroit (9.7 wins)

In the hunt: Chicago (8.9 wins), Dallas (8.2 wins)

Mediocre: Carolina (7.7 wins), Atlanta (7.4 wins), Arizona (6.5 wins), St. Louis (6.1 wins), Washington (5.9 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Minnesota (4.9 wins), NY Giants (3.1 wins), Tampa Bay (2.5 wins)

Week 5 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Here are Week 5’s Predictive Yards per Play ratings for your viewing pleasure. Don’t worry! Houston’s no longer #1 overall! They’re now a much more sensible #2.

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 5:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Denver Broncos 2449 357 20 1 6 10 -0.26 6.66
2 Green Bay Packers 1813 269 9 3 3 6 0.05 6.51
3 New Orleans Saints 2025 340 12 4 2 2 -0.07 6.11
4 Philadelphia Eagles 2274 344 8 2 6 7 -0.20 6.04
5 San Diego Chargers 2008 323 13 5 1 6 0.07 5.94
6 Atlanta Falcons 1957 325 10 3 3 6 0.03 5.87
7 Indianapolis Colts 1812 322 7 2 7 4 0.05 5.70
8 Seattle Seahawks 1832 323 9 4 4 8 0.29 5.51
9 Dallas Cowboys 1886 304 13 2 2 9 -0.23 5.45
10 Houston Texans 1954 373 8 9 1 4 0.36 5.34
11 Chicago Bears 1843 307 10 6 4 7 -0.14 5.28
12 Detroit Lions 1905 330 8 3 5 9 -0.23 5.10
13 Washington Redskins 1563 266 6 4 3 6 -0.19 5.08
14 San Francisco 49ers 1609 296 6 4 7 6 0.14 5.05
15 Kansas City Chiefs 1742 342 7 3 3 3 -0.17 4.84
16 New York Jets 1753 322 7 8 2 7 0.20 4.82
17 Minnesota Vikings 1402 247 4 5 7 7 -0.02 4.75
18 Miami Dolphins 1583 301 6 5 5 7 0.19 4.70
19 Tennessee Titans 1590 329 8 2 3 6 0.07 4.69
20 New England Patriots 1717 347 7 3 1 8 0.16 4.62
21 Pittsburgh Steelers 1365 250 5 5 2 8 -0.02 4.53
22 Carolina Panthers 1316 266 6 5 2 5 0.05 4.52
23 Oakland Raiders 1651 295 6 3 3 9 -0.36 4.49
24 Baltimore Ravens 1654 352 5 8 5 4 0.13 4.39
25 Buffalo Bills 1743 363 5 4 5 10 0.15 4.34
26 Cincinnati Bengals 1651 324 5 5 5 10 -0.09 4.26
27 St. Louis Rams 1558 339 10 3 0 6 -0.18 4.16
28 Arizona Cardinals 1531 308 5 9 3 7 0.18 4.15
29 Cleveland Browns 1585 345 8 6 1 5 -0.08 4.00
30 New York Giants 1685 309 8 13 2 8 -0.14 3.93
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1099 257 3 5 1 5 0.13 3.63
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 1259 311 3 9 2 6 0.19 3.28

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 5:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Seattle Seahawks 1518 315 5 7 3 11 0.23 3.60
2 Houston Texans 1301 285 7 2 4 6 0.28 3.67
3 Kansas City Chiefs 1564 321 4 7 2 11 -0.15 3.92
4 San Francisco 49ers 1512 331 5 6 6 6 0.28 3.96
5 New York Jets 1495 333 9 1 3 8 0.14 4.01
6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1329 274 5 6 0 5 0.06 4.16
7 Cleveland Browns 1509 354 2 4 8 6 -0.27 4.17
8 Baltimore Ravens 1677 327 9 3 1 8 0.26 4.22
9 New England Patriots 1725 339 4 6 2 7 0.07 4.27
10 Cincinnati Bengals 1584 324 6 5 2 7 -0.07 4.33
11 Carolina Panthers 1206 242 3 6 2 3 -0.15 4.46
12 Tennessee Titans 1606 313 6 6 3 6 0.04 4.47
13 Arizona Cardinals 1717 335 8 7 1 5 0.12 4.59
14 Buffalo Bills 1887 363 9 9 2 5 -0.21 4.92
15 Indianapolis Colts 1652 303 4 7 4 6 -0.25 4.96
16 Miami Dolphins 1965 351 8 6 4 6 0.33 5.01
17 New Orleans Saints 1652 278 6 7 2 7 -0.18 5.05
18 Pittsburgh Steelers 1287 253 4 0 6 3 -0.09 5.11
19 Chicago Bears 1883 315 8 6 3 12 -0.12 5.17
20 Detroit Lions 1964 323 5 8 5 8 0.10 5.17
21 New York Giants 1976 367 12 4 5 6 0.20 5.20
22 Oakland Raiders 1820 322 9 3 3 7 0.03 5.28
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 1899 332 12 2 4 7 0.12 5.42
24 Philadelphia Eagles 2170 368 11 5 4 6 0.12 5.53
25 Green Bay Packers 1499 253 9 2 3 6 -0.10 5.57
26 St. Louis Rams 1912 314 11 3 5 11 -0.21 5.60
27 Minnesota Vikings 1723 295 10 7 4 7 -0.13 5.70
28 San Diego Chargers 2030 312 10 1 2 7 0.15 5.86
29 Atlanta Falcons 1861 302 12 3 2 3 -0.07 6.01
30 Dallas Cowboys 2046 334 14 5 2 6 -0.10 6.05
31 Washington Redskins 1762 278 9 2 4 5 0.03 6.11
32 Denver Broncos 2083 330 11 7 5 3 -0.38 6.39

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 5:

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 Seattle Seahawks 1.91 -30.69 12.84
2 Houston Texans 1.67 -38.01 11.39
3 San Francisco 49ers 1.09 -30.41 11.38
4 New Orleans Saints 1.06 -6.23 12.41
5 Green Bay Packers 0.94 -12.54 9.97
6 Kansas City Chiefs 0.92 13.65 10.35
7 New York Jets 0.81 -8.36 8.92
8 Indianapolis Colts 0.74 2.75 9.05
9 Philadelphia Eagles 0.51 -21.23 7.38
10 New England Patriots 0.36 14.21 9.60
11 Denver Broncos 0.27 -8.31 12.74
12 Tennessee Titans 0.22 -10.69 7.51
13 Baltimore Ravens 0.17 6.67 8.40
14 Chicago Bears 0.11 -10.47 8.92
15 San Diego Chargers 0.08 -8.61 8.27
16 Carolina Panthers 0.06 -2.43 5.75
17 Detroit Lions -0.07 -16.09 9.19
18 Cincinnati Bengals -0.07 -9.73 9.34
19 Atlanta Falcons -0.14 -9.06 7.53
20 Cleveland Browns -0.17 1.11 6.91
21 Miami Dolphins -0.30 -12.23 8.29
22 Arizona Cardinals -0.44 16.11 6.46
23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.53 8.04 2.13
24 Buffalo Bills -0.58 -11.00 6.72
25 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.58 -5.28 6.33
26 Dallas Cowboys -0.61 -10.69 8.10
27 Oakland Raiders -0.79 13.81 5.92
28 Minnesota Vikings -0.95 6.08 5.58
29 Washington Redskins -1.03 6.66 6.10
30 New York Giants -1.27 4.32 3.58
31 St. Louis Rams -1.44 18.90 4.87
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -2.15 19.04 1.00

Notes on Week 5’s ratings:

  • Despite losing for the first time this season, Seattle nonetheless rises to the #1 spot in the overall rankings and now has the highest projected win total for the season, narrowly edging out still-unbeaten Denver (more on them in a minute) and New Orleans in PY/P’s win projection model. Their division rival 49ers have risen up to third in the overall rankings, largely due to a very tough opening schedule. In fact, the Seahawks and 49ers have faced two of the four toughest schedules in the league so far…but are projected to have two of the three easiest schedules going forward. Seems safe to pronounce those two teams as playoff locks, just like we all figured they would be before the season started.
  • Sandwiched in between those two teams in the overall rankings is the squad that lost to both of them in the past two weeks – the Houston Texans. Sunday Night’s disaster against the 49ers was clearly their worst game of the season and their PY/P rating took a hit as a result – but not as large of a hit as you would expect. The Texans actually outgained the 49ers in yardage Sunday Night and still are averaging 5.2 yards per play on offense, compared to 4.6 yards per play on defense. And they’ve been doing that against the hardest schedule in the league so far.
  • With that said, though, I’m still proclaiming PY/P’s win projection for Houston of 11.4 wins completely foolhardy and not something that should be taken seriously. In the long run, the Texans are a good franchise with a very strong foundation on both sides of the ball and at some point they’re going to get out the monstrous rut they’re currently in and get back to winning. The emotional trauma that Matt Schaub is going through right now, however, isn’t going to suddenly disappear in an instant and I’m not sure how a schedule filled with two games against the Colts (plus matchups with Denver, Kansas City and New England) could possibly be considered the easiest remaining in the league. Oh wait, actually now I know – they still have two games with Jacksonville. My mistake. Nevertheless, 11 or 12 wins is still crazy at this point.
  • Denver is still projected as the #1 seed in the AFC this year, mainly because the team’s offensive Consistency Index is off the charts (it’s almost as if they have a good offense this year or something). In the actual PY/P rankings this week, though, the Broncos only come in at #11. The two reasons for this are as follows: 1): the Broncos have faced by far the easiest schedule in the league so far, according to Predictive Yards per Play (just think how much further their schedule strength will sink after facing Jacksonville this week) and 2): (closely correlated with #1) they currently have the worst-rated defense in the league, an extremely easy statement to believe if you watched their performance against Dallas Sunday. Getting Von Miller and Champ Bailey back will obviously help and it’ll come at a good time because after their upcoming slaughter of the Jaguars, the Broncos get into the tough portion of their schedule. They still have two games against Kansas City and two against the Chargers, plus the assorted tough teams of the AFC South and the Patriots.
  • The NFC East race – or light jog, if we’re being honest with ourselves – provides an interesting dichotomy among the two main projection models I use. Strictly going by Predictive Yards per Play, Philadelphia is rated well ahead of everyone else in the division and should wind up running away with the ignominious title of 2013 NFC East Champion. But the wins projection model using Consistency Index is enamored with Tony Romo’s 71.8% completion rate and not very excited by Philadelphia’s 55.6% completion percentage. Thus, according to the official wins projection model, Dallas is still projected to win the NFC East and wind up as the Wild-Card Round sacrificial lamb for either the 49ers or Seahawks. For accuracy’s sake, I’ll be interested to see which team winds up winning the division because it’ll provide a good litmus test for which prediction model winds up being more accurate.
  • Two slight changes came about in this week’s playoff projections. First, in the NFC, Green Bay’s win over Detroit made them the favorite to win the NFC North again, which they honestly should have been all along. In the AFC, Indianapolis is now projected to earn the final Wild-Card slot instead of San Diego – the Chargers are still amongst a group of four teams closely nipping at the Colts’ heels in the projections. Remember, though, that these projections still carry a slight weight of the preseason forecast PY/P had made for all teams and the Colts’ preseason projection was actually worse than every team’s other than Jacksonville. As the preseason forecast slowly gets phased out over the next few weeks, expect the Colts’ win projection to jump each time because it now appears that they’re a legitimately good team.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 5:

  1. Denver (12.7 wins)
  2. Houston (11.4 wins)
  3. New England (9.6 wins)
  4. Cincinnati (9.3 wins)
  5. Kansas City (10.4 wins)
  6. Indianapolis (9.1 wins)

In the hunt: NY Jets (8.9 wins), Baltimore (8.4 wins), Miami (8.3 wins), San Diego (8.3 wins), Tennessee (7.5 wins)

Mediocre: Cleveland (6.9 wins), Buffalo (6.7 wins), Pittsburgh (6.3 wins), Oakland (5.9 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.0 win)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 5:

  1. Seattle (12.8 wins)
  2. New Orleans (12.4 wins)
  3. Green Bay (10.0 wins)
  4. Dallas (8.1 wins)
  5. San Francisco (11.4 wins)
  6. Detroit (9.2 wins)

In the hunt: Chicago (8.9 wins), Atlanta (7.5 wins), Philadelphia (7.4 wins)

Mediocre: Arizona (6.5 wins), Washington (6.1 wins), Carolina (5.8 wins), Minnesota (5.6 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: St. Louis (4.9 wins), NY Giants (3.6 wins), Tampa Bay (2.1 wins)

Week 4 Predictive Yards per Play Rankings

Today brings the first batch of Predictive Yards per Play rankings for the season. I didn’t bother running them for the first three weeks because there’s little to no actual insight they can provide that early in the year. Even now, things are very fluid and one or two outlier games can massively monkey wrench the results. A quarter of the way through the season seems like a good time to take the first statistical litmus test of the season, though, so here’s how each team has fared in the first four weeks of the year.

Strength of schedule is incorporated into the rankings; however, I’m only inputting those figures at 17% strength this week because some teams have played ridiculously lopsided schedules in one direction or another. I’ll up the schedule strength by one-sixth each week until it reaches 100% at the season’s virtual midway point after Week 9. Below are the offensive and defensive rankings, followed by the overall team rankings. Included with the individual team rankings are each team’s remaining strength of schedule and the projected wins Predictive Yards per Play thinks each team will wind up by the end of the season. Those two metrics are half comprised of this year’s results; the other half is comprised of each team’s preseason projection in the hopes of not overreacting to unexpected starts (looking at you, AFC West and South.)

Remember, Predictive Yards per Play seeks to measure the aspects of play so far that correspond best with future success – it is not a descriptive measure of how teams have played so far. That’s an important piece of information to keep in mind because the current #1 team in the overall rankings doesn’t have a winning record right now and probably isn’t ranked in the top five of any subjective power rankings.

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play, through Week 4:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P
1 Denver Broncos 1932 284 16 0 4 8 -0.15 6.66
2 New Orleans Saints 1678 275 10 4 2 2 0.24 6.51
3 Green Bay Packers 1364 205 8 3 3 4 -0.06 6.41
4 San Diego Chargers 1585 253 11 2 1 4 0.00 6.10
5 Houston Texans 1641 302 8 6 1 2 0.51 5.92
6 Indianapolis Colts 1495 262 5 2 6 2 -0.01 5.83
7 Atlanta Falcons 1594 255 8 3 1 4 -0.11 5.81
8 Philadelphia Eagles 1835 267 6 2 5 7 -0.62 5.67
9 Seattle Seahawks 1409 256 7 3 4 6 0.57 5.66
10 Detroit Lions 1619 266 7 3 5 8 -0.18 5.41
11 New England Patriots 1469 287 7 2 1 4 0.43 5.39
12 New York Jets 1465 276 4 8 2 7 1.00 5.36
13 Minnesota Vikings 1402 247 4 5 7 7 0.25 5.02
14 Tennessee Titans 1251 263 7 0 2 4 0.20 4.97
15 San Francisco 49ers 1325 244 5 4 5 5 0.00 4.88
16 Chicago Bears 1409 253 8 6 4 5 -0.17 4.86
17 Kansas City Chiefs 1389 275 7 2 2 2 -0.24 4.84
18 Carolina Panthers 963 200 6 2 2 4 0.16 4.75
19 Buffalo Bills 1400 288 5 3 2 10 0.67 4.72
20 Dallas Cowboys 1362 250 8 1 1 8 -0.36 4.54
21 Pittsburgh Steelers 1365 250 5 5 2 8 -0.01 4.54
22 Miami Dolphins 1289 244 5 5 5 6 0.04 4.54
23 Washington Redskins 1563 266 6 4 3 6 -0.82 4.45
24 Oakland Raiders 1352 240 4 3 3 6 -0.58 4.41
25 Arizona Cardinals 1281 250 4 6 2 7 0.21 4.33
26 Baltimore Ravens 1270 278 5 7 3 3 0.24 4.29
27 Cincinnati Bengals 1310 254 5 4 4 9 -0.15 4.15
28 Cleveland Browns 1295 280 7 6 0 3 -0.03 4.10
29 St. Louis Rams 1207 267 7 3 0 5 -0.03 4.10
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1099 257 3 5 1 5 0.30 3.80
31 New York Giants 1302 239 6 10 1 7 -0.28 3.67
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 896 252 1 7 2 3 -0.01 2.76

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play Rankings, through Week 4:

Rank Team Yards Plays Passing TDs INTs Rushing TDs Fumbles SOS PY/P (Ball-Control Adjusted
1 Houston Texans 1017 233 6 2 2 5 0.06 3.66
2 Cleveland Browns 1166 279 2 3 5 6 -0.11 3.76
3 Kansas City Chiefs 1225 255 3 5 1 9 -0.16 3.81
4 Seattle Seahawks 1201 255 3 7 2 9 -0.37 3.98
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1329 274 5 6 0 5 0.00 4.22
6 Tennessee Titans 1253 246 6 5 2 5 0.21 4.25
7 New Orleans Saints 1218 224 4 7 2 5 0.10 4.30
8 San Francisco 49ers 1199 260 5 3 6 4 0.09 4.39
9 Baltimore Ravens 1383 270 8 3 1 7 0.09 4.42
10 New England Patriots 1384 269 4 5 1 6 -0.17 4.47
11 Indianapolis Colts 1229 236 2 6 4 4 -0.03 4.49
12 Carolina Panthers 956 184 2 3 1 3 -0.09 4.55
13 New York Jets 1132 263 7 1 1 6 -0.72 4.56
14 Cincinnati Bengals 1336 264 6 4 2 3 -0.03 4.81
15 Arizona Cardinals 1364 269 8 4 1 4 -0.11 4.90
16 Chicago Bears 1536 250 6 6 3 12 -0.10 5.01
17 Oakland Raiders 1397 252 7 0 3 5 0.30 5.02
18 Detroit Lions 1515 259 4 8 5 6 -0.05 5.13
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 1287 253 4 0 6 3 -0.11 5.13
20 Miami Dolphins 1581 277 8 5 2 5 0.08 5.31
21 New York Giants 1537 290 10 4 4 6 -0.11 5.35
22 Buffalo Bills 1597 298 8 9 1 3 -0.46 5.38
23 St. Louis Rams 1549 255 9 1 5 8 0.22 5.39
24 Denver Broncos 1561 276 6 6 4 2 -0.05 5.40
25 Philadelphia Eagles 1787 298 9 2 3 5 0.32 5.53
26 Washington Redskins 1762 278 9 2 4 5 0.57 5.57
27 Atlanta Falcons 1573 256 9 3 2 3 0.34 5.60
28 Dallas Cowboys 1529 261 10 4 0 4 -0.13 5.67
29 Jacksonville Jaguars 1548 260 9 2 4 6 -0.01 5.69
30 Green Bay Packers 1213 189 8 2 3 5 -0.03 5.98
31 Minnesota Vikings 1723 295 10 7 4 7 -0.66 6.22
32 San Diego Chargers 1729 257 8 1 2 5 0.04 6.31

Predictive Yards per Play Differential, through Week 4

Rank Team PY/P Diff. Remaining SOS Projected Wins
1 Houston Texans 2.27 -30.48 12.12
2 New Orleans Saints 2.21 2.96 12.31
3 Seattle Seahawks 1.68 -29.14 13.47
4 Indianapolis Colts 1.34 11.45 8.21
5 Denver Broncos 1.26 -5.28 13.02
6 Kansas City Chiefs 1.03 15.35 9.64
7 New England Patriots 0.91 18.38 11.04
8 New York Jets 0.81 -1.54 7.96
9 Tennessee Titans 0.72 -11.14 8.20
10 San Francisco 49ers 0.49 -15.64 10.61
11 Green Bay Packers 0.44 -9.77 9.39
12 Cleveland Browns 0.34 -4.22 6.60
13 Detroit Lions 0.28 -14.49 9.98
14 Atlanta Falcons 0.21 -3.25 8.26
15 Carolina Panthers 0.20 1.17 6.47
16 Philadelphia Eagles 0.14 -26.75 6.36
17 Baltimore Ravens -0.13 2.44 7.71
18 Chicago Bears -0.15 -3.40 9.27
19 San Diego Chargers -0.21 -14.10 8.73
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -0.42 14.32 2.57
21 Arizona Cardinals -0.57 13.65 5.49
22 Pittsburgh Steelers -0.59 -7.64 6.52
23 Oakland Raiders -0.62 16.18 5.10
24 Cincinnati Bengals -0.65 -5.99 7.79
25 Buffalo Bills -0.67 -14.14 7.50
26 Miami Dolphins -0.78 -6.88 8.40
27 Washington Redskins -1.11 8.24 6.27
28 Dallas Cowboys -1.13 1.35 8.39
29 Minnesota Vikings -1.20 3.70 5.77
30 St. Louis Rams -1.29 9.14 4.48
31 New York Giants -1.67 -1.21 4.22
32 Jacksonville Jaguars -2.93 16.69 1.03

Yes, the 2-2 Houston Texans have the best Predictive Yards per Play differential in the league through four weeks, narrowly edging the undefeated Saints. This is partly because the Texans have had the toughest schedule in the league so far, but also because they really have outplayed all of their opponents in the indicators that usually point to future success. They needed the final play of the game to notch both their victories against San Diego and Tennessee, but they outgained both those teams by roughly 200 yards and 10 first downs. They lost by 21 to the Ravens, but actually gained more yards and averaged more yards per play. And they somehow found a way to lose to Seattle last week despite gaining 200 more yards and 14 more first downs than the Seahawks.

So far on the season, they’re averaging 5.4 yards per play and their opponents have averaged 4.4. They’ve fumbled twice, their opponents have fumbled five times. And they’ve gained a staggering 39 more first downs than their opponents. If you didn’t know anything about their won-loss record other than those above facts, you would assume the Texans would be at least 3-1 or, more likely, 4-0.

Now, not to pull a Dan Dierdorf on you all, but just because the Texans have been very impressive in most important aspects doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be 2-2. Matt Schaub has thrown three interception that have been returned for touchdowns so far this year, including last week’s soul-crushing pick-six to Richard Sherman, and their special teams also allowed a punt return for a touchdown to Tandon Doss of the Ravens. They’ve beat themselves the past two weeks and tried their very best to throw away the Titans game as well. The good news for Texans fans is return touchdowns are fairly uncommon and (typically) don’t have any predictive value. Then again, sometimes we see teams like last year’s Lions that catch on unlucky streaks like that over an entire season and don’t see any regression towards the mean until the next season. We’ll have to see if that’s the case with this year’s Texans.

After Houston’s unexpected slot at #1, the PY/P rankings fall a little more in line with conventional wisdom. The undefeated Saints and Seahawks come in at #2 and #3, followed by the Colts and then the Broncos. No single unit’s been more terrifying so far this year than the Broncos offense, whose PY/P figure of 6.66 falls in line with Bill Simmons’ Evil Peyton theory, but their defense is currently ranked just 24th. Rounding out the top ten are the Chiefs, Patriots, Jets, Titans and 49ers. The Jets are the only team out of that bunch whose ranking doesn’t really jive with the eye test – I, for one, do not believe for a second that they have the 12th-best offense in the league – but maybe the computer knows something we don’t.

The AFC’s performed unexpectedly well in interconference play thus far and seven of the top ten teams in overall PY/P come from the AFC. Overall, though, the top half of the rankings are evenly split with eight AFC teams and eight NFC teams. The NFC East has been (deservedly) derided so far as the biggest laughingstock division in the league, but PY/P doesn’t seem to think the AFC North is much better. Cleveland – CLEVELAND! – is the only team in that division that currently has an above-average rating, thanks to their #2 rating defensively. Cincinnati’s #24 ranking overall is one of the most surprising to me – just watching their games, they look like one of the most talented teams in the AFC.

Finally, teams that had both a strong preseason projection and have started the season well tend to do the best in PY/P’s wins projection, but Consistency Index is another important component in those projections. For example, Dallas is rated well below Philadelphia in pure Predictive Yards per Play, but the Consistency Index trusts Tony Romo’s ability to complete passes infinitely more than Michael Vick’s going forward. Thus, Dallas is currently the odds-on favorite to win the NFC East. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t put too much trust in the final wins projections just yet – midseason is really the first point where we have a firm grasp of each team’s real quality for the season.

Most of my free time this week has been devoted to generating these rankings and writing the analysis, so quarterback charting from Week 4’s games will probably be mainly delayed until next week and will then appear in truncated form. Thanks to all who have read those so far.

Projected AFC Playoff Picture, through Week 4:

  1. Denver (13.0 wins)
  2. Houston (12.1 wins)
  3. New England (11.0 wins)
  4. Cincinnati (7.8 wins)
  5. Kansas City (9.6 wins)
  6. San Diego (8.7 wins)

In the hunt: Miami (8.4 wins), Indianapolis (8.2 wins), Tennessee (8.2 wins), NY Jets (8.0 wins) Baltimore (7.7 wins), Buffalo (7.5 wins)

Mediocre: Cleveland (6.6 wins), Pittsburgh (6.5 wins), Oakland (5.1 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: Jacksonville (1.0 win)

Projected NFC Playoff Picture, through Week 4:

  1. Seattle (13.5 wins)
  2. New Orleans (12.3 wins)
  3. Detroit (10.0 wins)
  4. Dallas (8.4 wins)
  5. San Francisco (10.6 wins)
  6. Green Bay (9.4 wins)

In the hunt: Chicago (9.3 wins), Atlanta (8.3 wins)

Mediocre: Carolina (6.5 wins), Philadelphia (6.4 wins), Washington (6.3 wins), Minnesota (5.8 wins), Arizona (5.5 wins)

Teddy Bridgewater Sweepstakes: St. Louis (4.5 wins), NY Giants (4.2 wins), Tampa Bay (2.6 wins)

Super Bowl Power Rankings: Where Do The 2012 Ravens Rank Among All Super Bowl Champions?

After the Giants’ shocking upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Chase Stuart (who now runs the excellent footballperspective.com) wrote a piece on the Pro Football Reference blog comparing how that Giants team measured up to previous Super Bowl champions, using several different statistical methods. His conclusion, as you can probably tell from the title of the post, wasn’t particularly favorable to young Eli and company. I won’t try to summarize the article any further here since it’s a great read and you should check it out for yourself, but I will take just a moment to see how the five Super Bowl champions that have been crowned since that post was written fare in the various categories Stuart used:

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Regular season winning percentage: .750 (t-28th out of 47)
  • Point differential per game: +7.8 (t-33rd)
  • Pythagorean win percentage: .7375 (29th)
  • Pro Football Reference SRS: 9.8 (18th)
  • Playoff margin of victory: +8.0 (t-40th)

2009 New Orleans Saints

  • Regular season winning percentage: .813 (t-18th)
  • Point differential per game: +10.6 (17th)
  • Pythagorean win percentage: .725 (31st)
  • Pro Football Reference SRS: 10.8 (13th)
  • Playoff margin of victory: +16.0 (t-17th)

2010 Green Bay Packers

  • Regular season winning percentage: .625 (t-43rd)
  • Point differential per game: +9.2 (t-25th)
  • Pythagorean win percentage: .75625 (24th)
  • Pro Football Reference SRS: 10.9 (12th)
  • Playoff margin of victory: +11.25 (31st)

2011 New York Giants

  • Regular season winning percentage: .5625 (47th)
  • Point differential per game: -0.4 (47th)
  • Pythagorean win percentage: .49375 (47th)
  • Pro Football Reference SRS: 1.6 (46th)
  • Playoff margin of victory: +11.5 (t-28th)

2012 Baltimore Ravens

  • Regular season winning percentage: .625 (t-43rd)
  • Point differential per game: +3.4 (45th)
  • Pythagorean win percentage: .5875 (45th)
  • Pro Football Reference SRS: 2.9 (45th)
  • Playoff margin of victory: +9.0 (39th)

If you can get past the ’08 Steelers and ’10 Packers’ (relatively) unimpressive win totals, they probably deserve to join the ’09 Saints as teams that are in the top half of all Super Bowl champions. The Packers faced a tough schedule and lost a brutal amount of close games that drove their record down; the Steelers, meanwhile, had one of the greatest defenses of all-time and great defensive teams are often underrated by point differential and traditional margin of victory metrics. If I had to rank all 47 Super Bowl champions in order, I would probably stick the ’09 Saints and ’10 Packers somewhere in the mid-to-low teens and the ’08 Steelers in the low teens-to-high-twenties.

The past two champions, however, don’t look so good compared to their peers. The Giants had the worst winning percentage of any Super Bowl winner and were the only team to win the Super Bowl in a year in which they had a negative point differential. They played a very tough schedule and rank better in per-play metrics, so I’m unwilling to call them the worst Super Bowl champ of all time, but they certainly don’t deserve to rate any higher than 40th.

And the Ravens? Well, they don’t rank much better in point differential, Pythagorean record or SRS, ranking third-to-last in each category. And unlike last year’s Giants, they played a below-average schedule with thoroughly unimpressive yards-per-play figures. During the regular season, they were essentially a team with a slightly above-average offense and a slightly above-average defense – their special teams were outstanding, but it’s tough to imagine that making a big difference in a fictional matchup against the ’89 49ers or ’66 Packers.

Now the Ravens do deserve some credit for their last three postseason games, in which they beat teams that all probably would have ranked in the top half of Super Bowl champions had they won it all. Their run of winning at Denver, at New England, and then against San Francisco was not quite as impressive as the ’07 Giants’ run of winning at Dallas, at Green Bay, and against New England, but it’s fairly close. For that reason, I wouldn’t list the ’12 Ravens as the worst Super Bowl champion of all time – that title probably deserves to go to the ’70 Colts or ’80 Raiders or even the ’01 Patriots (the fact that team won the Super Bowl becomes approximately 7% more unfathomable with each passing year). Ultimately, however, I think they probably have to go in the bottom five. There just wasn’t anything special about this team in the regular season to warrant a higher ranking. Of course, now’s a good time to remind everyone that it’s much, MUCH more desirable to be listed as one of the worst Super Bowl champions ever than one of the best teams to never win it (somewhere, Alan Page is nodding his head right now).

Conference Championship Power Rankings: There Are Other Harbaughs Too, You Know!

Welcome to the Conference Championship edition of Someone Still Loves You Alberto Riveron’s weekly NFL power rankings. To help us make sense of what happened during this last batch of NFL action, we’ve asked  former astronaut and current CEO of the Sigma Chi Foundation, Gregory Harbaugh, to share his thoughts with us below. Please enjoy.

Well, isn’t this POSITIVELY DELIGHTFUL? What an uplifting story to warm the COCKLES OF THE NATION’S COLLECTIVE HEART. Have you heard the great news, everybody? Have you heard it? The coaches of the two teams in the Super Bowl this year are BROTHERS. As in, they came from the same womb. Grew up together. In the same house and everything. Ate together, went to school together, and learned the intricacies of football together. WHO WOULD EVER BELIEVE BROTHERS WOULD HAVE THE SAME INTERESTS? And have I told you the best part of this news? These brothers both have the last name of HARBAUGH. Jim HARBAUGH and John HARBAUGH. They learned how to coach from their football coach dad, Jack HARBAUGH. And now these HARBAUGHS will be coaching against each other in the largest, most-watched entertainment event of the year. TREMENDOUS. Absolutely tremendous. I can’t hardly think of better bearers of the Harbaugh name to get hundreds of hours of free, around-the-clock publicity than two hyper-competitive control freaks who get paid millions of dollars to watch their team play a game. THIS IS EVERYTHING THAT IS RIGHT ABOUT AMERICA.

By now, I hope you realize that my tone to this point has been completely sarcastic and I do not actually mean anything I wrote in the previous paragraph. I am disgusted to my very core by the antics of these two UTTER DISGRACES to the Harbaugh name. A Ravens-49ers Super Bowl may be a boon to everyone who’s related to Jack and Jackie Harbaugh (What the heck? Who marries someone with that similar a first name? IDIOTS), but it’s just one big, old stinkfinger raised to everyone else who’s accomplished something in life under this last name. Like myself, for example. Does anyone give half a turd about what I’ve done in my life? Of course not! Because graduating from Purdue with a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, earning a commercial pilot’s license (with over 1600 hours of total flying time!), working at the Johnson Space Center for a decade, training to be an astronaut and flying into FREAKING OUTER SPACE to work on the Space Shuttle IN ADDITION to balancing all that with a wife and three kids and constructive hobbies like running and snow skiing are all CLEARLY things we should not be encouraging our children to emulate. That’s right. I’m the screw-up here.

Look, I get it. I understand football’s a fun escape for a lot of people. It’s easier to understand why a quarterback threw a pass or a receiver caught a ball than it is to understand how two new spectrometers were installed in the Hubble Space Telescope over a ten-day mission. That’s fine. But please. Don’t be foisting up your little physical activity time as the pinnacle of Western civilization just because you spend twenty hours a day trying to learn how to defend a screen pass. Just look at this quote John Harbaugh gave the other day:

I can’t even get my arms around it. My dad said something to me — my mom’s and dad’s parents are immigrants, salt-of-the-earth people. They treasure America; it’s meant everything to them, being here. I hope people can see what an incredible moment this is for our country. This is America, how hard work can get you to a moment like this. This is the greatness of America.

ABSOLUTELY, John. This right here? This little brother-against-brother matchup you’ve got going in your glorified YMCA event in a couple weeks? Yes, THIS is the greatest example we have ever seen of America’s true excellence at work. Everything the Founding Fathers did back in the 1700s? WORTHLESS. The work Abraham Lincoln put in to end slavery and piece a fractured country back together? I HEARD HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PROPERLY RUN A ZONE BLITZ. And, of course, all of my personal accomplishments don’t mean squat because, again, I ONLY WENT INTO FREAKING SPACE AS A FREAKING NASA ASTRONAUT AND SAW THE EARTH FROM A VANTAGE POINT ONLY .0000001% OF ALL HUMANS HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. Nope, you and your little brother – who foams at the mouth whenever an official momentarily messes up a down-by-contact ruling – you two are the country’s best role models going forward. Unbelievable.

I’m telling you guys, there is no justice in the world. I mean, just type in my name into Google and see what comes up. That’s right – I don’t even get my own name all to myself! I have to share it with an estate planning and administration lawyer from Pittsburgh who, I’m sure, is a great guy and a fine lawyer but HOLY CRAP I’M GONNA PUNCH SOMEBODY IF HIS SITES DON’T GET OFF THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE HITS. And look at this! I can’t even get the first freaking result when you type in my name on LinkedIn. Does Greg Harbaugh, president of FSK Consulting Group in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, seem even REMOTELY CAPABLE of leading the first docking mission with the Russian Space Station Mir? You look at that face and tell me there’s a snowball’s chance in hell! And gah! That lawyer from Pittsburgh’s ahead of me there, too! Un-freaking-believable. This day just keeps getting better and better.

So, obviously, the choice is clear, American parents: raising your son or daughter to be a hard-working, intelligent, space-walking lover of knowledge who grows up to be the president of a well-known non-profit foundation is NOT an acceptable outcome to the parenting process. No, what you want your kids to be are two homicidally competitive freaks who spend every waking moment of their lives focused on playing a kid’s game and making incoherent comments about gobbling turkeys. John and Jim Harbaugh are obviously the well-rounded, Renaissance men our society needs in order to stave off eventual invasion from the Chinese. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE HARBAUGHS AND THEIR IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE WEST COAST OFFENSE! They’re your rulers now. And they’re not going to stop until every man, woman and child in this country properly knows how to call an audible and read their pre-snap keys! THIS IS YOUR FUTURE, AMERICA. You’re all screwed. You hear me? SCREWED!!!!!

(Also, if someone out there wants to teach me about search engine optimization techniques, I would greatly appreciate it. I’m tired of seeing the Greg Harbaugh from Pittsburgh ahead of me on LinkedIn. Thank you.)

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Rather than post the numbers for all playoff teams and make the strikethrough function absolutely crazy with power, I’ll just post the figures for the four teams that played last weekend for kicks and giggles. Baltimore has obviously experienced the largest jump to their ratings during the postseason; their Adjusted Yards per Play Differential has jumped from 0.82 at the end of the regular season to 1.16 just three playoff games later. They’ve experienced a similar rise in Predictive Yards per Play efficiency as well, jumping from approximately 1.20 to 1.43. And the improvement has occurred on both sides of the ball, as well: their offensive rating was approximately 2.96 at the end of the regular season, it’s now 3.10 three games later. And once you factor in the lower variance inherent in the defensive PY/P rating, the Ravens’ defensive improvement has been almost as impressive (1.75 after Week 17 to 1.67 currently). As you can see from the rankings below, they will still be considered underdogs to the 49ers twelve days from now, but it’s clear that they’ll be going into that game trending firmly upward.

Adjusted Yards per Play Differential (league average: 0.00): a descriptive metric that is designed to give an accurate representation of how each team has played thus far.

  1. San Francisco2.05 (Final regular season ranking: 1)
  2. New England1.35 (Final regular season ranking: 4)
  3. Baltimore1.16 (Final regular season ranking: 9)
  4. Atlanta0.61 (Final regular season ranking: 10)

Offensive Adjusted Yards per Play (league average: 5.00)

  1. San Francisco6.29 (Final regular season ranking: 4)
  2. New England6.08 (Final regular season ranking: 3)
  3. Atlanta5.91 (Final regular season ranking: 5)
  4. Baltimore5.65 (Final regular season ranking: 12)

Defensive Adjusted Yards per Play (league average: 5.00)

  1. San Francisco4.24 (Final regular season ranking: 2)
  2. Baltimore4.49 (Final regular season ranking: 11)
  3. New England4.73 (Final regular season ranking: 9)
  4. Atlanta5.31 (Final regular season ranking: 18)

Predictive Yards per Play Differential (league average: 0.995419): a metric which doesn’t give as large a penalty or bonus to turnovers or touchdowns, will also take into account strength of schedule and will (theoretically) better able to predict future performance. This metric uses probabilities drawn from research Brian Burke did back in 2008 in trying to determine which stats best correlated with future play. For example, because offensive performance is much more consistent from week-to-week than defensive performance, offensive play is more highly prioritized in these rankings.

  1. San Francisco1.980884 (Final regular season ranking: 1)
  2. New England1.440214 (Final regular season ranking: 5)
  3. Baltimore1.433378 (Final regular season ranking: 12)
  4. Atlanta1.221527 (Final regular season ranking: 17)

Offensive Predictive Yards per Play (league average: 2.851036)

  1. San Francisco: 3.475387 (Final regular season ranking: 3)
  2. New England: 3.347754 (Final regular season ranking: 5)
  3. Atlanta: 3.255194 (Final regular season ranking: 13)
  4. Baltimore: 3.099683 (Final regular season ranking: 14)

Defensive Predictive Yards per Play (league average: 1.855616)

  1. San Francisco1.494502 (Final regular season ranking: 2)
  2. Baltimore1.666305 (Final regular season ranking: 12)
  3. New England1.907539 (Final regular season ranking: 20)
  4. Atlanta2.033668 (Final regular season ranking: 24)