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NFL Team Efficiency

2019 Week 12 aEPA

The top three are the same after Sunday (with the top team playing on Monday night, this can obviously change), but while the 49ers and Patriots both won their games against above-average teams, San Francisco’s thrashing of the Packers narrows their gap with New England to about an eight of an expected point for the entire season. After being dominated by the best defense in the NFL, the Cowboys offense drops essentially a tier, from near the Ravens, into a trio with the Chiefs and Vikings.

In the mid-tier, the rankings are volatile because the raw difference between teams isn’t very large. Coming into this week, the difference between Baltimore (1) and Dallas (7) was about the same as the difference between Houston (8) and Jacksonville (27). Here are some of the big movers after Sunday:

  • Tampa Bay (13) surges back up into the top half of the league after breaking the resurgent Falcons and ending any hope there for a salvaged season. Carolina’s impressive, but ultimately failed 4th-quarter comeback helps move them up four spots to 20th.
  • Oakland drops like a stone from 13th to 25th after being stunned by the New York Jets (28) who move up one spot, but are now at the edge of the big mix of teams in the mid-table.
  • Like Atlanta and Tampa Bay, Denver (24) and Buffalo (16) nearly swap places after a one-sided matchup that I definitely thought could go the other way.

Finally, at the bottom of the table, the Jets may have escaped the orbit of the bottom of the league, and the 30th and 31st-ranked teams trade places with a narrow win for Washington and yet another loss for the Bengals.

MNF Update

Baltimore’s complete domination of the Rams on the road created some space at the top. That game ripples through the top 3, giving a little bump to the Patriots–whose single loss is to the Ravens–and touching the 49ers’ strength of schedule.

On a technical note, over the weekend, I modified the offense/defense algorithm slightly to ensure that league-total offense minus defense equals zero.

2019 NFL aEPA: Week 12

 aEPARankEPARankOff. aEPA/PRankDef. aEPA/PRank
BAL243.811195.1830.256210.06365
NE201.422214.3910.0037190.2871
SF193.833203.3520.0249120.26132
NO108.26495.9260.092550.0486
DAL100.685124.5340.16122-0.034120
KC87.82667.8880.127430.005214
MIN84.167102.0850.110440.009911
SEA60.66826.61110.0606110.02728
HOU45.5933.28100.08488-0.03319
TEN26.751042.829-0.0015200.03947
PIT20.631115.1513-0.112280.13153
GB19.78120.93150.09026-0.054623
TB14.0413-9.14160.0175130.003216
LA9.491423.08120.009815-0.005817
CLE1.515-29.9322-0.0077210.008513
BUF-4.6166970.013914-0.016318
PHI-11.5117-18.9519-0.0103220.003915
IND-19.96183.74140.009316-0.046222
ATL-28.4519-47.54240.07389-0.116729
ARI-29.7420-62.25270.08597-0.115428
CAR-29.921-52.3725-0.0458240.009912
DET-36.8222-18.56180.004318-0.041921
CHI-43.3223-17.8717-0.1289290.06414
DEN-45.2524-40.2223-0.074250.012210
OAK-45.7125-24.35210.066410-0.124431
LAC-47.5326-23.51200.00917-0.083425
JAX-73.727-66.7428-0.015123-0.088726
NYJ-80.8828-59.3226-0.1486300.02249
NYG-125.0429-125.7129-0.092326-0.079524
WAS-171.8430-159.7730-0.149731-0.100527
CIN-174.0331-212.731-0.110427-0.122930
MIA-250.0532-24932-0.163332-0.176432
Statistics are through Week 12. Computed with data pulled from official NFL play-by-play with nflscrapR, and adjusted for strength of schedule using a method similar to Massey (1997).

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