The Update: Passing Wednesday (Week 9)

2017 Week 9 NFL Rizzi Standings
November 7, 2017
Week 9 QB Spotlight: The Subtle Brilliance of Dak Prescott
November 8, 2017

The Update: Passing Wednesday (Week 9)

Terms to know:

  • ANY/A (Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt):  ((passing yards – sack yardage) + (touchdowns * 20) – (interceptions * 45))/(pass attempts + sacks)
  • ANY/A Value: (Team ANY/A – NFL Average ANY/A)*(pass attempts + sacks) [if defensive ANY/A Value, multiply by -1]

Using these two numbers, we can tangibly measure both offensive and defensive passing efficiency. The product of ANY/A Value is essentially yards above or below league average, given a team’s number of pass attempts.

Offense:

TeamAttYdsTDIntSkANY/AANY/A Value
New England Patriots3092417162218.021212121663.5877366
Kansas City Chiefs2942296182248.06918239654.7118189
Los Angeles Rams2462002134108.1328125543.3529108
New Orleans Saints275215813487.908127208537.0737257
Philadelphia Eagles2922162235247.585443038497.7324993
Washington Redskins2681955134227.017241379292.0013443
Dallas Cowboys2611779164107.081180812290.197808
Seattle Seahawks3042198177186.903726708287.6704582
Atlanta Falcons2702060117146.919014085258.0633855
Minnesota Vikings2771908103106.87456446248.0323649
Detroit Lions3032048144266.52887538170.5980768
Los Angeles Chargers2861951136116.535353535155.928963
Tampa Bay Buccaneers3072181148176.484567901153.6497778
Pittsburgh Steelers2762039109106.412587413115.0427051
Houston Texans2611798208286.359861592101.0116845
Jacksonville Jaguars2371607105116.37903225891.43563238
Oakland Raiders3132133148146.27828746287.61875722
Buffalo Bills2361495102266.12595419830.2908697
New York Jets2751834137265.910299003-30.11239779
Arizona Cardinals3112089119245.68358209-109.4639643
Cincinnati Bengals2361580118245.538461538-122.6884499
Tennessee Titans246159977165.435114504-150.7091303
Indianapolis Colts288185376355.334365325-218.339882
New York Giants2981700126195.268138801-235.2778409
Green Bay Packers2901692147275.227129338-248.2778409
Chicago Bears222126087194.585062241-343.4919863
Carolina Panthers29418361011234.861198738-364.2778409
Miami Dolphins2901541129174.482084691-469.1744389
Denver Broncos28917191012284.350157729-526.2778409
San Francisco 49ers366195668324.311557789-676.1153964
Baltimore Ravens30814911010193.795107034-724.3812428
Cleveland Browns3071649717233.103030303-959.4122634

According to the raw stats (none of these numbers are adjusted for strength of schedule), the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have the most efficient passing offenses in the sport this year. With that being said, the New England Patriots’ passing offense has been the most valuable passing offense in the league, in part because of how often they have passed the ball.

As of now, Tom Brady should be considered the MVP favorite. He and Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz are often talked about as the two leaders in the race right now, but the Eagles are currently in fifth place in offensive ANY/A Value this year behind the Patriots, Chiefs, Rams (McBae: Coach of the Year) and red-hot New Orleans Saints.

Cleveland is incredibly horrible.

Defense:

TeamAttYdsTDIntSkANY/AANY/A Value
Jacksonville Jaguars2531251410353.059027778849.9779753
Baltimore Ravens28216621113224.266447368530.1434184
Pittsburgh Steelers262144067264.322916667485.9779753
Minnesota Vikings279160697244.854785479350.1330782
Los Angeles Rams26416431010254.820069204343.9883155
Philadelphia Eagles36322451411255.231958763302.0119945
Seattle Seahawks277170598235.083333333278.1020576
New Orleans Saints2691684109235.065068493276.0193361
Buffalo Bills3022002711145.212025316252.2675007
Cincinnati Bengals2641541105225.300699301202.9572949
Los Angeles Chargers2621615105265.520833333140.9779753
Tennessee Titans3051873159125.577287066137.2778409
Chicago Bears262166184235.75789473771.94695472
Washington Redskins2711811128225.77133105870.02967626
Carolina Panthers2821761124295.85530546648.21579971
Dallas Cowboys2941787144275.87850467342.31920163
Arizona Cardinals3051994148185.92569659427.33988202
Detroit Lions27720151010166.023890785-3.970323744
Denver Broncos2491539165196.097014925-23.22882854
Atlanta Falcons2741658112186.123287671-32.98066394
New York Jets3162109199186.239520958-76.54637587
Green Bay Packers2601915116136.831501832-224.1771276
Kansas City Chiefs3232333168196.704678363-237.4636543
Houston Texans2561945168206.902173913-246.146107
Cleveland Browns2601834165166.989130435-270.146107
Miami Dolphins2491771123167.079245283-283.2598491
San Francisco 49ers3032203166177.040625-329.6911386
Indianapolis Colts3172517137187.349253731-448.5360357
Tampa Bay Buccaneers281217914587.730103806-497.0116845
New England Patriots2982364166167.687898089-526.7531797
New York Giants2882122183137.797342193-537.8876022
Oakland Raiders2882201140138.242524917-671.8876022

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the best pass defense in the sport right now, and it’s not even close. They have two top-five cornerbacks in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell is channeling his inner Reggie White on a potential Defensive Player of the Year campaign. Campbell currently leads the NFL in both sacks and combined tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage this year.

On the flip side, the Oakland Raiders are still horrible in pass defense for a second straight year. After racking up an unsustainable amount of close games in 2016, that defense has caught up to the 2017 team. The New England Patriots, despite a bottom-three pass defense, are somehow still in the playoff hunt. The New York Giants, in one of the more shocking regressions of the year, are not so lucky.

Week 10 Matchups (Offense):

TeamOffensive ANY/A ValueTeamDefensive ANY/A ValueMatchup Value (Offense)
Los Angeles Rams543.35Houston Texans-246.15789.5
New England Patriots663.59Denver Broncos-23.23686.82
Pittsburgh Steelers115.04Indianapolis Colts-448.54563.58
New York Jets-30.11Tampa Bay Buccaneers-497.01466.9
Detroit Lions170.6Cleveland Browns-270.15440.75
Dallas Cowboys290.2Atlanta Falcons-32.98323.18
New Orleans Saints537.07Buffalo Bills252.27284.8
Seattle Seahawks287.67Arizona Cardinals27.34260.33
Tampa Bay Buccaneers153.65New York Jets-76.55230.2
Atlanta Falcons258.06Dallas Cowboys42.32215.74
Minnesota Vikings248.03Washington Redskins70.03178
New York Giants-235.28San Francisco 49ers-329.6994.41
Denver Broncos-526.28New England Patriots-526.750.47
Jacksonville Jaguars91.44Los Angeles Chargers140.98-49.54
Washington Redskins292Minnesota Vikings350.13-58.13
Carolina Panthers-364.28Miami Dolphins-283.26-81.02
Chicago Bears-343.49Green Bay Packers-224.18-119.31
San Francisco 49ers-676.12New York Giants-537.89-138.23
Houston Texans101.01Los Angeles Rams343.99-242.98
Buffalo Bills30.29New Orleans Saints276.02-245.73
Cincinnati Bengals-122.69Tennessee Titans137.28-259.97
Green Bay Packers-248.28Chicago Bears71.95-320.23
Tennessee Titans-150.71Cincinnati Bengals202.96-353.67
Arizona Cardinals-109.46Seattle Seahawks278.1-387.56
Miami Dolphins-469.17Carolina Panthers48.22-517.39
Los Angeles Chargers155.93Jacksonville Jaguars849.98-694.05
Indianapolis Colts-218.34Pittsburgh Steelers485.98-704.32
Cleveland Browns-959.41Detroit Lions-3.97-955.44

The best offensive matchups of the week are the Los Angeles Rams (against the Houston Texans), New England Patriots (against the Denver Broncos) and Pittsburgh Steelers (against the Indianapolis Colts).

The Houston Texans, who lost cornerback A.J. Bouye in free agency and pass-rushers J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus to injury, are banged up on the defensive side of the ball. The Rams may not pass the ball as often as some other teams in the NFL, but Sean McVay’s offense is still incredibly efficient when they do.

The best defensive matchups this week are the Detroit Lions (against the Cleveland Browns), Pittsburgh Steelers (against the Indianapolis Colts), Jacksonville Jaguars (against the Los Angeles Chargers) and Carolina Panthers (against the Miami Dolphins). Indianapolis is in for an ass whooping.

Week 10 Matchups (Team):

ANY/A Value FavoriteOffensive ANY/A ValueDefensive ANY/A ValueTeam ANY/A ValueANY/A Value UnderdogOffensive ANY/A ValueDefensive ANY/A ValueTeam ANY/A ValueMargin
Detroit Lions170.6-3.97166.63Cleveland Browns-959.41-270.15-1229.561396.19
Pittsburgh Steelers115.04485.98601.02Indianapolis Colts-218.34-448.54-666.881267.9
Los Angeles Rams543.35343.99887.34Houston Texans101.01-246.15-145.141032.48
New England Patriots663.59-526.75136.84Denver Broncos-526.28-23.23-549.51686.35
Seattle Seahawks287.67278.1565.77Arizona Cardinals-109.4627.34-82.12647.89
Jacksonville Jaguars91.44849.98941.42Los Angeles Chargers155.93140.98296.91644.51
New Orleans Saints537.07276.02813.09Buffalo Bills30.29252.27282.56530.53
Carolina Panthers-364.2848.22-316.06Miami Dolphins-469.17-283.26-752.43436.37
New York Jets-30.11-76.55-106.66Tampa Bay Buccaneers153.65-497.01-343.36236.7
Minnesota Vikings248.03350.13598.16Washington Redskins29270.03362.03236.13
New York Giants-235.28-537.89-773.17San Francisco 49ers-676.12-329.69-1005.81232.64
Chicago Bears-343.4971.95-271.54Green Bay Packers-248.28-224.18-472.46200.92
Dallas Cowboys290.242.32332.52Atlanta Falcons258.06-32.98225.08107.44
Cincinnati Bengals-122.69202.9680.27Tennessee Titans-150.71137.28-13.4393.7

If we use these numbers to create a type of confidence interval to rank teams against each other, these are the numbers produced. These numbers predicted every favorite correctly this week, according to live numbers on Odds Shark, other than in Dallas-Atlanta and Cincinnati-Tennessee. These numbers would favor Dallas and Cincinnati in the passing game, without taking into account of home-field advantage, but books have the Cowboys as three-point road underdogs and Cincinnati at 4.5-point road underdogs this week. (I don’t understand why the Titans are -110 to win the AFC South right now. What have they proven?)

It’s also worth noting that the Lions, Steelers and Rams, who are by far the most-favored teams in terms of team passing efficiency matchups, are the three teams favored by double-digits in books right now.