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Aikman Efficiency Ratings Reveal Shaky Defense for NFL Conference Title Games

You may not think of Troy Aikman as an “analytics guy,” but the Hall of Fame quarterback-turned-broadcaster was actually ahead of his time. Back in 2005, before the NFL’s big analytics push, Aikman created his own proprietary formula for measuring team offense and defense: the Aikman Efficiency Ratings.

As opposed to just looking at total yards gained and allowed, Aikman combined seven categories, placing more emphasis on some:

Points per game (20%)

Points Per Red-Zone Possession (20%)

Turnovers (20%)

Yards per Rush (10%)

Yards per Pass (10%)

Third-Down Percentage (10%)

First Downs (10%)

So how do the four teams playing in this weekend’s conference championship games stack up in the Aikman Efficiency Ratings?


All four teams rank in the top six in offense – though it’s interesting to note that the two NFC teams rank higher in Aikman’s ratings than they do in the NFL’s total offense rankings. The two AFC teams, meanwhile, rank lower in Aikman’s stats than the league stats.

Team – Aikman Ratings (NFL Rank)

Packers -1 (5)

Chiefs – 4 (1)

Buccaneers – 5 (7)

Bills – 6 (2)


Tampa Bay is the only team of the four not in the middle of the pack in Aikman’s ratings, and the Bucs are also the only team of the four that ranks higher in Aikman’s ratings than they do in the NFL rankings. While the Packers were a top 10 defense by NFL standards, they fall to 13th in Aikman’s ratings. Perhaps the most noticeable number here is the Chiefs’ defensive rating: 21st.

Team – Aikman Ratings (NFL Rank)

Buccaneers – 5 (6)

Packers – 13 (9)

Bills – 14 (14)

Chiefs – 21 (16)

To see the complete Aikman Efficiency Ratings, click here.