The Kansas City Chiefs gave Patrick Mahomes and other key starters a rest in Week 17, and that cost them a shot at finishing No. 1 in the 33rd Team’s Big Play Index for the 2020 NFL season. In the scheme of things, as they look to repeat as Super Bowl champs, that’s not such a bad thing. But it opened the door for the Baltimore Ravens to take the Big Play crown.
The 33rd Team introduced the Big Play Index to show how NFL teams stack up in terms of big plays produced and big plays allowed. As a reminder, we are defining a Big Play as a run of 15-plus yards and/or a pass of 20-plus yards.
The final Big Play Index for the season shows a direct correlation to winning. The top five in the Big Play Index had a combines record of 58-22, and Eight of the top 10 made the playoffs. The bottom five in the index had a combined record of 21-58-1.
The Ravens finished on top with a big-play differential of plus-28, largely due to their dominant ground attack. Baltimore led the NFL with 48 big-play runs — 15 more than the next-best team (Tennessee).
The Chiefs, despite dropping from first to sixth in the final rankings, led the league in offensive big plays (90), and tied with Houston for most big-play passes (69).
The Rams, who finished fifth overall at plus-22, allowed the fewest total big plays (45) and fewest big-play runs (9). Washington allowed the fewest big-play passes (35).
Here’s a breakdown of the final data for the 2020 season: