Yesterday, The 33rd Team looked at five winners from Week 5 and the key statistics that led to each victory. Today, we are flipping the script, analyzing a few of this week’s losers and where they went wrong.
Atlanta Falcons 27 – New York Jets 20
Jets Key Stat: 450 Total Yards Allowed : 230 Total Yards For
The Jets first half offensive struggles continued this week, only having 80 yards of offense at halftime while allowing 251 yards. The second half was closer to even, with the Jets still getting out-gained, but the gap they allowed Atlanta to build in the first half was too large to overcome, even with their two forced turnovers and good red zone defense.
Arizona Cardinals 17 – San Francisco 49ers 10
49ers Key Stat: 1/5 Fourth Down Conversion Rate
San Francisco actually out-gained the Cardinals in this game, but constantly saw drives stall just outside field goal range, leading them to go for it on fourth down. Their struggles on those fourth down conversions meant they kept giving the ball back to Arizona with good field position instead of converting their drives into points. Even the drive where they did convert on fourth down ended with a punt after a penalty and a sack backed them up. Converting just one or two more of those could’ve been the difference to force OT or even win.
New Orleans Saints 33 – Washington Football Team 22
Washington Key Stat: 6/19 Third and Fourth Down Conversion Rate
Washington’s biggest struggles in this game came in the most significant moments, failing to capitalize and sustain drives on third and fourth downs. Combine that with the disadvantage they found themselves in with relation to explosive plays and Washington didn’t have a winning formula. Improving in these key moments and others like red zone efficiency are huge for Washington if they hope to change their fortunes going forward.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45 – Miami Dolphins 17
Dolphins Key Stat: 0.351 EPA per Play Allowed
This was the second worst defensive performance of the season based on EPA per play allowed, only ahead of the Eagles’ Week 4 effort against the Chiefs. With 558 total yards, 6 TDs, and 0 turnovers, Tampa’s offense was truly dominant, especially in the second and fourth quarters, which made up 38 of their 45 points. The Dolphins offense wasn’t equipped to even come close to keeping up with such an incredible performance from the Buccaneers offense.
Green Bay Packers 25 – Cincinnati Bengals 22
Bengals Key Stat: 0/2 on FG Attempts
In a game that saw a total of 6 missed kicks, it feels both fitting and unfair to say this game was decided by kicking. Mason Crosby, the Packers kicker, missed 3 FG attempts between the last 3 minutes of regulation and overtime and still ended up the hero when he converted on his fourth try to end the game in overtime. Cincinnati’s kicker, Evan McPherson, missed his two potential game-winning attempts in a game that was incredibly even, which made those misses even more damaging.