Yesterday, The 33rd Team looked at five winners from Week 13 and the key statistics that resulted in victories. Today, we are turning the page, analyzing a few of this week’s losers and where they went wrong.
Indianapolis Colts 31 – Houston Texans 0
Texans Key Stat: -0.694 EPA per Play
The Texans produced their second-worst offensive performance of the season by EPA per play, which also just happens to be the second-worst performance by any team. Their rushing attack wasn’t terrible, as they picked up 84 yards on 19 carries, good for a decent 4.4 yards per carry. The bigger issue was in the passing game where Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills combined for just 94 passing yards on 27 attempts, with a net of 57 when accounting for sacks. Jonathan Taylor had more rushing yards by himself than the Texans had total yards of offense in this game; that just about sums up this contest.
Arizona Cardinals 33 – Chicago Bears 22
Bears Key Stat: -4 Turnover Margin
The difference between Andy Dalton and Kyler Murray was clear in this game, and ultimately the difference in the contest. Dalton threw four interceptions, whereas Kyler played a very efficient game, ensuring the Cardinals would keep the ball moving enough to score. The Cardinals scored 24 points off those four turnovers, including 14 in the first two drives after two early Dalton interceptions. With rookie QB Justin Fields still out injured, Dalton was the one who looked like a rookie in this game, not like the experienced veteran he actually is.
Washington Football Team 17 – Las Vegas Raiders 15
Raiders Key Stat: 2/8 Third Down Conversion Rate
In a pretty ugly game where both teams struggled to move the ball, Washington just edged it in the end because of a late field goal. A big reason for Las Vegas’ struggles scoring was their inability to convert on third down, as their 22 first downs with just two third-down conversions makes you wonder what they could’ve accomplished with just one or two more. Las Vegas has now dropped to 6-6 after starting the season 5-2, a steep drop-off for the third consecutive season.
Pittsburgh Steelers 20 – Baltimore Ravens 19
Ravens Key Stat: 2 TDs on 5 Red Zone Possessions
Baltimore’s offense hasn’t quite hit the heights expected of it in recent weeks, and this week was no different. A big struggle they had was in the red zone, where they were only able to score two TDs in five trips, with two field goals and 1 interception. While that would’ve been enough to send the game to OT had they gone for the extra point at the end of regulation, they shouldn’t have needed to get to that point had they simply been more efficient at taking advantage of the opportunities they created for themselves.
Los Angeles Rams 37 – Jacksonville Jaguars 7
Jaguars Key Stat: 3.6 Yards per Play
The Jaguars’ offensive struggles in this game only get accentuated by the fact that the QB they traded away, Gardner Minshew, looked quite good in his first appearance of the season. While it is still too early to be anywhere near giving up on Trevor Lawrence and his incredible talent, his performances this year and the overall performance of the Jaguars offense have been concerning. In this game, there wasn’t really a bright spot, as the rushing attack produced nothing and the passing game was half-decent at best. This is a Rams defense with extremely good personnel, but that had been struggling immensely, so the Jaguars should be very disappointed with their offensive struggles in this game.