Analysis

NFL Week 15 Offensive Efficiency Rankings

NFL Week 15 Offensive Efficiency Rankings

It’s hard to believe, but we’re less than a month away from the conclusion of the NFL season. This season has flown by, as they always do, and only one team, Philadelphia, has clinched a playoff berth thus far. With offense winning championships in the modern NFL, let’s take a look at how each team stacks up in terms of offensive efficiency as we enter the home stretch.

Offensive Efficiency Rankings Explained

This season, we’ve taken a weekly temperature on the efficiency of each offense and defense. This article will once again check in on how each NFL offense ranks in EPA/Play. If you’re unfamiliar with EPA, it stands for expected points added and is simply a way to measure whether or not a play brought a team closer to scoring.

For example, it’s easy to understand that a gain of five yards on fourth-and-4 is good, whereas a gain of five yards on fourth-and-6 is bad, and EPA can contextualize that in a way that net yards cannot. 

To put into context the worth of a big turnover, another example would be a quarterback throwing a pick-six on first-and-goal from the opponent’s 1-yard line. Conventional wisdom would say that was a 14-point swing – because we expected the offense to score a touchdown in that situation – and EPA would reflect roughly that. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs

EPA/Play = 0.13

Last Week = 1

2. Philadelphia Eagles

EPA/Play = 0.09

Last Week = 2

T-3. Buffalo Bills

EPA/Play = 0.04

Last Week = 3

T-3. Detroit Lions

EPA/Play = 0.04

Last Week = T-6

After starting 1-6, the 6-7 Lions are somehow in the playoff hunt. At face value, their schedule looks fairly easy the rest of the way, as they play the Jets (7-6), the Panthers (5-8), the Bears (3-10) and the Packers (5-8). However, New York and Carolina rank third and 12th in defensive EPA/play, so Detroit’s offense will be challenged a bit to start the home stretch. Also, it remains to be seen if the other shoe will drop for Jared Goff.

Goff has said he feels he’s playing the best football of his career right now, and while this story hasn’t ended happily for him in the past, he’s been productive as of late. Since Week 10, he ranks first among NFL quarterbacks in positive play percentage (55.4%) by a good margin; Patrick Mahomes is second at 52.4%. The Lions are also tied for first with the Chiefs in offensive EPA/play (0.14) during that span.

T-5. Cincinnati Bengals

EPA/Play = 0.02

Last Week = T-4

T-5. Dallas Cowboys

EPA/Play = 0.02

Last Week = T-8

T-5. Las Vegas Raiders

EPA/Play = 0.02

Last Week = T-4

T-8. Miami Dolphins

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-8

The past two weeks have been forgettable for Tua Tagovailoa, but not so much for his detractors. He ranks in the bottom five in EPA on both a gross and per-play basis during that span, and now Miami has to travel to Buffalo on a short week to play Josh Allen and company.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are due to play the Raiders, so there’s a reasonable scenario in which a Dolphins’ loss and a Patriots’ win would tie them up at 8-6. Miami has the head-to-head tiebreaker, but the two teams’ Week 17 showdown could change that, so this could be an interesting weekend for the AFC East. If Mike McDaniel intends to make any adjustments to accommodate Tagovailoa, he’ll have to make them quickly.

T-8. Seattle Seahawks

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-6

T-10. Jacksonville Jaguars

EPA/Play = 0.00

Last Week = T-10

There was never much doubt this would come, but Trevor Lawrence has really rounded into form in the past few weeks. The Jaguars franchise quarterback ranked seventh in Points Earned/Play even before this week’s big game, and he has looked really composed from the pocket while flashing his arm talent time and time again. Jacksonville ranks 29th in rushing Total Points/play and 18th in receiving Total Points/play, so it’s safe to say Lawrence is carrying the offense right now. He should be a star for years to come.

T-10. San Francisco 49ers

EPA/Play = 0.00

Last Week = T-10

12. Baltimore Ravens

EPA/Play = -0.01

Last Week = T-10

T-13. Atlanta Falcons

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = T-14

T-13. Cleveland Browns

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = 13

T-13. New York Giants

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = T-14

T-16. Arizona Cardinals

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-16

T-16. Chicago Bears

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-16

As ugly as the Bears’ offense can be at times, Justin Fields has had an encouraging second year. He ranks 12th among quarterbacks in Total Points/snap, which is admittedly bolstered by his running ability. He leads the league in rushing EPA on both a gross (49) and per-play (0.39) basis, but is 35th in positive play rate on dropbacks (37.5%) and last in passing EPA/play (-0.25). 

An NFL-worst sack rate (11.5%) and the second-highest pressure rate (43.7%) have quite a bit to do with that, and Fields shares some ownership in that, but he needs more support. His offensive line ranks 27th in Pass Blocking Total Points per play, and the receiving corps ranks 22nd in Receiving Total Points per play.

T-16. Los Angeles Chargers

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-19

T-19. Green Bay Packers

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-19

T-19. Minnesota Vikings

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-19

T-21. New Orleans Saints

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = 22

T-21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = T-16

23. Pittsburgh Steelers

EPA/Play = -0.07

Last Week = T-23

24. Tennessee Titans

EPA/Play = -0.08

Last Week = T-23

T-25. New England Patriots

EPA/Play = -0.09

Last Week = T-25

T-25. Washington Commanders

EPA/Play = -0.09

Last Week = T-25

T-27. Carolina Panthers

EPA/Play = -0.10

Last Week = T-28

T-27. New York Jets

EPA/Play = -0.10

Last Week = T-25

29. Los Angeles Rams

EPA/Play = -0.12

Last Week = T-28

Baker Mayfield had his best game of the season by Total Points against the Raiders. He had -5 Total Points on the year before netting 12 in their comeback win vs. Las Vegas. That also happens to match his best game from 2021 when he was with the Browns.

30. Denver Broncos

EPA/Play = -0.14

Last Week = 30

The Russell Wilson experiment has been an unmitigated disaster. Compared to all qualifying seasons of the past seven years, he ranks in the 31st percentile among quarterbacks based on Passing Points/Snap. Among passers this year, he ranks fourth-worst in positive play rate (36.6%).

31. Indianapolis Colts

EPA/Play = -0.17

Last Week = 31

32. Houston Texans

EPA/Play = -0.18

Last Week = 32

Prepared by Bryce Rossler. 

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