Analysis

Week 9 NFL Offensive Efficiency Rankings

As we approach the season’s halfway mark, each team’s relative strength has begun to crystallize. Whereas it’s easy to overreact to a few weeks or even a single game, teams are starting to more clearly define just how good they are.

This season, we’ve taken a weekly temperature on the efficiency of each offense and defense, and 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. 

It also helps quantify the value of turnover plays. 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 = 0.14  

Last Week = 1

The Chiefs are once again in a league of their own. Patrick Mahomes currently has the highest-ever Total Points/pass play (0.29) despite losing Tyreek Hill, who is now fourth among WRs in Total Points/route run. Travis Kelce has thrived in Hill’s absence, though, and he ranks first among all players in Total Points/route run (minimum 25 targets).

2. Buffalo Bills 

EPA/Play = 0.10  

Last Week = 2

3. Philadelphia Eagles 

EPA/Play = 0.08  

Last Week = T-3

T-4. Baltimore Ravens 

EPA/Play = 0.02  

Last Week = 6

T-4. Cleveland Browns 

EPA/Play = 0.02  

Last Week = T-7

The Browns are on track to have the most efficient rushing offense of the last several years, averaging 0.11 EPA/play. Meanwhile, after a blowout win against Cincinnati, the passing game averages just -0.05 EPA/attempt.

T-4. Las Vegas Raiders 

EPA/Play = 0.02  

Last Week = T-3

T-4. Miami Dolphins 

EPA/Play = 0.02  

Last Week = T-11

8. Seattle Seahawks 

EPA/Play = 0.01  

Last Week = 5

9. Atlanta Falcons 

EPA/Play = -0.01 

 Last Week = T-11

T-10. Detroit Lions 

EPA/Play = -0.02  

Last Week = T-17

T-10. Minnesota Vikings 

EPA/Play = -0.02  

Last Week = T-13

T-10. New York Giants 

EPA/Play = -0.02  

Last Week = T-7

T-13. Arizona Cardinals 

EPA/Play = -0.03 

Last Week = T-13

T-13. Cincinnati Bengals 

EPA/Play = -0.03 

Last Week = T-9

T-13. Jacksonville Jaguars 

EPA/Play = -0.03 

Last Week = T-9

T-13. San Francisco 49ers 

EPA/Play = -0.03  

Last Week = T-17

T-13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

EPA/Play = -0.03  

Last Week = T-15

T-18. Dallas Cowboys 

EPA/Play = -0.04  

Last Week = T-21

T-18. New Orleans Saints 

EPA/Play = -0.04 

Last Week = T-17

20. Los Angeles Chargers

 EPA/Play = -0.05 

Last Week = T-15

T-21. Chicago Bears 

EPA/Play = -0.08  

Last Week = T-24

Justin Fields is the league leader in rushing Total Points with 29. Unfortunately, he’s produced much more value with his legs than his arm, and the Bears’ passing game ranks dead last in positive play rate (34%) out of all teams since 2016. Fields has shown some flashes this year, but for the most part, Chicago has been spinning its wheels trying to get it going through the air. Here’s to hoping Chase Claypool, tied for 106th out of 120 in yards per route run (1.1), will benefit from a change of scenery.

T-21. Green Bay Packers 

EPA/Play = -0.08  

Last Week = T-21

T-21. New England Patriots 

EPA/Play = -0.08  

Last Week = T-17

Out of the 287 quarterbacks with 100+ attempts in a season during the SIS era (2016-present), Mac Jones’ 2022 ranks 282nd at -0.08 Total Points/play. That’s worse than Josh Rosen’s rookie season with the Cardinals (-0.04). Bailey Zappe is a nonqualifier with just 92 attempts so far, but he is averaging 0.19 Total Points/play. Nevertheless, all signs point to Jones starting this weekend against the Colts.

T-21. Tennessee Titans 

EPA/Play = -0.08 

Last Week = T-21

25. Los Angeles Rams 

EPA/Play = -0.10 

Last Week = T-27

T-26. New York Jets 

EPA/Play = -0.11 

Last Week = T-24

T-26. Washington Commanders 

EPA/Play = -0.11 

Last Week = T-27

28. Carolina Panthers

EPA/Play = -0.12  

Last Week = T-31

T-29. Indianapolis Colts 

EPA/Play = -0.13 

Last Week = 30

T-29. Pittsburgh Steelers

EPA/Play = -0.13 

Last Week = 29

T-31. Denver Broncos 

EPA/Play =-.014

Last Week = T-31

T-31. Houston Texans

EPA/Play = -0.14 

Last Week = 26

Davis Mills has the lowest on-target rate of any quarterback, with 50+ attempts (64.1%). On-target rate can be confounded by a lot of factors, namely, throw depth, but his average depth of target ranks 27th out of 40 among that same group. He isn’t very good, and the Texans will almost certainly be involved in the quarterback sweepstakes next year.

Bryce Rossler contributed to this report.

Watch More: Rod Woodson’s Top Five NFC DBs

 

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