Rankings

NFL Week 13 Offensive Efficiency Rankings

We’re onto Week 13, which feels like the tail end of the season, but that still means there are six weeks left to go. That’s good news for some teams who are currently in last place in their divisions despite winning records, like the Patriots and the Commanders.

The Commanders are actually in playoff position despite their division standing, and the Patriots are looking up at the Jets in the Wild Card standings, so they can’t feel too badly, can they?

These two teams have been similarly underwhelming offensively, ranked tied for 24th and 26th, respectively, in our Offensive Efficiency rankings. Besides them, only the Jets have a winning record with an offense that lethargic.

New England and Washington have had somewhat successful seasons, while in Las Vegas, the next six weeks need to go a lot better to salvage a disappointing campaign. The Raiders rank in the top five in offensive efficiency and are coming off a thrilling win against Seattle, but they’re on the outside looking in after a pushing-your-chips-in offseason. If they’re going to make a run, though, it’s good to have one side of the ball doing that well.

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 = 0.14

Last Week = 1

T-2. Buffalo Bills

EPA/Play = 0.06

Last Week = 2

T-2. Philadelphia Eagles

EPA/Play = 0.06

Last Week = T-3

4. Miami Dolphins

EPA/Play = 0.04

Last Week = T-3

This list might be a bit limited in how it reflects the Miami offense, a couple of days after a game in which Tua Tagovailoa was resting before the fourth quarter. Tagovailoa was third in the league in passing EPA this past week, but the Dolphins as a team were 14th thanks to a handful of attempts and a couple of failed third downs from Skylar Thompson. This passing offense isn’t just a bunch of big plays—it generates positive EPA plays at the second-highest rate in the league and has the fourth-lowest rate of plays losing at least one EPA.

5. Las Vegas Raiders

EPA/Play = 0.03

Last Week = T-5

T-6. Baltimore Ravens

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-7

T-6. Cincinnati Bengals

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-9

The Bengals looked to be in trouble after Ja’Marr Chase’s injury and getting drubbed by the Browns in Week 8, but they’ve picked things up substantially since then. They are fifth in generating positive EPA plays in the passing game and fourth in the running game since that loss, and Chase is close to returning. Here’s how deep Cincinnati’s pass-catchers are beside Chase: the Bengals have six different players with at least 30 targets and an EPA per target in the top half of the league.

T-6. Seattle Seahawks

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-5

T-9. Cleveland Browns

EPA/Play = 0.00

Last Week = T-7

The Browns aren’t in a good spot to make a run at the playoffs even with Deshaun Watson entering the fray, but their offensive performance this year has made the case they were a top-flight quarterback away. Most people probably had low expectations for Jacoby Brissett in his interim starter role, and he’s probably exceeded those expectations. He has been one of the more aggressive passers in the league and ranks a respectable 14th in SIS’s Independent Quarterback Rating among QBs with at least 100 attempts. This offense could have easily cracked the top five with an above-average signal caller.

T-9. Dallas Cowboys

EPA/Play = 0.00

Last Week = T-11

T-9. San Francisco 49ers

EPA/Play = 0.00

Last Week = T-9

T-12. Detroit Lions

EPA/Play = -0.01

Last Week = T-11

T-12. Jacksonville Jaguars

EPA/Play = -0.01

Last Week = T-11

14. New York Giants

EPA/Play = -0.02

Last Week = 14

The Giants are 7-4 despite allowing more points than they’ve scored, and their offense is showing signs of wear and tear. Saquon Barkley has only a couple of broken or missed tackles in the last three games, and his two worst games in terms of yards after contact have come in the previous two weeks. With Daniel Jones being asked to do as little as he is (under 30 attempts per game and under seven air yards per attempt), there isn’t much room for error.

15. Atlanta Falcons

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = 15

T-16. Arizona Cardinals

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-18

T-16. Los Angeles Chargers

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-18

T-16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-16

T-19. Chicago Bears

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-16

T-19. Minnesota Vikings

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-21

T-21. Green Bay Packers

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = T-21

The Packers got themselves into a shootout for the second time in three weeks. This time, they lost to the Eagles as they didn’t sustain their momentum through the second half. Jordan Love kept the Christian Watson train going, throwing Watson’s sixth touchdown catch in the last three weeks (out of eight total passing touchdowns in that time). The rookie has assumed a dominant role in their downfield passing game, with 46% of the team’s air yards during the last three contests.

T-21. Tennessee Titans

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = 23

23. New Orleans Saints

EPA/Play = -0.07

Last Week = T-18

T-24. New England Patriots

EPA/Play = -0.09

Last Week = T-25

T-24. New York Jets

EPA/Play = -0.09

Last Week = T-27

T-26. Pittsburgh Steelers

EPA/Play = -0.10

Last Week = 24

T-26. Washington Commanders

EPA/Play = -0.10

Last Week = T-25

28. Carolina Panthers

EPA/Play = -0.12

Last Week = T-29

The Panthers started their third different quarterback in three weeks after a dismal offensive showing in Baltimore, and Sam Darnold delivered one of the better passing performances of Carolina’s season. He posted the team’s best Independent Quarterback Rating in a game in more than a month and their third-best game by EPA on just 19 attempts. DJ Moore had totaled 77 yards in the previous three games, so the 103-yard outing on Sunday was a welcome sight.

29. Los Angeles Rams

EPA/Play = -0.13

Last Week = T-27

30. Denver Broncos

EPA/Play = -0.14

Last Week = T-29

31. Indianapolis Colts

EPA/Play = -0.15

Last Week = 32

32. Houston Texans

EPA/Play = -0.17

Last Week = 31

Prepared by Alex Vigderman

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