Rankings

NFL Week 16 Offensive Efficiency Rankings

EPA

As we head into the holiday season, NFL offenses are doing their best to race into the end zone for the playoff push like last-minute gift shoppers heading to the stores. However, these offenses are asking for one thing and one thing only as we approach Week 16: better weather.

Drastically cold temperatures and weather forecasts are expected to wreak havoc on the NFL landscape this week. Games in Chicago, Cleveland, Tennessee, Kansas City and Pittsburgh are all expected to face real feel temperatures in single digits and even the negatives. In Cleveland, they are expecting wind gusts up to 50mph.

Offensive expectations are low for these games, as the Chiefs and Seahawks game is the only game from that group with a total line above 40.5. With the weather potentially impacting play calling, offenses will have to fight and claw to score points, let alone try to be as efficient as possible while doing so.   

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 = 0.08

Last Week = 2

3. Buffalo Bills

EPA/Play = 0.05

Last Week = T-3

4. Detroit Lions

EPA/Play = 0.04

Last Week = T-3

5. Miami Dolphins

EPA/Play = 0.02

Last Week = T-7

T-6. Cincinnati Bengals

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-5

T-6. Dallas Cowboys

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-7

T-6. Jacksonville Jaguars

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-10

The Jaguars have been one of the biggest surprises as of late, winning three of their last four, and are now only one game back of the Titans for first place in the AFC South. Trevor Lawrence has been the engine behind this push, as he leads the league in passing Total Points and SIS’ Independent Quarterback Rating (IQR) among quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts during this time.

Additionally, the Jaguars have been one of the best teams all year regarding early-down passing efficiency. They rank sixth in early down positive pass percentage at 51.1% and eighth in early down positive run percentage at 41.8%. Only time will tell if the Jaguars can drop in from the rafters and steal the division from the struggling Titans.

T-6. Las Vegas Raiders

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-5

T-6. San Francisco 49ers

EPA/Play = 0.01

Last Week = T-10

Mr. Irrelevant has become Mr. Forefront of the 49ers’ Super Bowl aspirations in a hurry. Brock Purdy has ascended to become one of the more interesting quarterback case studies this season and is exceeding expectations. Since he took over in Week 13, Purdy is fifth in SIS’ IQR and is tied for fourth in adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A).

Assisting in the success of Purdy is Christian McCaffrey, who is second in rushing yards with 293 and second in receiving yards among running backs with 144 since Week 13. In fact, McCaffrey might be assisting Purdy too much, as Brock has the second-lowest average depth of target since he took over.  

11. Seattle Seahawks

EPA/Play = -0.01

Last Week = T-7

12. Baltimore Ravens

EPA/Play = -0.02

Last Week = 12

T-13. Atlanta Falcons

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = T-13

T-13. Cleveland Browns

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = T-13

T-13. New York Giants

EPA/Play = -0.03

Last Week = T-13

16. Los Angeles Chargers

EPA/Play = -0.04

Last Week = T-16

T-17. Chicago Bears

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-16

T-17. Green Bay Packers

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-18

T-17. Pittsburgh Steelers

EPA/Play = -0.05

Last Week = T-22

Pittsburgh’s offense has been surging (relatively speaking) thanks to a revitalized running game. Since Week 12, the Steelers are seventh in EPA/A and fifth in positive run percentage. A big part of this success originated from the offensive line, which ranks fifth in run-blocking Total Points per play in the same period. The recent success will be tested against a Raiders run defense that has allowed a fifth-lowest EPA per rush attempt. 

T-20. Minnesota Vikings

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = T-18

T-20. New Orleans Saints

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = T-20

T-20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

EPA/Play = -0.06

Last Week = T-20

T-23. Arizona Cardinals

EPA/Play = -0.08

Last Week = T-22

T-23. Tennessee Titans

EPA/Play = -0.08

Last Week = 24

The Titans have not won a game in more than a month, and their offense is a big reason why. They have only reached 20 points twice against teams in playoff position. During this time, they are 21st in positive pass percentage and 23rd in passing ANY/A. With Ryan Tannehill unlikely to play against the Texans, the Titans may be in store for an epic collapse into the offseason. 

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-27

T-27. New York Jets

EPA/Play = -0.10

Last Week = T-27

29. Los Angeles Rams

EPA/Play = -0.12

Last Week = 29

30. Denver Broncos

EPA/Play = -0.14

Last Week = 30

31. Indianapolis Colts

EPA/Play = -0.17

Last Week = 31

32. Houston Texans

EPA/Play = -0.18

Last Week = 32

Prepared by James Weaver

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