Yesterday, The 33rd Team looked at five winners from week 1 and the key statistics that led to each victory. Today, we are flipping the script, analyzing a few of this week’s losers and where they went wrong.
Houston Texans 37 – Jacksonville Jaguars 21
Jaguars Key Stat: 3 Giveaways, 0 Takeaways
Jacksonville had many issues in this game, with defensive struggles and 5 dropped passes, but losing the turnover margin by three was a death blow to their chances. After three interceptions in his NFL debut, Trevor Lawrence will need to cut down on turnovers in the coming weeks if the Jaguars want to win some football games.
Philadelphia Eagles 32 – Atlanta Falcons 6
Falcons Key Stat: -0.359:0.315 EPA/Pass For vs EPA/Pass Against
Atlanta struggled immensely on offense in this game while their defense wasn’t too much better. Atlanta only generated positive EPA on 38.4% of their plays, meaning that over 60% of their plays made them likely to score fewer points than before that play. Atlanta has a proven QB in Matt Ryan and solid targets for him with Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, and Russell Gage, but the offense still had huge issues. Overall, Atlanta needs to improve the offense quickly because their defense isn’t suited to overcoming these issues.
Los Angeles Chargers 20 – Washington Football Team 16
Washington Key Stat: 30% 3rd down conversion rate for: 73.7% 3rd down conversion rate allowed
Washington was able to keep the game close despite losing starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury. This highly-touted Washington defense allowed the Chargers to keep drives alive by converting on 3rd down, which is why they ended up with 6 drives into the red zone. The Chargers didn’t convert at a great rate in the red zone but were able to overcome that through the volume of red-zone possessions and key 3rd down stops on defense.
Las Vegas Raiders 33 – Baltimore Ravens 27
Ravens Key Stat: 2 Red Zone Appearances
Despite scoring in each quarter of regulation, the Ravens were dependent on big plays to punch the ball home which resulted in only two total red zone trips compared to the Raiders’ six. After the end of the third quarter, the Ravens offense was unable to generate these explosive plays and only managed a single explosive run and a single explosive pass the rest of the way. Unsurprisingly, they couldn’t get it done in overtime despite Las Vegas’ bizarre miscues.
Miami Dolphins 17 – New England Patriots 16
Patriots Key Stat: 4 Fumbles
Sometimes the national storyline for a game matches up perfectly with the analytics. The Patriots dominated on the ground, picking up 51 more rush yards while also leading a more efficient passing attack behind rookie debutant Mac Jones. Were it not for a horrific four fumbles by four different players, the Patriots would have had a chance to win this one.