Yesterday, The 33rd Team looked at five winners from Week 2 and the game-changing statistics that led to each victory. Today, we will be looking on the other side of the coin, analyzing a few of this week’s losers and where they went wrong.
Las Vegas Raiders 26 – Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Steelers Key Stat: 126.2 Passer Rating Allowed
Derek Carr was dominant in this game against a Steelers secondary that excelled against Buffalo and Josh Allen in Week 1. The Steelers allowed Carr to average 10.32 yards per attempt, nearly double what they allowed in a great defensive performance in Week 1 when they allowed just 5.29. It is extremely difficult for any team to win when allowing so many yards through the air on each attempt, but especially so with a struggling offense like Pittsburgh has.
San Francisco 49ers 17 – Philadelphia Eagles 11
Eagles Key Stat: 19 Pressures Against, 7 Pressures For
The Eagles’ offensive struggles in this game were heavily rooted in the pressure that the 49ers were able to generate. Hurts managed to only complete 2 passes when pressured which had a massive effect on Philadelphia’s ability to march down the field consistently. Without the ability to move the ball through the air, the Eagles struggled immensely to score points, which isn’t a winning formula.
Chicago Bears 20 – Cincinnati Bengals 17
Bengals Key Stat: 4 Turnovers, 1 Takeaway
Cincinnati lost this game by giving the ball away too much, with 4 turnovers that led to 13 of Chicago’s 20 points, including 7 from a Roquan Smith pick-six. Joe Burrow struggled in this game, but his offensive line did him no favors, allowing 5 sacks and consistent pressure. Cincinnati will need to fix both issues in the coming weeks or else they’ll continue to face a huge uphill climb to overcome the easy points they’re giving away.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 – Atlanta Falcons 25
Falcons Key Stat: 20 Points Allowed off Turnovers
This was a closer game than the score indicated for large parts, as it was a 28-25 score after three quarters before Tampa Bay pulled away. Takeaways were a big reason why Tampa Bay was able to do so, as two Matt Ryan Pick-Sixes led to 13 Tampa Bay points. Any team will struggle to win when their offense essentially hands the other team 20 points.
New England Patriots 25 – New York Jets 6
Jets Key Stat: -0.539 EPA per Pass
Turnovers were a huge differentiator in this game, as the Jets out-gained the Patriots by a decent amount, but the game was still never all that close. Zach Wilson threw four interceptions, including on his first two throws of the game which killed the Jets offense. When he wasn’t throwing interceptions, Wilson still had struggles, facing pressure and not being incredibly efficient with his passing. The Jets will need huge improvements from their passing game going forward.