Yesterday, The 33rd Team looked at five winners from Week 4 and the key statistics that resulted in victories. Today, we are turning the page, analyzing a few of this week’s losers and where they went wrong.
Dallas Cowboys 36 – Carolina Panthers 28
Panthers Key Stat: 7.7 Yards per Play Allowed
The Cowboys offense totally dominated the Panthers defense in this game in both the run and pass games. The Panthers allowed Dak Prescott to throw for four TDs through the air without an interception or even a sack, while the Cowboys also ran 34 times for 245 yards. In the end, there was nothing the Panthers could do offensively to overcome the fact that their defense simply couldn’t stop the Cowboys offense from moving the ball at will.
Kansas City Chiefs 42 – Philadelphia Eagles 30
Eagles Key Stat: 9/10 3rd Down Conversion Rate Allowed
The Eagles allowed the Chiefs to sustain drives by converting on almost every single third down they had. The one third down they didn’t convert was a Patrick Mahomes interception, which means that Kansas City did not punt in this game. In eight drives, the Chiefs scored 6 TDs, had 1 turnover, and ran out the rest of the clock in the 4th quarter to end the game. The Eagles will always struggle to win a game when they allow their opponent to be so efficient with converting their third down drives into points.
Cleveland Browns 14 – Minnesota Vikings 7
Vikings Key Stat: 75.6% Pressure Percentage Allowed
In 45 listed pass blocking situations, the Vikings OL is credited with allowing 34 pressures and 23 hurries. This adds up to the highest pressure percentage allowed this season and the second highest hurry percentage. As a result, Kirk Cousins was frequently forced to get the ball out almost immediately. This meant he wasn’t usually able to attack the Browns defense further downfield, which is where he had most of his success in this game. The Vikings need to improve their pass protection going forward so that Cousins can have time to get to the ball to his talented pass catchers.
Baltimore Ravens 23 – Denver Broncos 7
Broncos Key Stat: -0.424 EPA per Pass Play
Denver really struggled to move the ball through the air in this game, netting only 148 passing yards. This was a departure from Denver’s previous games, as they had been solidly in the positives in EPA per pass in all three prior weeks which was a huge factor in their 3-0 record. Denver would like to attribute their lack of passing success to losing Teddy Bridgewater to an injury, but he was also inefficient in EPA/play, so it was more an overall issue with their passing game which they need to fix moving forward.
Los Angeles Chargers 28 – Las Vegas Raiders 14
Raiders Key Stat: 51 Total Yards in the First Half
The weather delay in this game really seemed to have a negative effect on the Raiders offense, as they played the first half like they forgot about the game. The 51 yards in the first half is the lowest total ever by a Jon Gruden team, and their five punts in the half were one fewer than the Kansas City Chiefs have all season. An impressive third quarter allowed the Raiders to make it close and interesting, but they were ultimately unable to overcome the hole they dug for themselves with an anemic first half offensive performance.