Each week The 33rd Team analyzes Sunday’s games by looking at more than just wins and losses. We look at specific statistics and game trends that impacted the outcomes of each game. Today, let’s look at the winners:
Tennessee Titans 27 – Kansas City Chiefs 3
Titans Key Stat: 0.3 Points per Drive Allowed
The Titans only had to field a pair of punts (both on Kansas City’s first two drives), but their defense was stellar at keeping the Chiefs out of the end zone. After those first two punts, the drive chart looked like this: interception, fumble, end of half, field goal, missed field goal, turnover on downs, fumble. By forcing three turnovers and holding KC to only 4/11 on third down, the Titans nearly doubled the Chiefs yards per pass and ran away with this one.
Los Angeles Rams 28 – Detroit Lions 19
Rams Key Stat: 115 Yards on Completions of 20+ Yards
In the Matthew Stafford–Jared Goff revenge game, only one passer was able to attack the field at all levels while the other attempted only six passes of 10+ yards. Although Detroit kept the game close by heavily outperforming LA on the ground, ultimately Stafford won the day with an average depth of target of 9.9 yards compared to Goff’s 4.2. The yards per attempt may be similar, but Goff got 69.4% of his yards after the catch and Detroit eagerly awaits the two first-round picks.
Indianapolis Colts 30 – San Francisco 49ers 18
Colts Key Stat: 5.0 Yards After Contact per Attempt by Jonathan Taylor
In another matchup between former partners in a blockbuster trade, it was instead Taylor who showed out in this matchup. Although the 49ers’ defensive line may have had the upper hand, Taylor was able to pick up a whopping 91% of his first-half yards after contact (67 of 74) and put the Colts on the path to victory. His counterpart Elijah Mitchell matched his statline of 18-107-1 perfectly but managed only a respectable 3.3 yards after contact per attempt.
Las Vegas Raiders 33 – Philadelphia Eagles 22
Raiders Key Stat: 24 Pressures
The Raiders have gotten the best from their defensive line, with their four starters each generating at least 4 pressures. Although only Yannick Ngakoue managed a sack (he registered two), seven different defenders hurried QB Jalen Hurts at least once. Together, they pushed him to a 33% completion percentage when pressured and only allowed him to escape by scrambling once. With LAC on bye, the Raiders join the Bengals and Titans as surprising division leaders.
Atlanta Falcons 30 – Miami Dolphins 28
Falcons Key Stat: 5/5 on Passes of 20+ Yards
Although the high-powered offense we saw last year from Atlanta hasn’t yet resurfaced, they’ve been very effective situationally, with the 6th-best third down rate in the league and the 14th-best Red Zone TD rate. This kind of conversion rate allows them to be aggressive in the air, especially when Kyle Pitts is on the receiving end. The Falcons got the big plays they needed to offset Miami’s 4/5 day in the Red Zone and came out of Hard Rock Stadium with a win.