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NFL Efficiency- Week 17

So I finally finished up my year end calculations for my efficiency ratings on the year. For those new to reading this these ratings are percentages above or below the averages a team scores or allows of their individual schedules. So the way you read the Patriots is that the team scored 61.11% more than expected while allowing 2.44% less than expected based on their specific schedule. The numbers have been adjusted for each team to take their scoring stats out of the games of their opponents when calculating the averages.

This was the first season in which I included predictions for records based on the outcomes. The model I used for this is based on 10 years of data since I began tracking these numbers since 2002. I was pretty happy with the results. 21 teams were within plus or minus 1 of the predicted wins and 27 teams were within 2 games. The only major miss was the Colts who should have won around 6 games and won 11. I think that discrepancy was primarily in part because the schedule they faced was extremely easy while most teams face a pretty normalized schedule.

In terms of playoff teams the rankings nailed 4 of the 6 teams in the NFC and 5 of 6 in the AFC. The misses were the Vikings and Redskins in the NFC(they ranked 13th and 11th respectively) who I would have replaced with the Bears and Giants. The Bears and Giants both played difficult schedules, especially the Giants, were terrific teams early on and then tailed off at the end of the season. The Giants were probably the strangest team of the year as they had ultra high quality games against ultra high quality teams, but would go out and play terrible against inferior teams at times. It was the loss against the Redskins that really cost them because they outplayed Washington that whole game but could not convert in the red zone. In the AFC we would have pegged the Steelers over the Colts. I believe the Colts are going to be the worst ranked team to ever make it.

There is little correlation from year to year with these rankings other than the fact that teams with good QBs often produce similar offensive results. So, barring injury or the dreaded age factor, you would expect pretty similar offensive results for teams like the Broncos, Patriots, Saints, etc… in 2013. The scoring numbers do take into account defensive and special teams scores but, for the most part, its an offensive thing.

The teams that scored the most efficiently this year were the Patriots, who were in a class all to themselves, Broncos, Saints, Packers, and Seahawks. Saints, Packers, and Patriots were all there the year before. Of these squads the ones I would be most worried about repeating are the Seahawks and Broncos. In Seattle’s case its unsure how good the QB is and their numbers are inflated by the fact that they ran scores up at the end of the year. Denver played an ultra easy schedule and Manning is the most likely to break down of the group. Last year Detroit and Baltimore were also top 5, and they finished 9 and 11 this year. Those teams are WR and RB centric.

The worst offensive teams this year were the Dolphins, Eagles, Cardinals, Jaguars, and Chiefs. The Jets were 6th worst at -22%. Philadelphia was a top 10 team the year before but Vick fell off a cliff early and was replaced by a rookie late. Kansas City and Jacksonville were both bottom 5 teams last season and both put up essentially the same numbers this year. That was pure failure of the front offices to even try to upgrade the QB spot on those teams.

Defensively Seattle ranked number 1 and is a scary playoff team because of it. These are the kind of numbers put up by the best defenses of the era. The 49’ers, Bears, Broncos, and Falcons made up the rest of the top 5. The 49ers were the only repeat top 5 team, finishing first last year. Others from last year were the Steelers, Ravens, Texans, and Dolphins. The Steelers, Texans, and Dolphins are all in this years top 10. Miami, in particular, has wasted two excellent defenses on poor QB play. The worst teams this year were the Titans, Bills, Raiders, Saints, and Lions. The Bills and Raiders were both at the bottom last year as well.

Final NFL Efficiency Rankings, Thru Week 17

Rank Team Scoring Efficiency Defensive Efficiency Total Efficiency Pred. Wins Act. Wins Diff.
1 New England Patriots  61.11% 2.44% 63.54% 14.0 12 2.0
2 Denver Broncos  31.76% 20.24% 52.00% 12.9 13 -0.1
3 Seattle Seahawks  19.70% 32.06% 51.76% 12.9 11 1.9
4 San Francisco 49ers  15.47% 26.45% 41.93% 12.0 11.5 0.5
5 Green Bay Packers  21.52% 8.71% 30.23% 10.8 11 -0.2
6 Chicago Bears  2.53% 24.99% 27.52% 10.6 10 0.6
7 New York Giants  16.94% 9.79% 26.73% 10.5 9 1.5
8 Atlanta Falcons  6.89% 19.77% 26.66% 10.5 13 -2.5
9 Houston Texans  9.63% 9.08% 18.72% 9.8 12 -2.2
10 Baltimore Ravens  11.44% 6.74% 18.18% 9.7 10 -0.3
11 Washington Redskins  19.02% -5.63% 13.39% 9.2 10 -0.8
12 Cincinnati Bengals  6.42% 6.65% 13.07% 9.2 10 -0.8
13 Minnesota Vikings  6.08% 5.98% 12.06% 9.1 10 -0.9
14 New Orleans Saints  29.42% -22.50% 6.92% 8.6 7 1.6
15 Carolina Panthers  -3.37% 6.36% 2.99% 8.3 7 1.3
16 Pittsburgh Steelers  -11.00% 11.57% 0.56% 8.1 8 0.1
17 Dallas Cowboys  5.28% -4.77% 0.52% 8.0 8 0.0
18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers  3.79% -5.33% -1.54% 7.8 7 0.8
19 St. Louis Rams  -11.87% 7.18% -4.69% 7.6 7.5 0.1
20 San Diego Chargers  -7.39% 0.47% -6.92% 7.3 7 0.3
21 Miami Dolphins  -23.04% 12.64% -10.40% 7.0 7 0.0
22 Detroit Lions  8.37% -22.50% -14.13% 6.6 4 2.6
23 Indianapolis Colts  -7.47% -12.67% -20.14% 6.1 11 -4.9
24 Cleveland Browns  -19.36% -2.43% -21.79% 5.9 5 0.9
25 Arizona Cardinals  -26.20% 4.15% -22.04% 5.9 5 0.9
26 New York Jets  -22.02% -4.09% -26.11% 5.5 6 -0.5
27 Buffalo Bills  -3.62% -29.41% -33.04% 4.8 6 -1.2
28 Philadelphia Eagles  -25.49% -16.64% -42.13% 4.0 4 0.0
29 Tennessee Titans  -10.23% -33.35% -43.58% 3.8 6 -2.2
30 Oakland Raiders  -20.30% -26.96% -47.26% 3.5 4 -0.5
31 Jacksonville Jaguars  -33.39% -21.76% -55.14% 2.8 2 0.8
32 Kansas City Chiefs  -43.82% -14.49% -58.32% 2.5 2 0.5


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