RotoWire NFL East Coast Offense 091813
How Much of an Outlier is 2013 So Far?
It seems passing stats are off the charts – two quarterbacks,
Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, are averaging more than 400 yards
per game, 11 are averaging more than 300 yards per game and 12 are
averaging at least 8.0 YPA.
But there are always extremes in a small sample, so how is
passing faring over the 32-game sample league wide? It turns out
not so differently on a per-play basis than the last two seasons:
7.3 YPA in 2013, 7.1 in 2012, 7.2 in 2011.
The bigger difference is in passing attempts. In 2011, teams
averaged 229.7 passing yards per game. Last year, it was 231.3.
This season it’s a whopping 255.5, despite only a small gain in
efficiency. That’s due to roughly three more attempts per team, per
Teams are averaging 25.9 rushing attempts per game, down from
27.2 last year and 27.3 in 2011, so the increase in passing
attempts is partially at the expense of the ground game – three
pass plays probably take on average roughly the same amount of time
as 1.3 rushes.
Finally, the league average for yards-per-carry is 3.8. Last
year it was 4.3, in 2011, it was also 4.3. I’d love to hear an
explanation for the drop-off.
A few surprising facts:
– Joe Flacco leads the NFL with 95 passing attempts. Sam
Bradford and Matt Schaub are tied for second with 93.
– While 12 QBs are averaging at least 8.0 YPA, 18 are averaging
at least 7.0, and 28 are averaging at least 6.0, Tom Brady is not
one of them. He clocks in at No. 32 with 5.2 YPA, ahead of only
– Tony Romo leads the NFL in completion percentage at 72.5. But
he’s 26th in YPA at 6.2. That’s a lot of dinking and dunking.
– While Doug Martin leads the league in carries, Chris Johnson
is second, DeAngelo Williams sixth and BenJarvus Green-Ellis 10th,
ahead of C.J. (feed him the ball till he throws up) Spiller, Jamaal
Charles and Trent Richardson.
– After averaging 3.6 YPC last year, Richardson is down to 3.4
through two games so far.
– Ben Tate is averaging 8.2 yards per carry, Arian Foster 3.7.
That Tate is outplaying Foster isn’t the surprise, but the margin
is. (Still, I don’t expect the balance of carries to be altered all
– The top-four players in red-zone targets: Eddie Royal (7),
Randall Cobb (7), Julian Edelman (5), Tavon Austin (5) are all 5-10
While there are a variety of factors that go into winning (or
losing) football games, including turnovers, special teams play,
penalties and the timing and circumstances of all of the above, one
of the biggest and more predictive ones is per-play efficiency.
Through two games let’s look at the top teams in offensive and
defensive yards per play and their net rankings:
|2.||New York Giants||6.7||5.1||1.6|
|5.||Kansas City Chiefs||4.8||3.8||1.0|
|8.||Green Bay Packers||7.5||6.9||0.6|
|11.||New York Jets||4.3||3.9||0.4|
|13.||San Francisco 49ers||5.6||5.3||0.3|
|16.||New Orleans Saints||5.8||5.8||0.0|
|20.||St. Louis Rams||5.8||6.0||-0.2|
|22.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4.5||4.7||-0.2|
|23.||New England Patriots||4.3||4.6||-0.3|
|27.||San Diego Chargers||6.2||7.2||-1.0|
Of course, these numbers are skewed heavily due to strength of
schedule over two games and also a handful of big plays. But that
holds true of any analysis of why certain teams are 2-0 or 0-2, and
yet it hasn’t stopped the needle from moving when Vegas sets its
lines or people pick in Survivor.
Note the Giants played the No. 1 team on the list and still
reside at No. 2, a testament to how throughly they destroyed the
Cowboys when you subtract the turnovers. Odd that Houston is No. 3
despite being life and death in both contests, but not odd the
Raiders and Chiefs and Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, after getting
the No. 32 Jaguars to comprise half their schedules.
And while turnovers are not entirely luck, they are mostly so,
and apparently there’s a successful handicapping system that relies
largely on taking teams with big negative TO differentials against
ones with big positive ones, i.e., fading something that should not
be priced into the line.
Week 2 Observations
– It’ll be interesting to see whether Kenny Britt gets cut or
traded in the next few days. The Ravens, Pats and Niners could
certainly use a receiver of his caliber.
– Maybe it’s just bad luck and could have happened to anyone,
but score one for the camp that avoided Steven Jackson due to his
career (2400 carry) workload.
– Apparently, Carson Palmer is contractually obligated to throw
one pick-six per game.
– Speaking of which both Palmer and Matt Schaub overcame pick
sixes to win their respective games. Schaub’s seemed horrible, but
down one, and facing third and 21 from his own 10, it was like he
let the Titans score without using time to get the ball back in a
better situation, but down eight. The Texans went three and out on
their next series and only scored on their final drive, but you
could see a situation where you’d rather the team get the pick six
so you get the ball back down eight and first and 10 after a kick
off, rather than letting them get it back up one with a chance to
run out the clock.
– David Wilson will be a monster if he holds onto the ball and
stays healthy. Be patient.
– One interesting thing about the Chargers that only occurred to
me once I say how tight the game was: on Monday night, their coach,
Mike McCoy was profiled as a workout nut. He does some crazy
pre-game routine, and I bet he got his team in good shape this
summer, too. In other words, maybe it wasn’t so surprising the
Eagles couldn’t run them out of the gym.
– McCoy was also the offensive coordinator behind Brandon Lloyd,
Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow’s best years in Denver. (h/t Scott
– Julian Edelman made the best case against PPR scoring Thursday
night with 13 catches on 18 targets for 78 yards. The guy averaged
4.3 YPT, didn’t score, but managed 20.8 PPR points.
– Aaron Dobson would have had a monster game if he could catch.
Until Rob Gronkowski is 100 percent and Danny Amendola comes back,
the Pats could need him, though.
– The Jets are the worst team to face for fantasy purposes, as
they don’t generate offense of their own, and they have a good
defense. The Eagles, Redskins, Packers and Chargers are ideal. The
Saints incidentally have been good defensively – at least for two
games. That hurts Drew Brees a little bit.
– Stephen Hill made some errors, but he also adjusted well to a
deep ball in the air. There’s upside here if Geno Smith continues
– Knowshon Moreno actually looked explosive Sunday and not just
reliable. Don’t forget he was a first-round pick a couple years ago
and might now be finally getting over a couple years’ worth of
– Speaking of which, there was an error before the late games
saying Maurice Jones-Drew was a scratch. So I put Moreno in my
lineup in two important leagues. Too bad I got wind of the
– I doubt anyone will win the NFC East this year.
– Aaron Rodgers is better in real life than Drew Brees, Tom
Brady or Peyton Manning. Fantasy, too.
– Rashard Mendenhall still looks pretty quick, caught some
passes and saw work at the goal line.
– Andre Johnson was absolutely unconscious on that play at the
one-yard line that led to the tying score. Dude can make that catch
in his sleep! It’s crazy they initially called it no catch and no
penalty after the defender hit him in the head, concussed him and
then only got the ball away from him after he was down on the
Liss is RotoWire’s Managing Editor and host of RotoWIre Fantasy
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