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Week 11 Game Scripts: Analyzing Patriots/Bills 2

In week 11, there were four large blowouts from a Game Scripts perspective: Carolina over Washington, Seattle over San Francisco, Tampa Bay over Philadelphia, and Kansas City over San Diego. There were also two large comebacks: Baltimore won with a -4.6 Game Script: the Ravens trailed 13-3 entering the 4th quarter, and took the team’s only lead after the clock hit triple zeroes. The Colts trailed 14-0 and 21-7 against the Falcons, and ultimately won with a -5.9 Game Script.

Below are the Game Scripts data from week 11. There were no extreme results this week: every team passed on between 41% and 76% of all plays. So let’s take a different approach this week. After ten weeks, I calculated the pass identities of each of the 32 teams. Well, week 11 brought a fascinating matchup from a Game Script perspective in New England/Buffalo. Let’s take a look:

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
CARWASBoxscore44162814.8363848.6%351176.1%
SEASFOBoxscore29131612.1314441.3%361669.2%
TAM@PHIBoxscore45172811.1304241.7%442861.1%
KAN@SDGBoxscore333308.8283048.3%332556.9%
GNB@MINBoxscore3013176.8363451.4%441871%
HOUNYJBoxscore241775.4363848.6%422067.7%
DAL@MIABoxscore2414105.2303844.1%271465.9%
DEN@CHIBoxscore171524.9323547.8%342557.6%
NWEBUFBoxscore201374.2402264.5%383055.9%
DETOAKBoxscore181353393155.7%262056.5%
ARICINBoxscore343131.6332556.9%432761.4%
JAXTENBoxscore19136-1.7352360.3%392660%
BALSTLBoxscore16133-4.6452861.6%272750%
IND@ATLBoxscore24213-5.9342656.7%472466.2%

The Patriots were the most pass-happy team in the NFL through 10 weeks, while the Bills had the defense that caused teams to pass the most, after adjusting for game script in both cases. Based on the formula we derived last week, a team with a Game Script of +4.2 would be expected to pass on 55.4% of all plays. New England passed on 64.5% of all plays against Buffalo: that’s perhaps not as extreme as we might expect (remember, the Patriots passed on 80% of plays in a week 2 game against Buffalo where New England had a +9.8 Game Script), but still pretty pass-happy.

Meanwhile, the Bills were the most run-happy team in the NFL entering week 11. True to form, Buffalo passed on just 56% of plays despite trailing for most of the game, with a Game Script that would cause the average team to pass on 64% of plays. Think of it this way: New England passed more and ran less than Buffalo despite a +4.2 Game Script.

What about Denver? The Broncos had a strong pass identity through ten weeks, but did that change in Brock Osweiler’s first start? Why yes, in fact, it did. Denver was pretty run-heavy, throwing on just 48% of plays, where the Game Script (of +4.9) would call for a 55% pass ratio. Was this about Osweiler or the running game? That’s tough to say: Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson were very effective, rushing 33 times for 161 yards. With a game against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in week 12, we should get much more info into how Denver plans on building the offense around Osweiler.

As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.