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Okay, yes, I’m a little late here, but I didn’t want to just forget about week 15. Those expecting week 16 Game Scripts, well, that will be up tomorrow.

Week 15 may feel like a long time ago, so here’s your primer: the Colts destroyed the Vikings, 34-6, and had the best Game Script (+17.8) of the week. Atlanta had a similar margin and Game Script against the 49ers. But the big story were the two upsets of the week.

Houston benched Brock Osweiler and inserted Tom Savage into the lineup after falling behind early against Jacksonville; the Texans trailed 13-0 in the 2nd quarter, and 20-8 late in the third, before ultimately winning 21-20. Houston won with a Game Script of -7.4, the 5th worst Game Script by a winning team all season.

The fourth lowest? That came by Tennessee the same day against the Chiefs. In a game that feels much less relevant now — Tennessee is out of the playoffs, while Kansas City has since clinched — the Chiefs led 14-0 in the first quarter and 17-7 entering the fourth. Kansas City even led 17-16, with the ball, with two minutes to go, but lost on a last-second field goal, 19-17. The final Game Script was -8.0 for the Titans.

Below are the week 15 Game Scripts:

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
IND@MINBoxscore3462817.8284041.2%47983.9%
ATLSFOBoxscore41132816.8254137.9%361965.5%
BUFCLEBoxscore3313209.5264138.8%332161.1%
SEARAMBoxscore243219282949.1%391769.6%
CAR@WASBoxscore2615118393354.2%481378.7%
MIA@NYJBoxscore3413217.4192741.3%492368.1%
NWE@DENBoxscore163136.5343946.6%441772.1%
GNB@CHIBoxscore302735.5352360.3%441969.8%
NYGDETBoxscore176115.2303248.4%401967.8%
BALPHIBoxscore272614.9332457.9%433753.8%
DALTAMBoxscore262063.3393254.9%392066.1%
NOR@ARIBoxscore484172.2513261.4%411573.2%
OAK@SDGBoxscore19163-2.3322952.5%332260%
PIT@CINBoxscore24204-4.7373055.2%282850%
HOUJAXBoxscore21201-7.4473160.3%302060%
TEN@KANBoxscore19172-8342954%292850.9%

Miami, Tennessee, and Buffalo stood out as the most run-heavy teams of this week. Sure, the Bills blew out the Browns, but running on over 60% of all plays is pretty unusual. There are lots of times when one team controls the game, but they still don’t usually run as often as Buffalo did. With the 2017 Bills unlikely to feature Tyrod Taylor and definitely to feature a new head coach, it will be interesting to see how the Bills offense evolves. Miami went run-heavy against the Jets, although that was more about Matt Moore just being so efficient throwing the ball (235 yards on 19 dropbacks) that the team didn’t need to pass much. In this case, the Jets secondary was so bad that it caused Miami to stop passing. And Tennessee? Well, despite trailing throughout, the Titans still kept putting the ball in the hands of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, showing the team’s commitment to the running game. Marcus Mariota only had one carry in the game, so there’s nothing misleading here.

Minnesota, Arizona, Washington all came off as pass-heavy. The Vikings were blown out, you say, so of course there were pass-heavy. But the 83.9% ratio was the 3rd most pass-heavy game of the season. The Redskins weren’t far behind, at 78.7%, and in a much closer game. Kirk Cousins had 48 dropbacks, while also leading the team with 11 rushing yards on two carries. The running game was not working (the running backs had 11 carries for 19 yards), so Washington kept calling pass plays to try to come back. And Arizona? Well, in a shootout against the Saints, David Johnson took a backseat to Carson Palmer. Johnson had jut 12 carries, while Palmer had 31 dropbacks.

  • Richie

    Off Topic Question: If we wanted to calculate which NFL season had the most competitive (close) final standings, what would be a way to do that?

    • Competitive as measured by what stat?

      • Richie

        I guess, compactness of the final standings.

        • Maybe square the difference between each team’s numbers of wins and the number of wins they would get if they went .500? Then sum those totals?

          • Richie

            More specifically, I am looking to apply this to my fantasy football league. I want to calculate 2 things:

            1) What have been the most competitive seasons in our league’s history?

            2) I also want to try to calculate which team in my league has been the most consistent scoring this year, while also considering quality. A team that scores 10 points every week is very consistent, but also very bad. I came up with the idea of giving each team a “rotisserie” score each week. Highest-scoring team in a week gets 14 points, second-highest gets 13 points, etc. I take the standard deviation for each team and divide that by the average of their “rotisserie” points. The lower the result, the more consistently good a team is.

            • For fantasy, I might be more inclined to use FP scored rather than winning percentage. But you can use the same methodology: just square the diff between each team’s avg FP scored per week and the league average.

              As for #2, I’d have to play with it, but that might be interesting. Division may not be the way to go, but honestly you gotta just play with the dataset (you can always just use a multiplier).