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One of these guys had a good week

Trading Tapenade recipes.

Every week, I’m posting the Game Scripts and Average Field Position data for each team. In an effort to get these up a bit quicker, I decided to get these numbers crunched before the Monday Night Game in the result – let me know if you like this method better than waiting until the end of the week. For new readers, you can see the results from the first three weeks here.

For the second week in a row, the Jaguars had the worst Game Script score. And for the second week in a row, Peyton Manning’s Broncos held an average lead of over 15 points. These two teams play in Denver in week six, and the early reports suggest that the line will be 27 points, the highest spread in N.F.L. history. The current record was set in 1976, when the expansion (and winless) Bucs traveled to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that had won the past two Super Bowls and had allowed just 28 points in their last seven games. That game had a spread of 26 points, and the Steelers won 43-0.

Here’s how to read the table below. The Colts won in Jacksonville (you can click the boxscore to see the full PFR boxscore), 37-3. Indianapolis won by 34, and held an average lead of 15.5 points throughout the game. Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, and the rest of the Colts had 41 passes and 29 runs, giving them a 58.6% pass/run ratio. Meanwhile, the Jaguars threw 35 passes and had just 17 runs, giving them a 67.3% pass/run ratio. With few exceptions, the team with the positive game script has the lower pass/run ratio, and that effect is just magnified when the Game Script is large.

WinnerH/RLoserBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOpp_POpp_ROpp_P/R Ratio

The Seahawks-Texans game was the big comeback of the week, and Seattle’s Game Script during regulation was -7.7. That matches the -7.7 number posted by the Chargers during week 1, so the Texans have now been on both sides of the two biggest comebacks of 2013. Fans were burning Matt Schaub jerseys in the parking lot, so that tells you a lot about how that game went down. In case you missed it, Schaub threw a pick-six, up by seven, in the final three minutes of the game. He joins Donovan McNabb (against the Cowboys) as the only quarterbacks since 2000 to throw a pick-six in the final three minutes of a game while protecting a one score lead.

What about the average field position data from week 4?

The table below shows the average yardline where each snap by each offense occurred in week three1; remember, having the ball on your opponent’s one-yard line gets recorded as a “99″ while having the ball at your own one is simply a “1.”

Team# playsAvg Yardline

During the Jets game, I made a mental note to check the Titans’ average field position, because it seemed like they were in field goal range on just about every snap against the Jets. The second half changed the numbers, but in the first half, Tennessee’s average play was at the Jets 35-yard line! Following three Geno Smith turnovers, the Titans started drives in the first half at the Jets 18-, 26-, and 46-yard line, and scored touchdowns on all three drives.

The other team in New York continues to struggle in this department. The Giants led the league in this metric last year, but have had horrible field position in each of the last two weeks.

I’ll cut the commentary short and open things up to the comments: what do you find interest or surprising about the results from week 4?

  1. Subject to the same caveats described in this post. []
  • Chase Stuart

    Anyone want to look into the PIT-MIN game? The average field position data is interesting there.

  • Richie

    I would rather wait and have the Monday game included.

  • Chase Stuart

    The value of Game Scripts is clear in a game like Chicago-Detroit this week, which the Lions really dominated. Two late Bears TDs weren’t all that meaningful, but a 40-32 score can be deceiving.

  • Chase, whatever is best for you is good enough for us. Thanks for putting these out there. If my vote makes a difference then I would like to wait to include the MNF game.

    Like everyone else I didn’t watch the 1st half of the ATL NEP game so I was surprised to see that ATL spent most of the game in NEP territory and NEP only had a +3.3 gamescript. Watching the second half of the game it seemed like it was convincing NEP win (Z. Sudfeld excluded) so I just figured that’s how the whole game went. Guess not.

    WAS and OAK ran the same ~ number of players, had the same field position. OAK won the game script but WAS won the game. Lesson? WAS is not a good team.

    Can you do a year-to-date game-script?

    Thanks for all these posts. I hope you are making a pantload of menu off of the ad-banners. This is great stuff.

    • Chase Stuart

      Thanks Wintermute. I know I am way behind in responding to comments, but since you are the most recent, I’m starting here with you!

      I am happy to wait until after the MNF game. I’m making nowhere near a pantload, since I only have that one ad. But I didn’t start this to make money.

      I should be able to do a YTD game script in next week’s article.