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Brian Football

Brian Football.

Last week in this space, we bemoaned the large number of blowouts and the lack of exciting comebacks. Apparently, bemoaning works.

After falling behind against Atlanta by a score of 20-10, the Giants scored the final 20 points of the game to steal the win. The Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead against Tampa Bay, but the Bucs responded by going on a 31-7 run. With the season teetering on the edge, New Orleans responded by scoring 17 straight points to pull off the rare come from ahead comeback.

In Detroit, the Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead. But the Bills scored 17 straight, and won with a Game Script of -6.4. In Carolina, the Bears took an early 21-7 lead, but the Panthers scored 24 of the game’s final 27 points, winning with a -3.8 Game Script. But by far the biggest comeback of the day came in Tennessee, when the 2014 edition of the Kardiac Kids pulled off the largest road comeback in NFL history.

With 2:55 left in the first half, the Titans led the Browns, 28-3. But from that point forward, Brian Hoyer completed 16 of 27 passes for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell, and Terrance West rushed 24 times for 107 yards. By the end of the day, Cleveland had won 29-28 despite a Game Script of -10.5. That checks in as the worst Game Script by a winning team since the Colts won with a -11.0 against the Texans in week 9 of last season.

The table below shows all the Game Scripts data from week 5:

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
  • The Cowboys have turned into a run-heavy team, so it’s always surprising to see Dallas finish with a positive Game Script but pass more frequently than their opponent. Part of the problem for the Cowboys is there is a limit to the number of carries DeMarco Murray can handle — he clocked in with 31 on Sunday! — so Tony Romo wound up throwing 41 times. Houston, meanwhile, called more running plays than passing plays, as Arian Foster had an outstanding 23-157-2 performance in a losing effort.
  • The Giants and Falcons played true to their forms in a back-and-forth affair, with New York calling more runs than passes, while Atlanta threw on 70% of the team’s plays.
  • You might be surprised to see the Panthers run 27 times in a game where (1) Carolina had a negative Game Script and (2) the team’s top 48 running backs were injured. Cam Newton was responsible for 6 of those carries, but Darrin Reaves, Chris Ogbonnaya, and Philly Brown combined for 21 carries and 71 yards.
  • Denver passed on 63% of all plays despite a Game Script of +6.0. That makes perfect sense, of course, when the opponent is Arizona and Montee Ball goes down with an injury. Oh, and having Peyton Manning helps things, too. Philadelphia continued their pass-happy ways, throwing on over half the team’s plays despite a Game Script of +13.5.
  • Finally, the Titans actually finished with a higher pass/run ratio than Cleveland. I’ve got no explanation for that one. Shonn Greene, Bishop Sankey, and Dexter McCluster combined for 22 carries and just 73 yards. Considering the significant investment in the team’s running game over the past few seasons, it’s an indictment on those decisions that the team couldn’t run more often — or successfully — to put away the Browns.

Finally, please note that I have produced a season page that holds all Game Scripts from all games in 2014. You can access the page from any other page on the website: there’s a link at the top right to the 2014 Game Scripts, and a dropdown to the 2013 page as well.

  • James

    “By the end of the day, Cleveland had won 29-29”

    Hmmm, moral victory or a typo? You decide!

    • Chase Stuart

      I have never made a typo before so obviously moral victory.

  • Do you have something set up to fix the auto links for Cam Newton/Steve Smith types, or do you do that all manually?

    Also, I’m happy my bemoaning paid off.

    • Chase Stuart

      Sadly, that is done manually.

      • That sucks. I did a QB post a few months ago that had (at least) Cam Newton, Steve Young, Ken Anderson, and Steve Smith in it. Pain in the buns.

  • Also also… I think Terrance West has an A instead of E, which is why it didn’t link.

    • Chase Stuart


  • I somehow didn’t notice how badly San Diego beat the Jets. That’s pretty brutal.

    I also didn’t realize Buffalo’s Game Script would be that bad.

    You seem to have made a mistake where you suggested that Montee Ball being hurt should make Denver run the ball less, which is the opposite of reality. 😉