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RG3 led a game-winning drive in week 7

RG3 led a game-winning drive in week 7.

After a week six in which no team won with a negative Game Script, only the Jets won with a negative Game Script in week seven, and that was in overtime. Only two quarterbacks led fourth-quarter comebacks this week: Robert Griffin III and Thaddeus Lewis. Three more quarterbacks — Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, and Geno Smith — led game-winning drives in tie games, but in general, it was a pretty uneventful week for comebacks. Overall, it’s been a quit few weeks in the NFL when it comes to fourth quarter craziness: the largest deficit entering the 4th quarter by a winning team in weeks 5, 6, and 7 was just five points.

Just like last week, Alex Smith and the Chiefs pulled out a late win in a game with a near-even Game Script. None of the 13 other games this week (excluding Jets/Patriots, Chiefs/Texans, and noting that the Saints and Raiders had byes) had a Game Script of fewer than 2 points.

WinnerH/RLoserBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio

I’m short on time this week, so I’ll let you guys add your thoughts in the comments. I’ll just note that every team that lost this week (and therefore, 14 of the 15 teams that lost the Game Scripts battle) had a higher pass/run ratio than their opponent. Admittedly, the Bengals/Lions game is more appropriately described as a tie. The Bengals high pass ratio (for Cincinnati) was probably due to efficiency: Andy Dalton and A.J. Green had great games, with Dalton throwing for 372 yards and 3 TDs, with no interceptions and just one sack, on 35 dropbacks, and Green catching 6 passes for 155 yards and a score. Meanwhile, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard averaged just three yards per carry on 17 runs.

Don’t forget: as always the season-long Game Scripts page has been updated to include the week seven games.

The Jets go W-L-W-L-W-L-W

The Jets are engaging in an exciting game of ping pong right now:

Week Rec Opp Tm Opp
1 boxscore W 1-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18 17
2 boxscore L 1-1 @ New England Patriots 10 13
3 boxscore W 2-1 Buffalo Bills 27 20
4 boxscore L 2-2 @ Tennessee Titans 13 38
5 boxscore W 3-2 @ Atlanta Falcons 30 28
6 boxscore L 3-3 Pittsburgh Steelers 6 19
7 boxscore W 4-3 New England Patriots 30 27

New York is the 12th team to start a season W-L-W-L-W-L-W, joining the ’05 Patriots, the ’03 Bucs, ’97 Lions, ’93 49ers, ’88 Browns, ’88 Giants, ’87 Saints, ’87 Bucs, ’83 Packers, ’52 Eagles, and ’51 49ers. The Patriots kept the streak going to longest, losing in game eight and winning in game nine, before finally winning in an even-numbered game. Like most streaks that have no real meaning, this one evaporates as soon as we begin to measure it. Below is the average winning percentage of the 11 teams mentioned above, in every game of their season.1

wlwlwlw jets

Geno Smith has experienced a similar up-and-down trend, but it’s unsurprising to see a quarterback’s performance tied to his team’s record. Six of the eleven teams to start W-L-W-L-W-L-W lost in game eight, and the Jets are expected to continue that trend as 6.5-point underdogs in Cincinnati.

  1. Note that in 1987, only 15 games were played, while only 12 games were played in ’51 and ’51. []
  • Sunrise089

    Congrats on the multiple mentions in this week’s TMQ Chase.

    Do you have a link that correctly defines fourth quarter comebacks vs game winning drives? I know those stats are often misstated anyways but I’m not even confident about the definitions.

    • Chase Stuart

      Thanks Sunrise — was there one more than one? I saw the link to the Arians piece.

      As for the distinction, here you go:

      The research for this page was done by Scott Kacsmar. Read his extensive three-part article (Part IPart IIPart III) for full details.

      • Sunrise089

        Thanks Chase.

        Easterbrook only linked to you in the Arians section, but he previewed that and dropped your name up in Sour Plays of the Week as well.

  • Arif Hasan

    SOS-adjusted Game Scripts

    I still don’t know if this is useful, because I don’t know how predictive Game Scripts are. But I feel that they are a better measure of team quality than point differential because of their natural ability to at least wash out “garbage time” points for the most part.

    Rank Tm SRS
    1 GNB 6.1
    2 CAR 5.4
    3 SFO 5.1
    4 DEN 4.8
    5 NOR 4.6
    6 SEA 4.2
    7 NWE 4.2
    8 DAL 3.7
    9 ATL 3.5
    10 IND 3.3
    11 KAN 2.4
    12 CIN 2.1
    13 SDG 1.2
    14 BUF 0.2
    15 OAK -0.2
    16 DET -0.3
    17 TEN -0.5
    18 MIA -1.2
    19 TAM -1.3
    20 CLE -1.4
    21 ARI -1.4
    22 PHI -1.5
    23 NYJ -1.6
    24 CHI -2.2
    25 BAL -2.3
    26 MIN -3.5
    27 STL -3.9
    28 PIT -4.0
    29 NYG -4.1
    30 HOU -4.8
    31 WAS -5.6
    32 JAX -10.4

    Chase, this is slightly different than what I have on my website because I was working with your data for Weeks 1-6 and manually entered in Game Script data for Week 7. But it is not too different, so I’m not that concerned.

    • Chase Stuart

      Thanks Arif. I have some thoughts on how to use GS to create rankings, but that might be an off-season project due to time constraints.

  • Chase Stuart

    I’ll note that the 49ers were up 24-0 after three quarters. It’s not like 31-17 looks like a close game, but this game was really a blowout, which the Game Script nicely conveys. Compare that to Giants-Vikings, which was 10-7 at half and 17-7 after three quarters, but ended with a greater MOV.