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Three victorious teams stood out in week eight as pass-heavy:

  • New England blew out the Bills, and led 41-17 until the final minute of the game. But despite a Game Script of +13.0, that didn’t stop the Patriots from throwing on over 60% of all plays. Tom Brady has deservedly received a lot of press this week, but the ratio against Buffalo was also a sign of an emerging problem: the running game hasn’t been very good. LeGarrette Blount had 18 carries for 43 yards, and New England’s running game has been inconsistent all year. Of course, that could just lead to more Brady throws, which may not be such a bad thing.
  • For Oakland, Derek Carr had 59 pass attempts (and just two sacks) in a monster game against the Bucs. The Raiders running backs had some success, but this was a competitive game throughout. That’s a sign, tho, that the Raiders want to put the ball in the hands of Carr and Michael Crabtree (16 targets) and Amari Cooper (15 targets).
  • The Chiefs rolled against the Colts, but even though Alex Smith went down, Kansas City stayed pass happy under Nick Foles. Kansas City passed more than you would expect from a team with a +8.0 Game Script, but that also may be a sign that the Colts pass defense is so bad that teams will pass on it regardless of situation.

Below are the Week 8 Game Scripts numbers.

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
TENJAXBoxscore36221417.5244335.8%561183.6%
CARARIBoxscore30201015283643.8%541084.4%
NWE@BUFBoxscore41251613382362.3%422562.7%
CHIMINBoxscore2010109.8322952.5%421870%
KAN@INDBoxscore3014168442762%412166.1%
HOUDETBoxscore201377.1313150%421475%
DENSDGBoxscore271983.3392560.9%512666.2%
WAS@CINBoxscore272700.1573164.8%453655.6%
ATLGNBBoxscore33321-1.4371966.1%411968.3%
DALPHIBoxscore29236-1.4423356%462465.7%
OAK@TAMBoxscore30246-2612471.8%342755.7%
NORSEABoxscore25205-2.8373551.4%351767.3%
NYJ@CLEBoxscore31283-3.1363550.7%521874.3%

Of note: I have updated the 2016 Game Scripts page, which is generally updated weekly. You can see that the Titans win over the Jaguars on Thursday produced the 4th biggest Game Script of the season so far. And Oakland’s 71.8% pass ratio was the 3rd most pass-heavy performance in a win this year.

I’m short on time today, so please leave your thoughts in the comments.

  • Tom

    Love the Game Scripts, thanks Chase. Apart from seeing which teams are pass happy, which is probably one of the better uses of Game Scripts, we can also compare these numbers to SRS ratings to get a feel for how teams have been winning/losing games, or maybe seeing which teams “are who we thought they were”. I took every team’s GS through Week 8, ran the numbers Excel’s Solver to get a strength of schedule adjustment, and compared those numbers to SRS ratings. Below is the table: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b8068d83746066afd12a5448a74a5bd07e1f18af6e4a92851b202bf554c58a14.png

    • Tom

      “Abs Diff” is just the absolute value of the difference between the SRS and GS. Can’t say this reveals anything mind-blowing, but I find it interesting nonetheless. For example, we might say the Bengals are what we’re seeing every Sunday – an average team involved in some tight games that are competitive throughout (except the Dallas game, -17.3 GS). And the Niners are bad, but perhaps not as bad as we think. They shut out the Rams (+11.8 GS) and then got blown out by Seattle (-18.9 GS), but their other games have fairly respectable GS numbers against very good teams (except for TAM).

    • Richie

      Where is the strength of schedule component?

    • SquareMushroom

      Hi Tom, would you mind sharing that spreadsheet? I’m interested in looking at it and playing around with it.

  • Tom

    For those interested, below is the table sorted with the top GS team (yeah, it’s the Pats): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b44f339c86f3ca7470c89be9b1e880228ecfcf6bbd4fb04be08bb52b656ae65b.png

  • For the second consecutive week, the Jets went very run-heavy, with a nearly 50/50 run/pass ratio in a game they trailed most of the way. That’s super run-heavy for 2016.

  • This year, the 49ers have been the most run-heavy team in football, followed by the Titans, Cowboys, and Bills. That checks out with what my eyes have told me, too.

    Rk Team Exp Pass Ratio Act Pass Ratio Diff
    1 San Francisco 49ers 51% 62% -12%
    2 Tennessee Titans 51% 59% -8%
    3 Dallas Cowboys 49% 56% -7%
    4 Buffalo Bills 53% 59% -5%
    5 New York Jets 59% 63% -4%
    6 Miami Dolphins 59% 62% -4%
    7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 58% 62% -3%
    8 Denver Broncos 57% 60% -3%
    9 Houston Texans 59% 62% -3%
    10 Los Angeles Rams 58% 61% -2%
    11 Cincinnati Bengals 59% 61% -2%
    12 Carolina Panthers 58% 60% -2%
    13 Minnesota Vikings 58% 59% -1%
    14 New England Patriots 53% 55% -1%
    15 Philadelphia Eagles 56% 58% -1%
    16 Kansas City Chiefs 60% 61% -1%
    17 Cleveland Browns 64% 63% 1%
    18 Washington Redskins 63% 60% 2%
    19 Arizona Cardinals 63% 60% 3%
    20 Detroit Lions 64% 61% 3%
    21 Atlanta Falcons 60% 57% 3%
    22 Seattle Seahawks 60% 57% 3%
    23 Oakland Raiders 63% 60% 3%
    24 Chicago Bears 63% 60% 3%
    25 Indianapolis Colts 64% 61% 3%
    26 San Diego Chargers 61% 58% 4%
    27 New York Giants 66% 62% 4%
    28 Green Bay Packers 62% 58% 4%
    29 New Orleans Saints 66% 61% 5%
    30 Jacksonville Jaguars 70% 65% 5%
    31 Pittsburgh Steelers 64% 58% 6%
    32 Baltimore Ravens 67% 59% 8%

    • Tom

      Chase, are the labels in the heading backwards? If the Niners were expected to pass 51% of the time and passed 62%, that would mean they are pass happy, right? Or am I not getting this right?