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Week 10 Rundown 2012

Each week we rundown every game using our advanced play-by-play statistics to examine exactly how each game was won and what it means going forward. Our expected points added (EPA) analysis assigns a net point value gained or lost to every single play so we can see exactly on which types of plays teams excelled or failed, and ultimately where games were won. The EPA while each team was on offense gives a more representative measure of offensive efficiency than real life score by separating offensive success from advantages gained or lost by defensive stops, takeaways, and scores. View our complete stats for every play type each week on the Games page.

Our statment in our Midseason Analysis article that quarterbacks have been relatively healthy thus far in the season seems to have jinxed them. Week 10 saw 5 starting quarterbacks miss about half of their game due to injuries, with Vick, Cutler, and Alex Smith suffering concussions while Roethlisberger and Gabbert injured their shoulders. The good news is none should be long term injuries, with Roethlisberger the only one in danger of missing multiple games going forward. The most significant effects on playoff races from Week 10 other than the injuries are the Colts pulling away from other AFC wild card contenders, and the races in the NFC East and North heating up due to the favorites stumbling. The Cowboys are now serious competition to a faultering Giants team that faces a tough schedule, the Packers jump to about even odds with the Bears, and even the Seahawks in the West are at least making things more difficult for the 49ers.

(6-3) Colts 27 - 10 Jaguars (1-8)
Offensive EPA: IND (4.8) - (-12.2) JAC
The Colts were rather average passing the ball, but were surprisingly efficient rushing (5.4) despite an unimpressive looking boxscore because of several important 3rd down runs. With losses by the Dolphins and Chargers, the Colts jumped to a 67% chance of making the playoffs. The Jaguars, under both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne again to due a Gabbert injury, had their best game of the season on normal pass plays (11.1). But huge losses on 2 interceptions (-11.2) including a pick-6 and 4 sacks (-4.8) resulted in yet another poor overall passing performance for Jacksonville, while a fumble (-2.8) furthered the self-implosion.

(3-6) Raiders 20 - 55 Ravens (7-2)
Offensive EPA: OAK (-0.5) - (34.5) BAL
The Raiders were solid in total net passing (5.1) but were poor in rushing (-3.0). The Ravens posted the highest offensive mark for any team this season, but were helped a lot by the special teams categories. They were very good in net passing (19.0). In addition, they scored high on kickoff returns (4.6) thanks to a touchdown and were great on punts (7.4), helped by recovering a fumbled return. Baltimore bounced back strongly after an unimpressive past 2 games on offense. The injury to Ben Roethlisberger may have tipped the AFC North scales to favor Baltimore.

(6-3) Broncos 36 - 14 Panthers (2-7)
Offensive EPA: DEN (-3.0) - (-21.4) CAR
The Broncos tallied a ton of points and even a lot of yards, but this was actually relatively one of their worse offensive games and they benefitted greatly from their defense. The net pass game (5.5) was good but not great, and the run game (-2.4) was subpar. Denver was good on punts (3.0), but suffered from a Willis McGahee fumble (-2.7) and an inordinate amount of pre-snap penalties (-4.0). The Panthers were decent on normal pass plays (8.3), but they were more than offset by huge losses from 2 interceptions (-10.4) including a pick-6 and 7 sacks (-6.9) including a safety. Carolina was also poor on runs (-2.9) and punts (-3.3) because of a return touchdown.

(3-6) Bills 31 - 37 Patriots (6-3)
Offensive EPA: BUF (13.2) - (19.2) NE
The Bills had worse than average losses on an interception (-3.7) and 3 sacks (-6.2) including a fumble lost, but more than made up for it with great normal pass plays (23.7). Buffalo also ran the ball very well (8.0) but lost a Fred Jackson fumble (-3.3). They again showed that the offense can be potent, just not consistently. The Patriots topped the Bills with very effective net passing (16.7) and solid rushing (3.4) and field goal kicking (2.4).

(8-1) Falcons 27 - 31 Saints (4-5)
Offensive EPA: ATL (10.2) - (14.2) NO
The Falcons finally lose, but the offense is not to blame. Their net pass game (20.5) was again dominant, but the run game (-5.7) was again terrible. They also failed on 2 costly 4th down conversions (-3.6), but overall it was a strong offensive performance and not an alarming game. The Saints were also great again in net passing (13.9), put together another decent rushing effort (2.2), and punted well (3.2). New Orleans continues their march back to playoff contention, which we now give a considerable 19% chance of happening.

(6-4) Giants 13 - 31 Bengals (4-5)
Offensive EPA: NYG (-12.1) - (5.9) CIN
The Giants were again inept through the air. Their poor normal pass plays (3.7) were trumped by 2 interceptions (-7.7) and 4 sacks (-7.4) including a fumble lost. In their past 5 games, only once have their passing numbers resembled anything close to their successful first 5 weeks or most of last season. The run game (5.5) was actually very good, but not enough to have success on its own. The Giants lost further points on a fumble lost and a late game failed 4th down conversion together (-4.8). They will need to turn things around quickly as they do not have a weak opponent left on their schedule, and thus have dropped to just a 45% chance of winning NFC East. The Bengals normal pass plays (13.7) were solid, and avoiding any sacks or interceptions made the overall pass game more than enough to offset a poor rushing performance (-3.9)

(4-6) Titans 37 - 3 Dolphins (4-5)
Offensive EPA: TEN (10.2) - (-23.8) MIA
The Titans normal pass plays (7.2) were unspectacular, but avoiding interceptions and being sacked just once (-1.0) meant the pass offense was efficient overall. The run game (1.8) also had moderate success, and the offense was bolstered by good field goals (2.9) and punting (3.0). The Dolphins offense was the 3rd worst for any team this year, and it is hard to attribute much credit to a Titans defense rated near the bottom of the league. Miami threw 3 interceptions (-16.1) including a pick-6 that their bad normal pass plays (3.7) could not nearly offset. The run game (-4.3) was also poor, and a Reggie Bush fumble (-1.9) added to their issues. The loss and drop in ratings decreased the Dolphins playoff chances significantly.

(4-5) Chargers 24 - 34 Buccaneers (5-4)
Offensive EPA: SD (-1.2) - (8.8) TB
The Chargers normal pass plays (22.6) were great, but were mitigated some by 2 interceptions (-10.1) including a long pick-6. San Diego was also hampered by poor running (-2.1) and a poor mark on punts (-5.1) because of a block returned for a touchdown. The Buccaneers surprisingly continue to roll on offense, with good net passing (11.3) by avoiding negative plays. The Bucs have not thrown an interception in 4 straight games and have suffered less than league average losses on sacks in every single game this year. Their rushing was poor (-2.4), but made up for with good field goal kicking (1.9).

(4-5) Lions 24 - 34 Vikings (6-4)
Offensive EPA: DET (1.0) - (11.0) MIN
The Lions total net passing (11.6) was very good, but they lost points in many other categories including rushing (-2.9), kickoff returns (-3.3), a botched snap (-1.2), and a Calvin Johnson fumble lost (-2.4). The Vikings total passing (9.0) was good by avoiding negative plays, and the run game (2.9) continues to be strong with a healthier Adrian Peterson.

(3-6) Jets 7 - 28 Seahawks (6-4)
Offensive EPA: NYJ (-15.0) - (6.0) SEA
The Jets pass offense continues to struggle with another poor net passing mark this week (-10.6). Despite not throwing the ball often, the Seahawks managed their best normal pass plays yet (20.3), but did suffer a costly 4 sacks (-9.5) including a fumble returned for the Jets only touchdown. The run game strugged a bit (-2.7), but Seattle achieved a high mark on punts (4.4) with the help of a fumble recovery.

(4-5) Cowboys 38 - 23 Eagles (3-6)
Offensive EPA: DAL (2.5) - (-9.8) PHI
The Cowboys offense was pretty average all around, finishing slightly above neutral by avoiding interceptions. The win and Giants loss more than doubled the Cowboys chances of winning the NFC East to 35%. The Eagles, with Nick Foles throwing more passes than Michael Vick due to injury, were solid on normal pass plays (13.4), but had a costly pick-6 (-6.9) and 2 sacks (-7.3) including a fumble recovered for a touchdown. Considering both defensive Cowboys touchdowns came under Foles, the Eagles should probably still play Vick going forward if he is healthy. Philadelphia also finished with a poor punting mark (-4.7) because of a return touchdown.

(3-5-1) Rams 24 - 24 49ers (6-2-1)
Offensive EPA: STL (6.5) - (6.6) SF
The Rams out of nowhere put together their best net passing game (19.4) since 2010. But they were let down in other areas including poor kickoff returns (-6.1) including a fumble lost, a botched snap (-1.7), and poor field goal attempts (-2.0). The 49ers, under both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick due to injury, were rather average while passing but ran the ball well (4.9).

(8-1) Texans 13 - 6 Bears (7-2)
Offensive EPA: HOU (-13.6) - (-21.7) CHI
Even accounting for poor weather and playing tough defenses, both offenses in this game were surprisingly poor. The Texans had their worst net passing mark (-8.2) of the season. Despite the run game piling up yards, it took so many carries that their overall efficiency (-2.8) was poor as well. The Bears were just as bad in net passing (-11.2) and rushing (-2.6), while also losing 2 fumbles (-7.0). Chicago had an additional excuse in that Cutler missed the 2nd half, but he actually played worse than backup Jason Campbell. The Bears now face a tossup in NFC North winner odds with the Packers, and Cutler missing any games could be costly.

(1-8) Chiefs 13 - 16 Steelers (6-3)
Offensive EPA: KC (-10.4) - (-7.8) PIT
The Chiefs passing game was bad due to poor normal pass plays (-0.3). The Steelers passing, under Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich due to injury, was average on normal pass plays (8.1), but avoided negative plays for the most part. But their hot run game screeched to a halt with a terrible performance (-6.6), and a fumble lost and failed 4th down conversion together (-5.6) were costly as well. The injury to Roethlisberger could prove especially impactful in a tight AFC North race with matchups against the Ravens twice in the next 3 weeks.

Byes: Cardinals (4-5), Browns (2-7), Packers (6-3), Redskins (3-6)

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