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Week 10 Rundown 2013

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.

Week 10 was a great week in the NFC for the Eagles and Lions. With a strong win and a Dallas loss, Philadelphia eliminated the advantage the Cowboys had in the NFC East race. While the Packers lost again without Aaron Rodgers, the Lions defeated their other competitor in the Bears to become heavy favorites in the NFC North. It was also a great week for the Patriots. While on a bye, they saw the Colts and Bengals lose ugly games, giving them a good chance to claim a bye in the playoffs. The week also provided some big surprises. The Jaguars and Buccaneers won their first games, while 2 of the week's biggest favorites in the Titans and Colts lost. Next week we are likely to see the last undefeated team, the Chiefs, lose.

(3-6) Redskins 27 - 34 Vikings (2-7)
Offensive EPA: WAS (12.2) - (18.5) MIN
The Redskins were great in net passing (15.2), as they have been for 3 of the past 4 games. Their strong run game (3.6) also continued. Their offense struggled in some of the lesser categories, but was still strong overall. The Vikings were similarly great in net passing (12.0) and rushing (4.1), and gained a big edge by being above average in most other areas. Despite averaging under 4 yards per rush, Minnesota was effective overall in the run game because their poor runs came mostly on less impactful 1st downs, they avoided holding penalties, and they had success in the red zone. Christian Ponder has actually been slightly better than average overall in 2013. He was a bit poor in Weeks 1-3 but has been well above average in the last 3 games.

(6-4) Bengals 17 - 20 Ravens (4-5)
Offensive EPA: CIN (-12.4) - (-10.1) BAL
The up and down Andy Dalton was very poor, producing below average marks in all 3 net passing (-11.4) categories, with 3 interceptions (-9.8) being the biggest issue. Cincinnati lost some ground on 1st quarter and overtime failed 4th down attempts (-4.3), but had a great final plays of each half (7.2) mark thanks to their miracle hail mary conversion. The Ravens can credit their defense with the win, because their offense was also terrible, with poor marks in all 3 net passing (-3.3) categories, and very bad rushing (-5.8).

(5-5) Eagles 27 - 13 Packers (5-4)
Offensive EPA: PHI (8.3) - (-5.7) GB
The dream season for Nick Foles continued, with more great net passing (10.3) despite few attempts. They also rushed well (3.9), which they hadn't really done without Vick yet. The strong win and Cowboys loss now makes the NFC East race a near coin toss. The Packers net passing (3.8) was actually about average with mostly Scott Tolzien at QB, with strong normal pass plays (14.2) but 2 interceptions (-10.0) including a 76 yard return. But the Packers were generally a bit poor in other areas, including going just 2/4 on field goals (-5.1). Despite another injury to a Green Bay quarterback, the play of Tolzien was somewhat promising for the Packers going forward. However, now a game behind in the division and the wild card race, the Packers playoff hopes are fading.

(3-7) Bills 10 - 23 Steelers (3-6)
Offensive EPA: BUF (-14.5) - (-1.5) PIT
Many people seem quick to ignore this fact, but E.J. Manuel has been pretty bad in his rookie season. Coming off injury, he had his worst net passing game (-11.9) yet. Buffalo also really struggled in punting (-5.0) both due to short kicks and long returns. The Steelers were a bit poor in all 3 net passing (-6.2) categories, but were solid in most other areas including good rushing (2.4).

(1-8) Jaguars 29 - 27 Titans (4-5)
Offensive EPA: JAC (-7.8) - (-8.5) TEN
The high score of this game was attributable to turnovers rather than offensive success. The Jaguars finally won a game, but it wasn't pretty. Their net passing (-1.6) was a little poor all around, and their rushing was terrible (-6.2). The Titans were actually better at passing after Locker was injured and Fitzpatrick came in. Overall their net passing (1.2) was a little below average as well. Tennessee struggled with a Chris Johnson lost fumble (-3.6) and a fumbled Locker snap that was lost as well (-4.7).

(9-1) Seahawks 33 - 10 Falcons (2-7)
Offensive EPA: SEA (22.2) - (-0.8) ATL
The Seahawks had another strong game on offense, with great net passing (16.5) and successful rushing (3.8). They added success on 4/4 of field goals (4.4). The Falcons passing struggles continued, as they had terrible normal pass plays (1.0). They did still manage about average net passing (3.2) though as they avoided interceptions and all 3 sacks suffered were overturned by defensive penalties. The Falcons offense was about average efficient overall, but that is not going to be good enough with a defense that hasn't held a single team all year to league average efficiency. Atlanta is being forced to play backup tackles and a hobbled Roddy White, but have fallen apart more than expected since the loss of Julio Jones.

(6-3) Lions 21 - 19 Bears (5-4)
Offensive EPA: DET (1.5) - (-0.1) CHI
The Lions had some success in net passing (7.1) by avoiding sacks, and had good rushing (3.1). That success was mitigated some by missing their only field goal attempt (-2.3) and failing on their only 4th down attempt (-2.8). The Bears were strong in net passing (8.8) but really struggled in rushing (-6.2) and also failed on an early 4th down attempt (-3.0). This was a hugely important game for the NFC North outlook, putting the Lions a game ahead of the Bears and giving them the head-to-head tiebreaker. Detroit are now strong favorites in the division as the Packers are fading without Rodgers.

(4-6) Rams 38 - 8 Colts (6-3)
Offensive EPA: STL (4.2) - (-24.2) IND
On just 18 called pass plays, the Rams put up a great net passing mark (15.3) thanks to 2 long touchdowns for Tavon Austin. They did however lose several points in other areas like rushing (-2.8) and a lost fumbled snap (-3.6). The Colts had terrible net passing (-7.8) despite good normal pass plays (15.4) due to 4 interceptions (-12.5) and 3 sacks (-10.7) including a lost fumble that was returned for a touchdown. One of the interceptions was thrown by backup Hasselbeck in garbage time. Indianapolis also ran poorly (-4.8), had poor kick returns (-4.0), and had terrible punting (-6.4) due to giving up good returns including another Tavon Austin touchdown. It usually takes several very impactful flukey plays for a heavy favorite to lose by so much, which was certainly the case here. The Colts remain almost a lock to win the AFC South, but this game dropped their rating over a point.

(3-6) Raiders 20 - 24 Giants (3-6)
Offensive EPA: OAK (-20.4) - (-16.4) NYG
This was another game with terrible offense that still produced scoring due to turnovers. The Raiders were poor in all 3 net passing (-17.8) categories, but by far their biggest issue was normal pass plays (-5.9), where they produced the worst mark by any team all season. Oakland was solid in rushing (2.5), but also had poor punting (-4.4) due to a block returned for a touchdown. The Giants were poor all around in net passing (-4.5) with their biggest issue being a very costly pick-6 (-7.5). They rushed well (3.0) apart from a Peyton Hillis lost fumble (-2.5), and had a terrible kick return (-6.9) mark due to a lost fumbled return on the opening kickoff.

(6-3) Panthers 10 - 9 49ers (6-3)
Offensive EPA: CAR (-11.3) - (-12.3) SF
The Panthers net passing (-5.1) was below average in all 3 categories. The 49ers apparently weren't completely over their early season woes, with terrible net passing (-10.0) due to really bad normal pass plays (-2.0) and 6 sacks (-6.3). San Francisco made up some ground by going 3/3 on field goals (2.6) and punting well (3.8) thanks to recovering a muff, but also had poor rushing (-2.8) and lost points on a turnover (-4.0) from a Kendall Hunter fumble. Not only did this game keep the Panthers in the NFC South race and all but clinch the NFC West for Seattle, but Carolina are now even with San Francisco and have the tiebreaker in the wild card race.

(2-7) Texans 24 - 27 Cardinals (5-4)
Offensive EPA: HOU (-8.4) - (-5.4) ARI
Though he still hasn't thrown an interception, Case Keenum's bright start faded finally with bad net passing (-5.6) due to poor normal pass plays (4.3) and 3 sacks (-9.9) including a fumble returned for a touchdown. The Cardinals had some success in net passing (4.7) for the 2nd straight week but only the 3rd time this season. However they had some issues in other areas, including a Mendenhall lost fumble (-4.3). The Cardinals are theoretically a threat to make the playoffs at a surprising 5-4, but their poor passing makes them a long shot in our odds.

(8-1) Broncos 28 - 20 Chargers (4-5)
Offensive EPA: DEN (12.2) - (4.2) SD
The Broncos had about their average performance of great net passing (14.4). The Chargers had a little success in net passing (6.4) by avoiding interceptions, but it wasn't enough to keep up with Denver. The Chargers continue to have a very high rating and are the most likely team to grab the 6 seed in the AFC, but so many teams are in the mix that their playoff chances remain under 50%.

(5-5) Cowboys 17 - 49 Saints (7-2)
Offensive EPA: DAL (2.7) - (37.1) NO
The Cowboys had their worst net passing mark (-4.6) of the season, and their worst normal pass plays (-1.3) since 2009. But their overall offensive mark remained positive because they ran well (3.4) and had good punting (7.8) in large part due to recovering a Sproles muff. Dallas lost their big edge in the NFC East, where they are now locked into a close battle with Philadelphia. Meanwhile the Saints combined the best net passing (21.0) of the week and the best rushing (17.2) by any team this season for the 2nd best overall offensive mark (37.1) in the league in our 5 years of data. The impressive performance boosted the Saints rating over a point to a clear 2nd place in the NFL, though they still aren't a lock to win the NFC South with the Panthers playing well.

(4-5) Dolphins 19 - 22 Buccaneers (1-8)
Offensive EPA: MIA (-3.7) - (-0.7) TB
The Dolphins net passing (4.7) was near average but their rushing (-6.7) was terrible, as they rushed 14 times for 2 yards. Miami still has about a 1 in 5 chance of making the playoffs in the weak AFC. The Bucs were near average in every offensive category, as Mike Glennon has actually been decent since his rough first outing.

Byes: Browns (4-5), Chiefs (9-0), Patriots (7-2), Jets (5-4)

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