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Week 13 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 13 saw the Broncos and Seahawks defeat some of their closest contenders, and fortify their status as favorites for the #1 seeds in the playoffs. The two teams are now our two highest rated teams as well. The loss for the Saints, combined with their decrease in rating and impressive win by the Panthers, has now turned the NFC South race and 2 seed in the NFC into a coin flip between those teams. This week we will follow this weekly rundown article with an upcoming article on the status of the each team through the first 3 quarters of the season. Therefore compared to usual, this article includes more on how games were won and less on analyzing teams going forward, as that aspect will be more fully covered in the upcoming article.

(5-6-1) Packers 10 - 40 Lions (7-5)
Offensive EPA: GB (-15.8) - (14.3) DET
The Packers net passing (-9.2) was terrible due to poor normal pass plays (4.3) and 7 sacks (-11.0) including a lost fumble. Green Bay also rushed (-4.6) very poorly and lost another fumble on a botched snap (-4.4). The Lions were about as good on offense as the Packers were bad on offense. They overcame 2 interceptions (-5.3) and giving up a touchdown on a fumble return on their only sack suffered (-6.6) with very good normal pass plays (21.4) for still effective overall net passing (9.5). Detroit also rushed (12.0) extremely well. This game coupled with the Bears losing makes the Lions very heavy favorites in the division.

(4-8) Raiders 24 - 31 Cowboys (7-5)
Offensive EPA: OAK (-0.5) - (5.1) DAL
Matt McGloin had his first above average net passing (8.4) game so far by avoiding sacks. However, a lost fumbled snap (-4.9) was costly for Oakland. The Cowboys were also above average in net passing (9.4) and rushed well (5.5), which was enough to overcome their poor kick returns (-7.7) due to giving up a fumble return touchdown on the opening kickoff.

(5-7) Steelers 20 - 22 Ravens (6-6)
Offensive EPA: PIT (9.6) - (9.7) BAL
The Steelers had very good net passing (13.0) by totally avoiding interceptions and sacks, but lost some ground in our turnover category (-2.3) from a botched field goal attempt. The Ravens struggled to run (-3.1) yet again, but were good in net passing (11.5), kick returns (2.9), and field goals (4.5).

(3-9) Jaguars 32 - 28 Browns (4-8)
Offensive EPA: JAC (3.2) - (-0.8) CLE
The Jaguars had a positive overall offensive mark for the first time all season. They were near league averages in the major categories and avoided some usual negatives in lesser categories. The Browns net passing (7.3) was still a bit above average overall, but 2 interceptions (-7.3) and 3 sacks (-7.5) including a lost fumble counteracted what could have otherwise been dominating normal pass plays (22.1). Cleveland was also above average in rushing (2.5), but lost points on kick returns (-3.0), a fumbled snap (-2.7) that ended up as a safety, and missing their only field goal attempt (-2.1).

(9-3) Patriots 34 - 31 Texans (2-10)
Offensive EPA: NE (15.7) - (12.7) HOU
The Patriots offense was fueled by great net passing (16.1) yet again. Over the past 4 weeks, their healthy pass offense has transformed back into the unstoppable force that they were last season. Keenum still managed only subpar normal pass plays (8.4) for Houston, but their net passing (4.9) was still solid by minimizing negative plays. The Texans main strength in this game was rushing (9.1), an area they hadn't been above average at in the last 5 games.

(5-7) Titans 14 - 22 Colts (8-4)
Offensive EPA: TEN (-8.2) - (-0.2) IND
The Titans offense was poor due to their net passing (-3.5), which struggled with 3 interceptions (-9.5) and losing a fumble on their only sack suffered (-5.1). The Colts pass offense continued to struggle, with subpar net passing (-1.4) due to 5 sacks (-6.0). They made up for it by going 5/5 on field goals (5.1).

(6-6) Dolphins 23 - 3 Jets (5-7)
Offensive EPA: MIA (0.5) - (-19.5) NYJ
The Dolphins had by far their best net passing (16.2) of the season. They could have won even more lopsidedly if not for poor rushing (-6.0) and field goals (-2.6), and failing on a couple of early 4th down attempts (-4.5). With the Chargers and Steelers losing, the Dolphins jump to most likely to claim the 6 seed in the AFC in our simulations. The Jets complete offensive collapse since Geno Smith's solid start to the season continued, with miserable net passing (-13.3) from the combination of Smith and Matt Simms due to their worst normal pass plays (-3.8) of the season, an interception from each QB (-5.0), and 4 sacks (-4.5). On top of that, Simms lost a fumbled snap (-3.8).

(7-5) Cardinals 21 - 24 Eagles (7-5)
Offensive EPA: ARI (1.7) - (4.7) PHI
Though the Cardinals hot streak on normal pass plays (18.6) continued, their early season struggles with negative plays returned. Palmer threw 2 interceptions (-6.4) and suffered 5 sacks (-9.1) including a lost fumble. The Eagles continued on with good net passing (8.7) fueling their success.

(3-9) Buccaneers 6 - 27 Panthers (9-3)
Offensive EPA: TB (-14.8) - (6.2) CAR
The Buccaneers had their first real poor net passing (-6.9) effort since Week 8 due to bad normal pass plays (3.5) and 4 sacks (-8.3) including a lost fumble. Tampa Bay also struggled in the run game (-2.9). The Panthers had strong net passing (12.1), overcoming 2 interceptions (-6.3) by avoiding sacks and having good normal pass plays (18.4). Carolina struggled to run the ball (-2.7) as well, but it was moot.

(6-6) Bears 20 - 23 Vikings (3-8-1)
Offensive EPA: CHI (1.6) - (4.6) MIN
The Bears net passing (9.9) was remarkably yet again above average under Josh McCown. But the Bears lost some ground on field goals (-2.9) due to a strange 2nd down attempt from 47 yards in overtime that was missed, and from a lost fumble (-3.4) by guard Kyle Long, who had caught a deflected pass. This game was likely a final blow to the Bears playoff hopes. With mostly Matt Cassel at QB after an early injury to Ponder, the Vikings net passing (-0.9) was a bit poor due to an interception (-6.0) with a long return and 5 sacks (-6.0). Minnesota also struggled with field goals (-4.2) mostly due to a face mask call on their first overtime attempt, followed by a miss from longer range. But the Vikings made up for their problems with extremely good rushing (9.4).

(3-9) Falcons 34 - 31 Bills (4-8)
Offensive EPA: ATL (11.0) - (8.0) BUF
The Falcons suffered 6 sacks (-8.9), but returned to their early form with very good normal pass plays (21.1) and no interceptions, as Roddy White finally had his first good game of the season. Atlanta ran well (2.4) but also lost a fumbled snap (-3.7). The Bills had poor normal pass plays (3.6), but it made for average net passing because they totally avoided sacks and interceptions. Buffalo rushed (10.8) extremely well, but the offense was stalled by 2 late lost fumbles (-4.8).

(5-7) Rams 13 - 23 49ers (8-4)
Offensive EPA: STL (-6.8) - (5.6) SF
The Rams net passing (-1.9) was poor due to bad normal pass plays (4.9), and they were generally a bit below average in the lesser categories. The 49ers net passing (15.1) was very strong, and more than enough to offset poor rushing (-6.9) as well as a lost Gore fumble (-3.4).

(8-4) Bengals 17 - 10 Chargers (5-7)
Offensive EPA: CIN (5.1) - (-1.9) SD
The Bengals had subpar normal pass plays (5.7) but still decent net passing (3.1) overall by avoiding sacks. Their success came in rushing (7.2) and punting (3.9), while they lost points from a Green-Ellis lost fumble (-4.4) and finishing the game in the red zone on the final play (-4.5). The Chargers were close to league averages all around on offense apart from losing 2 fumbles (-4.3).

(10-2) Broncos 35 - 28 Chiefs (9-3)
Offensive EPA: DEN (23.4) - (16.4) KC
The Broncos rebounded with extremely good net passing (26.1). The Chiefs offense also found success with good net passing (7.3), rushing (5.2), and kick returns (4.0) thanks to a TD return. The game result virtually locks the Broncos in as division winners and the Chiefs into the 5 seed, while Denver will still need to win as many games as New England going forward to maintain the 1 seed.

(5-7) Giants 24 - 17 Redskins (3-8)
Offensive EPA: NYG (2.1) - (-4.9) WAS
Both teams in this game were near league averages in most categories, with the Giants having just slightly better marks in several areas, especially the lesser categories.

(9-3) Saints 7 - 34 Seahawks (11-1)
Offensive EPA: NO (-12.0) - (15.0) SEA
The Saints had their worst normal pass plays (0.1) in our 5 years of data with Brees at QB, and had terrible net passing (-6.1) because their only sack suffered (-6.2) was fumbled and returned for a touchdown. New Orleans had strong punting (3.4), but lost ground on turnovers (-4.7) from 2 late failed 4th down conversion attempts. The Seahawks struggled to run well (-3.6), but had their best net passing (19.6) of the season to date. The game result virtually locks in Seattle as the 1 seed, and puts the Saints into a tight race with Carolina for both the NFC South and the 2 seed.

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