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Week 5 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 5 saw the Packers make up ground in what appears to be a 2nd straight inevitable late run to the top of the NFC North. The Colts solidified their place as superior to the Texans in the AFC South. The Falcons have all but eliminated themselves from playoff contention with their poor record and injury to Julio Jones, despite promising play and a good rating through 5 games. And the Broncos and Cowboys played one of the most ridiculous and passing offense dominated games in recent years, producing the 2 best net passing marks in the league this season. Despite the close call, the game was only further evidence of the large gap between the Broncos and the rest of the league.

(2-3) Bills 24 - 37 Browns (3-2)
Offensive EPA: BUF (-13.2) - (-0.2) CLE
The Bills net passing (-4.6) wasn't great under E.J. Manuel and then got a lot worse with Jeff Tuel in, who threw a costly pick-6 (-7.6). They did run (4.0) well thanks to a long Spiller touchdown. But punting (-8.4) was the biggest issue in the game, as Travis Benjamin returned one punt for a 79 yard touchdown and also had a 57 yard return. The Bills are wise to go with Thad Lewis over Tuel going forward, but even so they should struggle while Manuel is out. With Brandon Weeden at QB for most of the game, the Browns were about average in net passing (2.9) and all other offensive categories. It's hard to know what the Browns could have done with Hoyer this season, but with Weeden and a tougher schedule from here on out, they are likely to quickly drop out of the AFC North race.

(0-5) Jaguars 20 - 34 Rams (2-3)
Offensive EPA: JAC (-9.2) - (4.8) STL
The Jaguars were poor in net passing (-3.6) due to 2 interceptions (-10.8) including a touchdown. They lost further points on turnovers (-6.1) from a Clay Harbor fumble and a late 4th down attempt. With Gabbert hurt again, Henne will start going forward. Henne was also poor in his 2 starts earlier this year, but should still provide a slight upgrade. The Rams had some success in net passing (7.1) by avoiding interceptions.

(5-0) Saints 26 - 18 Bears (3-2)
Offensive EPA: NO (9.9) - (3.3) CHI
The Saints actually had their lowest mark in normal pass plays (13.2) of the season, but it was still above average and made for great net passing (11.6) when combined with their almost complete avoidance of interceptions and sacks. New Orleans was terrible at rushing (-6.0) but partially made up for it with solid marks in several of the lesser categories. The Bears were good in net passing (7.5). They had good normal pass plays (14.9) and no interceptions, but gave up 3 sacks (-7.4) including another costly fumble loss. Chicago also ran (2.4) relatively well again, but faired worse than the Saints in the lesser categories, with game situations costing them several points. They lost points in final plays of the halves (-2.5) due to running out of time in good field position at the end of the half, and lost points on turnovers (-2.0) by failing on a necessary 4th down attempt in the 4th quarter.

(4-1) Patriots 6 - 13 Bengals (3-2)
Offensive EPA: NE (-7.4) - (-0.8) CIN
For the 2nd time this season, the Patriots had a net passing (-6.3) result worse than any of theirs since the 2009 playoffs. This time it is more alarming because Amendola was playing, although his snaps were slightly limited still. Regardless, one has to wonder if the return of Rob Gronkowski can catapult this pass offense from mediocre to all the way to great, or if just good should become the new expectation. Weather played a small role, but the Bengals offense was still close to average in all categories, which was all they needed for the win.

(3-2) Lions 9 - 22 Packers (2-2)
Offensive EPA: DET (0.7) - (12.1) GB
After a strong first 3 weeks the Lions have relatively struggled in passing in the last 2, although they were still about average in net passing (2.7) this week. It is tough to estimate how much of the dropoff is due to missing Calvin Johnson this week and perhaps having him at half speed some of last week, but the Vegas line for this game moved about 2.5 points after Johnson was announced as inactive. The Packers normal pass plays (10.5) have been down their past 2 games now as well, but this week they still had strong net passing (9.2) because they mostly avoided sacks and interceptions. Green Bay also ran well (3.7) thanks to a 67 yard rush by Randall Cobb, and they gained an edge going 5/5 on field goals (3.5).

(3-2) Ravens 26 - 23 Dolphins (3-2)
Offensive EPA: BAL (-1.1) - (-3.7) MIA
The Ravens were near average in most areas on offense. They surprisingly haven't had a net positive rushing performance yet this season. Ryan Tannehill had his first below average normal pass plays (6.5) of the season. He did avoid interceptions, but suffered 6 more sacks (-6.1). Miami ran poorly (-3.2) but did punt very well (3.8).

(2-3) Eagles 36 - 21 Giants (0-5)
Offensive EPA: PHI (10.7) - (-4.3) NYG
The Eagles were very good in net passing (17.0) under both Vick and Foles. They had their first negative rushing (-2.4) mark of the season, but it didn't matter. Philadelphia may have a slight dropoff under Foles but it shouldn't be much. So far they have been a better team than their record shows. The Giants were slightly below average in net passing (1.2) due to 3 interceptions (-9.5), and lost further points on a Brandon Jacobs fumble lost (-3.7). The self-destructing Giants will certainly be better than their 0-5 record going forward, but their true quality at this point is a mystery.

(4-1) Seahawks 28 - 34 Colts (4-1)
Offensive EPA: SEA (2.1) - (8.1) IND
The Seahawks were efficient in net passing (9.9) by mostly avoiding negative plays. Though they made their other 4 attempts, Seattle lost ground on field goals (-3.8) because one was blocked and returned for a touchdown. The Colts had their own special teams issue in punting (-1.7) because one was blocked for a safety, but it wasn't as costly a mistake. Indianapolis rode strong normal pass plays (16.2) to match the Seahawks efficiency with their net passing (10.8).

(5-0) Chiefs 26 - 17 Titans (3-2)
Offensive EPA: KC (2.0) - (-7.0) TEN
The Chiefs had their worst net passing (-1.6) so far this season due to subpar normal pass plays (3.9). The only thing that kept their overall offensive mark respectable was punting (6.0) because they recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown. In vintage Ryan Fitzpatrick style, the Titans had good normal pass plays (15.9) that were offset by 2 interceptions (-7.1) and 3 sacks (-5.0) for only about average overall net passing (3.8). Tennessee again struggled in rushing (-2.2). They also lost points in turnovers (-2.3) from a failed 2nd quarter 4th down attempt at the KC 1, and in last plays of each half (-4.2) because they ended the game by running out of time in the red zone.

(1-3) Panthers 6 - 22 Cardinals (3-2)
Offensive EPA: CAR (-18.2) - (-2.2) ARI
The Panthers had their first real below average net passing (-14.4) mark in a disastrous game due to 3 interceptions (-12.3) including a couple of long returns and 7 sacks (-14.7) including a lost fumble with a long return and a safety. The Cardinals joined in on the interception-fest with 3 interceptions (-10.2) of their own, resulting in poor overall net passing (-1.9). Arizona again ran poorly (-2.4) but had solid field goals (2.4) and punts (2.3).

(5-0) Broncos 51 - 48 Cowboys (2-3)
Offensive EPA: DEN (29.3) - (26.7) DAL
The Broncos net passing (28.6) was the 2nd best in the NFL this season, 2nd only to their opponents in this game. It was supported with good rushing (2.6) and field goals (2.8) to produce an overall offensive mark surpassed only by their game against the Eagles. Our simulations give the Broncos a massive 75% chance of claiming the #1 seed in the AFC and a 38% chance of winning the Super Bowl. The Cowboys overcame 4 sacks (-4.9) with the best normal pass plays (38.2) in the history of our 5 years of data to produce the best net passing (30.7) yet this season. Despite the better passing, Dallas lost the game due to slightly worse marks in several other categories. The idea of moral victories is nearly universally criticized these days, but the Cowboys rating actually increased over 2 points because of their passing performance despite the poor defensive effort. In a very rare occurance, we actually project Dallas to win more games this season now than we had a week ago despite the loss.

(2-3) Texans 3 - 34 49ers (3-2)
Offensive EPA: HOU (-23.6) - (5.3) SF
The Texans were terrible in net passing (-12.0) due to poor normal pass plays (2.1) and 3 interceptions (-13.0). Houston also lost ground in several other areas. The Texans offensive rating is down significantly from last season, but the roster is nearly the same so the issues seem more flukey than a real trend. The 49ers rarely threw the ball, but were solid in net passing (8.1) by mostly avoiding negative plays. They also ran the ball reasonably well (2.0), but their high point total was due mostly to the Texans turnovers. The 49ers record has rebounded, but their rating is still only mediocre due to their unspectacular passing.

(2-3) Chargers 17 - 27 Raiders (2-3)
Offensive EPA: SD (-1.2) - (8.8) OAK
This was a surprise loss for the Chargers, but the stats are still somewhat promising. Their great normal pass plays (22.0) were more than enough to offset 3 interceptons (-8.5) for good overall net passing (10.6). Between their poor rushing and a Woodhead fumble that was returned for a touchdown, San Diego lost about 9 points, but overall their success was in more predictive categories while their failures were more flukey. The Raiders were solid in net passing (5.7) and had great punting (4.5) due to recovering a muff. Terrelle Pryor has now had success in 3 of his 4 games, and appears to have propelled Oakland to mediocrity despite a poor supporting cast.

(3-2) Jets 30 - 28 Falcons (1-4)
Offensive EPA: NYJ (10.3) - (8.3) ATL
The Jets were very good in net passing (11.6) while avoiding some of the usual negatives in lesser categories. Overall Geno Smith hasn't been net effective, but his turnovers are more likely to regress than his ability to move the offense. The Falcons net passing (19.6) was very good but they lost several points in other categories including their blocked punt attempt and failed 4th down attempt at the end of the 1st half. Despite their record the Falcons have played reasonably well, but the chances of a big rebound are hurt by the loss of Julio Jones.

Byes: Vikings (1-3), Steelers (0-4), Buccaneers (0-4), Redskins (1-3)

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