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Week 6 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.

Week 6 was expected to feature a lot of close games, and it delivered. 9 of the 14 games ended in upsets, with several last minute finishes and 2 overtime games. Our ratings reveal several quality teams with mediocre records, and several weak teams with good records. As such, we can expect a decent amount of turnover in the standings going forward.

(2-3) Steelers 23 - 26 Titans (2-4)
Offensive EPA: PIT (3.7) - (6.7) TEN
The Steelers overall net pass game (11.6) was very good, but they were letdown somewhat by their run game (-2.8) as well as punting (-4.1) due to a blocked punt. The Steelers defense has been worse this season, but as long as the pass offense is rolling, losses like this will be rare rather than the norm. The Titans net pass offense (5.1) was solid as well, and they combined it with solid punting (2.2) to edge out the win. The Tennessee defense has yet to hold an opponent to a worse than league average offensive performance, but they have also faced a string of potent offenses thus far.

(3-3) Rams 14 - 17 Dolphins (3-3)
Offensive EPA: STL (2.1) - (5.1) MIA
The Rams offense actually played pretty well in this game. The net pass offense (4.7) was solid, and the run game (6.1) was by far the best it has been all season. But the Rams suffered on kickoff returns (-5.0) due to a fumble lost and by going just 2/5 on field goals (-3.4), their first negative mark on field goals of the season. The Dolphins net passing (6.5) was also solid mostly by avoiding negative plays. They ran the ball poorly (-4.4), but benefitted from very successful punting (4.0). Overall both offenses were somewhat successful despite the low score, but looking forward neither performance suggests either team is any better than a bit below league average.

(1-5) Chiefs 10 - 38 Buccaneers (2-3)
Offensive EPA: KC (-20.0) - (8.0) TB
Chiefs fans who wanted Brady Quinn to play should be kicking themselves because this was by far the worst passing performance by the Chiefs this season, thanks to a combination of bad normal passes (1.8) and 2 costly interceptions (-12.2), one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Kansas City rushing performance (-6.0) was also their worst this season. The Buccaneers rebounded in a big way with their best net passing performance (11.9) since 2010 and best rushing (6.6) since 2009. Tampa Bay lost several points in different special teams categories, but the success from scrimmage is evidence that even if the Bucs are below average, they do not quite belong in the worst few teams in the league.

(1-4) Raiders 20 - 23 Falcons (6-0)
Offensive EPA: OAK (-7.9) - (-4.9) ATL
The Raiders normal pass plays were successful (16.8), but were overcome by a big pick-6 (-8.6), 3 sacks (-9.7) including a fumble lost, and a Darren McFadden fumble lost (-4.4). The Falcons normal pass plays (10.6) were about average, but they were also undone by 3 interceptions (-9.8) and a poor run game (-6.0). Atlanta did benefit from very good punting (4.0). Despite sneaking out with a win, the Falcons fall back to the pack a bit in our ratings as a result.

(2-3) Cowboys 29 - 31 Ravens (5-1)
Offensive EPA: DAL (13.2) - (17.5) BAL
Despite the loss, the Cowboys offense was very efficient. Their net pass game (10.8) and rush game (6.2) were both very good. Dallas is certainly better than their record, but is losing ground in a tough division. The Ravens offense saw success in net passing (12.3), rushing (3.8), and even kickoff returns (3.5) due to a return touchdown. It was a solid offensive performance by Baltimore, but the defense has just been mediocre this season.

(3-3) Bengals 24 - 34 Browns (1-5)
Offensive EPA: CIN (-9.8) - (-0.3) CLE
The Bengals lost big ground on 3 interceptions (-10.8) and 2 sacks (-6.8) due to a lost fumble. But they had relative success on normal pass plays (14.3) again, which still leaves hope for Cincinnati going forward. The Browns offense was pretty average all around, which was a relative improvement and a relatively positive result for a team with a rookie quarterback. Cleveland will have to maintain similar progress to climb out from near the bottom of our ratings.

(2-3) Colts 9 - 35 Jets (3-3)
Offensive EPA: IND (-6.8) - (19.2) NYJ
The Colts were a little subpar all around on offense, struggling in the net pass game (-2.9) and run game (-3.0). The bigger issue has been the defense, which has yet to hold an opposing offense to even a neutral result. But the Colts still have good stats for a team with a rookie quarterback, and are in an weak division. The good side of the bipolar Jets came out this week. Their net pass game (6.0) was underwhelming but successful by avoiding negative plays. And the run game (13.1) posted the 3rd best mark by any team this season. It was a positive result for the Jets, but they will not be considered a decent team unless they improve on normal pass plays.

(2-3) Lions 26 - 23 Eagles (3-3)
Offensive EPA: DET (4.2) - (1.7) PHI
The Lions offense was pretty average all around. They managed slightly positive results by avoiding sacks and going 4/4 on field goals (2.7). Detroit got a big win, but unless their pass game starts to resemble that of last season, it is unlikely they will make the playoffs. Michael Vick has been receiving blame, but the Eagles net pass game (13.1) was actually very successful, which even includes 2 interceptions (-3.1) that were not very costly because both were deep down the field. What cost Philadelphia were terrible called runs (-7.3) and a fumble on a snap (-5.3). It was a tough loss, but the Eagles came out of the game with the better stats looking forward.

(3-3) Patriots 23 - 24 Seahawks (4-2)
Offensive EPA: NE (0.8) - (1.8) SEA
The Patriots passed the ball well again on normal pass plays (16.9) this week, but were not able to keep the run game strong (-0.9), and threw 2 interceptions (-6.8). New England also lost a few points on the last play of the 1st half in the red zone due to an intentional grounding call resulting in a 10 second runoff of the clock. The stats show the Patriots are still much better than their record. The Seahawks net pass game (14.2) was by far their best of the season, but they lost significant points in other categories including poor running (-1.5), a fumble (-3.1), and another fumble on a snap (-2.7). The newfound passing success bodes well for Seattle, but the stats show they are still not nearly as good as their record.

(3-3) Bills 19 - 16 Cardinals (4-2)
Offensive EPA: BUF (-3.8) - (-5.6) ARI
The Bills normal pass plays were very bad (-0.6), but the pass game as a whole was not overly terrible because they avoided significant negative plays. Brad Smith did throw an interception (-2.3) from the wildcat, but it was not a particularly costly one. Buffalo did about make up for the passing woes with the return of a strong run game (6.0) that had been missing since Week 2, but also lost a fumble (-3.3). The takeaway from the win is still mostly negative due to the Bills passing struggles of late. It was also a disappointing performance from the Cardinals. Their poor normal pass plays (3.7) were overwhelmed by losses on 2 interceptions (-7.6) and 5 sacks (-5.1). The Cardinals string of luck has run out and their defenciencies are catching up to them. Even making the playoffs now looks unlikely with a tougher schedule looming.

(4-2) Giants 26 - 3 49ers (4-2)
Offensive EPA: NYG (4.1) - (-18.9) SF
The Giants won easily, but this was actually one of their worse offensive performances. Their normal pass plays (2.6) were ineffective, but the fact that they avoided any sacks or interceptions meant they finished about league average overall in the pass game. The 49ers offense followed up by far their best performance last week with by far their worst this week. Their decent normal pass plays (7.3) were overwhelmed by 3 interceptions (-9.4) and 6 sacks (-8.5). Like the Patriots, their run game also slowed (-0.2) after 2 previous great weeks. San Francisco still appears to not have taken the next step in the pass game, which will be necessary to be rated among the best teams in the league.

(4-2) Vikings 26 - 38 Redskins (3-3)
Offensive EPA: MIN (1.6) - (13.6) WAS
This was actually the Vikings most successful game on normal pass plays (21.4), but also featured their worst marks yet from 2 interceptions (-9.7) and 3 sacks (-8.7) due to a fumble lost. The stats have shown Minnesota to be a mediocre team not quite deserving of their record. The Redskins offense was good all around. The net pass game (7.8) and run game (6.2) both had success. Washington has been decent on called pass plays, but the bigger impact from Robert Griffin has so far been on called runs, whether as a runner, option pitcher, or decoy.

(3-3) Packers 42 - 24 Texans (5-1)
Offensive EPA: GB (17.0) - (-0.1) HOU
The Packers offense the last 3 weeks has looked just like the 2011 offense. The net pass offense (23.6) was about as good as any team has performed this season, and rendered a very poor run game (-5.1) and bad punting (-4.0) because of a blocked punt meaningless. Green Bay continues to vault up our ratings. They should now have little trouble making the playoffs, and winning the division is still very possible. The Texans passed well on normal pass plays (13.5) but lost the gains on 3 interceptions (-8.4), although 1 came from the backup in garbage time. The run game continues to get respect due to yardage totals and fantasy points, but in terms of actual efficiency has not been quite what it was last year. The Houston pass offense has been a bit of a disappointment as well, which is keeping them away from the top of our ratings. The Texans have not been quite as good as their record, but their whole season schedule is pretty weak, so they should have no trouble claiming a high seed in the playoffs.

(3-3) Broncos 35 - 24 Chargers (3-3)
Offensive EPA: DEN (-2.7) - (-13.7) SD
This was a classic example of a high scoring game despite bad offensive play due to turnovers. The Broncos continue to move the ball well on normal pass plays (17.4). Denver also avoided sacks, but had a costly pix-6 (-8.7). Further inhibiting their overall offensive mark was poor rushing (-2.5) and terrible kick returns (-5.9) due to a fumble lost. The Chargers moved the ball decently on normal pass plays (11.6), but had huge losses on 4 interceptions (-12.8) and 4 sacks (-12.9) including 2 fumbles lost. San Diego also scored a good mark on punts (4.8) by recovering a fumbled punt return. The big comeback win for the Broncos moves our division winner projections from about a coin flip between these 2 teams to more of a 2/3 Denver, 1/3 San Diego split.

Byes: Panthers (1-4), Bears (4-1), Jaguars (1-4), Saints (1-4)

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