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Biggest weaknesses of eight remaining NFL playoff teams; plus, updated Super Bowl LVII probabilities

Published: Jan 18, 2023 5:38pm

NFL franchises use contextualized data to create competitive advantage. To achieve advantage, teams need to use the right data in the right way at the right time. This means extracting, interpreting and applying only the most impactful data within a framework that considers personnel, opponents and changing game situations. My goal is to be your analytics department. Every week this season, I want to work for you and give you an idea of ​​which numbers in my model are labeled as the most impactful…or most misunderstood.

As always, let me know if your vision test turns up anything interesting Stuff, or if there is a stats/trends you like me to drill down on. You can hit me up on Twitter @cfrelund. As with any good analytics department, the more we collaborate, the more value we can create.

and then there are eight.

I just did my first round of 1,000,000 simulations of each of the four divisional games this weekend, which helps show the most likely outcome, which is Which teams will win and helps outline the conditions under which the upset will occur.

I also updated the Super Bowl odds for the eight remaining teams and provided my assessment of the biggest weaknesses each team faces. Since I love this weekend’s roster, I’ve also added a red flag for each team’s upcoming games. Let’s dig deeper!

PS I’ll be re-running these when we get weekly injury updates, so remember to check back before games start.

Editor’s note: Odds The content quoted below was provided by Caesars as of Wednesday, January 18 at 5:15pm ET.

Kansas City ChiefsKansas City ChiefsKansas City Chiefs

    Kansas City Chiefs

    to win AFC: 41.2%

  • Asia AFC No. 1 seed | Record: 14-3
  • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: + 310
  • Conference winning probability: +145

    Biggest hole: Patrick Mahomes under pressure slide.

    Mahomes dominates the field in so much of the NFL — he broke the single-season record for offensive yards (5,614) and led the season in QB wins, passing yards Leading the league in passing touchdowns and total touchdowns. One big factor, though, is what happened when Mahomes was under pressure this season: His passer rating dropped 61.3 points, according to Next Gen Stats. That’s the third-largest drop in 2022, behind only Lamar Jackson (88.6) and Kyler Murray (68). (For what it’s worth, the Jaguars pressured Mahomes on 31.4 percent of his dropbacks in their Week 10 meeting with the Chiefs, while Jacksonville’s 2-10 between Week 9 and Super Wild Card Weekend 37.4 percent pressure.)

    Keeping Mahomes clean pays off, as does his league-leading 34 passing touchdowns and 119.0 TDG when he’s not under pressure in 2022. Minimizing pressure, as evidenced by passer ratings, will be a big pivotal season for the rest of the Chiefs. Based on what we’ve seen from their offense, they have the right supporting cast to keep the pressure going through their offensive scheme; Kansas City becomes the only team in NFL history to have 12 players rush for more than 100 yards and multiple times in a single season The touchdown team. They’ve had a different lead receiver in five of their last six games. Additionally, 28 of Mahomes’ 41 regular-season TD passes went to running backs and tight ends, making Mahomes the most such scorers in NFL history (a record set by YA Tittle in 1963).

    One more note ahead of Saturday’s game against the Jaguars: During the regular season, the Chiefs’ defense allowed a passer rating of 112.0 against low passes ( yards on at least 10 air passes), second-highest in the league according to NGS. Kansas City also allowed Christian Kirk for 54 yards and a touchdown on three such receptions in a closer-than-expected win over Jacksonville in Week 10.

    Buffalo BillsBuffalo BillsBuffalo Bills

      Buffalo Bills

      Win the AFC: 30.2%

    • AFC Champions League No. 2 seed| Record: 14-3
    • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +350Conference winning probability: +165

      Biggest bug: Mistake.

      This one is not surprising. During the 2022 regular season and playoffs, Josh Allen recorded 22 turnovers, including 16 interceptions, for a team total of 30 over that span, second most in the NFL. THIS IS IS ​​ AMAZING: I did some calculations on the net impact of playoff misses over the past 10 seasons , found that when the game was scored within two points, the defensive fumble was worth about 3.6 points, while the interception was worth about 1.8 points. The difference is almost 2 points! Allen has been so good in the clutch that he ranks third in the playoffs in fourth-quarter passer rating (105.0) among all quarterbacks over the past 30 seasons. But an ill-timed turnover could spell doom for the playoffs.

      One note for this Sunday’s divisional finale: When the Bengals are able to handle the pressure this season, they allowed passer rating (36.2) in the regular season, allowed completions ratio (39.9) and allowed TD to INT ratio (0:7). According to Next Gen Stats, they’re the only team to allow zero touchdowns when they can handle the pressure.

      San Francisco 49ers

    • NFC No. 2 Seed | Record: 14-4
    • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +380Conference winning probability: +160

      Biggest hole: Movies.

      Kyle Shanahan has been playing great for rookie QB Brock Purdy, but as defenses see more seventh-round picks, they’ll be able to plan better to exploit his weakness. From Week 14 to Super Wild Card Weekend, Purdy put up stellar numbers, posting the most wins (six), yards per pass (9.3) and passer rating (121.4) in the NFL over that stretch Highest, also tied for most passing TDs (14). He also has an 86.9 passer rating under pressure, which ranks sixth (including the playoffs). He’s working with the most skilled teammates and best left tackle in the game, according to win shares, and his operating scheme has allowed for 3.3 yards of goal separation on downfield pass attempts, by far the most NFL (next closest is 3.0). I’m by no means suggesting that Purdy is a liability, or trying to downplay an epic display from a potential star, but even the world of Patrick Mahomeses, Josh Allens and Joe Burrows faces an adjustment period once defenses learn what they’re capable of .

      In this Sunday’s matchup with Dallas, I’m watching how Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn stops the 49ers’ pass catchers (mainly tight end George Kittle). We’ve seen Quinn use smart strategies on his defensive backs to compensate for injuries, and we’ve seen Shanahan tweak his pre-rush moves and shifts (Purdy was in the NFL from Week 14 to last week) to help keep his offense simple But it looks complicated. Can Purdy see through it all to keep the passing game strong?

      San Francisco 49ers
        • NFC No. 1 seed | Record: 14-3Buffalo Bills
        • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +525

        Conference winning probability: +165

        Biggest bug: Adapting to the Giants’ defensive look.

        With the extra rest provided by the first-round bye, quarterback Jalen Hertz is likely (and hopefully) after dealing with the two regular seasons that kept him out. Will return to healthier game after shoulder injury. However, one thing we saw when he returned to action in Week 18 against the Giants, when New York changed up the defense (playing more screens, splitting containment and less pressure), the Eagles The effectiveness of the team’s offense is reduced. In fact, in Philly’s two games against the Giants this season, Hertz’s efficiency against screens Much lower (21-of-33, 5.2 yards per attempt, 0:1 TD-to-INT ratio, 64.0 passer rating) than when he faced media coverage (7-for-9, 16.8 yards per attempt, 1 :0 TD to INT ratio), 155.8 pass rate). New York has also had success with split containment, holding Hurts to 3.3 yards per attempt in those situations.

        Of course, Hurts was still back with a shoulder sprain in Philly’s Week 18 win, and New York was resting many of its starters. The Hawks are also without Lane Johnson, who should be back for this Saturday’s rematch, and New York will have Adoree’ Jackson, who missed two games. We should see if the Hawks can adapt (especially if Hertz isn’t 100% healthy), which will be crucial to getting deep into the playoffs.

        Kansas City Chiefs
      • AFC No. 3 seed | Record: 13-4
      • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +800
      • meeting won Probability: +400
      • Biggest bug:

        Offensive line hurt.

        La’el Collins is on injured reserve, while Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams are both considered weekly backups. Including the playoffs, Joe Burrow is 22-3 over the past two seasons when he has had fewer than four sacks per game, and when he has had four or more sacks. 4 wins and 8 losses. Sacks aren’t the only thing, though. I’m concerned with effective pressure and how the defensive back end restricts space for pass-catchers. In the Bengals’ wild-card win over the Ravens, Barrow was sacked four times on 25 percent pressure while covering zone on 28 of his 32 attempts; blitz rate). On average, he has 2.38 seconds to throw, down from his regular-season average of 2.55. We can infer that the understaffed O-line leads to faster pressure, which also leads to less room for pass-catchers.

        On Sunday, the Bengals faced the daunting task of slowing down the Beal’s pass rush, even

        with Von Miller is out for the season. In the last week alone, eight Bills players each put on at least two pressures for a total of 19 pressures and four sacks. this season ( Including the playoffs), the Bills’ 29.6 pressure rate ranks 10th in the NFL.

        Kansas City Chiefs
      • NFC No. 5 Seeds | Records: 13-5
      • Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +850
      • Conference winning probability: +350

        Biggest loophole: Kick.

        just kidding! But it was indeed a strange scene on Monday, when Brett Maher became the first player since 1932 to miss four extra-point attempts in a regular season or playoffs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau (when Track individual player stats for the first time).

        Actual Biggest vulnerability: Injured.

        I say this because of the potential shuffle on the O-line (Jason Peters hurt his hip against the Bucs) and CB Anthony Brown’s replacement strategy (torn in early December His Achilles) are all counted here. Let’s start with the offensive line. After Peters went out in the third quarter on Monday night, the Cowboys reverted to the setup they had used in the previous three games, which was nowhere near as successful as what we saw against the Buccaneers, who couldn’t generate as many passes. Shock (just 8 presses, 34 backs). It’s also unreasonable to expect Dak Prescott — who has a career-high 15 INTs in just 12 games — to play at a near-perfect level every playoff week (he’s 10+ yards has a perfect passer rating on his passes), so the strength of his protection might be magnified in the future. Next up is the 49ers’ vaunted forward, and that scrutiny could be coming soon.

        As for the second line, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was used in Cover 4 and Cover 6 against Tom Brady (85.1% vs. season average 65.6%) Extra defensive backs while pushing Nickelback DaRon Bland out to the wing and finding different ways to cover the open. Quinn is good at finding ways to slow opponents down, but even he’s sure to have challenges with a lack of depth at the back end, especially if the Cowboys aren’t efficient passing the ball.

        • NFC No. 6 seed | Record: 10-7-1
        • Odds of winning the Super Bowl : +3000

            Conference winning probability: +1300

          Biggest vulnerability: Defense.

          The Giants will need more defense if their playoff run is to continue into Saturday night. According to PFF, New York’s run defense ranks 28th this season, which is in line with a unit that ranks 27th in rushing yards per game (144.2). That average is an interesting threshold to note, since only two teams over the past 40 seasons have allowed more than 140 rushing yards per game in the same season. The Giants also had problems passing the ball, scoring 21 points in the air with just six interceptions, the fourth-worst TD/INT ratio allowed by a playoff team in NFL history. On top of that, the team as a whole gave up the second most important games of any defense during the regular season (127). In a nutshell: Susceptibility to runs and passes — especially the shorter ones that scar a lot — makes it less likely to win many postseason wins.

          Against the Eagles, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact the Giants’ pass rush has on the mighty Philadelphia O-line. Dexter Lawrence ranks second in defensive tackles for QB pressure (54), and he and Leonard Williams combine (83) — tied for fourth among all DT duos in the league. Not to be overlooked, rookie line rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux took 40 pressures in his first year and added six more in the Giants’ wild-card win over the Vikings — a career high.

          • AFC No. 4 Seed | Record: 10-8
          • odds of winning the Super Bowl: +3500Conference winning probability: +1300

          Maximum vulnerability: third defense.

          If the Jaguars are going to upset Kansas City, they’ll have to get their feet wet in Game 3. Jacksonville ranks 29th in third defense this season and 28th in passing, especially in slot alignment and tight end. During the regular season, the Jaguars allowed a league-high 1,235 receiving yards, a 5.1-beating completion percentage (fourth-most) and 9.6 yards per attempt (the most of any team since 2019). Additionally, their 3.0 completion rate over expectations is the fifth-highest according to Next Gen Stats. He’s targeting the spot sixth-highest among all QBs this season (32.7 percent), and of course, has four-time All-Pro Travis Kelce at his disposal. The pair’s unparalleled connection is one reason Kansas City has the second-best third offense this year.

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