The results are in for week one and here is a snapshot of the teams based on yards achieved and yards allowed. Granted one week is not a good sample size on which to draw conclusions but it does present a picture of what the teams were able to achieve coming together after a full preseason practice. The strength of the opponent is not factored into this analysis. However with parity being rampant in the NFL that may be okay. Just look at the Steelers-Browns game tie to see parity in full force. The analysis paints a picture based solely on yards gained and yards allowed. It is one aspect of analyzing the teams. This snapshot looked at passing and rushing yards achieved by the offense as well as passing and rushing yards allowed by the defense. Here are the results.
The Top Ten
Eight of the top ten teams won in week one. The Steelers were the only team that tied and the Chargers were the only team that lost.
10. New England Patriots (1-0)
The Patriots excelled in pass defense allowing only 158 net passing yards which was ranked 8th in the league. Edge rushers Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise had 1.5 sacks apiece. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore had an interception in the end zone. DeShaun Watson had a 62.9 passer rating. The Patriots allowed only 23.5% of passing attempts to achieve a first down and limited Watson to only one pass of 20+ yards.
9. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The Vikings limited the 49ers to 90 yards rushing and a 3.6 yard average in the Viking victory. The longest rushing play allowed was only 14 yards. The 90 yards allowed was ranked ninth in the league. Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph had four tackles and a forced fumble.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
The Bucs excelled in both pass offense and run defense. The Saints did give up the run game to match FitzPatrick’s passing with their own. The Saints had the lowest rushing attempts in the league (13). Nevertheless the Bus did hold the Saints run game to an average of 3.3 yards and a long of 10 yards. In the passing game FitzPatrick had the league highest passer rating (156.2), highest passing 1st downs per attempt (60.7%), most 20+ yard passes (8 – tie), most passing touchdowns (4 – tie) and the third best completion percentage (75%). Jameis Winston watch out.
7. New York Jets (1-0)
Even though Sam Darnold had a good debut the real strength of the Jets was their run game and run defense. Like the Saints the Lions abandoned their run game to keep up with the Jets. The Lions had the second lowest rushing attempts (15). However the Jets did hold the Lions run game to a measly 2.6 yard average, a long of nine yards and a 13.3% first down conversion rate. In the run game the Jets rushed for a league third highest 36 attempts and 169 yards. They averaged 4.7 yards per carry and had a long of 62 yards for a touchdown. Isaiah Crowell rushed for 10 attempts, 102 yards and two touchdowns. Bilal Powell had 12 attempts for 60 yards.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1)
The Chargers are the only team to make the top ten and lose their game. The Chargers were second in passing yards (418), third in passing touchdowns (3), third in passing first down conversions (45%), tie for first in 20+ yard passing plays (8) and ninth in passer rating (103.7). Phillip rivers’ 66.7% completion percentage was ranked 10th in the league. The Chargers run game and run defense were decent. Melvin Gordon rushed for 64 yards on 15 attempts. The Chargers averaged 5.6 yards per rush and had a 31.8% first down conversion rate on rushing attempts. Their pass defense is where things went bad. Patrick Mahomes threw for 256 yards, four touchdowns and had six passing plays of 20+ yards.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1)
The Steelers had a tie against the Browns and are the only other team in the top ten besides the Chargers that did not have a win. The Steelers turned the ball over six times in the game. It is amazing that the Steelers got a tie with that many turnovers. If one can get past the six turnovers the Steelers had a dominant game in passing, rushing and pass defense. The Steelers passed for 313 net yards (5th), had a 41.5% first downs per passing attempts (7th) and had four pass plays of 20+ yards (8th). In the run game the Steelers with James Connor rushed for 159 yards (5th), averaged 4.5 yards per carry (12th) and had two rushing touchdowns (2nd). The pass defense limited the Browns to 150 passing yards (6th) and 15% first down conversion on passing attempts (1st). Tyrod Taylor was limited to a 51.8 passer rating (5th). The Steelers were up 21-7 going into the fourth quarter after the three interceptions. The Steelers gave up 177 yards in run defense (31st), 26% first down rushing conversion (24th) and two rushing touchdowns (26th).
4. Carolina Panthers (1-0)
The Panthers held the Cowboys scoreless until the fourth quarter. They the gave up one touchdown and a two-point conversion. The Panthers limited Dallas to 138 yards passing (3rd), a 5.9 yard average per pass attempt (11th) and had six sacks (2nd). In the offensive run game the Panthers had two rushing touchdowns. Cam Newton had the long run of 29 yards and one rushing touchdown. Christian McCaffrey had 10 attempts for 50 yards and a long of 15 yards. He also had six receptions for 46 yards and a long of 14 yards. The Panthers limited Ezekiel Elliott to 69 yards rushing and 17 yards receiving.
3. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
The Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman could probably not have gone up against a tougher secondary than his disastrous opener. The Ravens secondary as covered in this prior post is one of the more formidable secondaries. The conditions of heavy rain and wind were not inducive to passing. Irregardless the Ravens held the Bills to 70 net yards passing which was the lowest in week one across the NFL. The Bills’ quarterbacks were sacked six times and had a combined passer rating of 17.1, the lowest in week one. The Raven’s run defense was also good holding the Bills to 83 yards rushing, a 3.8 yard average and a 13.6% first down conversion on rushing plays. The Ravens had a good passing offense with 252 yards passing, 68% completion percentage, three passing touchdowns, five pass plays of 20+ yards and a 113.9 passer rating.
2. Denver Broncos (1-0)
The Broncos held the Seahawks to 64 yards rushing with a 4.0 yard average and a league low 6.3% on first down conversions. Denver linebacker Von Miller forced two fumbles and recovered one of them. The Broncos had 324 yards net passing yardage (4th), three passing touchdowns, three interceptions and a 38.5% first down conversion on passing attempts. Case Keenum solidifies his choice as starting quarterback and quells any quarterback controversy for now. In addition the Broncos, led by rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, rushed for 146 yards with a 4.6 yard average and a 25% first down conversion percentage on attempts.
1. Washington Redskins (1-0)
This was a surprise! The Redskins lead the top ten excelling in the run game and defense. The Redskins had a league high 182 yards rushing on a high 42 rushing attempts and averaged 4.3 yards per carry. Newly signed Adrian Peterson was a workhorse rushing for 26 attempts and getting his 100th career rushing touchdown. The Redskins held Arizona to 145 yards passing (4th) and 68 yards rushing (4th). The Redskins do have a strong defensive front seven as covered in this post.
That is the top ten teams based on yards gained and allowed for week one. There were a few surprises for me. Those being the Buccaneers with a backup quarterback, the Jets with a rookie quarterback, the Broncos with “one year wonder” Case Keenum and the Redskins with the loss of Derrius Guice. They are off to a good start and have overcome adversity or the odds to get there.
I plan on putting out the bottom ten from week one before the Sunday games. So check back.
Enjoy the game tonight between the Ravens and the Bengals! The Ravens secondary should be tested a little more this week with A.J. Green.