Wild Card Weekend Sunday Games

Today I take a look at the Wild Card Weekend Sunday Games. Going by points allowed and scored the Sunday games look to be the closer more competitive games compared to the Saturday games.

Vikings At Saints

Sunday, 1/5/20 at 1:05 ET

Viking RB Dalvin Cook

  • 1 of only 4 players to have 1600+ yards from scrimmage and score 70+ points
  • His 11.2 yards after the catch (YAC) per reception is first in the league.¹
  • His 4.54 yards per attempt make him 1 of only 19 backs with 100 attempts and a 4.5+ yards per attempt.

¹Cook averages -1.4 yards before the catch (YBC). When you add YBC and YAC then Cook trails backs Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders.

Viking DE Danielle Hunter

  • Hunter is fourth in the league with 14.5 sacks
  • His 15 tackles for loss (TFL) is tie for tenth.
  • Hunter is 1 of only 3 players with 14+ sacks, 15+ TFLs and 20+ QB hits.

The Vikings have

  • Second lowest number of missed tackles. They have only two more than the Patriots and 18 less than the third team.
  • Lowest yards after the catch allowed per reception with an average 3.79 yards. The next team is a half yard more and the league average is 1.2 yards more.
  • The fourth highest Interception percentage by the opponent offense.
  • The sixth highest yards after contact per rush attempt with a 2.3 yard average.
  • The fifth highest yards after catch per reception (5.8 yards)
  • The second most balanced run/pass percentage (49.1/50.9)
  • The fifth best combination ranking in points scored and points allowed ranking eighth and fifth in those respectively.

Saints QB Drew Brees

  • Top Pass Completion Percentage  (74.3%)
  • Top Sack Percent (3.08%)
  • Second Passer Rating (116.3)
  • Third Adjusted Net Yards Pass Attempts (8.3)
  • Third Pass Touchdown Percent (7.1%)
  • Fourth Pass Interception Percent (1.1%)
  • Lowest Bad Throw Percent (10.7%)
  • Highest On Target Percent (84.1%)
  • Pro Bowl 13 of 19 year career including the last four years.

Saints WR Michael Thomas

  • In 2019 broke all-time record for receptions with 149. The record had stood since 2002 when Marvin Harrison had 143.
  • His 1,725 receiving yards is tops this season and number seven on all-time season record list.
  • First in receiving 1st downs.
  • The fourth year player is a three year pro-Bowl selection and a one year All-Pro (2018).

The Saints are

  • Second in passing touchdowns.
  • Third in least number of interceptions thrown (tie).
  • Sixth in yards per play (5.9 yards).

I see this game as being close. For points scored and points allowed these teams match up pretty close with a slight edge to the Vikings. Personnel wise the edge goes to the Saints. They have the better quarterback and offensive line. The Saints  also have the home field advantage.

Pick to win: Saints

Seahawks At Eagles

Sunday, 1/5/20 at 4:40 PM ET

Eagle DT Fletcher Cox

  • His 22 pressures is eighth most among defensive tackles.
  • One of only seven defensive tackles to have 3+ sacks, 10+ QB hits, 5+ tackles for loss and 1+ forced fumble. Of the seven DTs Fletcher Cox has the most forced fumbles with 3.
  • Made the Pro Bowl each of the last 5 seasons and in 2018 was 1st Team All-Pro.

Eagle TE Dallas Goedert¹

  • Goedert’s 5.7 yards after the catch per reception is ninth best among tight ends.
  • One of only seven tight ends to have 5+ receiving touchdowns, 600+ receiving yards, 10+ yards per reception and 6.9+ yards per target.

¹ Would have chosen Zach Ertz but I am assuming Ertz will not play due to a lacerated kidney.

Seahawk QB Russell Wilson

  • Wilson’s 5 game winning drives and 4 fourth quarter comebacks this season are both tie for tops in the league.
  • Wilson’s 32 passing touchdowns is third in the league and his touchdown percentage is fifth.
  • Wilson’s 1% interception percent is tie for second in the league.
  • Wilson’s 106.3 passer rating is fifth in the league.

Seahawk LB Bobby Wagner

  • Wagner’s 159 tackles this season is tops in the league.
  • Wagner has 9 games this season with double digit tackles. That is tie with ARI Jordan Hicks for most in the league.
  • Wagner was elected for the last six Pro Bowls and has been a 1st Team All-Pro four times in that time-frame.

The Seahawks are

  • Ninth in total points scored.
  • Fourth in passing touchdowns.
  • Tied for third in least passing interceptions.
  • Fourth in rushing yards and tenth in rushing yards per attempt with 4.6 yards.
  • Third in rushing first downs.
  • Ninth in percentage of drives ending in an offensive score (36.3%)

The Eagles are

  • Fifth in 1st downs allowed – 6th in rushing ad 10th in passing.
  • Tenth in opponent rushing yards per attempt (4.1 yards)
  • Eighth in defensive percentage of opponent drives ending in a score (33.5%)

In combined ranking of points scored and points allowed the Eagles are 27th and the Seahawks are 31st out of a possible 64 with lower better. The Seahawks better in offense and the Eagles in defense.

Pro Football Focus ranked a healthy Eagles offensive line as the best in the league following the season. However OT Lane Johnson is questionable and OG Brandon Brooks is out. The Seahawks line was ranked as 27th.

The Eagles are banged up on receivers. For the last two weeks they have run a two tight end formation (1-2-2WRs) on 73% of their offensive snaps and it has been successful 47% of the time. In that time-frame the Seahawks have run a 1-1-3 formation (3 WRs) on 79% and it has been successful 37% on pass and 41% on run. Even with a depleted team on offense the Eagle have won their last four games. They are at home which will be an advantage.

Pick to win: Eagles ¹

¹(As a Giant fan I would be glad to see the Seahawks win but I think the Eagles have the advantage and I pick them to win)

All  the games this weekend look like good ones. I think they will be close. Enjoy the games!

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