Almost Naked: a stark look at each NFL team

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Feb 24, 2012



We strip teams naked each and every week with our Quality Stats: 14 indicators that give teams no place to run from their problems and nowhere to hide their weaknesses. We even do a body cavity search on each NFL team at the end of the season.

Yup, that's right. Nothing gets past our prison guards of pigskin.

As longtime CHFF readers now, a Quality Stat is an indicator that has a direct correlation to winning football games. We track that correlation each week at CHFF Insider. We also highlighted that correlation right here for all readers earlier this week.

Put together, these stats put a spotlight on the majestic beauty of the best teams, units and players in the NFL while exposing the hideous statistical weaknesses of each team. We've found through the years that balance is the key to postseason success: statistical weak links almost always snap in the playoffs. Note the 2011 Packers and Patriots, for example. They were the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences but each had brittle statistical weak links that snapped badly in the biggest games of the year.

History has shown that great teams are not always dominant in any one area, but typically have few if any exploitable weaknesses.

The chart below is statistical gold. It shows how every team ranked in all of our indicators this season, listed from No. 1 overall to No. 32. Our Naughty Nurse of analysis will measure the vital signs of each NFL team in great detail in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, here are just a few big-picture highlights for some key teams.

HOUSTON - Poor Texans. They were the No. 1 team across the board in our Quality Stats in 2011, a team that did almost everything well in all phases of the game. But you know when happened. They lost quarterback Matt Schaub to an injury in Week 10 and ended up playing out the string with 2011 fifth-round draft pick. T.J. Yates. The rookie proved a neat little player. But clearly he represented a huge step back at the most important position on the field. The disaster at QB ruined a season that otherwise had Super Bowl written all over it for Houston.

GREEN BAY - The Packers dominated the NFL almost wire to wire, and flirted with a perfect 16-0 season, thanks largely to the record-setting performance of Aaron Rodgers and the passing offense. But we saw all year that the team had a critical weakness. That weakness leaps off the chart below like a hideous lesion of loser-dom. The Packers were among the worst in football (30th) in Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt. Opponents ripped them for 7.2 Yards Per Attempt everytime they dropped back to pass.

Remember, REAL Passing YPA includes the impact of sacks, so 7.2 YPA is a pretty damning number.

And what happened in the biggest game of the year, the divisional playoffs vs. the Giants? Naturally, that weak link snapped badly. Eli Manning ripped the Green Bay defense for 10.0 YPA and an even more gruesome 9.6 Real Passing YPA. The result was a shocking 37-20 loss and a terrible defensive performance that was all but predictable looking at the chart below.

NEW ENGLAND - The Patriots were almost the mirror image of the Packers: a great offense but a defense that ranked No. 29 in Defensive Real Passing YPA (7.13). We all know what happened in the Super Bowl: in the biggest game and biggest series of the season, that defense simply could not make a stop. Manning produced 6.41 Real Passing YPA vs. the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Sounds respectable. But not really. That number, over the course of a season, would have put the Patriots at No. 20 in Defensive Real Passing YPA. For the sake of comparison, the Steelers led the NFL with an awesome 4.87 Defensive Real Passing YPA.

N.Y. GIANTS - We talked about the importance of all-around strength, right? Well, the Super Bowl champ Giants were a pretty good example. They were not great in any one area in 2011. But they weren't particularly bad in any one area, either. In fact, the Giants were one of just three teams in 2011, with Houston (No. 1 overall) and Baltimore (No. 2 overall) that ranked in the Top 21 in every single Quality Stat below. That's pretty interesting: the Texans were a legit Super Bowl contender before they lost their QB and Baltimore would have faced the Giants in the Super Bowl if not for a pair of colossal gaffes (dropped TD reception, missed FG) in the final seconds of the AFC title game at New England.

INDIANAPOLIS - We all know the loss of Peyton Manning was huge. But the Colts finished the season dead last across the board in our Quality Stats and, even with Manning, were looking at a 5- or 6-win season at best. This team sucked at everything: 30th or worse in 8 of 14 indicators; 27th or worse in 12 of 14. It's a miracle they won even two games.  

Again, our Naughy Nurse of off-season analysis will take the vital signs of each and every team in great detail in the days and weeks ahead.

Overall= Overall position in Quality Stats Power Rankings; QS = Quality Standings; SCOR = Scoreability; BEND = Bendability; RPYPA = Real Passing Yards Per Attempt; DRPYPA = Defensive Real Passing Yards Per Attempt; QBR = Real Quarterback Rating; DQBR = Defensive Real Quarterback Rating; OPR = Offensive Passer Rating; DPR = Defensive Passer Rating; PRD = Passer Rating Differential; OHI = Offensive Hog Index; DHI = Defensive Hog Index; REL = Relativity Index.   

 
Rankings in all CHFF Quality Stats (2011 season)
Team Overall QS SCOR BEND RPYPA DRPYPA QBR DQBR OPR DPR PRD OHI DHI REL
Houston 1 5 17 11 7 2 9 2 7 2 3 4 7 8
Baltimore 2 3 8 8 18 3 19 1 15 1 8 2 1 5
San Francisco 3 4 2 1 20 10 10 5 8 5 6 26 2 4
Green Bay 4 1 1 4 1 30 1 18 1 9 1 11 26 2
New Orleans 5 2 6 7 3 16 2 25 2 22 2 1 21 1
Pittsburgh 6 6 27 3 9 1 13 3 10 4 5 10 19 7
Detroit 7 29 5 20 12 7 5 12 5 12 7 12 13 6
New England 8 32 4 2 2 29 3 24 3 21 4 7 25 3
Atlanta 9 9 10 18 13 19 7 15 9 14 11 6 22 10
Philadelphia 10 20 19 14 8 11 14 9 19 19 21 9 8 9
N.Y. Giants 11 13 18 21 4 20 8 17 6 20 12 19 13 12
Dallas 12 19 20 15 10 23 4 22 4 25 9 7 17 16
Seattle 13 10 12 10 26 12 25 6 20 6 13 30 4 18
Cincinnati 14 24 9 17 17 4 16 11 16 17 18 18 9 17
N.Y. Jets 15 31 3 29 25 7 21 4 18 3 10 28 3 15
Tennessee 16 11 22 5 14 5 12 20 14 18 15 16 30 19
Chicago 17 8 7 11 23 13 27 10 24 8 19 25 18 11
Miami 18 30 14 6 18 16 18 21 12 15 14 26 5 13
San Diego 19 12 15 23 5 28 11 28 11 27 17 2 22 14
Oakland 20 14 24 25 6 15 15 13 17 11 16 15 28 24
Arizona 21 23 23 13 21 7 29 14 23 13 23 31 10 21
Kansas City 22 15 31 16 23 24 26 8 28 7 20 24 6 29
Carolina 23 25 13 27 11 32 6 29 13 30 25 4 28 20
Cleveland 24 27 30 9 30 6 24 7 29 10 22 21 26 25
Buffalo 25 21 11 30 15 26 17 26 21 26 24 13 22 22
Washington 26 7 28 22 16 22 28 23 27 24 26 22 13 23
Jacksonville 27 16 25 19 32 14 32 16 32 16 29 29 11 27
Denver 28 22 21 24 29 21 20 27 26 28 28 23 11 26
Minnesota 29 28 16 32 27 25 23 31 22 32 32 14 16 28
Tampa Bay 30 17 26 31 22 31 22 30 25 29 30 16 32 31
St. Louis 31 26 32 26 31 16 31 19 31 23 27 31 20 30
Indianapolis 32 18 29 29 28 27 30 32 30 31 31 20 31 32


 

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