Sunday, May 26, 2024

Biggest strength, weakness for each NFL team: Josh Allen an ultimate weapon, why Chiefs won’t reach Super Bowl

Hard to believe a third of the NFL season is completed, and yet the league remains as unpredictable as ever. The Buffalo Bills are as good as advertised while the Philadelphia Eagles are the last unbeaten team — which was hard to fathom at the beginning of the year. 

The NFC East is the best division in football with two teams having at least five wins, including the surprising New York Giants (who have more wins than they had last year). The New York Jets are two games over .500 for the first time in seven years while the Atlanta falcons and Seattle Seahawks are two surprising .500 teams. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers teams are .500 this late in a season for the first time in a decade. 

The mediocrity of the NFL has been the highlight of the year thus far and teams have distinguished what their strengths and weaknesses are through six weeks. Here are each team’s thus far: 

Arizona Cardinals


Pass protection: The Cardinals basically come out flat every single week on offense. The offensive line stays consistent at making sure Kyler Murray is protected, allowing a 28.7% pressure rate (which is fifth lowest in the NFL). They allowed just 5.2% of dropbacks to turn into sacks (11th in NFL). 

At least Arizona pass protects well. 


Play calling: Kliff Kingsbury’s play calling has a lot to be desired, the main reason why the Cardinals struggle in the first half of games. While Kingsbury is considering giving up play-calling duties, Kyler Murray is averaging 5.0 next yards gained per pass attempt (32nd in the NFL). 

Murray is completing just 27.5% of his passes of 15-plus yards downfield and has just a 32.7 passer rating in those situations, so that limits what Kingsbury can call as well. Maybe DeAndre Hopkins coming back will change that. 

Atlanta Falcons


Run game: The Falcons surprisingly have one of the top run offenses in the NFL, averaging 165.2 yards per game (third in NFL) and eight touchdowns (fourth in NFL). No wonder the Falcons have run the ball 202 times this season when Atlanta has rushed for 150-plus yards in five of the six games it played. 

Whether it’s Cordarrelle Patterson, Tyler Allgeier, or Caleb Huntley the Falcons have been able to move the ball on the ground. 


Pass defense: The Falcons have allowed the second most pass yards per game in the NFL (281.2), allowing 275-plus yards in three of the six games they played. A.J. Terrell has been at the center of Atlanta’s struggles, allowing seven touchdowns this season and 108.3 passer rating when opposing quarterbacks target him.

Baltimore Ravens


Run offense: The Ravens continue to be one of the league’s best teams at running the ball, leading the NFL with an average of 5.9 yards per carry. Lamar Jackson is averaging 8.1 yards per carry to lead the way while Kenyan Drake is averaging 5.9 and Justice Hill 6.6. 

Baltimore has averaged 174.2 yards per game over the last five games, not having lower than 150 yards in any of those contests. 


The fourth quarter: The Ravens have the worst fourth-quarter deficit at minus-42, going nine straight games without outscoring their opponent in the fourth quarter — the longest active streak in the NFL. Baltimore has three double-digit blown leads in its first six games of the season.

Lamar Jackson has one touchdown to just four interceptions and five turnovers in the fourth quarter, making the problems worse. 

Buffalo Bills


Josh Allen: The Bills have many strengths, but Allen is the reason why Buffalo is the best team in the NFL. Allen is the front runner for MVP through six weeks, completing 66.9% of his passes for 1,980 yards with 17 touchdowns to four interceptions (109.1 rating). 

Allen leads the league in pass yards, tied for first in pass touchdowns, and is second in passer rating. He also has the most total yards (2,237) in the league. Allen is the best player on the best team in the league. 


Red-zone offense: Yes, the Bills are actually average in something. Buffalo has converted just 12 of 22 attempts on scoring touchdowns in the red zone this season, 18th in the NFL. The 54.5% conversion rate at scoring touchdowns should improve with Allen and the all the weapons Buffalo has on offense, but the conversion rate is surprising. 

Carolina Panthers


Christian McCaffrey: The only player on an offense that is worth watching on a weekly basis. McCaffrey has 85 carries for 393 yards and two touchdowns (4.6 yards per carry) and 33 catches for 277 yards and a touchdown. He has 670 yards from scrimmage and is averaging 5.7 yards per touch.

Imagine how bad Carolina’s offense would be without McCaffrey. 


The offense: There’s only one to choose from here? The entire offensive unit is a mess, ranking 32nd in the NFL with 260 yards per game. Carolina’s had just one game where its amassed over 300 yards, a unit marred by quarterback play that has completed 56.7% of its passes for 1,141 yards with four touchdowns to five interceptions (71.6 rating).

Carolina is last in plays per drive (5.06), yards per drive (24.1), and points per drive (1.29). This is the worst offense in the NFL. 

Chicago Bears


Pass defense: Chicago has one of the top pass defenses in the league, ranking third in pass yards per game (178.7) and second in pass touchdowns allowed (four). The Bears are eighth in the NFL in opponents’ passer rating allowed (79.9 rating).

Chicago has faced the second fewest dropbacks in the league (186), but that shouldn’t mask what the Bears have been able to do when opposing quarterbacks dare to throw off the Bears. 


Play calling: The Bears coaching staff doesn’t do anything to help Justin Fields out, or maybe Fields can’t be helped. Fields has only thrown 115 attempts and the Bears have only thrown for 737 yards — both are last in the NFL. The Bears are averaging just 122.8 pass yards per game. 

Luke Getsy’s play calling isn’t innovative as the Bears have an extreme commitment to run the ball instead of developing their quarterback. Why the Bears have less than 20 points in four of their six games. 

Cincinnati Bengals


Joe Burrow: Don’t look now, but Burrow has turned his season around over the past four weeks. Burrow has thrown for nine touchdowns to just one interception over the past four games, having a 110.0 passer rating in that span (third-best in NFL). Irony is he’s only been sacked eight times over the past four games compared to 13 in the first two. 

Burrow is still a very good quarterback and his play has gotten Cincinnati back in the AFC North race. 


Run offense: The Bengals are one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL, averaging just 89.0 yards per game (27th in NFL) and their three rushing touchdowns are just 25th in the NFL. Joe Mixon is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, 49th out of 51 qualified rushers. 

The Bengals may have found a way to improve the running game by using the shotgun formation more. Though six games, the unit has been subpar at best. 

Cleveland Browns


Run offense: The Browns might run the football better than any team in the league, leading the NFL with 172 rushing yards per game and the 10 rushing touchdowns are second in the league. They also lead the league in tackles avoided (56). 

Nick Chubb is set to be a First Team All-Pro, having 639 yards and seven touchdowns — both tops in the NFL. 


Run defense: Cleveland’s run defense is poor, allowing over 200 rushing yards in two of the last three games. The 11 rushing touchdowns allowed are the second most in the NFL. Cleveland also allows 5.0 yards per carry, 26th in the league. 

The Browns have a -25.67 expected points allowed when opponents run the ball against them, by far the worst in the NFL. 

Dallas Cowboys


Pass rush: The Cowboys have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, the driving force behind their 4-2 start. Dallas has the most sacks in the NFL (24), the highest pressure rate (41.9%), and are the only team in the league with 100 pressures (103). 

Micah Parsons, Dorance Armstrong, and DeMarcus Lawrence are one of the best pass-rushing trios in the league. Dallas has been feasting on poor offensive lines all season and should continue that trend. 


Pass offense: Much of this has to do with Dak prescott being out since Week 1, but the Cowboys are just 27th in pass yards per game (182.0) and 27th in pass touchdowns (five). Dallas hasn’t thrown for over 230 yards in any game this season. 

This unit should improve with Prescott returning, as the Cowboys have to improve 1.57 points scored per possession (24th in NFL). 

Denver Broncos


Red zone defense: The Broncos have a great defense overall, yet are excellent when opponents enter the red zone. Denver is first in the NFL in opponents’ red zone conversation rate at 26.7% (4 of 15). 

On goal-to-go situations, the Broncos have allowed just 50% of drives to result in a touchdown (fourth in NFL). There’s a reason why Denver allows just 16.5 points per game. 


Red zone offense: The Broncos are one of the worst red zone teams this century, converting on just 3 of 15 red zone attempts through six games. The 20% mark is the lowest in the NFL for any team since 2000. 

On goal-to-go situations, the Broncos have scored touchdowns on just 30% of their attempts (3 of 10) — the lowest in the NFL. Russell Wilson has been poor, but the red zone offense and their inefficiency has been worse. 

Detroit Lions


The offense: The Lions offense as a whole is very good. Detroit is third in the NFL in points per game (28.0) — and this is with being shut out in their last game. Detroit is second in the league in yards per game (411.8) and third in the league in passing touchdowns (11) and third in rushing touchdowns (seven). The Lions are also second in yards per carry (5.4)

Detroit has also scored touchdowns on 75% of its red zone trips (15 of 20). Ben Johnson’s offense has playmakers across the board and is one of the most balanced in the NFL. 


The defense: As good as Detroit’s offense is, that’s how poor the Lions are on the opposite side of the ball. The Lions allow the most points (34.0) and yards per game (428.6). Detroit has allowed 127 first downs (most in NFL) along with the most rushing yards per game (167.6) and rushing touchdowns (10) in the league. 

If this defense was average, the Lions would have a winning record. 

Green Bay Packers


Pressure rate: The Packers are fifth in the NFL in sacks faced per pass attempt (8.5%) and seventh in pressures faced per pass attempt (36.4%). These numbers are excellent since Green Bay has faced only 173 dropbacks thus far (fewest in NFL). Teams just don’t throw off the Packers, even though opposing quarterbacks complete over 70% of their passes facing them. 


Wide receiver: Aaron Rodgers just doesn’t trust any of the wideouts he’s throwing to, especially now with Randall Cobb out. Allen Lazard is the only veteran receiver Rodgers trusts as Romeo Doubs is inconsistent on the deep passes and Christian Watson can’t get on the field. 

Sammy Watkins hasn’t done enough to earn Rodgers’ trust either. The Packers are going to have to add a playmaking wideout prior to the trade deadline. 

Houston Texans


Red zone defense: Give Lovie Smith a lot of credit here, as the Texans are first in the league in touchdown percentage in goal-to-go situations. The 25% opponents’ conversion rate (2 of 8) is the best in the NFL, excellent for a defense that has allowed 345.1 yards per game (31st in NFL). 

The Texans have allowed touchdowns on 7 of 18 red zone situations, as the opponents’ 38.9% conversion rate is fourth in the NFL. 


Run defense: The Texans have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, allowing 164.8 yards per game (30th in NFL) and 5.1 yards per carry (29th in NFL). Houston allowed 281 rushing yards to the Bears in one game this year, which greatly inflated the numbers. 

Houston’s run success rate is 55.4% is 29th in the NFL and the 3.80 yards per contact after rush is 30th in the NFL. The Texans have a lot of weaknesses, but this is their biggest. 

Indianapolis Colts


Pass offense: For all the sacks Indianapolis’ offensive line gives up and all the fumbles Matt Ryan has, the pass offense is actually legit. The Colts are fifth in completion rate (67.2%), fourth in off-target throws (7.1%), and fifth in third down conversions on passes (40.3%).

Take away the turnovers and miscues, and the Colts’ passing game is carrying the offense. 


Offensive line: The Colts have allowed 21 sacks through six games, fifth most in the NFL. The 7.7% sack rate is 23rd in the NFL while the 91 pressures allowed is fifth most in the NFL. 

The source of Matt Ryan’s 11 fumbles and seven interceptions have been a result of constant pressure, but some offensive line changes over the past week should be beneficial for Indianapolis. 

Jacksonville Jaguars


Offensive line: The Jaguars made improvements on the unit last season and Doug Pederson’s attempt to build a strong group up front is showing. Trevor Lawrence has been sacked just 10 times this season as his 4.7% sack rate per dropback is ninth best in the NFL. 

The Jaguars have allowed a 29.4% pressure rate per dropback, 10th best in the NFL. 


Red zone defense: This is an area the Jaguars can improve in, as Jacksonville has allowed touchdowns on 11 of 18 red zone attempts (61.1% is 23rd in NFL). Jacksonville has allowed 70% of goal-to-go situations to be touchdowns (7 of 10), 17th in the NFL. 

The Jaguars could be better in that department, but the defense has improved as a whole. 

Kansas City Chiefs


Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes: The Chiefs don’t have Tyreek Hill anymore and are still the highest scoring offense in the NFL at 29.8 points per game. Mahomes is tied for the league lead in touchdown passes (17) as the Chiefs pass offense is fourth in the league (275.8).

The AFC West has proven to be mediocre, but the one constant that sits atop the division is Reid and Mahomes. Kansas City is still one of the best teams in the NFL. 


Pass defense: Kansas City has one of the worst pass defenses in the league through six weeks, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 69% of their passes (30th in NFL). The 15 pass touchdowns allowed are the most in the NFL and the 107.5 opponents passer rating allowed to opposing quarterback is also the worst in the league.

The ticket to keeping Kansas City out of the Super Bowl resides in the pass defense. 

Las Vegas Raiders


Drive efficiency: For all the controversy Josh McDaniels gets on his ability to lead a football team, the Raiders have 53.1% of their offensive possessions end in a score — the best in the NFL. Las Vegas is third in the league in plays per drive (6.67), yards per drive (36.9), and points per drive (2.49). 

The Raiders know how to put up points on the board. Can’t fault McDaniels there. 


Red zone defense: The worst red zone defense in the NFL belongs to the Raiders, who have allowed 82.4% of their red zone drives (14 of 17) to result in touchdowns —  the worst in the NFL. The Raiders have faced 12 goal-to-go situations — and allowed 12 touchdowns. 

Enough said. 

Los Angeles Chargers


Protecting Justin Herbert: The Chargers allow a lot of pressures, but don’t allow a lot of sacks. Los Angeles has allowed the fewest sacks in the league (seven) and has the best sack percentage per dropback at 2.7%. The Chargers have allowed a league-high 99 pressures while doing so and the 36.5% pressure rate per dropback is fifth worst in the NFL. 

This is incredible considering Rashawn Slater is lost for the season and Corey Linsley has missed time. Injuries have decimated the offensive line, yet Herbert is still upright despite battling a ribs injury. 


Run offense: The Chargers would have the worst run offense in the league if not for a surprising 238-yard outburst against the Browns. Los Angeles has had fewer than 100 rushing yards in five of the six games played. 

The Chargers average just 3.7 yards per carry (26th in NFL). This is with Austin Ekeler averaging 4.7 yards per carry and having 349 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns through six games. 

Los Angeles Rams


Red zone defense: The Rams have the second-best red zone defense in the NFL, allowing touchdowns on just 33.3% of their red zone drives. Opponents have scored touchdowns on just four of the 12 drives against the Rams in the red zone. 

Teams that face goal-to-go situations only have touchdowns on 42.9% of their drives against the Rams, second-best in the NFL. 


Offensive line: The Rams have been decimated by injuries on an offensive line that hasn’t been good all year. Los Angeles has allowed 22 sacks (tied for third most in NFL) and the 8.8% sack rate per drop back is sixth worst in the league. 

The Rams run offense is also poor because of the run blocking. Los Angeles is averaging just 70.5 rush yards per game (31st i NFL) and averaging 3.4 yards per carry (31st in NFL). Overall, the offensive line isn’t good. 

Miami Dolphins


Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle: Hill (701) and Waddle (533) both rank top five in the NFL in receiving yards this year, the fifth time since 2000 a team has two players in the top five of receiving yards through Week 6. Hill is the first player in NFL history with three games of 10 catches and 150 receiving yards through the first six games of a season.

This is with three games with Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson at quarterback. 


The defense: The Dolphins have a few weaknesses, but the defense has been incredibly disappointing. Miami is allowing 25.8 points per game this year compared to 21.9 last year. The turnovers per game is down from 1.5 to 0.7 and have allowed 10 touchdowns to just one interception through six games. 

During this three-game losing streak, Miami has allowed 30.0 points per game and have zero takeaways. The Dolphins defense has not been good this year. 

Minnesota Vikings


Punt and kickoff coverage: The Vikings are first in the NFL in average starting field position (32 yard line) and first in opponents’ average starting field position (24.4 yard line). That’s not a coincidence. 

Minnesota is third in the league in opponents’ yards per kick return (17.45) and sixth in opponents’ yards per punt return (5.30). Their opponents average starting field position after kick return is -23.9 (third in NFL). Minnesota is excellent at the field position game. 


Pass defense: The Vikings allow 68.6% of passes to be caught (29th in NFL) and 8.37 yards per attempt (31st in NFL), showcasing how poor the unit has been through six games. The 93.7 passer rating allowed to opposing quarterbacks is 20th in the league. 

Minnesota has allowed 272 passing yards per game (29th in NFL) and 7.3 net yards per pass attempt (30th in NFL). Teams can throw off the Vikings. 

New England Patriots


Tackling: The Patriots have the fewest missed tackles on run attempts in the NFL, only missing 14 tackles on the year — four fewer than the next best team. New England doesn’t stand out on either side of the ball, but they’re efficient when a play needs to be made. 


Red zone efficiency: New England has converted touchdowns on only 45% of its attempts (29th in NFL), even though they score on 80% of goal-to-go situations (tied for 10th in NFL). The Patriots are just 9 of 20 on red zone conversions this year, and only 3 of 9 over the last two weeks (Bailey Zappe starts). 

New Orleans Saints


Depth at running back: The Saints are loaded at this position, starting with Alvin Kamara — who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has 302 rushing yards in just four games. Taysom Hill isn’t a running back, but the Saints utilize him like one as he is averaging 10.3 yards per carry and has 267 yards and five touchdowns. 

Mark Ingram (4.0 yards per carry) and Latavius Murray (5.2 yards per carry) help an offense that’s third in yards per attempt (5.3) and fourth with eight touchdowns. The Saints have averaged 231.5 rushing yards the past two weeks. Their run game is legit. 


Creating interceptions: The Saints have just one interception through the first six games, a problem for a pass defense that averages 6.5 net yards per pass attempt (23rd in NFL). To make matters worse, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has two interceptions with the Eagles — one more than the entire Saints defense. 

The Saints miss Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Williams, two turnover machines for a defense that has taken a step back in 2022. 

New York Giants


Coaching: The Giants may have the best head coach/offensive coordinator/defensive coordinator combination in the NFL. Brian Daboll is getting the most out his roster through six games, which is why the Giants are a surprising 5-1. New York has overcome three 10-point fourth quarter deficits in six games, which is tied for most in single season in franchise history.

Mike Kafka is the innovative play caller that has Daniel Jones fourth in the league in completion rate (67.3%) and 16th in passer rating (90.2) — significantly higher ranks than in past years. Wink Martindale has the defense seventh in points per game allowed (18.8) and eighth in passing yards allowed per game (194.5) despite the thin cornerback position. 


Wide receiver: The Giants just don’t have the pass catchers that can make Jones improve even more. Kenny Golladay has been terrible since he arrived in New York and Kadarius Toney is always injured. Richie James is New York’s leading receiver with 189 yards. 

The Giants have the third-fewest yards from their receivers in 2022 and have the second fewest yards per catch (9.6). They’ll need to upgrade at the position. 

New York Jets


Defensive line: The Jets defense as a whole is significantly improved across the board, yet the pressure rate Robert Saleh is dialing up combined with the lack of actual blitzing makes this unit dangerous. The 36.2% pressure late is the eighth highest in the NFL, but the 16% blitz rate is the third lowest. 

The Jets are eighth in the NFL with 81 pressures. Carl Lawson and Quinnen Williams are the only duo in the NFL with 10-plus quarterback hits each this year. This unit is the cog behind the Jets’ defensive resurgence. 


Third-down offense: The Jets need to improve on third down, converting just 34.5% of third downs on the year (27th in NFL). Part of the Jets issues on third down have been at quarterback, as Joe Flacco and Zach Wilson have completed only 57.8% of their passes this year. 

New York has to find ways to stay on the field. Improving on third down will help. 

Philadelphia Eagles


Starting cornerback: Darius Slay and James Bradberry are arguably the best cornerback duo in the NFL. They’re the only two players in the top five in the league in pass breakups (Bradberry is tied for the league lead with nine and Slay is tied for fifth with seven). Slay is second in the NFL in opponents’ passer rating allowed (22.4) and Bradberry is third (28.8) of players that have faced a minimum of 30 targets. 

The Eagles are second in opponents’ completion percentage (56.8%) and first in opponents’ passer rating (66.0). The tandem of Bradberry and Slay are playing a significant role. 


Second-half offense: The topic is brought up a lot because the Eagles have such big halftime leads, but Philadelphia is not as dominant in the final 30 minutes as they are the first 30. The Eagles average just 5.83 points in the second half (30th in NFL) and face a scoring deficit of minus-22 (24th in NFL). The 21 points per game and plus-78 points margin in the first half lead the league, so it balances out. 

Only the Titans and Broncos score fewer points in the second half than the Eagles do. The Eagles get the points when they need to late in games, but they need to find an equal balance in the first half. 

Pittsburgh Steelers


Mike Tomlin: No matter how poor the Steelers look each week, credit to Tomlin for keeping Pittsburgh in every game. The Steelers had no business beating the Buccaneers last week, yet Tomlin found a way to will his team to a win against an annual Super Bowl contender.

The Steelers have the worst score differential (-49) through six games since 1989, yet are still in the AFC North race. Thanks to Tomlin, they’ll be in the mix every week. 


Quarterback: Whether it’s Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh’s pass offense just isn’t good enough through six games. The Steelers have just four touchdown passes (30th in NFL), part of the reason the offense is only averaging 16.2 points (30th in NFL) and 291.5 yards per game (29th in NFL).

Trubisky and Pickett combined to complete 63% of their passes for 1,311 yards with four touchdowns to six interceptions (75.0 rating). Pickett should get the opportunity to see if he can improve with the Steelers talented wide receiver group, but the inconsistent run game and offensive line may haunt his development. 

San Francisco 49ers


Pass defense: The 49ers may have the best defense in the league, but the pass defense has been excellent nearly every week. San Francisco has allowed just 168.3 pass yards per game (second in NFL) and only four pass touchdowns on the year (also second in NFL). The 49ers have allowed under 200 passing yards in four of six games. 

San Francisco allowed just 6.27 yards per attempt (sixth in NFL) and a 79.1 passer rating (seventh in NFL). Even with all the injuries on defense, this unit is very good. 


Fourth down defense: The 49ers have one of the worst fourth down defenses in the league, allowing 5 of 7 attempts on fourth down to be converted at 71.4% (31st in NFL). All those fourth down conversion attempts have occurred in the last three weeks. 

The 49ers are one of just 14 teams to have seven or fewer fourth down attempts against them. Their five fourth-down conversions against are the most for any team having seven or more fourth down attempts. 

Seattle Seahawks


Run offense: No matter if its Rashaad Penny or Kenneth Walker, the Seahawks run offense is one of the most efficient in the NFL. Seattle averages 5.3 yards per carry, which is fourth in the NFL. Penny was averaging 6.1 yards per carry before he went down with his season-ending injury and Walker is averaging 5.5 yards per carry on the year. 

Having this efficient of a run game is significantly helping Geno Smith continue his excellent start to the year. 


Run defense: The Seahawks have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, allowing 165.8 yards per carry (31st in NFL), nine rushing touchdowns (29th in NFL), and 5.1 yards per carry (28th in NFL). Seattle has allowed over 175 rushing yards in three of its six games. 

Opponents average 2.01 yards per contact before a rush (30th in NFL) and 49 rushing first downs (31st in NFL). The Seahawks run defense just isn’t good. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Tom Brady: Even in a down year, Brady still is carrying a Buccaneers offense that’s 20th in points scored (20.2) and 21st in yards per game (332.0). Brady is completing 67.2% of his passes for 1,652 yards with eight touchdowns to one interception (95.1 rating), even though the Buccaneers have struggled to convert third downs and in the red zone. 

The offensive line is decimated and the run game is poor, yet Brady still keeps the offense afloat. As long as Brady is on the field, Tampa Bay is a threat. 


Run offense: The Buccaneers are the worst team in the NFL in rush yards per game (67.5) and yards per carry (3.1), the driving force behind their inconsistent offense. The protection up front isn’t great, making life difficult for Leonard Fournette to get to the second level. 

Fournette doesn’t have much help either. Rashaad White is averaging 2.4 yards per carry and Tampa Bay has no depth at the position. Hard to see the run offense getting significantly better. 

Tennessee Titans


Run defense: Tennessee has the fewest rush touchdowns allowed in the NFL (one) and is fifth in rush yards per game allowed (103.2). The run defense has been incredible the past three weeks, allowing just 59 yards per game. 

Outside of a 236 yard outlier in Week 1, the Titans run defense has arguably been the best in football. Makes up for Tennessee’s glaring weakness. 


Pass defense: The Titans are allowed the most yards allowed per pass attempt (8.4) and pass yards allowed per game (287.6) this season, showcasing how poor they’ve been in pass coverage all year. Opposing quarterbacks have a 106.3 passer rating against the Titans (30th in NFL) and Tennessee has allowed 12 pass touchdowns on the year (tied for second worst in NFL). 

Tennessee is last in yards per attempt allowed (8.44), as the pass defense is one of the glaring weaknesses in the league. 

Washington Commanders


Third-down defense: The Commanders are allowing opponents to convert just 31.7% of their attempts on third down (third-best in the NFL), a strong mark for a defense that doesn’t have much depth at linebacker or at cornerback. Making the third down defense even more impressive is how the Commanders have just three takeaways on the year — last in the NFL. 


Offensive line: The Commanders have allowed 23 sacks on the season, tied with Chicago for the most in the NFL. Quarterbacks have been sacks on 9.0% of pass attempts, which is sixth most in the league. The 89 pressures allowed are the seventh most in the NFL and the 33.5% pressure rate is tied for ninth highest in the league. 

With Carson Wentz out, the Commanders will find out if the offensive line is actually better because the quarterback doesn’t get rid of the ball — or they are just as bad as the numbers indicate. 

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