Last week I wrote about how usually right when we start to get comfortable with our projections and expectations is when everything gets turned upside down. Well, Week 7 was not that kind of week, as once again most things seemed to go as projected. For example, looking at passing yardage this week, the projections for passing yards were within 40 yards of the actual results for half of the teams, 14 out of 28. And more remarkably, the passing yardage projections were within 10 yards of the actual results in 8 instances (28%), hitting it right on the head in two cases (Kansas City and Baltimore).

The increased opportunities also seemed to hit at a high clip this week including highlights like Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, Todd Gurley, Lamar Miller, TY Hilton, Amari Cooper and Stefon Diggs. Unfortunately, I did not put the right combination together this week for a big score, but hopefully someone out there did. Anyway, that is enough patting myself on the back, as I still believe there will be a week soon when things don’t go according to plan and I will be wishing every week could go as smoothly as Week 7 did.

As usual, below is a full review of my Offensive Tendencies for Week 7, where I compare my projected play distribution and performance to the actual results to see how they performed and determine any takeaways that I will be watching over the coming weeks to see if they are a trend or something we can ignore. I also list my original Week 7 Increased Opportunities in bold to see if the opportunities I identified played out as the numbers (or my gut) suggested.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Seattle Seahawks 65 34 52.3% 243 1.4 31 47.7% 148 0.9 22.6
San Francisco 49ers 62 34 54.8% 209 1.0 28 45.2% 112 0.8 17.5
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Seattle Seahawks 69 28 40.6% 239 1 41 59.4% 176 1 20
San Francisco 49ers 45 30 66.7% 124 0 15 33.3% 61 0 3

The Seahawks were even more run oriented than expected as they had the game in control. The passing game performed in line with their yardage projection, but were unable to get a second touchdown pass through the air. The ground game, with the extra carries, produced more yardage than expected, and had one rushing touchdown as anticipated. The Seahawks ran the ball on 5 out of 6 plays from inside the 10 yard line this week.

The 49ers executed far less plays than expected as they were unable to sustain any long drives. They passed the ball over 66% of the time while they were working from behind the whole game. The passing game was ineffective with only 124 yards in the air and no scores. The running game had limited attempts and thus fell far short of their projection.

Takeaways:

  • For the second straight week the Seahawks have run the ball instead of passing from inside the 10 yard line, which is opposite of what they were doing early in the year
  • The 49ers passing game was no match for the Seahawks defense, watch to see how they perform against a weaker opponent

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Russell Wilson and the Seahawks passing game (Jimmy Graham) (++)
    • Solid game for Russell with 235 passing yards, but only 1 TD pass, Graham only had 2 catches for 31 yards
  • Marshawn Lynch chance for a rushing TD (++)
    • Lynch got into the end zone and had 122 rushing yards

Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Buffalo Bills 66 34 51.5% 223 1.5 32 48.5% 127 1.2 23.9
Jacksonville Jaguars 67 44 65.7% 238 1.8 23 34.3% 91 0.3 19.1
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Buffalo Bills 74 46 62.2% 298 2 28 37.8% 115 0 31
Jacksonville Jaguars 63 31 49.2% 182 2 32 50.8% 120 1 34

The Bills went to the air more than expected, as they tried to make a late comeback. The passing game was productive with the increased attempts and proceeded to pass for almost 300 yards and two scores. The running game was also effective and despite a few less carries, they were only just short of their yardage projection, but failed to score a rushing touchdown. The Bills have run the ball 64% of the time from inside the 10 this season.

With the Jaguars trying to protect a lead, they went to the running game a lot more than projected. The Jaguars were very effective on the ground with the increased carries, putting up more rushing yards than projected to go along with a rare rushing touchdown. The passing game with limited attempts fell short of their projected yardage, but did have two passing touchdowns as expected. The Jaguars have passed on 60% of their plays from inside the 10 yard line this season.

Takeaways:

  • Another game where the Bills limited the opponents passing yardage, but still allowed 2 TDs through the air
  • The Jaguars do look to run the ball a lot more when they are leading, limit the passing game expectations if they are favored to win

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Blake Bortles chance for a 2nd touchdown pass (+)
    • Right on cue, 2 TD passes for Bortles
  • I also like the Bills defense (++)
    • They gave up 34 points, but they did have a defensive touchdown, 2 sacks and 1 turnover to make it an okay fantasy day

Cleveland Browns @ St. Louis Rams

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Cleveland Browns 63 38 60.3% 239 1.2 25 39.7% 96 0.5 18.2
St. Louis Rams 60 33 55.0% 237 1.5 27 45.0% 144 0.8 21.3
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Cleveland Browns 65 41 63.1% 297 0 24 36.9% 82 0 6
St. Louis Rams 51 25 49.0% 163 0 26 51.0% 158 2 24

The Browns play distribution was close to their projection. The passing game was more effective from a yardage perspective, but failed to throw for a touchdown. The running game fell just short of their projected yardage, but also failed to score. Cleveland has passed on 62% of their plays in the red zone this season.

The Rams went to the running game even slightly more than projected. As expected, the running game had a lot of success running for over 150 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The passing game was limited with a decrease in attempts and effectiveness, falling way short of their projection. The Rams have now run on 60% of their plays from inside the 10 yard line this season.

Takeaways:

  • Watch the health of Josh McCown this week, if he cannot start then the Browns will become more of a running team then they have the last few weeks.
  • The Rams will continue to lean on the running game with Todd Gurley

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Todd Gurley (+++)
    • Gurley finished the day with 128 rushing yards and 2 TDs
  • Nick Foles and the Rams passing game (Gut Call: Jared Cook gets more involved this week)(++)
    • No need to pass when Gurley is running wild, Foles had only 163 passing yards and zero touchdown passes, Cook only caught 2 passes for 19 yards

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Pittsburgh Steelers 64 33 51.6% 230 1.6 31 48.4% 129 1.0 23.5
Kansas City Chiefs 65 40 61.5% 251 1.3 25 38.5% 102 0.6 19.4
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Pittsburgh Steelers 55 31 56.4% 209 1 24 43.6% 147 0 13
Kansas City Chiefs 63 34 54.0% 251 1 29 46.0% 138 1 23

The Steelers passed at a slightly higher rate than expected. The passing game fell just short of their projected yardage and only threw for one touchdown pass. The running game also fell slightly short of their projected yardage and failed to get into the end zone. The Steelers have run the ball over 53% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Working with a lead in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs ran more often than projected. Despite a few less pass attempts than projected, the Chiefs matched their projected passing yardage and threw for one touchdown. The running game showed up this week with Charcandrick West leading the way to outgain their projected yardage and get into the end zone for one rushing score.

Takeaways:

  • With Ben Roethlisberger expected to return next week, look for the Steelers to go back to being more pass oriented then they have been without him
  • Watch the Chiefs running game, I might have been too quick to write them off without Jamaal Charles

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Alex Smith and the Chiefs passing game (Travis Kelce) (+)
    • Smith did about what you would expect him to, throwing for 251 passing yards and 1 TD, Kelce was solid with 5 catches for 73 yards

Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Houston Texans 67 41 61.2% 263 1.7 26 38.8% 103 0.5 19.7
Miami Dolphins 61 36 59.0% 247 1.9 25 40.9% 120 0.8 21.9
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Houston Texans 78 53 67.9% 273 3 25 32.1% 71 1 26
Miami Dolphins 59 24 40.7% 296 4 35 59.3% 248 1 44

The Texans ran into a buzzsaw on Sunday, trailing the Dolphins by 41 points at halftime, thus causing them to go to the air more than expected. The increased pass attempts only allowed the Texans to throw for slightly more yardage than projected, but did result in three late touchdown passes. The running game fell short of their projected yardage, but did manage to get a rushing touchdown. The Texans have passed over 64% of the time this season.

With the Dolphins dominating the Texans they went to the ground game even more than expected. Despite very limited pass attempts the passing game was very effective with more yardage than projected and four touchdown passes. The running game was also extremely productive with the increase workload piling up almost 250 rushing yards and one score.

Takeaways:

  • Looks for the Texans to revert to a pass heavy team with the loss of Arian Foster
  • Two straight weeks for the Dolphins to jump out to a big lead and lean on the running game, still need to see them in a competitive game with the new head coach to get a better read on them

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins passing game (Rishard Matthews) (++)
    • Tannehill threw for 282 yards and 4 TDs (on only 19 attempts), Matthews had a good game with 3 catches for 75 yards and 1 TD, Jarvis Landry also had a big game with 5 catches for 83 yards and 2 TDs
  • Lamar Miller (++)
    • Miller had a huge day with 175 rushing yards, 61 receiving yards and 2 TDs (all in the first half)

New York Jets @ New England Patriots

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New York Jets 59 34 57.6% 211 1.5 25 42.4% 114 0.7 19.2
New England Patriots 57 35 61.4% 258 2.0 22 38.6% 97 0.8 25.4
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New York Jets 70 41 58.6% 295 2 29 41.4% 89 0 23
New England Patriots 66 57 86.4% 355 2 9 13.6% 16 1 30

The Jets play distribution fell in line with their projection. The passing game was more effective than expected with significantly more passing yards than projected, to go along with two touchdown passes. The running game fell short of expectations with less than 100 rushing yards and no scores.

The Patriots passed over 86% of their plays this week. With the large increase in attempts the passing game produced significantly more yardage than projected, while still only throwing two touchdown passes as expected. The running game was non-existent with only 9 carries for 16 yards and one touchdown, which was almost all provided by Tom Brady.

Takeaways:

  • The Patriots game plan was clearly to pass rather than try to run against the strong Jets run defense. Don’t expect this kind of play distribution going forward.

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets passing game (+)
    • Strong game for Fitzpatrick with 295 yards and 2 TDs

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Minnesota Vikings 59 32 54.2% 229 1.1 27 45.8% 118 1.2 22.0
Detroit Lions 62 42 67.7% 289 1.7 20 32.3% 87 0.5 19.0
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Minnesota Vikings 74 39 52.7% 316 2 35 47.3% 140 0 28
Detroit Lions 50 33 66.0% 256 2 17 34.0% 77 0 19

The Vikings play distribution fell in line with their projection. The passing game was even more effective than projected with significantly more yardage than expected and two touchdown passes. The running game was also productive with more rushing yards than projected, but failed to score any rushing touchdowns. The Vikings have run over 62% of the time from inside the 10 yard line this season.

The Lions ran significantly fewer plays than projected, however their play distribution ratio fell in line with their projection. The passing game fell short of their expected yardage, but did throw two touchdown passes. The running game produced close to their expected yardage and did not score. The Lions have passed over 73% of their plays from inside the 10 yard line.

Takeaways:

  • The Vikings passing game finally showed some life, but I think this is the top end of what can be expected unless they fall way behind in a game.
  • The Lions fired their offensive coordinator after the game, watch to see what kind of effect that has on the Lions play distribution going forward

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Teddy Bridgewater and the passing game (Stefon Diggs) (+)
    • Best game of the season for Bridgewater with 316 passing yards and 2 TDs, Diggs had another big day with 6 catches for 108 yards and 1 TD
  • Adrian Peterson (+)
    • Solid game for Peterson with 98 rushing yards, but could not get into the end zone, despite numerous opportunities

Atlanta Falcons @ Tennessee Titans

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Atlanta Falcons 61 35 57.4% 243 1.7 26 42.6% 122 1.3 24.3
Tennessee Titans 61 37 60.7% 252 1.4 24 39.3% 98 1.2 20.9
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Atlanta Falcons 69 38 55.1% 251 1 31 44.9% 127 0 10
Tennessee Titans 52 36 69.2% 187 1 16 30.8% 77 0 7

The Falcons play distribution was similar to their projection. Both the passing and running game yardage fell in line with their projection, however, the Falcons had trouble getting into the end zone with only one touchdown pass and no rushing scores for the game. The Falcons have run almost 56% of the time from inside the 10 yard line this season.

The Titans ran fewer plays than projected and went to the air at a higher rate than expected. The decrease in rushing attempts resulted in less rushing yards than projected and failure to score a rushing touchdown. The passing game also fell short of their expected yardage and only had one touchdown pass. The Titans have passed on over 62% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Takeaways:

  • The Falcons passed more often from inside the 10 yard line this week and it was not effective, expect them to go back to focusing on the ground game from inside the 10 next week
  • The Titans offense is still struggling regardless of which QB is behind center, opposing defenses could continue to be strong plays

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Matt Ryan chance for 2nd TD pass (+)
    • Only 1 TD pass for Ryan
  • Antonio Andrews rushing TD chance (++)
    • No rushing TD for Andrews

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 58 32 55.2% 216 1.4 26 44.8% 113 0.7 19.7
Washington Redskins 63 36 57.1% 233 1.7 27 42.9% 112 0.8 21.8
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 60 30 50.0% 297 2 30 50.0% 190 0 30
Washington Redskins 60 41 68.3% 317 3 19 31.7% 50 1 31

The Buccaneers jumped out to a 24 point lead in the first half, which they eventually blew, however it did allow them to focus more on the running game than expected. The running game was very effective gaining significantly more yardage on the ground than projected, but failing to score a rushing touchdown. The passing game was also effective putting up close to 300 passing yards and two scores. The Buccaneers have passed on almost 60% of their plays from inside the 10 yard line this season, although they have been running more often recently.

Since the Redskins were trailing in the first half they went to the air more than projected. The increase in pass attempts resulted in a significant increase in passing yards and three touchdown passes. The running game fell short of their yardage expectation, but did manage to get one rushing score (albeit from their quarterback Kirk Cousins)

Takeaways:

  • Watch to see if the Buccaneers continue to run more often inside the 10
  • The Redskins defense continues to be difficult to predict as they have had several good and several bad weeks both against the run and the pass this season

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Jameis Winston and Bucs passing game (Vincent Jackson) (++)
    • Strong game for Winston with 297 passing yards and 2 TDs, but picked the wrong WR, as Jackson only had 1 catch for 13 yards before leaving with an injury, while Mike Evans had 8 catches for 164 yards and 1 TD
  • Kirk Cousins chance for 2nd TD pass (++)
    • Cousins had not only 2, but 3 TD passes

New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New Orleans Saints 69 44 63.8% 307 1.7 25 36.2% 97 1.0 23.3
Indianapolis Colts 66 41 62.1% 302 2.1 25 37.9% 122 0.8 26.0
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New Orleans Saints 83 47 56.6% 280 1 36 43.4% 183 3 27
Indianapolis Colts 61 48 78.7% 333 3 13 21.3% 75 0 21

Working with a 27 point lead, the Saints were able to focus more on the ground game than projected. The running game was very effective with the increase in rushing attempts, resulting in significantly more yardage and three rushing scores. The passing game was slightly less productive than expected with slightly less yardage and only one touchdown pass. The Saints have run over 53% of the time when they are inside the 10 yard line this season.

Trailing all game the Colts were forced to go to the air more than expected. The Colts passing game was able to put together a lot of yardage and scores late in the game to end up slightly better than their projected passing yards, while throwing three touchdown passes. The running game only received 13 carries, which resulted in significantly less rushing yards than projected and without a rushing score. The Colts have passed over 57% of the time from inside the 10 yard line this season.

Takeaways:

  • Two weeks in a row where the Saints won and were able to focus more on the ground game since they weren’t in catch up mode

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Drew Brees and the Saints passing game (++)
    • Not much from Brees as the Saints worked with a lead, 255 passing yards and 1 TD
  • Andrew Luck and the Colts passing game (Gut Call: TY Hilton has his first big game this season) (+++)
    • Big day thanks to trying to make a late comeback, Luck ended with 333 passing yards and 3 TDs, meanwhile Hilton had his first BIG game with 150 yards and 2 TDs
  • Frank Gore (++)
    • Gore didn’t get a chance, finishing with only 9 carries for 43 yards

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Oakland Raiders 57 36 63.2% 241 1.8 21 36.8% 97 0.6 20.7
San Diego Chargers 64 41 64.1% 308 1.9 23 35.9% 91 0.5 23.7
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Oakland Raiders 58 32 55.2% 289 3 26 44.8% 130 1 37
San Diego Chargers 80 58 72.5% 335 3 22 27.5% 91 0 29

The Raiders jumped out to a big first half lead, allowing them to focus more on the running game than expected. With the increased rushing attempts the ground attack was able to produce more yardage than expected along with one touchdown run. The passing game helped propel the Raiders to the big lead, producing more yardage than an already optimistic projection, along with three scores through the air.

Playing catch up the Chargers passed more often than expected. The passing game was able to put together some late scores to end up throwing for three touchdown passes and slightly more yardage than projected. The running game matched their expected rushing yards, but failed to score. The Chargers have passed over 70% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Takeaways:

  • Looks like it is time to start to trust the Raiders passing game
  • The Chargers are passing like crazy every week, regardless if it is a close game or they are trailing

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Derek Carr and the Raiders passing game (Amari Cooper) (++)
    • Big game for Carr with 289 yards and 3 TDs, Cooper also had a big day with 5 catches for 133 yards and 1 TD
  • Latavius Murray (+)
    • Solid game for Murray with 85 rushing yards and 1 TD

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Dallas Cowboys 62 36 58.1% 231 1.3 26 41.9% 111 0.9 20.5
New York Giants 61 37 60.7% 260 1.6 24 39.3% 98 0.9 23.1
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Dallas Cowboys 69 28 40.6% 227 1 41 59.4% 233 1 20
New York Giants 51 26 51.0% 170 0 25 49.0% 132 1 27

The Cowboys focused on the ground game with Matt Cassel at quarterback this week, running the ball on almost 60% of their offensive plays. With the increased attempts the running game was very effective resulting in significantly more yardage than projected to go along with one rushing touchdown. The passing game was still effective despite the limited attempts finishing just short of their projected yardage to go along with one passing touchdown.

The Giants also focused on the running game more than expected, as they were also very effective, producing more yardage than projected along with one touchdown run. The passing game was limited with only 26 pass attempts so they fell far short of their projected passing yardage and failed to score through the air.

Takeaways:

  • If the Cowboys can be this effective on the ground they will continue to lean on the running game until Tony Romo gets back

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Matt Cassel and the Cowboys passing game (Jason Witten) (+)
    • Cassel ended close to the projection with 227 yards and 1 TD pass
  • Giants chance for a rushing TD (Rashad Jennings) (++)
    • Giants got a rushing TD from Orleans Darkwa, and now appear to have a 4-way RB committee

Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Philadelphia Eagles 64 38 59.4% 240 1.3 26 40.6% 109 1.0 20.6
Carolina Panthers 65 33 50.8% 226 1.5 32 49.2% 139 0.7 22.2
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Philadelphia Eagles 81 51 63.0% 238 0 30 37.0% 180 1 16
Carolina Panthers 58 25 43.1% 197 1 33 56.9% 204 2 27

The Eales had the pace they want running 81 plays while passing slightly more often than projected. Despite the increase in pass attempts, the passing game still finished close to their passing yardage projection and failed to throw a touchdown pass. The running game was effective with more rushing yards than projected to go along with one rushing score.

The Panthers ran the ball even more than their typical run heavy tendency. The running game was very effective with significantly more rushing yards than projected and two rushing scores. The passing game fall a little short of their projected yardage and only had one touchdown through the air. The Panthers have run the ball on over 62% of their plays in the red zone this season.

Takeaways:

  • The Eagles appear to have found their running game with their third straight week of good production

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • Cam Newton and the Panthers passing game (Ted Ginn) (+)
    • Newton fell short of expectations in the passing game with only 197 passing yards and 1 TD pass (and 1 TD run), Ginn was solid with 5 catches for 59 yards and a 43 yard run

Baltimore Ravens @ Arizona Cardinals

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Baltimore Ravens 67 42 62.7% 252 1.5 25 37.3% 102 0.6 20.3
Arizona Cardinals 65 36 55.4% 279 1.9 29 44.6% 124 1.0 27.0
Actual Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Baltimore Ravens 59 43 72.9% 252 1 16 27.1% 55 1 18
Arizona Cardinals 59 31 52.5% 275 2 28 47.5% 150 1 26

The Ravens went to the air at a higher rate than expected. The passing game matched their passing yardage projection, but only had one touchdown pass. The running game saw a decrease in attempts and as a result fell far short of their projected yardage, but did get a rushing touchdown. The Ravens have passed over 60% of the time in the red zone this season.

The Cardinals ran the ball slightly more than projected. The passing game fell right in line with their projection for yardage and touchdown passes. The running game saw a slight increase in their rushing yards to go along with one rushing score.

Takeaways:

  • The Ravens have had their most successful games when they have run the ball for often

Increased Opportunities Review:

  • None, Cardinals defense is a strong play
    • Decent game for the Cardinals defense with 3 sacks and 2 forced turnovers

Watch for the Week 8 Offensive Tendencies article later this week…

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