Time for the Offensive Tendencies – Playoff Edition. With only four games in the Wild Card round of the playoffs between fairly evenly matched teams, the gaps to find increased opportunities is very limited as you will see. When it comes to a small slate of games you need something to differentiate your lineup from the masses, especially in a GPP. So I have also added a “Gut Call” for each team this week. You will notice that most of these are centered on touchdowns, as I also feel that who scores the touchdowns has increased importance in a small slate of games.

So let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Kansas City Chiefs 62 34 54.8% 215 1.4 28 45.2% 124 0.9 21.3
Houston Texans 69 41 59.4% 241 1.7 28 40.6% 109 0.4 18.7

Look for the Chiefs to run a couple more plays than normal this week with their typical play distribution. The passing game will produce their typical yardage with a slightly increased chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game will produce close to their typical yardage with a decreased chance for any more than one touchdown run. The Chiefs run the ball over 65% of the time inside the 10 yards line.

The Texans project to pass the ball slightly more often than usual. Despite a couple extra pass attempts, the Texans passing game will see a decrease in their passing yards and a decreased chance for two touchdown passes. The running game will produce their typical rushing output with a low chance for a rushing score. The Texans pass over 56% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Chiefs defense (++)
  • Texans defense (+)

Gut Call:

  • Alex Smith scores 3 total TDs (including one rushing)
  • Jonathan Grimes will have a receiving TD

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Pittsburgh Steelers 65 42 64.6% 310 1.7 23 35.4% 108 0.7 22.4
Cincinnati Bengals 65 35 53.8% 241 1.7 30 46.2% 113 0.8 22.4

Look for the Steelers to run a couple more plays than usual with a slight increase in passing attempts. With the extra pass attempts, the passing game will see a slight increase in passing yards and their likelihood for two touchdown passes. The running game will produce their typical yardage, but will have a decreased chance for a rushing score. The Steelers pass 54% of the time in the red zone, which I expect to increase without DeAngelo Williams.

The Bengals with AJ McCarron at quarterback again this week projects to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game is projected for a slight decrease in both yardage and their opportunity for multiple touchdown passes. The running game should produce their typical yardage with a decreased chance for any more than one rushing score. The Bengals run the ball over 58% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game (Antonio Brown) (+)
  • Steelers kicker (Chris Boswell) (+)

Gut Call:

  • Antonio Brown has 15+ receptions
  • AJ Green has a 30+ yard TD reception

Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Seattle Seahawks 65 33 50.8% 233 1.8 32 49.2% 142 0.6 22.1
Minnesota Vikings 60 32 53.3% 196 0.8 28 46.7% 116 0.9 17.8

If you haven’t heard it is supposed to be very cold in Minnesota for the game on Sunday. This could affect the passing games slightly, but since both of these are primary run-heavy teams to begin with I don’t expect it to affect the play distribution or production much.

The Seahawks expect to get Marshawn Lynch back this week, which feeds into the run-first play distribution the Seahawks have. The passing game has been hot the last month of the season, but I expect them to see a decrease in yards and their opportunity for any more than two touchdown passes this week. The running game will see a very slight increase in yardage and their chance for rushing score. The Seahawks run the ball over 57% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Vikings to pass slightly more often than usual this week. The passing game will still only produce their typical low passing yardage and opportunity for just one touchdown pass. The running game will not produce at their typically high level with a decrease in rushing yards and their opportunity for any more than one rushing touchdown. The Vikings run the ball over 59% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Marshawn Lynch (+)  UPDATE: Lynch ruled out for Sunday, pivot to Christine Michael (+)

Gut Call:

  • Tyler Lockett has a 30+ yard TD
  • Vikings only TD is scored by their Defense or Special Teams

Green Bay Packers @ Washington Redskins

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Green Bay Packers 66 39 59.1% 253 1.9 27 40.9% 122 0.6 22.3
Washington Redskins 64 37 57.8% 263 1.7 27 42.2% 117 0.7 21.5

Look for the Packers to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game will have an increase in passing yards with their typical chance for two touchdown passes. The running game should also have an increase in yardage with a slightly increased chance for a rushing score. The Packers pass the ball over 70% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Redskins project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game will perform in line with their typical passing yardage and opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game will have an increase in rushing yards and their likelihood for a rushing score. The Redskins pass over 57% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing game (James Jones) (+)
  • Packers running game (Split backfield, but I’ll give the edge to Eddie Lacy) (+)
  • Redskins running game (With Matt Jones questionable, Alfred Morris could be a strong play) (++)

Gut Call:

  • Richard Rodgers has 50+ yards and 1 TD
  • Jordan Reed scores 2 TDs

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