Rate of Moving the Chains – Conference Championship

What is this? This is rate of moving the chains, which is my primary statistic for handicapping games. It holds the assumption that the goal of any team on any given 1st and 10 (or 1st and goal) is to move the chains (or score). In order to figure out how often teams meet that goal, I take first downs plus touchdowns and divide it by first downs plus touchdowns plus failures to move the chains (successes divided by attempts). Failures to move the chains include punts, turnovers, failed 4th downs, and field goal attempts (being forced to kick a field goal is a failure).

I have this sorted by percent for (to evaluate offenses), percent against (to evaluate defenses), and differentials (to evaluate teams). Below that, I use this to calculate spreads for this week’s games (by taking the differences between the differentials of the two teams and adding 3 points either way for homefield). It’s not a perfect formula, but it does a good job of lessening the value of inconsistent things like turnovers and return touchdowns. These are the remaining playoff teams and how they stack up.

Offense

Team First downs Touchdowns Punts Turnovers Failed 4th downs Field goal attempts
1 Denver 461 74 65 28 1 28 81.43%
2 New England 401 50 83 20 9 41 74.67%
3 Seattle 320 43 80 19 5 38 71.88%
4 San Francisco 329 43 84 19 5 42 71.26%

 

Defense

Team First Downs Touchdowns Punts Turnovers Failed 4th downs Field goal attempts
1 Seattle 307 22 85 40 9 29 66.87%
2 San Francisco 320 33 92 32 14 28 68.02%
3 New England 354 38 85 33 17 29 70.50%
4 Denver 352 46 91 26 11 28 71.84%

 

Differential

Team
1 Denver 9.59%
2 Seattle 5.01%
3 New England 4.17%
4 San Francisco 3.25%

 

Projected Lines

DEN/NE 8.42
SEA/SF 4.76

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