8 of the top 10 teams in the NFL in “yards per point” would be in the playoffs if the season ended today

What are yards per point?  Put simply, it’s a team’s offensive yardage divided by the number of points scored.  The lower the number of “yards per point,” the more efficient that team is as far as maximizing their offensive production.

There are many factors that go into having a low “yards per point” total, like red zone efficiency, special teams play, etc.  But by far and away, the biggest difference maker is turnover differential.   Teams like the Chiefs and Eagles, who both have to gain 22+ yards for every point have horrid turnover differentials, as they’re 31st and 32nd in the NFL.  The Chiefs are -21 in turnover differential, while the Eagles are -14.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, the Patriots (+20), Bears (+14), and Ravens (+12) are 1, 2, and 3 in turnover differential. Not surprisingly, they’re also the top three teams in “yards per point.”

Rank Team Yards/game Points/game Yards per point If the season ended today
1 Bears 316.8 26.9 11.8 Playoffs
2 Patriots 431.9 35.8 12.1 Playoffs
3 Ravens 338.7 26.7 12.7 Playoffs
4 Buccaneers 369.3 28.7 12.9  
5 Broncos 394.2 30.1 13.1 Playoffs
6 Texans 382.9 29.3 13.1 Playoffs
7 Packers 345.5 26.3 13.1 Playoffs
8 Saints 391.3 28.7 13.6  
9 Giants 367.4 26.7 13.8 Playoffs
10 Falcons 382.1 27 14.2 Playoffs
11 Bengals 352.8 24.8 14.2  
12 Chargers 328.8 23.2 14.2  
13 Vikings 340.9 23.8 14.3 Playoffs
14 Cardinals 283.7 16.3 14.6  
15 Redskins 379.7 25.7 14.8  
16 Titans 324.5 21.9 14.8  
17 Jets 301.3 20.2 14.9  
18 Bills 350.9 23 15.3  
19 49ers 365.9 23.7 15.4 Playoffs
20 Seahawks 317.2 19.8 16  
21 Steelers 349.8 21.7 16.1 Playoffs
22 Browns 311.9 18.9 16.5  
23 Dolphins 309.9 18.7 16.6  
24 Lions 401.7 23.6 17  
25 Jaguars 283 16.4 17.3  
26 Cowboys 367.4 21.1 17.4  
27 Raiders 369.4 20.8 17.8  
28 Panthers 334 18.4 18.2  
29 Colts 393.4 21 18.7 Playoffs
30 Rams 327.1 17.4 18.8  
31 Eagles 361.7 16.2 22.3  
32 Chiefs 343.4 15.2 22.6

In other words:

Winning the turnover battle = low “yards per point” (less of struggle trying to score) = W’s.

…not that I’m saying anything new here that turnovers are kind of a big deal.

4 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t this metric also measure penalties?

    Lack of offensive penalties creates a better rank, and having the other teams defense commit penalties would also produce lower yards per point.

  2. Dan in Philly says:

    Of course there’s that correlation/causation thingie…

  3. derbyguy says:

    Do these take out defensive/ST scores from the pts/game? I doubt it would adjust too much. The Bears would probably drop some in the ranking, but I imagine they would still be top ten.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      Def/ST scores were not excluded.

%d bloggers like this: