Guest post by Ben Burke – Mid-season statistical review

So as some of you may have noticed I appreciate the work that Ben does on Gridiron every week with his cheat sheets. While I think I provide decent enough information it’s largely opinion based while providing a few numbers I like on each game. – Ben on the other hand hints towards things by looking at and providing you the stats on teams performances.

He’s here at the midpoint of the season giving us the lowdown on teams performances so far this season, and a look at their schedule going forward, my Bengals have had the hardest strength of schedule so far. It levels out after this. The Raiders have the hardest future SoS, mainly because they stink.


Mid-season review –

You can get my weekly Cheat Sheets on gridiron-magazine.com – follow @Gridiron and me @UKBenThe12 for updates

Now we are around half we through the season (bye week dependent), I thought it a good time to stop and take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of each team. Rankings are based on freely available data from Football Outsiders (https://www.footballoutsiders.com/).

  • If a team ranks in the top 5 of the league in a metric I have designated it as a strength
  • If they rank in the bottom 5 of the league in a metric I have designated it as a weakness.
  • The categories are as follows: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, overall defense, pass defense, rush defense, defending tight ends, defending passes to the running back, run blocking offensive line (OL), pass protection OL, run stopping defensive line (DL), pass rush DL, overall special teams, redzone offense and redzone defense. Top 10 skill position players (QB, WR, RB) are highlighted as a strength (minimum 72 rushes for RBs).
  • Bottom 5 starting (or likely to return from injury to start) ranked QBs are highlighted as a weakness.
  • Bottom 5 RBs (minimum 72 rushes) are highlighted as a weakness.
  • Strength of schedule (SoS) of opponents already played (past), and yet to play (future) is graded from hardest (1st) to easiest (32nd)

AFC East

New England Patriots (7-2)

  • 6-3 against the spread (ATS)
  • 4-5 total over/under
  • 10th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 31st hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall offense, run blocking OL, pass protection OL, Brady (QB)

Weaknesses: Pass rush DL

Miami Dolphins (5-4)

  • 5-4 ATS
  • 5-4 o/u
  • 26th SoS past
  • 32nd SoS future

Strengths: Overall special teams, Gore (RB)

Weaknesses: Pass rush DL

New York Jets (3-6)

  • 3-6 ATS
  • 5-4 o/u
  • 30th SoS past
  • 7th SoS future

Strengths: Overall special teams, redzone defense

Weaknesses: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, run blocking OL, redzone offense, Darnold (QB)

Buffalo Bills (2-7)

  • 3-6 ATS
  • 3-6 o/u
  • 32nd SoS past
  • 2nd SoS future

Strengths: Overall defense, pass defense, defending tight ends

Weaknesses: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, run blocking OL, pass protection OL, Allen (QB, likely to return from injury), McCoy (RB)


AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2-1)

  • 5-3 against the spread (ATS)
  • 5-3 total over/under
  • 15th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 5th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Defending passes to the running back, pass protection OL, redzone offense, Roethlisberger (QB)

Weaknesses: None

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)

  • 4-4 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 1st SoS past
  • 15th SoS future

Strengths: Redzone offense

Weaknesses: Defending passes to the running back

Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

  • 4-5 ATS
  • 3-6 o/u
  • 16th SoS past
  • 16th SoS future

Strengths: Rush defense, defending passes to the running back, pass protection OL, pass rush DL,

Weaknesses: None

Cleveland Browns (2-6-1)

  • 5-4 ATS
  • 5-4 o/u
  • 5th SoS past
  • 4th SoS future

Strengths: Pass defense, defending tight ends,

Weaknesses: Overall offense, pass offense, rush defense, pass protection OL, overall special teams, Mayfield (QB)


AFC South

Houston Texans (6-3)

  • 4-5 against the spread (ATS)
  • 3-6 total over/under
  • 28th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 30th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall defense, rush defense, overall special teams, Watson (QB), Hopkins (WR)

Weaknesses: Rush offense, defending tight ends, pass protection OL, redzone offense, redzone defense, Blue (RB)

Tennessee Titans (4-4)

  • 5-3 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 22nd SoS past
  • 13th SoS future

Strengths: Redzone defense

Weaknesses: Pass protection OL

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 9th SoS past
  • 21st SoS future

Strengths: Defending passes to the running back, overall special teams

Weaknesses: Overall offense, redzone offense

Indianapolis Colts (3-5)

  • 4-4 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 30th SoS past
  • 25th SoS future

Strengths: Run blocking OL

Weaknesses: None


AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)

  • 8-1 against the spread (ATS)
  • 5-3-1 total over/under
  • 8th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 18th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, pass protection OL, overall special teams, redzone offense, Mahomes (QB), Hunt (RB), Hill (WR), Watkins (WR)

Weaknesses: Rush defense, defending passes to the running back, run stopping DL

Los Angeles Chargers (6-2)

  • 4-4 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 27th SoS past
  • 9th SoS future

Strengths: Overall offense, pass offense, defending tight ends, Rivers (QB), Gordon (RB)

Weaknesses: Pass rush DL, overall special teams

Denver Broncos (3-6)


  • 3-5-1 ATS

  • 3-5-1 o/u
  • 3rd SoS past
  • 17th SoS future

Strengths: Rush offense, overall defense, pass defense, pass rush DL, Lindsay (RB)

Weaknesses: None

Oakland Raiders (1-7)

  • 2-6 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 4th SoS past
  • 1st SoS future

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: Overall defense, pass defense, defending tight ends, defending passes to the running back, pass rush DL, overall special teams


NFC East

Washington Redskins (5-3)

  • 5-3 against the spread (ATS)
  • 3-5 total over/under
  • 21st hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 29th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Peterson (RB)

Weaknesses: Rush defense, run stopping DL

Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 24th SoS past
  • 11th SoS future

Strengths: Defending tight ends, run stopping DL, redzone defense

Weaknesses: None

Dallas Cowboys (3-5)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 19th SoS past
  • 24th SoS future

Strengths: Rush defense, run stopping DL, Elliot (RB)

Weaknesses: Pass offense, pass protection OL

New York Giants (1-7)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 11th SoS past
  • 27th SoS future

Strengths: Redzone defense

Weaknesses: Run blocking OL, pass rush DL, redzone offense


NFC North

Chicago Bears (5-3)

  • 5-3 against the spread (ATS)
  • 5-3 total over/under
  • 31st hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 26th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall defense, pass defense, rush defense, defending passes to the running back

Weaknesses: Overall special teams

Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)

  • 5-3-1 ATS
  • 4-5 o/u
  • 32nd SoS past
  • 2nd SoS future

Strengths: Pass rush DL, redzone defense, Murray (RB), Thielan (WR)

Weaknesses: Rush offense, defending tight ends, defending passes to the running back

Green Bay Packers (3-4-1)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 9th SoS past
  • 24th SoS future

Strengths: Rush offense, run blocking OL, pass rush DL.

Weaknesses: Run stopping DL

Detroit Lions (3-5)

  • 5-3 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 18th SoS past
  • 29th SoS future

Strengths: Pass rush DL, Johnson (RB), Golladay (WR)

Weaknesses: Overall defense, pass defense, rush defense, defending tight ends, run stopping DL, redzone offense


NFC South

New Orleans Saints (7-1)

  • 6-2 against the spread (ATS)
  • 4-4 total over/under
  • 4th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 28th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall offense, pass offense, rush defense, run blocking OL, pass protection OL, run stopping DL, Brees (QB), Kamara (RB), Thomas (WR)

Weaknesses: Overall defense, pass defense, redzone defense

Carolina Panthers (6-2)

  • 5-3 ATS
  • 5-3 o/u
  • 29th SoS past
  • 19th SoS future

Strengths: Overall offense, rush offense, run stopping DL, redzone offense, Newton (QB)

Weaknesses: Redzone defense

Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 6-2 o/u
  • 12th SoS past
  • 23rd SoS future

Strengths: Pass offense, Ryan (QB), Jones (WR), Ridley (WR)

Weaknesses: Overall defense, pass defense, rush defense, run stopping DL, redzone defense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

  • 3-5 ATS
  • 7-1 o/u
  • 6th SoS past
  • 14th SoS future

Strengths: Run stopping DL, Fitzpatrick (QB)

Weaknesses: Overall defense, pass defense, defending tight ends, defending passes to the running back, run blocking OL, redzone defense, Barber (RB)


NFC West

Los Angeles Rams (8-1)

  • 4-5 against the spread (ATS)
  • 4-5 total over/under
  • 18th hardest strength of schedule (SoS) past
  • 12th hardest SoS future.

Strengths: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, defending tight ends, defending passes to the running back, run blocking OL, Goff (QB), Gurley (RB), Cooks (WR), Woods (WR)

Weaknesses: None

Seattle Seahawks (4-4)

  • 4-3-1 ATS
  • 2-6 o/u
  • 17th SoS past
  • 7th SoS future

Strengths: Overall defense, pass defense, redzone offense

Weaknesses: None

Arizona Cardinals (2-6)

  • 4-3-1 ATS
  • 3-5 o/u
  • 7th SoS past
  • 6th SoS future

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: Overall offense, pass offense, rush offense, run blocking OL, Rosen (QB), Johnson (RB)

San Francisco 49ers (2-7)

  • 3-6 ATS
  • 5-4 o/u
  • 20th SoS past
  • 3rd SoS future

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: Overall special teams, Beathard (QB), Morris (RB)


 

Any questions on his work can be directed to @UKBenThe12 as explained at the start!

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