Tua’s story of two halves, AFC playoff race implications: Sharp Edges

Tua Tagovailoa self-reported concussion-like signs yesterday following his Christmas Day sport towards the Packers.

The Dolphins had been main 20-10 previous to the play when it seems he was concussed:

Tua didn’t throw one other move within the first half, as a result of the Dolphins ran the ball and fumbled on the subsequent play and the Packers kicked a area objective as time expired within the first half.

Along with the big-picture stats embedded within the above tweet, have a look at a few of these effectivity metrics:

Early-down passing effectivity, amongst 37 QBs final week:

  • Earlier than the above play: +1.05 EPA/att (No. 1 in NFL), 26.5 YPA (No. 1 in NFL), 14.8 air yds/att (No. 1 in NFL)
  • After that play: -0.78 EPA/att (No. 34 in NFL), 6.4 YPA (No. 23 in NFL), 9.5 air yds/att (No. 12 in NFL)

It was clear to me with the three interceptions, one thing wasn’t proper about Tua in that second half, notably relative to how he performed within the first half.

If he did undergo a concussion with 2:40 to go within the first half, it definitely places this second-half efficiency in perspective.

Tua Tagovailoa enters concussion protocol, may very well be out for the season

Tua Tagovailoa enters concussion protocol, could be out for the season

Information broke yesterday that Tua Tagovailoa will as soon as once more enter concussion protocol, and Craig Carton questions whether or not Tua ought to return for the remainder of the season. He and Greg Jennings additionally debate what this information means for the remainder of the AFC.

How vital will it’s to carry the No. 5 seed within the AFC slightly than No. 6?

The Ravens and the Chargers are the 2 likeliest groups to finish up with the AFC’s fifth seed (with an outdoor likelihood for the Dolphins, however that’s trying extremely unlikely with Tua Tagovailoa within the league’s concussion protocol). That group will journey to Jacksonville to tackle the now-7-8 Jaguars.

The sixth seed, in the meantime, will journey to both Buffalo, Kansas Metropolis or Cincinnati to tackle the now-12-3 Payments, 12-3 Chiefs or 11-4 Bengals.

Whereas nobody is disrespecting the difficultly of any street playoff sport, taking over the 7-8 Jaguars in heat Jacksonville is definitely extra fascinating than touring to a cold-weather venue to tackle a considerably stronger opponent. Significantly for a dome group from California just like the Chargers.

To land that spot, the Chargers must win their remaining two video games, which suggests defeating the Rams as 6.5-point favorites this week after which profitable in Denver in Week 18. Each are wins the Chargers ought to be capable of get, however they are going to want the Ravens to stumble as effectively, both this week as three-point dwelling favorites towards the Steelers or subsequent week in Cincinnati.

Proper now, the Chargers have longer odds to win the Tremendous Bowl than the Ravens do. But it surely definitely looks like a path is there for the Chargers to land that No. 5 seed.

The primary tiebreaker is head-to-head, however these groups did not play.

The second tiebreaker is convention video games. The Chargers are 7-4, the Ravens are 6-4.

The third tiebreaker is W-L share in frequent video games. Let’s break that down:

  • The Chargers are 1-0 vs the Browns, the Ravens are 1-1
  • The Chargers are 1-0 vs the Dolphins, the Ravens are 0-1
  • Each groups beat the Broncos, the Chargers have 1 sport remaining
  • Each groups beat the Falcons
  • Each groups misplaced to the Jaguars

The underside line:

If the Ravens sweep their final two video games, they get the fifth seed.

But when the Ravens don’t sweep and the Chargers do, the Chargers will get that favorable matchup. They will have an equal or higher W-L document. And if they’re tied at 11-6, the Chargers personal each the second and third tiebreakers.

The Ravens do have a shot to land the No. 3 seed in the event that they sweep their remaining two video games (considered one of which comes towards the Bengals in Cincinnati). But when we’re enjoying the percentages, I might wager the Ravens don’t sweep to shut out the 12 months, the Chargers do — and so they land the fifth seed.

Washington Commanders’ perplexing run-heavy technique

I used to be slightly dumbfounded with Washington’s run-heavy technique final week towards the 49ers.

On first-half early downs, Washington ran the ball 82% of the time.

That was extra run-heavy than the Saints or the Browns, who performed in 40-mph gusts in a Cleveland blizzard.

The one method such a excessive run charge would make sense is that if the opponent has a horrible run protection. However that is not the case. Not solely did the 49ers have the No. 2-ranked run protection getting into this sport, Washington’s run offense ranked No. 25 — towards the simplest schedule of run defenses of any group. This was an enormous step up in problem degree.

So it will come as no shock that when Washington leaned on the run, the Commanders struggled.

Working performs gained 2.4 yards per carry, -0.31 anticipated factors added/play and a 17% success charge. But Washington ran 22 occasions.

In the meantime, passes gained 10.3 yards per try, +0.77 EPA/play and 60% success. However as a result of Washington ran the ball 82% of the time on these early downs, they solely had 5 move makes an attempt in these conditions.

Washington was capable of maintain this sport shut early because of their protection, however the run-heavy sport plan did not do something to really assist their quarterback keep away from third-and-obvious move conditions. So whereas Washington did lose this sport within the fourth quarter on the scoreboard, they punted away a chance to steer it within the first half.

High tales from FOX Sports activities:

Warren Sharp is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports activities. He’s the founding father of Sharp Soccer Evaluation and has labored as a guide for league franchises whereas additionally beforehand contributing to ESPN and The Ringer, amongst different shops. He studied engineering earlier than utilizing his statistical acumen to create predictive soccer fashions. You’ll be able to comply with Warren on Twitter at @SharpFootball.

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