Which information issues for Chiefs-Eagles per week away from Super Bowl: Sharp Edges

We’re nonetheless over per week away from Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, which implies we have got loads of time to interrupt down the information.

I ran my fashions to present you my favourite betting edges per week forward of the Super Bowl. My aim for this weekly column is to all the time give you nuggets you didn’t know earlier than studying this piece.

Let’s check out my favourite edges up to now, with odds courtesy of FOX Wager.

Zooming in on information that issues

When digging into matchups to foretell sport outcomes, and the Super Bowl is not any completely different, quite a lot of analysts would possibly look to season-long rankings for every crew discovered on a wide range of completely different web sites.

Personally, my strategy for years has been to acquire the play-by-play information myself and construct my very own fashions and instruments to parse and analyze what’s most essential.

However on this Super Bowl, greater than most, I might warning towards utilizing full-season statistics which can be compiled utilizing all 4 quarters of each sport.

The explanation?

One of many largest subjects you’ll hear mentioned for this Super Bowl is, “who have they played?” and it applies for each groups. The Eagles performed the simplest schedule of opponents this 12 months. The Chiefs performed the fourth-easiest schedule of opponents this 12 months.

As a result of each of those groups had been elite to start with, because of the simple schedules, the Eagles led at halftime by 7.1 factors on common (greatest within the NFL) and the Chiefs led by 4.5 factors on common (fourth-best). The Eagles led by 8.7 factors on common getting into the fourth quarter (second) and the Chiefs by 7.4 factors on common (fourth). These leads by the Eagles had been much more pronounced for those who take away the 2 video games that Jalen Hurts didn’t play.

Groups have a tendency to stay to an identification early when trying to construct leads. However there might be quite a lot of variance with what a crew does after getting that lead.

For the Eagles, the time period “turtle up” can clarify their second-half philosophy. Philadelphia was the fifth-most pass-heavy crew on early downs within the first half of video games. That dropped to the third-most run-heavy crew on early downs within the second half of video games.

Here’s a graphical illustration:

They stand alone as one of the conservative groups with a lead within the second half of video games.

The Chiefs, as you’ll be able to see, are probably the most pass-heavy crew on early downs within the first half of video games, however they dropped to a couple of league-average price within the second half.

Because it pertains to the fourth quarter alone, let’s study the place the Chiefs rank there:

The Chiefs dip to the underside 10 in go price (Twenty fifth).  And the Eagles get much more conservative, dipping to thirty second, the least pass-heavy crew within the NFL.

The explanation that each groups swap their methods late is one factor and one factor solely – their leads in video games.

Getting again to the Eagles, check out the place they rank statistically within the first half of video games vs. the second half:

  • First half: Fifth in third-down avoidance, second in EPA/play
  • Second half: Nineteenth in third-down avoidance, twenty second in EPA/play

The Eagles actually dropped from second to twenty second in EPA/play between the primary half and the second half. They had been extraordinarily quick to pack issues up and attempt to finish the sport shortly. This was a daily prevalence properly earlier than Hurts’ shoulder damage in Week 15. In Weeks 2 and three for instance, this crew led 24-7 and 24-0 at halftime and didn’t rating a single second-half level, and gained every sport by over 15 factors.

However this isn’t simply an offensive phenomenon. When groups are main by massive quantities at halftime, or into the fourth quarter, they play protection in a different way as properly. 

As an example, the Eagles had been the NFL’s greatest protection within the first half of video games, however dropped to seventh within the second half. The Chiefs’ protection was barely above common within the first half (fifteenth) however when groups had been attempting to come back from behind on them within the second half, they gave up extra manufacturing and dropped to twentieth.

The underside line: This Super Bowl, greater than most, analyzing the place these groups rank and the way they carry out by scenario and interval of sport will probably be way more priceless than taking a look at full sport rankings or information.

Trench play is very large in a Super Bowl

Here’s a itemizing of the offenses that gave up probably the most strain within the Super Bowl since 2015 and the outcomes:

  • 2021 – Bengals (43%) – misplaced to the Rams
  • 2020 – Chiefs (55%) – misplaced to the Buccaneers
  • 2019 – Chiefs (41%) – beat the 49ers
  • 2018 – Rams (44%) – misplaced to the Patriots
  • 2017 – Patriots (41%) – misplaced to the Eagles
  • 2016 – Falcons (56%) – misplaced to the Patriots
  • 2015 – Panthers (49%) – misplaced to the Broncos

That’s a 1-6 file. This isn’t the end-all, be-all for a Super Bowl. However a defensive position that may negatively have an effect on passing assaults within the Super Bowl has gone a good distance towards delivering success for a crew within the Super Bowl.

A number of components affect strain. How robust a quarterback’s offensive line is and the way shortly the quarterback is throwing the ball are two of probably the most key components.

Whereas it could be shocking, on the season, Hurts is throwing simply 23% of his passes when holding the ball for three-plus seconds. That’s the Twenty fifth-most within the NFL. And 58% of his passes are thrown inside 2.5 seconds, which ranks the fifth-most.

In the meantime, Patrick Mahomes is holding the ball for three-plus seconds on 34% of his passes (sixth-most) and 51% of his passes are thrown inside 2.5 seconds (Twelfth-most).

From a strain perspective on offense, the Eagles offensive line allowed strain on 30% of Hurts dropbacks (eighth-lowest) whereas Mahomes was pressured on 34% of his dropbacks (Sixteenth-most).

From a strain perspective on protection, the Eagles recorded strain at a 39% price (second-most) whereas the Chiefs ranked seventh (36%). Solely 21% of dropbacks towards the Eagles did a QB maintain the ball for three-plus seconds earlier than passing (second-lowest price) whereas that price was 28% vs. the Chiefs (twentieth lowest).

Mahomes has proven his means to beat strain and nonetheless win a Super Bowl (the one quarterback to be pressured greater than his opponent and nonetheless win a Super Bowl since 2015). However it’s removed from ultimate circumstances and the Chiefs completely want to find a strategy to apply extra strain on Hurts in the event that they wish to see success within the Super Bowl.

Is the Chiefs defensive enchancment actual?

There are peaks and valleys to each crew in each season. Some durations of robust efficiency and different durations of weak efficiency. 

For each offenses, they’ve every been large over your entire season. As we are able to see from the under graphic, each have ranked on the prime of the NFL in EPA/play within the first 9 weeks in addition to since Week 10:

However one of many least mentioned components of the Chiefs down the stretch has been the development of their protection.

Over the primary 9 weeks of the season, the Chiefs’ protection ranked twenty sixth in EPA/play allowed. Nevertheless, since Week 10, they rank seventh. Examine a protection just like the Eagles, which has remained constantly one of the best within the NFL, to the Chiefs:

So the query to ask is, is that this enchancment actual or is it on account of their schedule?

A key factor has been their enchancment in go protection, which has partially been attributable to their schedule and partially attributable to their philosophy.

Within the first half of the season, the Chiefs’ protection ranked Twenty fifth in EPA/go and twenty first in EPA/rush. Over the second half of the season, they improved to Tenth towards go and Tenth towards the run, displaying the biggest enchancment of their go protection (from Twenty fifth to Tenth).

One factor that stands out defensively throughout this run is how they’ve performed with lighter packing containers on the whole.

Within the first half of the season, the Chiefs performed with seven-plus field defenders on 60% of early-down performs within the first half (Tenth-highest price) and 59% within the first three quarters (Nineteenth-highest price).

Within the second half of the season, they performed with seven-plus field defenders on solely 48% of early-down performs within the first half (sixth-lowest price) and 51% within the first three quarters (fifth-lowest price).

Final week, towards Joe Burrow’s Bengals, the Chiefs performed with seven-plus field defenders on solely 30% of the Bengals early downs within the first three quarters.

Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how this seems within the Super Bowl.

If the Chiefs inevitably play with heavier packing containers extra continuously towards the Eagles, it undoubtedly will damage their go protection which had improved considerably because of taking part in extra protection. 

But when the Chiefs do attempt to cease the Eagles with lighter field counts, as they’ve been taking part in extra continuously over the second half of the season, the Eagles should audible to runs and make them pay. And this might present speeding upside for Miles Sanders, particularly, whose yardage prop is 58.5 yards. When Sanders is hit at or behind the road of scrimmage, he averages 2.4 yards per carry. However when he can cross the road of scrimmage with out contact, he averages 6.7 yards per carry. And the Chiefs contact operating backs at or behind the road on simply 37% of carries, the NFL’s third-lowest price.  That price is unlikely to extend until the Chiefs play with extra males within the field.

High tales from FOX Sports activities:

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