Assessing the Biggest Weakness of Each 2016 NFL Playoff Team
There is nothing more nerve-wracking in a job interview than being asked what your greatest weakness is. If you go with full honesty and sell yourself short, them bills be going unpaid, yo. But if you try to pump yourself up by going for a strength disguised as a weakness, the interviewer will know, and it's so long, salary.
We can nail it when we need to identify strengths, and it's largely the same with NFL teams. Tom Brady is good at football, so we can likely count the New England Patriots' passing offense as something operating in its favor. Just like with ourselves, though, weaknesses aren't quite as simple.
This doesn't mean we can ignore shortcomings, though. For us, it can show areas in which we need to improve in order to be a functioning, employable adult. For teams, they need to know their weaknesses so they can gameplan ways to overcome them, especially when the stakes are as high as the playoffs.
Thankfully, diagnosing these areas of need isn't quite as difficult for an NFL team as it would be for us when we're all gussied up in our snazziest suit.
Their weaknesses are easily spotted using numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), the metric we use to track the efficiency of both teams and players with the team totals being adjusted for strength of opponent. NEP shows the expected number of points a team generates (or loses) on each play throughout the season. There's a big difference between a three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 and that same completion on 3rd and 4, and NEP helps quantify that to show us which teams operate in the most efficient manner.
Using NEP, let's go through each of the 12 playoff teams to see in which area they're most lacking as we hit the postseason. We'll sort these by seeding, starting with the 6 seed in each conference and counting down to those with home-field advantage.