Every 2017 NFL Playoff Team's Biggest Weakness
By the time we get to the playoffs, we know what every team does well. The New Orleans Saints kill you with the rush, the Jacksonville Jaguars' pass defense is no longer legal in multiple states, and good luck keeping Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in check. That's why these teams made it where they are.
But what about the flip side? What are the weaknesses of each unit? What vulnerabilities could prove to be the difference between a trip to the Super Bowl and a first-round exit?
If a team is able to account for these weaknesses, then they may have what it takes to do some damage. But if not, and the opposing team is able to exploit it, things could go south in a hurry. Assessing your own weaknesses is crucial for an NFL team in the postseason, making it necessary for us to know what those shortcomings are.
In order to determine where each team struggles, we'll be using numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP). This is the metric we use to track the efficiency of both teams and players with the team totals being adjusted for the strength of opponents. Instead of simply measuring the yards per attempt, NEP looks at the expected points gained on each play, illustrating the immense difference between a three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 and that same completion on 3rd and 4. It lets us know where teams might be falling behind, and it takes only one weakness to end a season once we're in January.
With that in mind, let's run through all 12 of the playoff teams to see where their biggest soft spots are after the regular season. We'll go in reverse order of the seeding, starting with the Buffalo Bills.