38 Facts to Know About This Weekend's NFL Conference Championship Round
The sum of the Vegas totals for this weekend's two conference championship matchups: 111.5 points.
One hundred and eleven freaking points.
All of this potential scoring means the teams remaining clearly have shown they can put points on the board. And that helps make a lot of these 38 facts even more mind-blowing.
The 38 Facts
1. Tom Brady's career numbers -- including the playoffs -- against the Pittsburgh Steelers: 264 completions on 382 passes (69.1%), 8.24 yards per attempt, 26 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 113.4 quarterback rating. Brady has a 63.8% completion percentage, a 7.49 yards per attempt average, and a 97.2 quarterback rating across his entire career in the regular season.
2. Three of Brady's six games played without Rob Gronkowski this season have resulted in fewer than 16 fantasy points scored. He hit that mark in six of seven games with Gronk this year.
3. From Weeks 1 through 10 (9 games), LeGarrette Blount played fewer than 50% of New England's snaps just twice. Since, which includes eight games, Blount's highest snap rate in a single contest is 46%.
4. Dion Lewis returned in Week 11.
5. Over the Patriots' last four games, Lewis has 58 carries, while Blount has 59. Lewis has 236 rushing yards. Blount has 163.
7. Julian Edelman has 22 targets in his last two games against Pittsburgh. He also hasn't seen fewer than 30% of New England's targets in any of his last five games.
8. From last week's article: The best quarterback the Patriots have faced this season, according to our Net Expected Points metric (NEP), was Andy Dalton. Among the 34 quarterbacks with 200 or more drop backs, his per drop back efficiency ranked 14th in the NFL. Russell Wilson was the second-best passer they've faced, ranking 16th, and Tyrod Taylor was the only other signal caller New England went up against who ranked in the top-20 in efficiency this year.
9. Ben Roethlisberger, among these quarterbacks, ranked seventh.
10. Roethlisberger's numbers over the last six games look bad, as he's thrown nine interceptions. But his Passing NEP per drop back rate is still an impressive 0.20, which is a top-10 number.
11. This is the big one, though: on the road this season, Big Ben has a 0.07 Passing NEP per drop back rate, far below the 0.12 league average. At home, the rate jumps to an astounding 0.42, which is 0.05 expected points higher than top-ranked Matt Ryan.
12. The Steelers scored on 40.7% of their drives during the regular season. In their two postseason games, they've scored on 61.1% of their drives, which is better than Green Bay's rate.
13. The difference -- and this is clear if you watched Pittsburgh's divisional round game -- is that many drives have resulted in field goals instead of touchdowns. During the regular season, Pittsburgh scored a touchdown on 26.7% of their drives. In the postseason, that's dropped to 22.2%.
14. Opponents scored a touchdown on 15.1% of drives against New England this year, which was the second-worst rate in the NFL. (Meaning, the Patriots stopped opponents from scoring at the second-best rate.)
15. Despite the quarterback note above, New England's pass defense still ranks 10th in the NFL when adjusted for strength of schedule, per our NEP metric. Their rush defense ranks eighth.
17. Bell has rushed for 118-plus yards in all but one contest over this eight-game timespan. Prior to this -- the first six games of the season -- Bell had rushed for more than 81 yards just once.
18. Bell during the first six games of his season: 100 attempts, 433 yards, 4.33 yards per carry, 72.17 yards per game. Bell over his last eight games played: 220 rushes, 1,172 yards, 5.33 yards per carry, 146.50 yards per game.
19. Over the first nine games of the season, the Steelers were sacking quarterbacks on 3.71% of their drop backs. That was the second-worst rate in the NFL. During their nine-game winning streak, they've sacked quarterbacks on 8.76% of drop backs. That's the second-best rate in the NFL.
20. Pittsburgh went from a 26% blitz rate before their Week 8 bye (eighth-lowest) to a 43% rate after it (third-highest), according to Pro Football Focus' Pat Thorman.
22. Ty Montgomery missed that contest, though. During the Packers' current eight-game winning streak, Montgomery has run the ball an average of 8.88 times per game, and that includes a Week 12 contest where he ran the ball once.
23. Montgomery carved a running back role in the Packers' offense in Week 7 after Eddie Lacy went to injured reserve. From that point on, Ty Mont's averaged 4.58 targets per game. That prorates to 73.33 targets across an entire season, which would've ranked just outside the top-five this year at the position.
24. The Falcons allowed the most receptions, the second-most receiving yards, and the most receiving touchdowns to running backs this year.
25. Randall Cobb, who also didn't play against the Falcons earlier in the season, has averaged 7.50 targets, 6.00 receptions, and 89 yards per game in this year's playoffs. In the seven games prior to the start of the playoffs, Cobb averaged 4.14 targets, 3.00 receptions, and 31.71 yards per contest.
27. Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 300 yards in 7 of his last 10 games. The only other quarterbacks with seven or more games of 300-plus yards during the entire regular season were Kirk Cousins (7) and Drew Brees (10).
28. Rodgers has hit the 300-yard mark in each of his last four games. Players with four or fewer 300-yard games this year include: Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, and Derek Carr.
29. Jared Cook has 329 yards receiving over his last five games. Martellus Bennett and Jesse James, two other starting tight ends in the conference championship (dependent upon Ladarius Green's health), have combined for 315 yards over their last five games.
31. Jared Cook will have insane daily fantasy football ownership this weekend.
32. While everyone’s gushing over Aaron Rodgers’ recent play, Matt Ryan has completed 73.25% of his passes for 1,469 yards, 14 touchdowns, and no interceptions over his last five games.
33. Green Bay allowed the fourth-highest passing touchdown rate in the regular season (5.60%). No 200-plus attempt passer had a higher touchdown rate than Ryan this year (7.10%).
34. Ryan has a Passing NEP per drop back rate of 0.44 at home this season, including the playoffs. The highest Passing NEP per drop back rate our database has recorded -- since 2000 -- among quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs in a season is 0.45, done by Peyton Manning in 2004.
35. Devonta Freeman has scored a touchdown in five of his last seven games. All nine of his touchdowns scored during this time period have come at home (five games).
35. The Packers allowed 26 touchdowns to wide receivers during the regular season, 5 more than any other team in the NFL.
36. The Falcons scored 22 touchdowns at wide receiver during the regular season, the fourth-most in the NFL.
37. Green Bay finished the regular season with a drop-back-to-run ratio of 1.76, the fourth-highest in the NFL. Atlanta’s defense faced a 1.87 ratio this year, the third-highest in the NFL.
38. The current 60.5-point game total for the Packers-Falcons game is the largest one in playoff history.