The 10 Best Offensive Players From the Championship Round
As you know, we like math here at numberFire. Our algorithms help tell a better story about sports -- they're able to dig through the nonsense, helping us look at things that matter on the court, field or rink.
With football, we love our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which measures the number of points a player adds (or loses) to his team versus what he's expected to add. Rather than counting statistics like yards, touchdowns and receptions, NEP looks at down-and-distance situations and field position and relates these instances to history. When a player outperforms what's happened in the past, he sees a positive expected points value on the play. When he doesn't, his expected points gained on the play is negative. All of these little instances add up, then, to be a player's Net Expected Points total.
You can read more about NEP in our glossary.
Using a formula that compares individual single-game performance to history, the numberFire Live platform takes this Net Expected Points formula and assigns a rating to a player's performance. Each week, that's what we'll show here -- the 10 best ratings from the prior weekend of football.
Here are the results from the championship round:
- Nick Foles' NFC Championship performance was historically great, so it's no surprise to see him at the top of this list. Foles' 28.29 Passing NEP made him one of just two quarterbacks to top 5.00 against the Minnesota Vikings this season. (Drew Brees' Passing NEP was 12.49 in Week 1 and 10.44 in the divisional round.)
- Jerick McKinnon hauled in 11 of 12 targets for 86 yards and 6.43 Reception NEP, to pair with 1.00 Rushing NEP on 10 carries. It wasn't nearly enough, but McKinnon's performance was easily the best showing from the Vikings.
- Alshon Jeffery did plenty of damage on just 5 targets: 85 yards and 2 touchdowns, while reeling in all 5 passes. That yielded 11.57 Reception NEP, which was Jeffery's best single-game NEP showing and the first time he hit double-digits as a Philadelphia Eagle. Only Marvin Jones (12.19 Reception NEP) and Jeffery hit 10.00 Reception NEP against the Vikings this season.
- Danny Amendola stole the show in the AFC Championship game, thanks to 84 yards and 2 touchdowns on 9 targets. He racked up 12.56 Reception NEP, the third-highest outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars all season. (Only Antonio Brown topped Amendola, with 13.02 Reception NEP in Week 5 and 14.01 Reception NEP in the divisional round.)