Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Steelers @ Washington: The Matchups

The Steelers' tour through the NFC East ~ now with zero victories and two losses ~ continues as the they head to FedEx Field for a Monday night tilt versus the Redskins; and this may be their best opportunity for a win.

Looking just at the points scored by each team and the points allowed by each, and applying a pythagorean formula to calculate winning percentage we discover that the Redskins should be victorious in 56.4% of their games (approximately nine wins in a 16 game season, and 4.5 wins in eight games ~ which is how many the Redskins have played so far this season). To their credit they have won a number of close games (their largest margin of victory is eight points, and the average is 5.17) and have been close in their two losses (their largest margin of defeat was nine points, and the average is 5.5); but the feeling here is that this is a team that is not as good as their record (by way of comparison the pythagorean theory for the Steelers calculates to a 66.5% winning percentage ~ 10 wins in a 16 game season, and 4.65 wins in seven games).

Dazzled by our math wizardry, we offer up this week's numbers:

Washington Offense v. Steelers Defense
Average total yards per game: Washington offense 7th (364.3) v. Steelers defense 1st (236.0)

Average net rushing yards per game: Washington offense 2nd (155.3) v. Steelers defense 3rd (71.6)

Average net passing yards per game: Washington offense 18th (209.0) v. Steelers defense 1st (164.4)

Average points per game: Washington offense 23rd (20.63) v. Steelers defense 3rd (15.71)

Steelers Offense v. Washington Defense
Average total yards per game: Steelers offense 25th (291.7) v. Washington defense 6th (278.1)

Average net rushing yards per game: Steelers offense 18th (107.3) v. Washington defense 5th (82.8)

Average net passing yards per game: Steelers offense 24th (184.4) v. Washington defense 11th (195.4)

Average points per game: Steelers offense: 14th (22.14) v. Washington defense 8th (18.13)

Special Teams
Average yards per punt return: Washington 19th (9.4) v. Steelers 31st (4.8)

Average yards allowed per punt return: Washington 30th (14.3) v. Steelers 2nd (4.9)

Average yards per kick return: Washington 5th (25.1) v. Steelers 30th (20.0)

Average yards allowed per kick return: Washington 5th (20.4) v. Steelers 8th (20.9)

Net yardage punting average: Washington 32nd (31.8) v. Steelers 12th (39.1)

Opponent net yardage punting average: Washington 17th (37.2) v. Steelers 30th (41.5)

Miscellaneous
Turnover differential: Washington 13th (+2) v. Steelers 18th (0)

Time of possession: Washington 5th (32:30) v. Steelers 20th (29:34)

Red Zone touchdown efficiency (touchdowns): Washington 15th (51.9%) v. Steelers 3rd (70.6%)

Red Zone defense (touchdowns): Washington 16th (52.6%) v. Steelers 3rd (35.0%)

Sacks allowed: Washington 20th (16) v. Steelers 27th (24)

Some Individual Numbers
NFC Passer rating: Jason Campbell, 4th (100.5) v. AFC Passer Rating: Ben Roethlisberger, 8th (85.7)

NFC Leading rushers: Clinton Portis, 1st (944) v. AFC Leading Rushers: Mewelde Moore, 13th (322 yards)

NFC Leading receivers: Santana Moss, 4th (42 catches, 658 yards, 15.7 per catch, 5 touchdowns) v. AFC Leading Receivers: Hines Ward, 12th (28 catches, 376 yards, 13.4 yards per catch, 5 touchdowns)
Note: For the second week in a row the Steelers face a former Pittsburgh wide receiver ~ Antwaan Randle-El, 14th (33 catches, 50+ yards, 12.4 yards per catch, 1 touchdown).

NFC sack leaders: Andre Carter, 38th (2.0 sacks each) v. AFC sack leaders: James Harrison, 2nd (8.5)
Note: LaMarr Woodley is third in the AFC in sacks with 7.5

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