NFL Net Yards Per Play: Are The Chiefs Back?

, , ,
Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
NFL net yards per play

The Kansas City Chiefs might be back, folks. While the game wound up close on the scoreboard, the Chiefs had an immense edge in NFL net yards per play. And in the NFC, the Detroit Lions continue to put forth worrying performances on defense.

While you’re handicapping NFL playoffs odds, you may be searching for a new tool to apply to your step-by-step process. If so, yards per play (YPP) should be near the top of your checklist. NFL net yards per play — the difference between offensive and defensive performance on a per-play basis — gives a solid look at a team’s overall strength.

This report will be updated following each week of action and contains each team’s yards per play results on offense and defense, respectively. The “last three weeks” column captures the teams’ current form. If you see fit, one could be worth investing in for futures. You’ll want to look for undervalued teams whose per-play strength isn’t reflected in their final scores due to luck or other factors.

Click below to place a wager at the best sports betting sites. The prices below represent the best available in your state.

NFL NET yards per play Explained

Yards per play — or YPP — is a handy metric for NFL bettors since it eliminates unpredictable variables, including turnovers, botched kicks, and scores via special teams. Ignoring randomness is a critical part of handicapping any sport. Therefore, yards per play on both sides of the ball helps indicate where a team is in the short term. Generally speaking, you will rarely find a below .500 team in the upper echelon of these rankings.

But like EPA, teams may be overvalued in the betting market if their YPP surges positively over a small sample size. You will see that various units — offensively, defensively, or both — benefit from playing weak competition over arbitrary samples. In turn, their output could be mis-contextualized.

Conversely, a team outperforming expectations against a presumably elite opponent is likely a sign of a positive trajectory.

NFL Yards Per Play: Offense, Defense And Net

Here are the current yards per play numbers before NFL conference championship action. Conventional wisdom says dividing the net yards per play difference by 0.15 gives an approximate spread between two teams.

Furthermore, keep in mind that the more or fewer plays a team runs/defends, these numbers could wind up skewed in either direction. This table can be sorted by clicking on the headers.

TeamYards Per PlayOpponent YPPNet YPPLast 3 Weeks NYPP
49ers6.651.61
Dolphins6.45.11.3-1.3
Ravens5.94.61.30.4
Chiefs5.54.70.81.4
Bills5.75.10.6-0.1
Cowboys5.65.20.40.1
Lions5.95.60.3-0.3
Vikings5.55.20.30.1
Rams5.75.40.30.3
Texans5.55.20.31.3
Packers5.75.40.32.1
Falcons5.250.20.7
Browns4.84.70.1-0.5
Seahawks5.55.500
Colts5.25.20-0.3
Eagles5.45.5-0.1-1
Patriots4.64.7-0.10.1
Saints5.15.3-0.2-1.4
Jaguars5.25.4-0.20.9
Bears55.3-0.3-0.2
Jets4.34.6-0.30
Buccaneers5.15.4-0.31
Titans4.95.2-0.3-0.4
Raiders4.95.2-0.3-0.2
Steelers55.4-0.4-0.1
Chargers5.15.5-0.4-0.6
Cardinals5.25.7-0.50
Broncos55.8-0.8-0.5
Bengals5.26-0.8-1.2
Panthers4.14.9-0.8-0.5
Commanders55.9-0.9-1.2
Giants4.55.6-1.1-0.1

Chiefs Offense Clicking Again

The Chiefs dealt with a fitful year on offense. Sure, there were strong performances, and the bottom-line numbers still wound up fine. But merely “fine” represented a massive downgrade from the past few years, when the Chiefs generally paced the NFL in offensive efficiency and total outputs.

Are they back, though?

Two games into the playoffs, the Chiefs passing attack looks to have turned a corner. The 5.5 yards per play they posted against the Dolphins on offense doesn’t look that amazing, but keep in mind the conditions were terrible, and the Chiefs basically sat on the ball for the final quarter and then some. Patrick Mahomes still had 6.4 YPA without a turnover or a sack, and his receivers let him down several times.

They showed up against the Bills, though. And the Chiefs offense showed what happens when things click, with 9.3 YPA dropping back. That translated to a monstrous advantage of +3 in NFL net yards per play (7.7 to 4.7).

Of course, some caveats apply. Both the Dolphins and Bills limped into these games with a litany of defensive injuries. Essentially, the Bills only had their front four left intact.

The red-zone play, in particular, will have to be better. Against Miami, the Chiefs spiked just twice in six tries. Against Buffalo, that was 2-for-4, although if Andy Reid just called a regular handoff instead of giving the ball to Mecole Hardman, we’re likely looking at 3-for-4.

Baltimore’s top-ranked defense will offer little room for error. We’re about to see whether the Chiefs are well and truly back.

Chiefs Playoffs Odds

Kansas City Chiefs Futures & Conference Championship Props

Kansas City Chiefs Player Statistics

Player GP Games Played CMP% Completion Percentage YDS Passing Yards YDS/G Yards Per Game YDS/C Yards Per Completion TDS Passing Touchdowns INT Interceptions thrown RTG Passer Rating
Player GP Games Played INT Interceptions PD Passes Defended FF Fumbles Forced FR Fumbles Recovered SACK QB Sacks TOT Total Tackles SOLO Solo Tackles AST Assisted Tackles

Lions Secondary Shredded Once Again

It’s not often you see a team near the bottom of the passing yards per play allowed rankings among the final four. But here the Lions sit, one game from the Super Bowl.

Can they keep having success when the secondary continues to do its best speed bag impression, though?

The numbers are ugly. Matthew Stafford posted 9.4 YPA dropping back. Baker Mayfield followed that with 7.1. Both teams’ top WRs, Puka Nacua and Mike Evans, posted 181 and 147 yards, respectively. Championship teams just don’t typically allow performances like that.

And now, they must hit the road to face a 49ers team that had the most efficient passing attack in the league by a mile. The Niners are as far from the second-place Dolphins as the Dolphins are from the 14th-place Falcons. Can the Lions possibly get enough stops to pull this upset off?

It’s going to have to start up front, with a Lions defense that ranks third in pressure rate against a mostly anonymous 49ers offensive line. Brock Purdy has gotten erratic with his throws and decision-making under pressure at times, as he showed in throwing multiple near-interceptions against the Packers.

But even if the pass rush gets home, this Lions secondary is going to have to dig deep and at least play at something like a league-average level here. These numbers are just untenable for continued success. A -0.8 net yards per play number over

Lions Playoffs Odds

Detroit Lions Futures & Divisional Playoff Props

Detroit Lions Player Statistics

Player GP Games Played CMP% Completion Percentage YDS Passing Yards YDS/G Yards Per Game YDS/C Yards Per Completion TDS Passing Touchdowns INT Interceptions thrown RTG Passer Rating
Player GP Games Played INT Interceptions PD Passes Defended FF Fumbles Forced FR Fumbles Recovered SACK QB Sacks TOT Total Tackles SOLO Solo Tackles AST Assisted Tackles

watch: TheLines’ NFL Shows

You can subscribe to the audio-only version of the show on AppleSpotify, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

NFL betting promos

If you’re in a state with legal sports wagering, TheLines has you covered with the best sportsbook promo codes. Just click on any of the following promos and bonus codes to get started.

RELATED ARTICLES