NFL Net Yards Per Play: Packers, Texans Surge After Underdog Wins

Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
NFL yards per play

Two of the teams showing the strongest recent form are two of the teams the market least expected to reach this point. Both the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans, powered by star young QBs, sprung upsets in the wild card playoffs. They posted eye-opening NFL net yards per play stats and have found the type of recent form that intrigues longshot bettors.

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.

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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 divisional 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

Packers Crush Cowboys, Try To Continue Cinderella Run

The Packers have caught fire at the right time. Their +2.1 “last three games” advantage in NFL net yards per play leads the NFL by a large margin.

And all three came against something resembling respectable opposition, at least aside from the Vikings offense helmed by Jaren Hall for a half.

A Chicago team that has performed in the league’s top half for multiple months got turned to mincemeat by Jordan Love. The Packers did whatever they wanted on offense in that game (7.2 YPP), but red-zone flubs limited them to 17 points.

No such thing happened against Dallas. The Packers finished drives (4-for-4 red zone) and gained another 7.7 YPP. Limiting an explosive Dallas offense to 5.7 YPP meant they wound up a whopping +2 in a game where they closed touchdown underdogs.

Aaron Jones and the offensive line getting healthy have been key factors. Jones has ripped off four straight games with 100+ yards. He averaged at least 5 YPA in all four. Facing a 49ers team that ranks in the bottom 10 in both EPA/play and Success Rate allowed on the ground, Jones and the Packers must keep that streak if they hope to continue this run.

San Francisco has been something of a playoff dragon for Green Bay recently. They’ve eliminated them four times dating to 2013. However, relatively few Packers remain from the team that lost even just two years ago. The offense has been completely remade.

We’ll see if the new version of the Packers can do what others couldn’t: stop this menacing ground game.

Packers Playoffs Odds

Green Bay Packers Futures & Divisional Playoffs Props

Green Bay Packers 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

Stroud, Texans Rout Highly-Rated Browns D

Only two teams (Ravens, Chiefs) allowed fewer than the 5.5 YPA the Browns conceded through the air in 2023.

So, what did CJ Stroud do in his playoff debut? Post a staggering 13 YPA dropping back. Stroud barely missed a perfect passer rating in one of the most emphatic playoff arrivals seen in years.

Keep in mind that a couple of things sully Houston’s numbers. For starters, the season opened with a couple of losses as Stroud got his feet under him. Second, the two-game stretch that Stroud missed in concussion protocol dragged the numbers down some. They still beat Tennessee in one of the games, but 4.8 YPA passing doesn’t do the stats any favors.

Houston is hitting its stride again on offense, but they do now face the aforementioned Ravens. Not only does the team enter well-rested off the bye, but they get more than a week to target what has become a pretty one-dimensional offense. The Texans don’t run the ball well at all, and thanks to injuries to pass catchers Tank Dell and Noah Brown, only a couple of high-value targets remain in Nico Collins and Dalton Schultz.

Can Texans Offensive Coordinator Bobby Slowik work more magic here? The Ravens have their own young mastermind behind the defense in Mike Macdonald.

On paper, this looks like a very difficult situation for Stroud. He’s going from playing indoors at home to outside in possibly bad NFL weather against a top-rated, rested defense. Bettors would do well to keep expectations in check here even after the tremendous showing. Many past wild card victors have faltered in this spot.

Texans Playoffs Odds

Houston Texans Futures & Divisional Playoff Props

Houston Texans 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

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