NFL Net Yards Per Play: Can Packers Catch Seahawks In NFC Playoff Race?

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

At 2-5, it looked like the Packers were out of the race in the NFC and needed to start considering whether Jordan Love was the QB of the future. Lo and behold, a couple of wins later, they’re on the fringe of the hunt, with realistic odds to make the NFL playoffs. What does NFL yards per play data say about their recent performances? We’ll take a look, as well as examine the case of a floundering NFC West squad with its back to the wall.

While you’re handicapping NFL Week 12 odds, you may be searching for a new tool to apply to your step-by-step process. If so, NFL yards per play (YPP) should be near the top of your checklist. 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 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 Week 12 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 is sortable by clicking on the headers.

TeamYards Per PlayOpponent YPPNet YPPLast 3 Weeks NYPP
Dolphins75.11.90.8
Ravens5.84.21.62.2
49ers6.44.91.52.5
Cowboys5.64.612.5
Chiefs5.64.70.90.3
Bills65.20.81.7
Lions5.95.20.71.7
Vikings5.650.60.1
Texans5.85.30.51.5
Seahawks5.45.10.3-0.7
Browns4.54.20.30.4
Eagles5.45.20.2-0.5
Packers5.25.10.10.7
Falcons5.150.1-0.6
Colts5.25.20-0.8
Jets4.64.7-0.1-0.4
Rams5.25.3-0.1-1.2
Saints4.95.1-0.20.1
Patriots4.85-0.2-0.4
Bears55.3-0.30.1
Titans5.15.4-0.3-0.8
Chargers5.55.8-0.3-0.3
Jaguars5.15.5-0.4-0.5
Cardinals4.95.4-0.5-0.5
Raiders4.75.3-0.6-0.5
Commanders5.25.8-0.6-0.3
Steelers4.75.4-0.70.3
Buccaneers4.95.7-0.8-1.3
Panthers4.15-0.9-0.5
Broncos5.26.3-1.1-1.3
Bengals4.86.1-1.3-1.1
Giants4.15.8-1.7-2.2

Packers On The Come Up?

Quietly, the Packers have been one of the strongest teams the past three weeks in net yards per play. Sure, the first game was nothing to get excited about, hosting a limping Rams squad starting Brett Rypien at QB. But, Green Bay followed that up by arguably outplaying the Steelers, and then beating the Chargers at home in a game where they themselves were outgained.

Have the Packers turned the corner, and do they deserve some interest as a playoff longshot?

The biggest key to the Packers’ surge has been regaining health along the offensive line. Starting with a 34-20 drubbing at home to the Lions, Jordan Love was one of the worst QBs in the NFL for a stretch, as he was under pressure frequently. There, he struggles mightily, with a PFF grade of 48.3 (nearly 80 when kept clean).

With the left side of his line back intact — or at least as intact as it gets when David Bakhtiari factors in — Love has played solid football. Ranking just 18th on the season in EPA+CPOE composite, that zooms up to fifth in the small sample of the past three weeks.

The betting market has yet to buy in, installing the Packers as sizable underdogs heading to Detroit and then hefty +7 underdogs in look-ahead lines for Week 13, hosting the struggling Chiefs.

Currently, the Packers find themselves one spot out of the playoffs, but it’s a “long one” as they say in football announcing. Minnesota has a 1 1/2 game cushion. But, the Packers do have an easy schedule after these next two. And even bettors who aren’t buying playoff odds here may find some value in these week-to-week underdog prices.

Packers Bills Upcoming Schedule

No season schedule data available.

Packers Week 12 Odds

GB @ DET

Nov. 23, 11:30 AM

Spread

Green Bay Packers

GB

Detroit Lions

DET

Odds updated Nov 23rd, 2023, 2:41 pm

Green Bay Packers Futures & Week 12 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

Can Seahawks Navigate Brutal Schedule?

On the other side of the same situation, we see the Seahawks. The market is still buying them as a clear playoff team, but NFL yards per play data doesn’t like their recent performances.

Naturally, their “last three weeks” number is hugely colored by a complete pounding at the hands of the Ravens (37-3, -3.7 NYPP). That will put a dent in anyone’s numbers. But even discounting that blowout, frittering away a nine-point fourth-quarter lead against the Rams is not a good look.

Now, some context must be placed around that game as well. Drew Lock entered in relief of Geno Smith, who exited with an injured throwing arm. Incredibly, Lock accumulated -5.4 EPA in just six plays. That isn’t easy to do, but three total yards on six attempts with an interception will do it.

If Smith never gets hurt, the Seahawks likely win that game.

At the same time, the loss (and 1-2 stretch in general) has put Seattle in a precarious position due to their brutal upcoming schedule. Facing the 49ers twice, as well as the Cowboys and Eagles, leaves the Seahawks without as much cushion as a two-game lead over Green Bay would indicate. They probably need to come out of this with at least one win, or any Seahawks futures including just to make the playoffs (currently ) are in huge trouble.

On the other hand, a victory this weekend over San Francisco would have divisional hopes () very much alive.

Seahawks Upcoming Schedule

No season schedule data available.

Seahawks Week 12 Odds

SF @ SEA

Nov. 23, 7:20 PM

Spread

Moneyline

San Francisco 49ers

SF

Seattle Seahawks

SEA

100% of staff picked SF to cover the spread

Odds updated Nov 23rd, 2023, 10:18 pm

Seattle Seahawks Futures & Week 11 Props

Seattle Seahawks 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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