NFL Net Yards Per Play: Are Bengals Really Back? Are Eagles Paper Tigers?

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

While you’re handicapping NFL Week 9 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.

Ahead of NFL Week 9 action, the Bengals bear a look after beating the 49ers by 14 on the road. Do NFL yards per play support that result, and if so, should bettors be all in on this team as a futures play?

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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 — benefited from playing weak competition in their first affair of the 2023 campaign. 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 9 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.

TeamYards Per PlayYPP AllowedNet YPPLast 3 Weeks NYPP

Bengals Worth Buying With Joe burrow Dealing Dimes Again?

Cincinnati entered the 2023 season considered one of the top-five Super Bowl contenders in the NFL. However, things obviously got off to a very rough start. With Joe Burrow slowed by a calf injury sustained in the preseason, the team never looked all that great on either side of the ball en route to limping into the bye at 3-3.

Things changed last week. Market excitement has built for this team once again following a seeming thrashing of the 49ers, 31-17.

On the one hand, that might be fair. After all, Burrow posted one of the most efficient games by any QB this season (28-for-32 for 283 yards and 3 TDs).

On the other hand, NFL yards per play stats continue to tell a concerning tale about this defense. Sorting the YPP chart by defensive numbers, only the Broncos have given up more than the Bengals’ 5.9. Last week, the 49ers had the most YPP in the entire league at 8.2.

Even DVOA, which adjusts for schedule, has not been impressed with this unit, ranking them 17th.

Still, we know passing offense is the most important ingredient for success in the NFL. If Burrow and Tee Higgins are truly back to full health, the Bengals will be a handful for anyone.

That includes the Buffalo Bills, and that Week 9 game rates as a swing one for both teams, making this an important time to consider buying in on either team’s futures prices. A win will keep Cincinnati in the hunt for the division title and a home playoff game, while a loss will likely leave them looking at a Wild Card, at best.

Bengals Upcoming Schedule

No season schedule data available.

Eagles May Not Really Be The Class Of The League

With the Chiefs dropping an ugly one in Denver, Philadelphia, with the best record in the league, has ascended to the top of some NFL power rankings.

Is that warranted?

NFL yards per play numbers are skeptical. Consider that not only do the Eagles have a season-long number that’s just solid, but their recent form has them actually being outgained by the opposition. And the competition has not exactly been fierce — those games include the Jets and Commanders. The latter outgained the Eagles 6.8 YPP to 6 in a spot where the market installed Philly as a -7 favorite by close.

The secondary, despite a slew of recognizable names, continues to give up chunks of yards. It’s possible cornerbacks Darius Slay, 32, and James Bradberry, 30, have left their best days behind them and are too long in the tooth to be relied upon as shutdown corners at this stage. The addition of S Kevin Byard should help, but this unit just doesn’t appear to have the same punch it had in 2022.

The schedule is as nasty as they come (see below), so we’ll find out in short order whether the Eagles remain in the top tier. If you’re looking to short this team with something like the Cowboys division () you shouldn’t wait any longer.

Cowboys logo Cowboys DAL
Eagles logo Eagles PHI
Offense Ranking OFF RNK 5th 8th
Defense Ranking DEF RNK 5th 25th
Offense Net Yards Per Game OFF NET YPG 371.6 354.4
Defense Net Yards Per Game DEF NET YPG 299.7 356.1
Passing Yards Per Game PASS YPG 258.6 225.5
Turnovers Committed Per Game TOC PG 0.9 1.6

Eagles Upcoming Schedule

No season schedule data available.

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