NFL Net Yards Per Play: Dolphins, Eagles Skidding Into Playoffs

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

In the middle of the season, when they met with two combined losses, the matchup between Miami and Philadelphia looked like a possible Super Bowl preview. How times have changed. As the NFL playoffs prepare to kick off, both times have stumbled to the finish and look like prime early exit candidates. NFL net yards per play data doesn’t look good, particularly when weighing recent form. We’ll look at how it happened and whether anything is looking up for either team.

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 wild card 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

Dolphins Dominated By Bills, Enter Playoffs Short-Handed

The Dolphins endured a rough close to the season.

First, the Ravens put an epic beating on them, 56-19. Miami’s defense allowed a horrifying 8.9 YPP. While the offense moved the ball respectively, it wasn’t enough to avoid getting laughed off the field. Tua Tagovailoa’s pair of interceptions didn’t help the cause, either.

For a time, it seemed like they might rebound against the Bills. They held a 14-7 lead entering the fourth quarter after both teams squandered a number of scoring chances. If the Dolphins could hold, most of their failures would be forgiven. After all, they’d have won the division and secured the AFC No. 2 seed. That qualifies as a success for this team under any frame of reference.

Alas, the Bills closed out with a 14-0 final period.

While net yards per play frames the contest as close — the Bills won the stat 6.1 to 5.7 — Buffalo routed Miami in several other key stats. They won first downs (26-16), total yards (473-275), and ran 29 more plays. Tagovailoa threw another pair of picks.

Zoom out a bit, and Miami sports an ugly -1 mark in NFL net yards per play over its past three weeks. All came against quality competition, the team’s Achilles heel all year.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the playoffs will bring nothing but that.

Injuries Piling Up

And they’re entering at less than full strength, to say the least. The pass-rushing corps has become comically threadbare. After losing Jaelan Phillps, Bradley Chubb, and Andrew Van Ginkel, the team is asking veteran stopgaps Melvin Ingram, Bruce Irvin, and Justin Houston to hold down the fort. All had their best days about a decade ago.

At least two and likely three starting members of the secondary look likely to miss the game against the Chiefs after failing to practice, leaving only Jalen Ramsey.

Top targets Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, the engine of the offense, will play at less than 100% at best.

Markets for the game opened at Chiefs -1.5 and have seen basically one-way action to the current number.

Miami is up against it, but after stumbling into the playoffs last year in a similar fashion (lost five of last six), they summoned a great, competitive effort against Buffalo before losing as huge underdogs. We’ll see if Mike McDaniel can regroup once more with all of the momentum against him.

Dolphins Playoffs Odds

Miami Dolphins Futures & Wild Card Playoffs Props

Miami Dolphins 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

Eagles Also Stumbling Late

While a bit better than Miami’s -1 mark, the -0.3 NFL net yards per play number from the Eagles over the past three weeks shouldn’t make anyone feel like a repeat Super Bowl run is in the offing. Perhaps more concerningly, Philly has a negative number for the season after going out with a whimper against the Giants.

It’s all fallen apart for the Eagles, and injuries play a role here too. AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are hurt, the latter missing the finale. Jalen Hurts dislocated his finger, landing at the top of our NFL injury report.

And this defense has given them no room for error. The 5.5 YPP they allowed ranks tied for sixth-worst in the NFL. Advanced stats are no better. In fact, they’re worse. Philly ranks 29th in both defense DVOA and EPA/play allowed.

The secondary has been the primary culprit. Again, injuries hurt. Not only has James Bradberry been beaten like a drum all year, but Darius Slay hasn’t played since Dec. 10 against Dallas.

Thankfully for the Eagles, they at least have a friendlier landing spot at which to try to find their footing. While the Dolphins go on the road to face the defending champs in sub-zero temperatures, the Eagles get to play in Tampa Bay. That might not be a picnic weather-wise either — heavy rains could cloud the skies — but the market likes the Eagles well enough against a Buccaneers team it drubbed earlier this season.

A healthy and functional Eagles team can still beat anyone. But that sort of team hasn’t graced the field since late November against Buffalo.

Eagles Playoffs Odds

Philadelphia Eagles Futures & Wild Card Playoff Props

Philadelphia Eagles 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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