Welcome to the Conference Championship edition of Snaps, Pace, & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. It is meant to be a 30,000-foot view of upcoming games, with the goal of identifying which matchups will – and which will not – be played on fertile fantasy soil.
|2017 Snaps Per Game||2017 Rank||Last Four Games|
|Jacksonville Jaguars (67.4)||1st||New England Patriots (71.0)|
|Philadelphia Eagles (67.1)||3rd||Minnesota Vikings (65.0)|
|New England Patriots (66.9)||4th||Jacksonville Jaguars (64.8)|
|Minnesota Vikings (65.9)||7th||Philadelphia Eagles (61.3)|
Despite the presence of our highest-graded defense, Sunday’s opening game offers the better path to voluminous fantasy goodness. The Jaguars produced the league’s most plays during the 2017 season (67.4 per game) despite the eighth-highest run rate in neutral situations (one-score games). Much of the credit for their dominant possession statistics, which include the third-highest average time of possession (32:21), goes to a defense that forced the fourth-worst third-down conversion rate (33.6 percent) and second-most turnovers (33).
Our highest-graded offense is well-suited to counter, as the Patriots had the 10th-best third-down conversion rate (40.6 percent) and committed the second-fewest turnovers (12). Their 66.9-plays-per-game average ranked fourth-highest, and their seconds-per-snap pace was fifth-quickest despite operating in consistently positive game scripts. New England’s pace (24.7 seconds per snap) was significantly faster than their norm during a blowout of the Titans, in part due to their second-highest no-huddle rate of the season (15 percent). The Patriots ran a week-high 80 plays.