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NFL Week 14 Trench Matchups: Aaron Rodgers set to continue his MVP campaign behind the Green Bay Packers' offensive line

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass to running back Jamaal Williams (30) against the Philadelphia Eagles during their football game Sunday, December 6, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Apc Packvseagles 1206200454

With the Sunday slate of Week 14 just a couple of days away, it's time for us to analyze each contest's trench matchups by predicting the survival curves for the offensive line and projecting how often a quarterback will be pressured at a given time after the snap.

Going into each game, a machine-learning model incorporates several features in order to come up with a prediction:

  • The survival curve of the offensive line in previous games (or from last year)
  • The survival curve of the defensive line in previous games (or from last year)
  • The PFF pass-blocking grades of the five offensive linemen
  • The PFF pass-rush grades of the pass-rushers and the positions they are projected to line up in
  • How the blend of individual grades and team-level survival curves from the past are weighted toward predicting the cervical curve depends on continuity and how far in the past the information lies. Less continuity means the individual grades are weighted more heavily.
  • Schematic factors such as how often the defense is projected to blitz and how often the offense is projected to use play action, designed rollouts or six-plus-man protections.

[Editor's Note: PFF's advanced statistics and player grades are powered by AWS machine learning capabilities.]

Each week, we will use our projections to highlight the biggest mismatches in the trenches. We will also identify an interesting matchup to watch.

We expected the Los Angeles Rams‘ offensive line to hold its own against the Arizona Cardinals‘ pass rush last week. Indeed, Jared Goff found himself under pressure within 2.5 seconds after the snap only 10% of the time, the second-lowest rate of the week.

On the flip side, the San Francisco 49ers‘ pass protection allowed quick pressure 28% of the time, the seventh-highest rate of the week. Our models expected the Buffalo Bills to win the trenches on the defensive side of the ball, and that's exactly what happened in Week 13.

Here are our mismatches for Week 14.

Favoring the offensive line: Green Bay Packers OL vs. Detroit Lions DL

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