The Wild Card round of the playoffs was indeed wild with one more game to go on Monday Night Football. In the AFC, the field of four is set with the top four seeds still active going into the divisional round of the playoffs with the hope of making it to the AFC Championship game.
In the NFC, the York Giants knocked off the third seed and the fifth-seeded Dallas Cowboys have a chance to knock out the fourth seed in the conference tonight.
The Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars are where the Cleveland Browns hope to be next season, at a minimum. Every team's goal is a chance to play for the conference title and make it to the Super Bowl, but the Browns seem to have enough talent to make it a reality.
So what can be learned from the AFC’s final four? Lets take a look:
The Chiefs have the legend of the group with Andy Reid in his position. Reid was successful with Philadelphia but has taken it to a whole new level with Kansas City in his second stop. The Jaguars also have a coach in his second stop and one who has won a Super Bowl, Doug Pederson.
Zac Taylor and Doug McDermott got their first head coaching gigs with their current teams.
- Patrick Mahomes - Considered by many the best in the league
- Josh Allen - Considered by many to be just behind Mahomes
- Joe Burrow - Already led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl, cool under pressure
- Trevor Lawrence - A poor rookie year under Urban Meyer, was considered generational talent coming out and starting to show it
The youth and talent of these four are impressive and their talent shows in the data below. Interestingly, all four have over 250 yards rushing this season with Allen leading the way with a whopping 762 yards and seven touchdowns.
Raw Offensive Stats Ranking
- Yardage - Chiefs (1), Bills (2), Bengals (8), Jaguars (10)
- Passing Yards - Chiefs (1), Bengals (5), Bills (7), Jaguars (10)
- Rushing Yards - Bills (7), Jaguars (14), Chiefs (20), Bengals (29)
- Points per game - Chiefs (1), Bills (2), Bengals (7), Jaguars (10)
- Turnovers - Bengals (4), Jaguars (t14), Chiefs (t17), Bills (30)
Browns Rankings: Yardage (14), Passing Yards (22), Rushing Yards (6), Points per game (18), Turnovers (t8)
Raw Defensive Stats Ranking
- Yardage - Bills (6), Chiefs (8), Bengals (13), Jaguars (21)
- Passing Yards - Bills (15), Chiefs (18), Bengals (23), Jaguars (28)
- Rushing Yards - Bills (5), Bengals (7), Chiefs (8), Jaguars (12)
- Points per game - Bills (2), Bengals (6), Jaguars (12), Chiefs (16)
- Turnovers - Bills (t4), Jaguars (t4), Bengals (t11), Chiefs (t20)
Browns Rankings: Yardage (14), Passing Yards (5), Rushing Yards (25), Points per game (20), Turnovers (t20)
- Offense - Chiefs (1), Bills (2), Bengals (4), Jaguars (9)
- Defense - Bills (4), Bengals (11), Chiefs (17), Jaguars (26)
- Overall - Bills (1), Chiefs (4), Bengals, (5), Jaguars (13)
Browns Rankings: Offense (8), Defense (23), Overall (11)
While anyone can argue coaches, the statistics on the four teams compared to Cleveland’s are interesting. Overall, the final four teams in the AFC playoffs are great on offense and okay on defense. One interesting stat is rushing yards where the four teams left standing have such good passing offenses that opponents don’t run the ball as much against them.
While the Browns need to get better on defense, especially against the run and forcing turnovers, improvements in the passing game and scoring are almost just as important. They will have to be able to match fire with fire in the AFC and very few, if any, defenses are actually able to shutdown/stop high-powered offenses in the NFL anymore.
It is telling that all four teams were top ten in yards, passing yards and scoring this year.
What stats stand out to you?