Commentary

Numbers Crunching: Week 17

Look for Greg Jennings, Graham Gano and Chris Long to make an impact

Originally Published: December 30, 2010
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesChris Long got after Matt Hasselbeck the first time these teams played this season -- and will look to do it again, against Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst, on Sunday night.

Football Outsiders analyzes the top three NFL matchups each week every Thursday. Here are the top games for Week 17.

This week's focus is on the NFC, where two playoff spots remain up for grabs. The Packers can take a wild-card spot with a win over Chicago, but a loss opens the door for the Giants to make the playoffs with a win over the Washington Redskins. Meanwhile, Sunday night's Seattle-St. Louis game is effectively the first game of the playoffs: just like in the postseason, the loser goes home for good.

Much of our analysis is based on DVOA, which takes every single play during the season and compares it to the league average based on situation and opponent. DVOA and Football Outsiders' other advanced stats are explained here. Some of the statistics in this article come from the Football Outsiders game charting project, in which a group of volunteers watches every NFL game to track stats like play-action, blitzes, formations and defensive coverage. Please note these numbers are incomplete, with most teams charted through Week 14.


For the full breakdown on Week 17's top three games, including key players, you need to be an Insider.