Commentary

FBO: Crunching the numbers, Week 9

The Panthers are set up to exploit the Saints' biggest weakness

Updated: November 5, 2009, 1:05 PM ET
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesTony Romo's been playing pretty well of late. Sunday night should be a fun one.

Each week, Football Outsiders looks at every NFL matchup on the schedule for Sunday (and MNF) and pulls out the most interesting statistical trends related to the contests. Much of the 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. Here is the 2009 Week 9 edition.

The Sunday 1 p.m. ET games

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons

Washington's defense has a league-high Adjusted Sack Rate of 12 percent on third downs -- but it ranks just 27th in ASR on first downs and 20th on second downs.

Despite Michael Turner's reputation as a downhill runner, the Falcons' running game has been better on the outside this season. The Falcons are top-10 in FO's Adjusted Line Yards stats (explained here and listed here) when it comes to runs around both left and right end, but they rank 21st on runs up the middle. Meanwhile, Washington's defense ranks fourth in defensive ALY against runs up the middle but 13th against runs left end and 24th against runs right end.


To continue reading FBO's Week 9 Crunching the Numbers -- including observations on the keys for DAL/PHI, PIT/DEN, SD/NYG, BAL/CIN and more -- you must be an ESPN Insider.