Picking up the pace: Big offense expected this weekend

Pat Thorman looks at the likely paces and speed of games of this weekend's two games, and what that means for fantasy.

| 2 months ago
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Picking up the pace: Big offense expected this weekend


Welcome to the Conference Championship Round edition of Snaps, Pace & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. It is meant as 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.

The turf in Atlanta, and possibly New England, will sprout plenty of points this weekend, with an expected 110-point combined total for the two games, according to Vegas linesmakers. Three of the top four most efficient per-snap scoring offenses will be in action, plus Pittsburgh ranked sixth over their last four games. High play volume will not be a requirement for elevated point totals.

2016 Snaps Per Game NFL Rank Last Four Games NFL Rank
New England Patriots (66.0) 7th New England Patriots (68.2) 5th
Green Bay Packers (64.3) 13th Green Bay Packers (65.5) 11th
Pittsburgh Steelers (64.1) 14th Atlanta Falcons (63.8) 13th
Atlanta Falcons (62.2) 26th Pittsburgh Steelers (61.0) 22nd

 

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

The Packers finished the year with the 13th-most plays per game. Not only are they the third-most-efficient offense on a point-per-snap basis (0.42), their games are increasingly more voluminous from a total plays perspective. Despite abandoning their up-tempo offense (more in No-huddle notes), Packers’ games rank third-highest for average combined plays during every team’s last four contests (131.8). After they lost Eddie Lacy, Green Bay handed off at the league’s sixth-lowest rate, which typically leads to higher offensive play totals. The Falcons allowed the seventh-most plays per game this season (66.2) and their biggest liability is perimeter pass coverage. Atlanta barely blitzes (20.3 percent; 30th), which is the one thing that’s slowed Aaron Rodgers the last two weeks (67.0 passer rating vs. blitz; 132.5 vs. none).

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Pat Thorman is a lead writer for PFF Fantasy and a Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner.

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