Picking up the pace: Fertile fantasy soil in the playoffs
Welcome to the Wild Card 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.
|2016 Snaps Per Game||NFL Rank||Last Four Games||NFL Rank|
|Houston Texans (66.9)||5th||New York Giants (70.5)||3rd|
|Oakland Raiders (65.5)||11th||Houston Texans (69.0)||4th|
|Green Bay Packers (64.3)||13th||Seattle Seahawks (67.3)||8th|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (64.1)||14th||Pittsburgh Steelers (65.8)||11th|
|New York Giants (63.6)||16th||Detroit Lions (64.8)||12th|
|Seattle Seahawks (63.3)||19th||Oakland Raiders (64.0)||14th|
|Detroit Lions (61.3)||29th||Green Bay Packers (60.8)||25th|
|Miami Dolphins (57.1)||32nd||Miami Dolphins (57.0)||31st|
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
Even if the Raiders avoided their quarterback apocalypse, this would project as a slow-paced matchup. Oakland allows the fourth-fewest plays per game (61.7) and the second-fewest during the last month (57.3). They wanted to be a run-based offense with Derek Carr. Now that he’s gone, they will hide whoever takes snaps — whether it’s an injured Matt McGloin or, more likely, a raw Connor Cook. The Texans’ run defense grades 18th-best, while their pass coverage ranks fifth. Oakland will rely on their fifth-highest-graded run-blocking and gaggle of running backs to hammer Houston’s relative weakness. As long as the game stays close, they won’t be in a rush to snap it again.