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DOMINATING FROM THE JUMP
Best of the Best NFL Teams in 2022
Welcome back to Best of the Best, NFL teams from 2022. Last time we established how we determined the Best of the Best teams, and we named them.
Now we’re ready to dig in. The main question, again, is “what do these teams teach us?” What do they have in common?
The Best of the Best teams (we’ll refer to them as BoB for short) were exceptional at putting their opponent on their heels from the very start of the game.
Here are some of the ways that all six of the Best of the Best teams ranked very high when it came to dominating games early:
The Best of the Best teams ranked in various ways measuring their ability to take control of games early
Best of the Best Summary
Successful Play Pct in the 1st Quarter — The BoB group was successful in 49% of their first quarter offensive plays. The league average is just 42%. The definition for Successful Plays is gaining at least 50% of the Yards to Go on Downs 1 and 2, and converting the First Down on Downs 3 and 4 (if applicable).
Point Differential in the First Half — Pure dominance in this category from the BoB group. All six teams ranked in the Top 7 in the league. They rarely go to the locker room at Half Time without a lead. The combined BoB record at Halftime was 61-29-10.
Points Per Game 1st Half — there’s definitely some crossover here with Point Differential, but the BoB group was so dominant it needed to be included. All six teams landed in the top quartile of the league in scoring first half points.
Third Down Conversion Rate in the First Half — As you might expect, the BoB group was exceptional at converting 3rd Downs into first downs right away. Each of them were in the Top 8. The Bills and Bengals were the only two teams in the league to convert more than 50% of their 3rd Down plays in the First Half of games last season.
Pct of 1st Quarter Drives Resulting in Points — The Seahawks and Bears actually led the way in this category, but the Best of the Best all ranked in the Top 12.
Drives per TD in the 1st Half — it took the average team 5 drives to score their first TD, but it took the BoB teams only 3 drives.
RB Yards from Scrimmage - First Half — The Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, 49ers, and Cowboys all ranked in the Top 7 in the NFL when it came to productivity from their RBs in the First Half. The Eagles were 18th. This is the only category where any of the BoB teams ranked below league average.
Points per Game on Opening Drive — The very first drive of the game is often scripted, and therefore partly a measure of coaching. In this category, all six teams ranked in the top 15 teams in the NFL. The Bengals were the league leader, scoring an average of 2.5 points per game the very first time they touched the ball.
Scored First Points in the Game — The Eagles scored first in 12 of their 17 games (ranking 2nd behind the Browns) and the rest of the BoB group ranked in the top half of the league in this metric.
Other Remarkable Insights
We’ll always find some interesting nuggets while mining for the material in these chapters. Here are a few things that stood out from the ‘Dominate Early’ studies:
Dominating the game early matters a lot! Over the past 30 seasons:
The team that scores first wins the game 63% of the time.
The team that is leading at the end of the First Quarter wins the game 70% of the time.
The team that is leading at the end of the First Half wins the game 77% of the time.
The Titans were the only team outside of the Best of the Best group that was Top 50th Percentile in every category.
The Browns scored first in 13 of their 17 games -- most of any team.
The Giants managed to put the first points on the board only 4 times last season (twice with field goals, and twice with TDs).
The Browns defense was the only unit in the league to not allow a single point on their opponent’s first drive of the game.
The Commanders were the only team in the league to not score at all on their opening drive of the game.
What about my team? Where do they rank in these categories?
To see the complete ranking lists for every ‘Dominant from the Jump’ metric, head over to MyInsideEdge.com or click the image below.
The information in this post was powered by Remarkable, Inside Edge’s award-winning data insights application. Remarkable is used widely among broadcasters, teams, sports betting and media partners. For more information on Remarkable, please visit inside-edge.com/remarkable.