With the first quarter of the 2016 NFL season now in the books for most of the 32 teams, we can now turn our attention to the ANY/A (adjusted net yards per passing attempt) differential stats from the first four weeks of the season.
Once again, I want to caution that until we get to Week 5 or 6 of the season it’s hard to draw any hard conclusions from these numbers as there just haven’t been enough games played so far. After week 6, however, these passing stats should be very telling and from that point moving forward is when I like to use the order as my own personal power rankings.
As far as the Pittsburgh Steelers go, what a difference one week can make early on in a season. Entering their Sunday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Steelers owned the fourth-worst adjusted net yards per passing attempt differential stat in the league despite having a 2-1 record. Thanks to their big Week 4 win over the Chiefs that included 4 sacks by their defense in addition to an interception, the Steelers adjusted net yards per passing attempt differential stat is now back in the positive
Of course, the Steelers jump back into positive numbers can be mostly credited to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 300 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Chiefs. As you can see, the Steelers offensive ANY/A jumped up to 7.2 from 5.7. That is a huge jump even for Week 4 of a regular season. With that said, once all of the teams play 6 games these huge fluctuations will be very few and far between.
This Sunday the Steelers will host the New York Jets at Heinz Field and technically you can consider them the worst team in the league when it comes to the adjusted net yards per passing attempt differential stat. Not only do the Jets own the worst differential in the league, their offensive and defensive ANY/A numbers are each the worst in the league.
As for the rest of the league, we probably need to start really respecting the Minnesota Vikings and especially because of the play of their defense. The Broncos, as many expected, are still in great shape post Peyton Manning as their defense remains the best in the NFL.
While the Atlanta Falcons have gotten off to a nice start this season, there is no way their offensive ANY/A number of 10.4 will stay that high and when you look at their defensive ANY/A number, I think this is a team that is being carried so far by their offense and thus primed for a few more losses in the first half of the regular season.
Two weeks from now we really should have some great rankings to work with.