NFL Expected Points - Week 17 (1/1/18)
As a weekly ritual, let's break down this week in NFL Expected Points. For a refresher on how Expected Points works, check out our first publication which explains what we take into account.
Cardinals 9.8 - Seahawks 13.6 (68.7%)
The only game of the weekend that had an unusual outcome, according to Expected Points, was the Cardinals-Seahawks. Seattle, after another ugly game, came out on the wrong end, and it nearly had a huge impact on their playoff hopes.
The Seahawks struggled down the stretch, as they lost quite a few key players to injuries, and missed by one game. Had Seattle rightfully won on Sunday, they could have gotten in with an Atlanta loss. To make it less painful, the Falcons won in easy fashion, which would have stifled Seattle's chances even if they had come out ahead against Arizona.
Both teams were able to fully exceed their Expected Point value in the same manner. They made a number of long field goals, had some special teams help, and the Seahawks aided the Cardinals in penalty yardage.
It's simple to understand that it's rare to find a game reach a total of 50 points without either team reaching 300 yards of total offense or 200 yards passing. Ironically, the Seahawks' season ended when Blair Walsh happened to miss a long field goal attempt, which essentially ended the game. The game featured twelve punts including all of Seattle's first five drives where they totaled 14 yards in the first half.