LeBron James was rooting against the Miami Dolphins instead of playing for them on Thanksgiving and his favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, rewarded him with a win. Will the rest of his teammates get to enjoy watching their favorite NFL teams win on Sunday?
This article will use two stats created by sports economist David Berri to measure the performance of NFL players: QB Score and RB Score. QB Score and RB Score are simple measures that take a player's net yards and subtract the impact of any turnovers to illustrate their production.
QB Score = All Yards – 3*All Plays – 30*All Turnovers
RB Score = All Yards – 3*All Plays – 30*Fumbles Lost
Vikings at Falcons
Mike Miller's favorite team goes into the Georgia Dome a 9.5-point underdog against Atlanta and Alfredo Arteaga from HeatFreak.com picked the Falcons to win. Here's what the numbers say...
- Christian Ponder ranks 23rd in QB Score per Play. Ponder has produced nearly 40 less net yards per game than an average quarterback after his first five five starts. Donovan McNabb produced over 80 less net yards per game than an average QB, but turned the ball over less. Ponder's turnover rate is average, though. Nothing ventured, nothing gained seems to be the way to go in Minnesota.
- Adrian Peterson ranks ninth in RB Score per Play. It's been quantity over quality with Peterson this season. His RB Score per Play is slightly below average, but his RB Score per Game is three times as productive as the average running back.
- Matt Ryan ranks 14th in QB Score per Play. He was the most productive QB in the NFL last week against the Titans so he's capable of having great performances. Ryan's taken an average number of sacks this season, so an above average game from Jared Allen would help the Vikes keep him in check.
- Michael Turner ranks 15th in RB Score. Only five backs have carried a heavier load than Turner's 210 plays from scrimmage: Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Frank Gore. That workload could explain why Turner's been less productive per touch than the average RB, but 2.5 times more productive per game.
Panthers at Colts
Mario Chalmers' favorite team is a 3.5-point favorite in Indianapolis and Alfredo picked them to keep the Colts winless. Here's what the numbers say...
- Cam Newton ranks ninth in QB Score per Play. Despite his unprecedented efficiency as a top 10 QB, Cam was only half as efficient as the average QB last week with four interceptions. Philip Rivers is the only starting QB with more turnovers than Cam this season.
- Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams rank 11th and 23rd in RB Score, respectively. Both backs provide above average production and efficiency. They combined for 214 yards from scrimmage last week against the Detroit Lions and the Section 357 Show shouldn't blame them for the loss.
- Curtis Painter ranks 30th in QB Score per Play. He's provided 2.3 times less efficiency than Peyton Manning gave the Colts last season.
- Joseph Addai ranks 45th in RB Score. He didn't play in the last three games and his production per play was below average when he was on the field.
Bears at Raiders
Dwyane Wade's hometown team is a three-point underdog in Oakland's black hole and Alfredo doesn't expect them to escape with a win. Here's what the numbers say...
- Jay Cutler ranked 13th in QB Score per Play. He's out for the season.
- Matt Forte ranks second in RB Score. He and Maurice Jones-Drew are the two hardest working backs in the NFL and with Cutler's injury, Forte's load just got a lot heavier. Bears probably can't win if he doesn't continue performing at this level.
- Jason Campbell ranked 11th in QB Score per Play. He produced 2.6 QB Score per Play before his shoulder injury put the Raiders' playoff hopes in question. Carson Palmer's QB Score per Play in four games since: -1.8, 2.5, 6.6 and 1.8.
- Michael Bush and Darren McFadden rank 11th and 14th in RB Score, respectively. Both backs provide above average production and efficiency. Bush totaled 129 yards last week but a fumble almost reduced his efficiency in that game to zero.
Eagles vs. Patriots
Norris Cole's will be rooting for his cousin in Philadelphia when New England comes onto Lincoln Financial Field at 4:15 PM EST and Alfredo picked them to defend their home turf. Here's what the numbers say...
- Michael Vick ranks seventh in QB Score per Play. Since he's still recovering from two broken ribs, Vince Young will likely get the start. Young was less than half as efficient as the average QB last week against the Giants.
- LeSean McCoy ranks fourth in RB Score. Forte is the only RB in the NFL with as many touches as McCoy that produces more yards per play.
Alfredo is 34-17 with his picks this season.
- Tom Brady ranks third in QB Score per Play. Only Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers produced more yards this season than Brady.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis ranks 28th in RB Score. Green-Ellis has been 1.5 times more productive than the average RB on a per game basis, but only provides 65 percent of the efficiency that teams get from an average RB.
This spreadsheet lists the QB Score stats for this season.
This spreadsheet lists the RB Score stats for this season.