The 2021 NFL regular season is over and the playoffs are set to begin. Fourteen of the thirty-two teams made the playoffs. The Packers and the Buccaneers had the most wins with 13 of the 17 games they played, a 0.76 win percentage. Two teams — the Eagles and the Steelers — had only 9 wins (0.53). Three teams — the Dolphins, Colts, and Chargers — also had 9 wins but didn’t make the playoffs. Despite what New York fans believe, the Giants and the Jets had better years than the Jaguars and the Lions.
Of tthe teams that made the playoffs, four stand out for the points they scored and allowed. The Bills and the Patriots were notable for their defensive performances. If you believe “defenses win Super Bowls,” this is important. The Steelers and the Raiders are notable because their offenses and their defenses were both below the average for all 32 teams. The two number 1 seeds — the Titans and the Packers — are in the middle of the pack of playoff teams. Clearly, wins are more important than points.
An old notion from the early years of the merged AFL-NFL was that successful teams had a balance between their passing and rushing offenses. That hasn’t been true for a long time. This year, the average NFL team had twice as many passing yards as rushing yards. Of the playoffs teams, the Buccaneers had a pass/rush ratio of 3.1 compared to the Eagles who had a ratio of 1.2. Those were also the most extreme values for all 32 teams. The Steelers stand out by having both below average rushing and below average passing. Still, they made the playoffs and that’s what counts … at least until the Super Bowl.
UPDATE: After the Divisional Playoffs.