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Undefeated Patriots, Panthers NFL's Two Smartest Teams

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 28, 2015



The NFL's only two undefeated teams are also the league's two smartest teams – helping prove yet again that pro football success is often a matter of brains over brawn.

The 10-0 Patriots, who visit Denver Sunday night, rank No. 1 in the Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index. The 11-0 Panthers, who embarrassed Dallas 33-14 on Thanksgiving, are No. 2 on the indicator.

The Patriots also topped the Intelligence Index last year on their way to victory in Super Bowl XLIX.

The Intelligence Index is simply the difference between Bendability, our measure of defensive efficiency, and Scoreability, our measure of offensive efficiency.

Smart, “bendable” defensive teams make opponents work hard to score points.

New England is No. 2 on the Bendability Index, forcing opponent to march 18.75 Yards Per Point Allowed. Carolina is No. 7 in Bendability, forcing opponents to march 16.9 Yards Per Point Allowed. (All stats are through Week 11; they do not include Carolina's win over Dallas.) 

Smart, efficient offensive teams score a lot of points with very few yards .

Carolina tops the NFL in Scoreability, needing just 11.85 Yards Per Point Scored. New England is No. 3 in Scoreability, with an efficient 12.77 Yards Per Point Scored.

The Intelligence Index, at the end of the day, helps us separate smart, efficient, well-coached teams who do all the little things right from dumb, inefficient, poorly coached teams who do all the little things wrong.

New England and Carolina right now are the smartest, most efficient, well-coached teams in the NFL. No coincidence they're the NFL's only two undefeated teams, too.

NFL 2015 Intelligence Index (through Week 11) 

  Team Bendability Scoreability Intelligence
1 New England 18.75 12.77 5.98
2 Carolina 16.9 11.85 5.05
3 Green Bay 18.62 13.73 4.89
4 Cincinnati 18.45 14.14 4.31
5 N.Y. Giants 16.66 13.07 3.59
6 Pittsburgh 19.44 16.31 3.13
7 Kansas City 16.54 13.43 3.11
8 Minnesota 18.2 15.64 2.56
9 Arizona 14.92 12.42 2.5
10 Buffalo 15.43 13.95 1.48
11 Oakland 15.64 14.93 0.71
12 N.Y. Jets 15.53 15.01 0.52
13 Indianapolis 15.82 15.44 0.38
14 Denver 15.54 15.2 0.34
15 St. Louis 16.96 16.75 0.21
16 Philadelphia 16.37 16.36 0.01
17 Atlanta 15.69 15.98 -0.29
18 Seattle 15.81 16.12 -0.31
19 Washington 14.63 15.08 -0.45
20 Miami 15.65 16.4 -0.75
21 Baltimore 14.22 16.12 -1.9
22 Tampa Bay 13.35 15.72 -2.37
23 Houston 14.61 17.19 -2.58
24 Jacksonville 13.34 16.12 -2.78
25 New Orleans 13.48 16.28 -2.8
26 Chicago 13.58 16.45 -2.87
27 Cleveland 14.7 18.05 -3.35
28 Dallas 14.73 18.09 -3.36
29 Tennessee 13.92 17.64 -3.72
30 San Francisco 16.03 20.73 -4.7
31 Detroit 13.4 18.18 -4.78
32 San Diego 13.24 18.43 -5.19

 

 

 


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