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STAT THAT MATTERS

26.1

In a pass-happy league, it makes sense that a team’s passer rating differential (the difference between a team’s passer rating and its opponents’ passer rating) is a big-time stat that matters. It’s one of eight categories I look at when struggling to predict an unpredictable league’s postseason action. Recently, the Washington Post did a story on this statistic. According to the Post, 22 of the past 30 Super Bowl teams — including 10 of the past 15 winners — had a passer rating differential that ranked among the top five in the league. This year, the Vikings led the league in passer rating differential at plus-26.1. The offense had a 99.1 rating, while the defense ranked third at 73.0. The Saints ranked second (24.9), while the Rams (19.9), Chiefs (19.3) and Eagles (18.1) followed. Here are each of the 12 playoff teams’ passer rating differential:

Team Differential

Vikings 26.1

Saints 24.9

Rams 19.9

Chiefs 19.3

Eagles 18.1

Jaguars 15.9

Patriots 13.1

Steelers 12.3

Bills 3.2

Falcons 0.5

Titans minus-10.7

Panthers minus-13.1