21 points or bust - A think piece

I have some breaking news. The Patriots have a higher scoring average in playoff wins compared to playoff losses. How about that for some cutting edge analysis? I could probably stop the think piece right there and you could kill the rest of the your day at your cube job just pondering this information. The day will fly by and you will forget, just for a moment, that you make minimum wage and need this bowl victory so you can feel alive for the first time since Feb 5th 2017.

Jesse posted a cool blog about some stats involving the Jags that should make us feel better. Check it out here. I gotta say it worked. There's a lot there to feel good about and I hope we no huddle those spotted tigers right out of the Razor. But that D still has me on edge, so I crunched some numbers. 

Tommy is 26-9 in the playoffs in his career. The most wins ever nbd, kbd. In those 26 victories, our average points scored is 30.19. For some context, we led the league in scoring in the 2017 regular season with 29.0 points per game. In 2016 it was Atlanta with 34.1 In 2015 it was Carolina with 31.1. In 2014 it was us again with 30.4. So you can see our 30.19 is right in line with the best offense in the league in a given year.

In our 9 losses we have averaged 17.77 points per game. This number would put us somewhere between 28-32 in the league scoring ranks for the regular season in any year. Again, this makes sense. When we win our offense is cooking at 'best in the league' levels, and when we lose our offense produces like the worst in the league.

To get a little less math-y, look at this way. In 26 playoff wins we have scored less than 21 points exactly two times. In 2001 we beat the Raiders in the snow bowl 16-13 in OT, and then in 2003 we beat the Titans in the freezing bowl 17-14. That's it. In our 9 playoff losses we have scored 21 points or more exactly two times. Once in a 2006 AFCCG shootout loss to the Colts 38-34, and once in a 2010 divisional round choke job to the Jets 28-21. Our other playoff losses have point totals of 13, 14, 14, 17, 13, 16, 18.

In other words, we aren't exactly beating teams in low scoring defensive battles. If we don't get over 21 it means our offense can't get in sync and we are going to lose. If we get over 21 then we are cooking with gas, dictating the play, and we're going to win.

Through the 18 games they have played this year, the Jags D gave up an average of 17.38 points per game. This is almost exactly the average points per game mark that we put up in playoff losses. I hate this. Furthermore, the Jags gave up less than 21 points in 11 out of 18 games they played in. In fact, if you take out the 44 spot Jimmy G hung on them in week 16 and the 42 Big Ben just put up in the divisional round, the average goes down to 14.18 per game.

The good news is the Jags have a similar trend compared to us. They are currently 12-6 on the year. The number of games out of 12 that they won when they gave up more than 21 points is exactly 2. They beat the Hawks 30-24 and of course this past Steelers game, which is such a fluke we almost shouldn't count it. The number of games of out of 6 that they lost when giving up less than 21 points is exactly one. A 15-10 week 17 loss to the Titans. So if you score more than 21 against the Jags it means you didn't let their D settle in to a game plan and make you play them how they want. They almost always lose. I mean they gave up 21+ points 7 times and are 2-5. If you are held under 21 it means their D got you in their grasp and you go down.

I hate how tough their D can be. They can get after you with only four rushers and they can cover those quick routes you want to throw before their pass rush gets home. But I love how versatile our offense can be. We have the best offense in the league and they haven't seen one like us yet so far this year. All I know is the number I will have my eyes on this Sunday is 21. If we can put up 3 tuddies then I like our chances in a big way.