The Packers are a 3 point favorite at home against the Redskins, but the efficiency model has Washington as the favorites with a 0.62 probability of winning. In this post I'll breakdown why my system favors the Skins.
Although Washington is 3-2 and Green Bay is 4-1, the Redskins are performing significantly better per play. Below is a table that lists each team's generic win probability (GWP) and their opponents' average GWP, each adjusted for to-date oppenent stregnth. Also listed is each team's offensive and defensive GWP.
|Team||GWP||Opp GWP||Off GWP||Def GWP||Opp Def||Opp Off|
Washington has been playing at a higher level in terms of opponent-adjusted efficiency. The two teams have faced roughly equal opponents through week 5, with Washington having faced stronger offenses and Green Bay facing stiffer defenses.
The next table breaks down each team's (unadjusted) efficiency stats.
|TEAM||O Pass||O Run||O Int Rate||O Fum||D Pass||D Run||D Int Rate||Pen Rate|
The Redskins' offense is both running and throwing the ball slightly better than Green Bay. Their turnovers are higher, however. The biggest difference is on defense, where the Skins' pass defense is particularly strong, giving up only 4.5 yds per pass attempt.
A lot of attention has been given to Favre and his resurgent offense this year. But, by far, the bigger turnaround story in 2007 is the Redskins pass defense. In 2006 they had the worst pass defense by far, giving up over 6.9 yds per pass (including sack yds). So far in 2007, they have been the league's best.
Green Bay's advantage lies in turnover rates. Favre and the Packers have been measurably better at preventing interceptions than the Redskins. The Packers also have home field advantage.
Running the efficiency stats through the game prediction model, Washington's pass defense trumps Green Bay's Lambeau Feild, giving them a 0.62 probability to win.
The current consensus has Green Bay as a 3 point favorite, which essentially says the teams are equal because home field is generally worth 3 points. As we can see however, the teams are not equal and Washington's pass defense should carry the day given the Packers' tendency to rely on their passing game.