Net Yards per Play Report: Bengals aren't as good as you think

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) huddles with the offense in the first quarter of an
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) huddles with the offense in the first quarter of an / Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

We're down to the final eight teams in the NFL Playoffs.

Now that we're heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, betting on the games may seem more difficult as the top teams play each other and anything can happen.

That's why now it's more important than ever to take a step back and evaluate these teams. A good starting point is the stat called "net yards per play", which is the average amount of yards gained per play on offense, subtracted by the average amount of yards given up per play on defense.

Keep in mind, it doesn't take into consideration things like turnovers, third down rate, or red zone efficiency. But, with that being said, it does a good job of measuring how good teams are at moving the ball down the field and preventing their opponents from doing exactly that.

Let's dive into where these teams rank in net yards per play heading into the Divisional Round of the postseason.

Bengals Aren't as Good as You Think

The Cincinnati Bengals have won eight straight games and are fourth on the odds list to win the Super Bowl. You might be thinking, especially after last year's run, that they're a good to bet to win it all this year.


The Bengals numbers show a lot of red flags. They rank seventh out of the remaining eight teams in net yards per play this season, and they're the only team to win in the Wild Card Round despite having a negative metric.

The Ravens outgained them 5.5 yards per play to 4.3 yards per play, and they didn't even have Lamar Jackson. A 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Sam Hubbard was a 14-point swing, and proved to be the difference maker in the game.

Now, things are going to get even more challenging for them when they hit the road to take on the Bills in the Divisional Round. The Bengals have the worst road net yards per play metric amongst the eight teams left in the playoffs.

Sharp bettors seem to agree that the Bengals may be in over their head in this game as well. The line opened at Bills -3.5, but has increased to -4.5 and even -5 at some books.

It's time to jump off the Bengals bandwagon.

Bills are dominant at home, Chiefs dominant on the road

As we enter the final weeks of the playoffs, home field advantage is something we need to pay close attention to, and the home/road splits in net yards per play are fascinating.

The Bills and Eagles take the top spot at home, with a net yards per play of +1.4 and +1.2 respectively. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and 49ers are road warriors, coming in at +1.6 and +1.5 when playing away from their home stadium this season.

That means you may want to keep an eye on the Bills and Eagles, who are at home in their respective games this weekend. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and 49ers will also be hosting their game this round, but neither team has been quite as good at home than on the road throughout the season.

Will any team be able to pull off the upset this weekend, or will we see the obvious four teams face-off in Conference Championship Weekend? Only time will tell.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.