This is the Pace of Play Report: Week 9! We’re back again folks. We return once more to delve into the world of the pace of play in 2022. Our weekly look at the speed by which teams snap off their offensive plays, casting a glance at the teams who look to get two or more plays a minute run. We do this while turning our noses up (for the most part) at the teams who wait until the last possible second to run a single play. Why do we care? Because the more plays that get run, the more opportunity players have to score fantasy points, of course.
Let’s take a look at the lay of the land after nine weeks of the season.
Not Sparing the Horses
Nothing much has changed at the top of the speed shop. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Arizona Cardinals were ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 a week ago. And they are again. It’s noteworthy that the Bucs increased their pace of play mark slightly, improving to 2.280 from 2.250 after Week 8. The Bucs also remain insanely pass-happy, with a league-high 2.25 Pass-to-Run ratio in 2022. But they are No. 24 in points scored, so it’s getting harder to remain enthused about this situation. Tom Brady leads the NFL with 2,852 Air Yards and is No. 2 with 2,547 passing yards. But with just 10 passing touchdowns, he might even be, and I tremble as I type these words, droppable in single quarterback leagues?
Running out the Clock
The Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Frank Reich earlier this week. The Colts season was circling the drain going into Week 9 but is firmly in the toilet now. The writing was on the wall in their Week 9 loss to the New England Patriots. This was a loss almost from the second the Colts parked their coach underneath Gilette Stadium. Yet, the Colts played so slowly on offense, with Sam Ehlinger at quarterback, that their overall pace of play mark fell. The Colts sat No. 11 after Week 9 with a 2.030 mark. Now they are No. 15 with 2.011.
The Colts, and Ehlinger, have the No. 30-ranked game script this season as well as the No. 5-highest pass-to-run ratio. But they are playing with decreasing urgency and allied to a commitment to tank. As a result, the pass-catching options in this offense must be downgraded even further.
The Week Ahead
The clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars is quite an eye-catching one from a pace point of view. It’s the only matchup in Week 10 with two sides both inside the top ten in terms of the pace of play. Yet, as appealing as this makes it, the fantasy options are somewhat limited on both sides. We want Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and probably JuJu Smith-Schuster. We definitely want Travis Etienne based on his current form. But the fact that the game will feature lots of plays doesn’t make me bullish on Christian Kirk, nor does it make us want to roster Mecole Hardman.
At the other end of the speed scale, the Tennessee Titans’ game against the Denver Broncos is one that should appeal to those people who love to see plays snapped with 0:01 on the play clock. This is another matchup that offers surprisingly little fantasy goodness, nor one that promises bulky opportunity shares to the players on the field. Derrick Henry and Greg Dulcich are the only players that scream “Pick me! Pick me!” though for completely different reasons. Maybe Jerry Jeudy if you’re feeling saucy. But you don’t want any part of any of the quarterbacks in this one nor a Titans “wide receiver,” if such things exist.
Until next week.