Every Thursday, Football Outsiders president Aaron Schatz contributes the Numbers Crunching piece to ESPN Insider; it previews every matchup in the NFL that weekend using FBO's unique metrics, which are best detailed here. Below is the Week 16 edition for 2009.
San Diego Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson can explode for a big play at any time, on any run. But watch in particular for runs around right end, because this is where Tennessee gets its best blocking. The Titans are 26th overall in FO's adjusted line yards metric, but fourth on runs around right end. The Chargers' defense is 31st in the league at stopping runs around right end.
Tennessee has the highest DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) in the league running the ball on third downs; San Diego has the lowest DVOA in the league running the ball on third downs.
Sunday: Early Games
Buffalo Bills vs. Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo has the best DVOA in the league against passes to No. 1 wide receivers. Atlanta has the worst DVOA in the league against passes to No. 1 wide receivers.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati's defense ranks third in DVOA on third-and-short (1-3 yards to go) but fourth in DVOA on third down with 4 or more yards to go.