Bill Belichick's New England Patriots and Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs are the smartest, most efficient, most well-coached teams in the NFL right now.
Winning in the NFL is typically a matter of brains over brawn, as we learn each week when we look at the Cold, Hard Football Facts Intelligence Index. Put most simply, smart, well-coached teams win. Dumb, poorly coached teams lose.
The indicator this week is topped by the 7-2 Patriots and 7-2 Chiefs, two teams tied with the Raiderss for the best record in the AFC and that could square off for the conference championship in January. The Patriots also topped the indicator in 2014, on their way to victory in Super Bowl XLIX.
The Intelligence Index is simply the difference between Bendability, our measure of defensive efficiency, and Scoreability, our measure of offensive efficiency.
Smart, “bendable” defensive teams make opponents work hard to score points. New England is No. 1 on the Bendability Index, forcing opponent to march 19.97 Yards Per Point Allowed. Kansas City is No. 2 in Bendability, forcing opponents to march 16.62 Yards Per Point Allowed.
Smart, efficient offensive teams score a lot of points with very few yards. New England is No. 7 in Scoreability, needing just 14.23 Yards Per Point Scored. Kansas City is No. 11 in Scoreability, requiring 14.61 Yards Per Point Scored.
The Intelligence Index, at the end of the day, helps us separate smart, efficient, well-coached teams who do all the little things right from dumb, inefficient, poorly coached teams who do all the little things wrong.
2016 NFL INTELLIGENCE INDEX (through Week 10)