To that end, the stats I rely on to determine that efficiency are Yards/Attempt in passing and Yards/Carry in rushing. I look at these for both the offense and the defense. My basic theory is that if you add together the YPA and YPC of a team's offense and subtract the combined value of the defenses YPA and YPC, you have a pretty good idea of how a team is performing.
I wanted to add red zone efficiency into the mix as well (another key indicator on offense and defense in my opinion), but I couldn't find a source for that info on the web. *Please let me know if you know where I can find this info. (UPDATE: I got this info, but chose not to include it this season)
Efficiency is a key measure, but the game is really decided by points. There are lots of intangibles that can't be measured that add up to points either scored or prevented. Is a team really a bend, but don't break defense? Is a team great between the 20s, but scoring a bunch of field goals? All that should show up in points scored and points allowed, so I've added avg pts/game scored and allowed to the formula.
That gives us:
(YPC (offense) + YPA (offense) + Avg Pts/Game Scored) - (YPC (defense) + YPA (defense)+ Avg Pts/Game Allowed)I'm pretty happy with the results (they don't include the Saints/Titans game), but I'd love to hear your reactions.
Here is the Excel version for folks that would like to get more power over sorting and detail. It includes each teams YPC and YPA info.