PFF ranked all 32 NFL offenses by EPA per pass play in 2018 and Cardinals offense finished dead last. Before we get into why they ranked us #32, we need to understand what EPA means and stands for. Expected points (EP) is the expected number of points the offense should expect to score on the next scoring play given the down, distance and field position.
PFF gives this example, "Imagine a five-yard run by your favorite running back — how valuable was that run? If you’ve been watching fantasy football for too long, you might say it is half a point, but in the real world, you don’t have enough information to say how valuable that run was for his NFL team. The reason is that a five-yard run on third-and-15 at the 50-yard line isn’t very valuable, while a run of that same five-yard distance on third-and-four at the 35-yard line is quite valuable. You can imagine how frequently context matters in the game of football and expected points aims to alleviate this issue." They continue to say, "Expected points is the value of the current game state from the perspective of the offense."
From PFF, "The next step is to compare the value of the game state (EP) both before a play and after it. Remember the five-yard run on third-and-four? Say your expected points on third-and-four is 2.3 points, after the five-yard run you are now on first-and-10 at the 45, and the EP at that state is 3.5, what would you say the value added on that run was? Before the run, you were expected to score 2.3 points on the next scoring play, and now you are expected to score 3.5 — that run added 1.2 expected points or what we call EPA (expected points added). Concretely, EPA is a measure of the value of a play that takes context into account and thereby better measures efficiency at the play level."
Taking this into account and how poorly the Cardinals offense preformed last season and it's easy to see how it came in near the bottom of the league. PFF had this to say about the Cardinals offense last season, "The Cardinals’ offense was a disaster last season, and that’s putting it nicely. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen struggled mightily behind a pass-blocking unit that allowed pressure at the NFL’s second-highest rate"
Good news for the 2019 Cardinals is majority of the offense was overhauled with new coach Kliff Kingsbury, the addition of Kyler Murray and the slew of rookie wide receivers. The offensive line should be healthy and that can only improve from the 2018 struggles. The future of the Cardinals offense is promising. It has no where to go but up!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and make sure to follow me on Twitter @TylerJaggi