To Dr. Matt Proventure
FOX Sports Injury & Performance Analyst
Health teaches a lot when it comes to success in the NFL.
Teams that can stay unbeaten often make it to the playoffs and win championships.
As usual in 2022, injuries to game-changing athletes forced some teams to change direction and adjust. Players such as TJ Watt, Javonte Williams, Dak Prescott and Trey Lance are just a few of the celebrities feeling the effects of injury already this year.
Entering last week, the five healthiest teams based on The Predictors’ “Banged Up Score” (BUS™) (various factors such as injury reports, IR designations, and factors considering the specific players included in those reports) ) were as follows: as follows:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Bass: 93.9 / Record: 2-2
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Texans, Sunday at 1pm ET
2. Minnesota Vikings — Bass: 88.5 / Record: 3-1
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Bears, Sunday at 1pm ET (FOX and FOX Sports App)
3. Green Bay Packers — Bass: 86.7 / Record: 3-1
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Giants in London, Sunday at 9:30am ET
4. Kansas City Chiefs — Bass: 84.1 / Record: 3-1
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Raiders, Monday, 8:15 PM ET
5. Philadelphia Eagles — Bass: 82.5 / Record: 4-0
Week 5 Opponents: Cardinals, 4:25 PM ET, FOX and FOX Sports App
If there’s one theme these teams have in common, it’s the fact that they all line up at least for the first place in their divisions.
Yes, we understand that 2-2 has many factors and still has a long season. However, it is true that health plays a huge role in performance and results, including when a player returns from injury and how they look afterward.
The Jaguars are playing better than they have in recent years, and both Doug Pederson’s coaching and great talent on the field has something to do with it. A player was put on the injured list, and was hit hard.
The Packers have been able to stay healthy, managing a 3-1 record despite trading Davante Adams, going to 6-1 based on the strength of their schedule over the next few games. There is a possibility. Let’s not forget the only undefeated and still alive Eagles.
Conversely, some teams weren’t so lucky. Injuries have plagued them, including carryovers from last season.
Some have stepped up to the starting role (and back in the 49ers’ case) to shine, while others are at a loss as to what to do in those positions.
Here are the five teams with the most injuries last week:
1. Baltimore Ravens — Bass: 62.6 / Record: 2-2
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Bengals, Sunday at 1pm ET
2. San Francisco 49ers — Bass: 62.8 / Record: 2-2
Week 5 Opponents: Panthers, Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
3. Detroit Lions — Bass: 64.3 / Record: 1-3
Week 5 Opponents: Patriots, Sunday, 1 PM ET
4. Cleveland Browns — Bass: 64.4 / Record: 2-2
Week 5 Opponents: vs. The Browns, Sunday at 1pm ET
5. New Orleans Saints — Bass: 65.2 / Record: 1-3
Week 5 Opponents: vs. Seahawks, Sunday 1pm ET FOX and FOX Sports App
A closer look at unhealthy teams reveals another theme. Teams listed are either bottom of their respective divisions or are in divisions with 3 or 4 teams tied.
The 49ers could very well have had a worse record without a starting QB as a backup, easily bringing Jimmy Garoppolo back onto the field after Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury.
The Saints could have been a little more on the winning line were it not for the injuries of Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Jameis Winston.
Detroit are still putting up aggressive numbers, but consider where the Lions would be if playmakers like D’Andre Swift, Jameson Williams, Eamon La St. Brown and Chirk weren’t sitting on the bench. Try it. Injuries can sometimes be overcome, but they prove year after year to crush many teams’ playoff dreams.
The thing to remember is that injuries become more and more important as the season progresses. A small bump or bruise can be a nagging pain relief performance. Mild swelling turns into moderate to severe swelling. Things pile up and records start to drop while the healthy team emerges as the winner.
Game of the Week Preview
Head on over to this week’s BUS Game of the Week, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals (4:25 PM ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).
Philadelphia got off to a strong start to the season, leading the NFC East with a 4-0 record. Jalen Hurts leads the offense with 1,120 passing yards and 205 rushing yards, and is second on the team in rushing yards behind Miles Sanders (356).
His targets include rookie AJ Brown, who has 25 receptions for 405 yards, as well as Devonta Smith and Dallas Goudart.
The Eagles defense ranks first in sacks and tenth in points allowed. This unit shows up, makes plays, and makes attacks work.
Arizona, on the other hand, is struggling. However, the Cardinals, who sit 2-2 in the NFC West, are fine considering he’s 2-2 the rest of the division as well.
Kyler Murray has shown that he can keep playing out of the pocket. He has 91 rushing yards in four games. That’s just 18 yards less than last year at the same time, and an additional 991 yards passing. James Conner has only 1 TD in 4 games at this point compared to his 4 last year.
Big receiver Marquise Brown, who threw 30 receptions for 339 yards, was a nice addition, but the PED suspension of DeAndre Hopkins is still looming. Luckily, he’s eligible to play in Week 7.
Arizona’s defense allows 25.8 points per game. They have four sacks in four games, the fewest in the league. With Jones leaving Chandler, Arizona’s passing rush is struggling. In Week 4, the Cardinals’ defense managed to find some light on the Carolina Panthers forcing him to three turnovers, but the question remains…will they keep the momentum going? can you keep it?
When it comes to health, the Eagles are among the top five healthiest teams this season. Injury reports included shocking players such as Abonte Maddox and Boston Scott, who were able to overcome these injuries while on the go. And pre-season injuries to players like Brett Toth and Tyree Jackson have certainly impacted the depth of the position.
Overall, however, Philadelphia remains relatively healthy and will not drop below the 82.5 BUS.
The Eagles consistently won games with some of the best talent on the field, despite the small variability of 89.2 BUS in Week 1, 85.9 in Week 2, 87.1 in Week 3, and 82.5 in Week 4. I’m here.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ health was found to be in the wrong half of the health rankings. Missing players such as Rondale his Moore and his AJ Green reduced the number of weapons he gave Murray on the field.
Arizona started the year with a 74.8 BUS and has only gotten worse since — 74.2 in Week 2, 73.8 in Week 3 and 68.3 last week. Despite all of this, at 2-2, the Cardinals have a good chance to improve as they want a player back.
Going into Week 5, the injury scale is tipping in the Eagles’ favor. The Cardinals need to get creative if they don’t want to drop below .500.
Be sure to check out thepredictors.com as Sunday approaches. @NFLonFOX Follow us on Twitter for the latest news about which players are fit and ready to play.
Dr. Matt Provencher, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, and his company ThePredictors.com, providing data-driven injury insights to soccer fans. In this first role as an athlete injury and performance analyst for FOX Sports’ digital platform, Provencher provides critical predictions on post-injury performance, weather effects, on-field conditions, and more for a player’s health and performance. Provide recovery information.
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