The scoreboard is where games are won and lost, but they are largely decided by the team that wins the battles of yards per pass, yards per carry, penalty yards lost, first downs and turnovers. For this reason, I created the following formula called the Trench Counter to look at which team truly controls the game:

(2x Yards per pass) + (2x Yards per carry) + (.5 First downs) - (Penalty yards/10) - (2.5 Turnovers) - (Opposing Team's Trench Counter)

The Trench Counter is not designed to be an end all, be all measurement. Special teams, average field position, red zone conversion, interception returns for touchdowns and many other crucial stats are purposely left out.

This measurement looks at the basic X's and O's of how well teams perform in these areas on both sides of the ball and ultimately who 'should' have won the game. The team that wins the game will have a positive Trench Counter the vast majority of the time, but there are exceptions and like clockwork you can almost always point to big plays made on special teams, scores by the defense or some sort of other very apparent anomaly.

Why average yards per pass and per carry instead of total yards? Because teams can be unfairly rewarded or punished based off field position. There really are few places for an offense to hide when looking at their average in these two areas and the same goes for a defensive unit when looking at their opponent's numbers. 

Here how the 32 NFL teams rank in Trench Counter over the previous five seasons from 2007 until 2011.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. New England Patriots
3. Green Bay Packers
4. San Diego Chargers
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. New York Giants
8. New Orleans Saints
9. Minnesota Vikings
10. Indianapolis Colts
11. Dallas Cowboys
12. Atlanta Falcons
13. New York Jets
14. Houston Texans
15. Carolina Panthers
16. Tennessee Titans
17. San Francisco 49ers
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19. Miami Dolphins
20. Cincinnati Bengals
21. Washington Redskins
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
23. Denver Broncos
24. Chicago Bears
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Seattle Seahawks
27. Detroit Lions
28. Buffalo Bills
29. Kansas City Chiefs
30. Cleveland Browns
31. Oakland Raiders
32. St. Louis Rams