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View Full Version : Pass to Win? Why running for 100 isn't as effective as throwing for 300 (anymore)


Shiver
11-19-2009, 01:39 PM
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=4684

A fascinating look at how the NFL has changed since the beginning of the decade.

Here is the W/L record when a player has 100 yards rushing, or 300 yards passing, going back to 2002 (oh, and curse you Donovan McNabb and Tommy Maddox). 300 yard passers 100 yard rushers
================================================== ========================
W L PCT W L PCT
================================================== ========================
2009 .695 - .703
2008 .625 - .769
2007 .531 - .739
2006 .574 - .704
2005 .468 - .833
2004 .444 - .754
2003 .483 - .709
2002 .563 - .706
================================================== ========================


It used to be that you would win football games with defense and a dynamic running game. Now the prolific passing offenses have caught up in w/l percentage.

Gay Ork Wang
11-19-2009, 01:41 PM
i think Manning, Brady and Brees kinda screw with the stats

The Unseen
11-19-2009, 01:43 PM
Jeez, running for 100 yards really worked in 2005.

Shiver
11-19-2009, 01:43 PM
True, but Manning was throwing it for 4,000 yards back in 2003 and 2004 when the w/l percentage was sub-.500.

Pat Sims 90
11-19-2009, 01:47 PM
The bengals have ran and played def all year and they are winning. The whole AFCN is like that. we have had like 1 300 yard passing game. We have had more 100 yard rushing game then 300 yard passing and we are 7-2 so i disagree with this

brat316
11-19-2009, 01:54 PM
Your right its is catching up, but look at how big the difference was the last 2 years, just wait for the 09 season to end.

You still get more wins by running.

Also factor in the new rules of the game, and then look at the years passing wins increased. I'm sure the no contact after 5 yards, you'll see an increase, also add in there the no force out rule, and then look at it when they put the force our rule back into play.

Having a pass game is great, lets you score at will, but if you can't stop it on the other side or eat up the clock good luck winning.

These numbers are great for regular season, but look at the playoffs how many teams win with these high flying offenses.

Shiver
11-19-2009, 01:58 PM
Your right its is catching up, but look at how big the difference was the last 2 years, just wait for the 09 season to end.

You still get more wins by running.

Also factor in the new rules of the game, and then look at the years passing wins increased. I'm sure the no contact after 5 yards, you'll see an increase, also add in there the no force out rule, and then look at it when they put the force our rule back into play.

Having a pass game is great, lets you score at will, but if you can't stop it on the other side or eat up the clock good luck winning.

These numbers are great for regular season, but look at the playoffs how many teams win with these high flying offenses.

Even that is changing: the Steelers and Cardinals last year both had mediocre at best rushing attacks.

bigbluedefense
11-19-2009, 02:04 PM
I think these statistics are a little skewed because it does not factor in the growth of the RBC.

You may not have many 100 yard rushers anymore, but you do have prolific run games ran by several backs out of a committee.

I still personally believe that defense and the run game win championships. Just wait until the playoffs roll by. Or at the very least, once it gets cold and windy. The stats will start favoring the running teams.

And also, let's not forget, its always much harder to win games when you don't have a good qb. And teams with good qbs will generally throw for more yards than teams who don't.

The importance of a great qb is always important, and that will skew results as well.

But when was the last time a team won the SB with a terrible defense?

Id still build my team around defense and the run game.

Shiver
11-19-2009, 02:06 PM
I think this rise in 300 yard passers and decline of 100 yard rushers can be attributed to two things:

1. The return of the R.B.B.C., in the vein of the 1970s, now almost every team uses a platoon for its rushing offense. I can count on one hand the amount of 'feature' backs there are in the NFL. The days of the 350-carry workhorse is long gone, for now anyway.

2. The rise of zone coverages has led to offenses counteracting with spread formations, three wide-receivers and a pass catching 'tweener TE. The quick dumpoffs to a Dallas Clark, Owen Daniels, Kevin Faulk, Wes Welker, etc. work about as effectively as a run play and serve the same purpose.

Shiver
11-19-2009, 02:11 PM
I think these statistics are a little skewed because it does not factor in the growth of the RBC.

You may not have many 100 yard rushers anymore, but you do have prolific run games ran by several backs out of a committee.

I still personally believe that defense and the run game win championships. Just wait until the playoffs roll by. Or at the very least, once it gets cold and windy. The stats will start favoring the running teams.


As for the 'run game wins in the playoffs' argument, can that really be said anymore? The Cardinals and Steelers last year had below average run offenses.

2008 - Steelers, Cardinals
2007 - Patriots, Giants (run offense)
2006 - Colts, Bears (run offense)
2005 - Steelers (run offense), Seahawks (run offense)
2004 - Patriots (the one time they had a dominant RB), Eagles
2003 - Patriots, Panthers (run offense)
2002 - Tampa Bay (no offense lol), Raiders
2001 - Patriots, Rams
2000 - Ravens (run offense), Giants (run offense)

Gay Ork Wang
11-19-2009, 02:37 PM
for the cards it was the reemergence of the running game in the playoffs and defensive turnovers that lead to a win. for the steelers it was the dominant defense

Shiver
11-19-2009, 02:39 PM
Larry Fitzgerald says otherwise. He had the most dominant run by any WR in NFL history, I am pretty sure he was a bigger impact during their wins than Tim Hightower.

Of course defense is extremely important, no one denies that, but we are discussing is how passing orientated offenses have surpassed run orientated ones.

Halsey
11-19-2009, 02:44 PM
The rules have been altered in recent years to favor the best passing offenses. QB's are more protected and receivers can't be touched past 5 yards from the LOS. It's clear that the NFL is a passing league now.

Iamcanadian
11-19-2009, 09:11 PM
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=4684

A fascinating look at how the NFL has changed since the beginning of the decade.

Here is the W/L record when a player has 100 yards rushing, or 300 yards passing, going back to 2002 (oh, and curse you Donovan McNabb and Tommy Maddox). 300 yard passers 100 yard rushers
================================================== ========================
W L PCT W L PCT
================================================== ========================
2009 .695 - .703
2008 .625 - .769
2007 .531 - .739
2006 .574 - .704
2005 .468 - .833
2004 .444 - .754
2003 .483 - .709
2002 .563 - .706
================================================== ========================


It used to be that you would win football games with defense and a dynamic running game. Now the prolific passing offenses have caught up in w/l percentage.

Actually the NFL changed quite a few rules to help the passing game and it certainly worked 2003 through 2005 and peaked in the 2005 season. Since then the stats are beginning to move in the opposite direction a bit and this season there isn't that significant a difference even with all the rules favouring the passing game still in effect. Also how many of those winning teams also possessed solid running attacks to go along with their passing attack.

BlindSite
11-20-2009, 02:13 AM
This again. I really can't be bothered breaking down the numbers, but the secret isn't so secret, you need balance, plain and simple, balance, balance balance.

SuperMcGee
11-20-2009, 11:53 AM
Buffalo has not had a 300-yard passer in the equivalent of 3 straight seasons.
That's the longest streak in the league.

Chad Pennington has done it on two teams since then. Jets have the second longest wait, dating back to Pennington.
Even Vince Young has one since then. So does Oakland (Culpepper), and the Chiefs have gotten a couple. Most other bad teams (Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland) have had their gunslingers, but Buffalo just can not play offense.

Raider_fan_Canada
11-21-2009, 01:38 PM
Regardless of all this, I think you still need a consitently very good QB to win. Its not important that Carson Palmer doesnt throw for a lot of yards. The on and off the field leadership he has, the passing threat and the key throws he makes are very important to the success of his team.

Forget the numbers, its much more important to have a great QB then a great RB.

Raider_fan_Canada
11-21-2009, 01:39 PM
Hey BTW, when do I get to not beeing a rookie anymore?????????? I really thought 100 would get it done.
I know I didnt plays a lot of snaps in my career (posts), but Im a 3rd year player!


Scott something has to get done about this!

wordofi
11-21-2009, 04:54 PM
i think Manning, Brady and Brees kinda screw with the stats

I have to agree with you. Also, if you increase the number of passing yards to 350 yards or more and take out Brees, Manning, and Brady, the winning percentage would be substantially lower.

killxswitch
11-24-2009, 08:49 AM
I have to agree with you. Also, if you increase the number of passing yards to 350 yards or more and take out Brees, Manning, and Brady, the winning percentage would be substantially lower.

You can make stats say anything when you selectively remove significant data or modify parameters.

fenikz
11-24-2009, 01:27 PM
Cardinals with a running game is so much scarier than having Warner passing for 300

Shane P. Hallam
11-24-2009, 04:33 PM
The top 4 rushing teams in league have losing records..11 of top 12 passing teams have winning records

Saints-Tigers
11-24-2009, 05:43 PM
Yards are yards.

wicket
11-24-2009, 06:38 PM
the thing scewing these stats towards run games is that teams throw a lot when they are behind. therefore a lot more passing yardage is gained trying to come back in games and therefore historically the passing yards were less. However the better teams this yards are almost exclusively pass-oriented offenses in general and therefore the rise for this year. Its maybe true for a bit but the main part of this is that running the ball a lot is a reaction to winning the game and not vice versa. This error in causality (endogenity) can easily make people have the wrong conclusion with stats.

Gay Ork Wang
11-25-2009, 02:25 PM
The top 4 rushing teams in league have losing records..11 of top 12 passing teams have winning records
id look at that at the end of the season though after december.

descendency
11-26-2009, 02:27 PM
i think Manning, Brady and Brees kinda screw with the stats

Yea, good QBs tend to mess up statistics like this like good running backs tend to mess it up too.

thule
11-26-2009, 02:44 PM
I'd be interested to see the numbers I'm a total rush yards vs passing yards. That'd eliminate the rbc arguement. If I was at my computer I would but I'm in Arizona.

Shiver
12-02-2009, 08:16 PM
Interestingly on MNF they revealed a statistic that shows a trend towards the passing attack. Back five years ago only 1 in 4 plays was out of the shotgun, not it is almost 60%. Teams have moved towards the spread passing attack. Even conservative coaches, like Mike Singletary, have figured out that it is the way to go.

bigbluedefense
12-03-2009, 10:26 AM
Interestingly on MNF they revealed a statistic that shows a trend towards the passing attack. Back five years ago only 1 in 4 plays was out of the shotgun, not it is almost 60%. Teams have moved towards the spread passing attack. Even conservative coaches, like Mike Singletary, have figured out that it is the way to go.

it goes hand in hand with the popularity of the 3-4 defense and the zone blitz. the zone blitz is more successful than ever, and teams are countering it by going in the gun more often.

wicket
12-03-2009, 10:38 AM
Interestingly on MNF they revealed a statistic that shows a trend towards the passing attack. Back five years ago only 1 in 4 plays was out of the shotgun, not it is almost 60%. Teams have moved towards the spread passing attack. Even conservative coaches, like Mike Singletary, have figured out that it is the way to go.

slightly misquoted, they said 60% of the passing plays were out of the SG.

LizardState
12-03-2009, 10:46 AM
Interestingly on MNF they revealed a statistic that shows a trend towards the passing attack. Back five years ago only 1 in 4 plays was out of the shotgun, not it is almost 60%. Teams have moved towards the spread passing attack. Even conservative coaches, like Mike Singletary, have figured out that it is the way to go.

Last MNF's game was an excellent example of the new trend in NFL passing offense beating the piss out of the old.

The trend toward pass 1st, run later has been around for over 2 decades now. in the past it was more simplified, plays looked like they were drawn up in the huddle, it looked like sandlot FB with NFL unis.

The bottom line is that the owners, front offices & coaching staffs have been pushing passing for a long time now b/c that's what they think the fans expect, thrilling aerial circus offense. Only the KO return for a TD surpasses a long TD pass or an INT with a return for the most exciting play in NFL FB.

Not saying that's right or wrong, but I have noticed that the iconic big names in the league, like Parcells for example, always have emphasized a power running game with the 2 TE formations, etc. coupled with a strong defense to control the clock & finish the close games strong. That may not be the winning formula either but it's less risky than passing > half the offensive downs, teams dominating the offensive time of possession win more often than not.

bigbluedefense
12-03-2009, 10:51 AM
I think there is a misconception about the passing game.

We've had dynamic passing offenses for decades now. this hasn't changed. The Air Coryell of San Diego 70s, the WCO of the 80s 49ers, the 90s Bills, the greatest show on turf, etc.

Each decade also has had smashmouth teams that are iconic. The 70s Steelers, the 80s Giants and Bears, the 90s Steelers, the 00 Pats (the SB winning teams) etc.


The truth is, for every dynamic offense you point out to me, I can show you a defense oriented clock controlling team that is built on the run that is successful too.

Nothing has changed. Just wait until the playoffs. You'll see.

wordofi
12-03-2009, 11:08 AM
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=4684

A fascinating look at how the NFL has changed since the beginning of the decade.

Here is the W/L record when a player has 100 yards rushing, or 300 yards passing, going back to 2002 (oh, and curse you Donovan McNabb and Tommy Maddox). 300 yard passers 100 yard rushers
================================================== ========================
W L PCT W L PCT
================================================== ========================
2009 .695 - .703
2008 .625 - .769
2007 .531 - .739
2006 .574 - .704
2005 .468 - .833
2004 .444 - .754
2003 .483 - .709
2002 .563 - .706
================================================== ========================


It used to be that you would win football games with defense and a dynamic running game. Now the prolific passing offenses have caught up in w/l percentage.

I agree with you. It seems like the days of great running back are dwindling. There's a lot less than there used to be.

Bengals78
12-03-2009, 01:21 PM
it goes hand in hand with the popularity of the 3-4 defense and the zone blitz. the zone blitz is more successful than ever, and teams are countering it by going in the gun more often.

I think this is it. The reason the pass is so favored now to the run is the 3-4 defense and zone blitz.
When the 3-4 first came out, it was killer against a run heavy league. Now teams are airing the ball out more to beat the exotic blitzes and such.
It wont last long, before too long defenses will key on the pass and teams will go back to the run.

Shiver
12-09-2009, 03:54 PM
Interesting article on the myth that teams run more in December/January:

http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=daube091209

There's no evidence to support the notion that NFL offenses significantly alter their play calling to favor the running game in cold-weather scenarios.http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/1208/Chart2_600.jpg

Finally, let me remind you that the New England Patriots have won their last two games at Gillette Stadium that were played in the snow by scores of 59-0 and 47-7. Tom Brady (javascript:newWin('http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?playerId=2330')) amassed 432 yards and six touchdowns in the former game while Matt Cassel (javascript:newWin('http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/fantasy?playerId=8644')) totaled 345 yards and three scores in the latter.

Paranoidmoonduck
12-09-2009, 04:51 PM
I'm rather tempted to re-do this statistical excercise this while factoring in the RBC aspect, but I wanted to get people's opinions on what team running total would appear fairly matched with 300 yards in the air. Considering that 300 ypg is usually the line between strong passing attack and brilliant passing attack in a given season, maybe 150 yards on the ground should be the crossing point.

Thoughts?

Gay Ork Wang
12-09-2009, 04:52 PM
yea id say 150

tjsunstein
12-09-2009, 06:50 PM
If a team has 130+ on the ground, I'd equate that to 300 through the air.