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Warren Sharp @SharpFootball
, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
First-and-10 used to be a running down in the NFL. Whether you have Todd Gurley or Le'Veon Bell, it's no longer intelligent. Yet teams are still calling runs at a rate they were 20 yrs ago. Teams should call more passes, regardless of their RB's salary:…
Teams haven't learned their lesson over the last 20 yrs. Passing on first-and-10 has become substantially more successful than rushing. In part because of rule changes & in part because teams are more adept at calling pass plays which deliver more consistency with a higher floor.
Here are the tendencies of all teams in 2017 on first-and-10 in the first half. Source:…
And here are the success rates of passes vs runs on first-and-10 in the first half. Source:…
Washington was confounding: went 62% run, yet runs produced just a 44% success rate & 3.4 YPC. Meanwhile, passes were 10% more successful (54%) & produced 6.6 YPA.
In the first quarter, teams run even more, going 57% run on first & 10
►Rushes produce a 44% success rate & gain 4.3 YPC
►Passes produce a 55% success rate & gain 7.3 YPA
In typical NFL fashion, leave it to teams to do something more when it’s less efficient to do it.
The worst 1st qtr offender last 2 yrs has been the Bucs:
►They have gone 67% run, the #1 most run heavy team in the NFL
►Last yr, RB runs were successful 39% of the time & gained 3.2 YPC
►Passes were successful 71% of the time & produced 10.8 YPA.
Not all of the most pass-heavy teams had veteran, Pro-Bowl QBs. Both Carson Wentz & Jared Goff were year-2 QBs off of rookie years that many thought were underwhelming. Yet PHI & LAR designed QB-friendly passing attacks & used them aggressively on 1D, well above avg. It works.
The most frustrating element of all of this is looking back at league trends over time. Even though passing has way outdistanced rushing in efficiency, teams are STILL RUNNING JUST AS OFTEN as they did in the 90s. It makes no sense whatsoever. The few smart teams know better.
Exactly. Right now passing offenses have two huge edges on first downs in the first half. The rules are in their favor (even more so in 2018 w a relaxed catch rule + lowering helmet rule) & defenses are using base personnel. Exploit till there is no edge.
One team I expect to see a significant 2018 change is Chicago. Bears were the #1 most run-heavy team in 2017. The rare times CHI let Trubisky spin it on 1st & 10 in the first half, he produced a 53% success rate & 9.3 YPA. Much better than their 44% run rate & below avg 4.0 YPC.
When Trubisky targeted WRs on 1st half first-and-10s he delivered 67% success rate & 12.1 YPA (to Josh Bellamy, Kendall Wright & Dontralle Inman). Cant wait to see Trubisky in Nagy's OFF targeting Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel & Anthony Miller. KC was the 3rd most pass heavy tm.
Then it's even more imperative you pass on first down, when the defense is playing run, and you try harder to keep your QB out of predictable passing situations on 3rd & long that many teams find themselves in after running frequently/poorly on 1st & 10.
8 minutes of Trubisky throwing the ball on first downs in the first half last season:
Nagy is going to let the kid throw & I’m here for it.
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