What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    I like points per drive as an overall stat for determining an offense's effectiveness (and points given up per drive as an overall stat for determining a defense's effectiveness).  The one thing I'd like to do with that PPD stat, though, is adjust it for length of drive.  If you get the ball on your opponent's 20 and score 3 points, those 3 points should not be weighted as heavily as 3 points scored when you got the ball on your own 10 yard line.  In a way, the 3 points scored when the drive started in easy field goal range were probably earned more by your defense or special teams than by the offense, so the offense shouldn't get quite so much credit for them as for 3 points scored at the end of a 70 yard drive. 



    Oh yeah, that is why I hate "scoreability" stats (yards per point) for offenses. 

    They posit it as efficiency, when it could be merely explaining the beneficience of special teams and defense. 

    It also penalizes an offense for getting yards even when they aren't scoring. 

    Another, more cumulative stat that still doesn't address that issue is DSR (drives with a TD/FG or first down -> essentially everything that isn't a 3 and out). 

    The monster "Corey Dillon" offense had a terrible DSR in the Sueprbowl. If I recall they accumulated 7 drives that were 3 and out or a turnover. I mean, that approach, against those Giants from 2012, with that 2010 defense? 

    Jeepers. They might have scored 3-6 points ... maybe. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    True and Z again read the link I posted about the Ari game. They keyed off on certain plays and the result was a decrease in production in those formations teams looked for. How can you overlook those facts? 

    Z - running has no affect on play action? Really? We've seen games that the Pats couldn't run and the PA was completely covered. And we've seen games where the running game was effective and PA resulted in wide open players. The running game has a massive effect on the PA play. If the run game is effective the S have to move up into the box on the threat of a run. If the front 4 can stop the run on every down the S can sit at home and play deep. It's to whole reason PA is effective and used to begin with!

    I work in the sciences so I know true randomness but random and unpredictability are two different things. For instance do you know certain coins weigh heavier on one side? If you predicted the opposite side to land up you will more often than wrong be right. However you can't predict how that will occur. We see this in science all the time. For instance you could run 6 plays and only 1 run as the 5th play. That 1 play is random however, the play calling is predictable. If you predict they would pass in shotgun and they pass 80% of the time in that formation it's completely predictable that you will pass. However, that 20% of runs is random. That's part of the scientific method.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

     

     

    Fabulous post

     

    Running has almost no effect on PA ability. This has already been studied to death. The best PA teams are simply the best PA teams (usually the teams with the best QBs). The worst PA teams tend to (ironically) have the best running offenses oftentimes. 

    No one is "selling the run" by running. PA, like any trick play, is "action." It's acting in short. And I'm not even talking about the fake, because most players aren't even watching the QB. PA starts with the offensive line and what they are doing. If they are run blocking to start the play, every single defender is going to start thinking it is a run unless they are well coached or saavy. 

    ^ Bill Belichick said almost the same thing in one of his press conferences last year. He talked about how the success of play action mostly had to do with how well the offensive line sold the run. I've heard a lot of people here say it's stupid to run play action on the first play of the game before "you've established the run." There are two flaws with that argument--first and most important what you say about how play action really works (deception in blocking), and second the idea that just because you haven't run yet the defense doesn't think you could run. 

    Second, randomness, true randomness, is not the penny-ante "alternation" people here seem to think it is. 

    Scientific randomness involves long strings of repetition. Over the course of a game, if you have more or less ideal situations where you aren't forced to pass or run because of a situation, you might have 10 consecutive passes and it would be more "random" than alternating pass and run. 

    False, induced "balance" that people talk about on this board looks like this:

    rprp rpprr rpprp rprrp rpprr

    True randomess might look like this:

    prrpp ppppr rrrpp rprpr ppppr

    or even over the course of a 70 play game, like this:

    rrrrp rrrpp ppppp ppprp rprpr

    If you don't believe me, truly flip a coin about 200 times or so. You might not even get 50/50 heads and tails. Balance in chance and unpreditability occur only over intensely large samples. 

    And unpredictability on offense will often be doing one thing a bunch of times in a row. 

    All good points. But I also think it's important to stress that things like "balance," "randomness," and "unpredictability" aren't necessarily as desirable as fans seem to think:

    • Randomness is actually bad.  Some plays are better in a particular situation than other plays.  If your playcalling was truly random, you wouldn't be taking situation into account.  That wouldn't help you.
    • Balance. Situation dictates what plays are best.  Striving too rigourously for balance would mean ignoring situation to try to achieve some preconceived run-pass ratio.  That also makes no sense.
    • Unpredictability. It's nice to be unpredictable, but if your play calling takes situation into account, you aren't going to be totally unpredictable. That's good too, because ignoring situations may make you less predictable, but probably won't make you better. 

    The biggest flaw I think people make is thinking that offensive strategy is primarily about fooling your opponent by making unexpected play calls.  Really, offensive strategy is about forcing your opponent into disadvantageous personnel or scheme match-ups, while pressing the advantages you have because of your own strengths and exploiting your opponent's weaknesses.  Plays may work based on deception, power, or speed (or some combination), but the goal is always to create a scheme or personnel match-up that is hard for your opponent to defend.  Then you just have to execute well.  Fooling the opponents with unexpected play calls is maybe nice to do, but no offense is built on tricky play calling.  It's built more on well designed plays that force mismatches, and it then succeeds or fails primarily on exeuction. 

     

    Lastly, opponents aren't obsessively looking for "run or pass" the way people on this forum think they are. They are worreid about the tendency of New England to, for instance, run a particular route concept in a particular situation. It is the NFL we are talking about here. Each week teams line up in a situation where the opponent knows that are going to run or pass and they run it or pass it and still have success. There are myriad options to do within each frame. Teams are worried about that. In fact, with these offenses, most teams worry about the run with packaging. When NE has a running package that is heavy out there, they counter. When they don't, they don't. If a team runs, you simply flow to the ball. The entirity of the time in the modern NFL you are trying to figure out the pass and what that is going to do.  

    No one has  "picked up" that New England is passing alot. Teams know they are passing more than they run because they have had (last year was almost an exception) elite passing targets. Telling a reader that someone picked it up is incredible. Otherwise, one could never explain how New England is effective ever. We are supposed to believe that one or two NFL teams have coaches to get what you say "a high school coach can pick up" and one guy that wrote an article too, but the other 29 or 30 coaches can't? 

    Stop and mull that over.

    Much of football is simply beating your opponents mano-a-mano.  It's not all trickery.  As Bill Belichick said a few years ago, the key to being a successful running team is being able to run well when everyone in the stadium knows you are going to run.  The same is true with the pass.  To be good at it, you have to do it well even when everyone knows what you are going to do.  

    Playcalling where it pertains to running or passing has basically, well, I'd say, zero to do with the success or failure of New England's offense. 

     




     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    True and Z again read the link I posted about the Ari game. They keyed off on certain plays and the result was a decrease in production in those formations teams looked for. How can you overlook those facts? 

    But if you remember the game (and I do--I was there), you'll also remember that the Pats had the most success in the fourth quarter when they went almost exclusively to the shotgun formation and passed on almost every play.  They scored a FG and a TD (their only TD of the game) quickly on two consecutive drives. Production actually increased once they got in those "predictable" formations.  These are the facts.  Production didn't decrease, it increased!

    Z - running has no affect on play action? Really? We've seen games that the Pats couldn't run and the PA was completely covered. And we've seen games where the running game was effective and PA resulted in wide open players. The running game has a massive effect on the PA play. If the run game is effective the S have to move up into the box on the threat of a run. If the front 4 can stop the run on every down the S can sit at home and play deep. It's to whole reason PA is effective and used to begin with!

    I work in the sciences so I know true randomness but random and unpredictability are two different things. For instance do you know certain coins weigh heavier on one side? If you predicted the opposite side to land up you will more often than wrong be right. However you can't predict how that will occur. We see this in science all the time. For instance you could run 6 plays and only 1 run as the 5th play. That 1 play is random however, the play calling is predictable. If you predict they would pass in shotgun and they pass 80% of the time in that formation it's completely predictable that you will pass. However, that 20% of runs is random. That's part of the scientific method.




     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    True and Z again read the link I posted about the Ari game. They keyed off on certain plays and the result was a decrease in production in those formations teams looked for. How can you overlook those facts? 

    But if you remember the game (and I do--I was there), you'll also remember that the Pats had the most success in the fourth quarter when they went almost exclusively to the shotgun formation and passed on almost every play.  They scored a FG and a TD (their only TD of the game) quickly on two consecutive drives. Production actually increased once they got in those "predictable" formations.  These are the facts.  Production didn't decrease, it increased!

    Z - running has no affect on play action? Really? We've seen games that the Pats couldn't run and the PA was completely covered. And we've seen games where the running game was effective and PA resulted in wide open players. The running game has a massive effect on the PA play. If the run game is effective the S have to move up into the box on the threat of a run. If the front 4 can stop the run on every down the S can sit at home and play deep. It's to whole reason PA is effective and used to begin with!

    I work in the sciences so I know true randomness but random and unpredictability are two different things. For instance do you know certain coins weigh heavier on one side? If you predicted the opposite side to land up you will more often than wrong be right. However you can't predict how that will occur. We see this in science all the time. For instance you could run 6 plays and only 1 run as the 5th play. That 1 play is random however, the play calling is predictable. If you predict they would pass in shotgun and they pass 80% of the time in that formation it's completely predictable that you will pass. However, that 20% of runs is random. That's part of the scientific method.







    I do remember that game and that TD series was caused because Ari dropped back into prevent and gave up a bunch of short passes underneath that players turned into large games after the catch. But that was mainly due to Ari giving up the short passes and the Pats players making runs after the catch. Something Ari didn't do all game up until that point. They changed game plans and it almost cost them the game. But, the average over the game shows a big decrease in overall production which goes to show you how bad they were in that game and how predictable they were up until Ari changed to a prevent D.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    True and Z again read the link I posted about the Ari game. They keyed off on certain plays and the result was a decrease in production in those formations teams looked for. How can you overlook those facts? 

    But if you remember the game (and I do--I was there), you'll also remember that the Pats had the most success in the fourth quarter when they went almost exclusively to the shotgun formation and passed on almost every play.  They scored a FG and a TD (their only TD of the game) quickly on two consecutive drives. Production actually increased once they got in those "predictable" formations.  These are the facts.  Production didn't decrease, it increased!

    Z - running has no affect on play action? Really? We've seen games that the Pats couldn't run and the PA was completely covered. And we've seen games where the running game was effective and PA resulted in wide open players. The running game has a massive effect on the PA play. If the run game is effective the S have to move up into the box on the threat of a run. If the front 4 can stop the run on every down the S can sit at home and play deep. It's to whole reason PA is effective and used to begin with!

    I work in the sciences so I know true randomness but random and unpredictability are two different things. For instance do you know certain coins weigh heavier on one side? If you predicted the opposite side to land up you will more often than wrong be right. However you can't predict how that will occur. We see this in science all the time. For instance you could run 6 plays and only 1 run as the 5th play. That 1 play is random however, the play calling is predictable. If you predict they would pass in shotgun and they pass 80% of the time in that formation it's completely predictable that you will pass. However, that 20% of runs is random. That's part of the scientific method.







    I do remember that game and that TD series was caused because Ari dropped back into prevent and gave up a bunch of short passes underneath that players turned into large games after the catch. But that was mainly due to Ari giving up the short passes and the Pats players making runs after the catch. Something Ari didn't do all game up until that point. They changed game plans and it almost cost them the game. But, the average over the game shows a big decrease in overall production which goes to show you how bad they were in that game and how predictable they were up until Ari changed to a prevent D.



    So. If they are so predictable, why are they successful more than almost every other offense in the NFL over the past four seasons?

    If it's that easy? Why can't anyone pick it out? Except one coach, and a couple of guys on a football forum?

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

     

     

     

    I do remember that game and that TD series was caused because Ari dropped back into prevent and gave up a bunch of short passes underneath that players turned into large games after the catch. But that was mainly due to Ari giving up the short passes and the Pats players making runs after the catch. Something Ari didn't do all game up until that point. They changed game plans and it almost cost them the game. But, the average over the game shows a big decrease in overall production which goes to show you how bad they were in that game and how predictable they were up until Ari changed to a prevent D.

     



    So the argument you are making is that the Pats' greater predictability made them easy to defend, but the Cardinals chose not to defend them?  I just watched a bit of the tape and think you're exaggerating how much Arizona changed what it was doing on those last few drives.  I also see no evidence for production dropping off through the game.  The Pats drives went as follows

     

    1st Q

    • 0 yards (int)
    • 42 yards (fg)

    2nd Q

    • 21 (punt)
    • 35 (fg)
    • -12 (punt)
    • 43 (punt)

    3Q

    • 47 (fg)
    • 1 (punt)
    • 41 (punt)

    4Q

    • 37 (punt)
    • 29 (fg)
    • 82 (TD)
    • 21(missed FG)

    There is no steady trend of dropping productivity there.  

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?


    Excellent work by by pats eng combating a  few ridiculous notions.

    1 that the run game doesn't set up play action. I like pro and z just fine but that idea "ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin it on".

    2. That our offense until the last few years was not an open book pass heavy approach that decimated weaker teams with poor DC's who were unable to understand what we were doing but was has been absolutely stifled in the biggest games of the year against the better defenses.

    And to Z, our offense has been figured out. It is a finesse offense with little to no desire to stay committed to running the football unless the run game is ripping off over 5 ypc which doesn't happen often. 285 passes to 111 runs and almost half those runs coming out of spread/finesse formations in 6 straight playoff losses. This resulted in 15.5 ppg scored. Considering  no team has won a super bowl scoring less then 16 points since 1973 then I guess our offense with their skewed passing numbers just ain't working.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Z - running has no affect on play action? Really? 

    No it has none. Whether it is run to open a game, late in a game, after a run, after a series of runs, whetehr the team runs well, or whether they run poorly, and whether they run a lot or run a little, has no effect on play action. 

    I will repeat what I wrote: it's been studied to death. 

    The only time I've seen a statistical analysis of PA passes come to a conclusion, the only conclusion they could come to was that great QBs are great at PA pass. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rogers, and Drew Brees (four QBs who live in the shotgun and pass more than they run) are uniformly the best PA passers in the league year in and year out. 

    Minnesota, Kansas City, and other dominant run teams are uniformly the worst PA passing teams in the league (KC improved when they picked up Smith). Despite the fact that they have RBs that actually inspire fear, no one bites on their fakes. 

    They also have mediocre pass blocking lines, so perhaps they stink at selling the action? That would involve something else. 

    We've seen games that the Pats couldn't run and the PA was completely covered. [snip]

    Who is we? This forum? PE. Come on man. This forum,and a select few posters, will "see" the same thing in every single game because they want to. I don't listen to anything most people say here because it's a giant pizzeling match of stubborn people who don't get out of the house enough and are still backing statements they made years ago despite ages of new evidence and changes. 

    Case in point. Two seasons ago when they "ran" more, everyone was in a rush to posit Brady's PA rating that was cited in one article as being near the top of the league. They forgot to mention he was also near the top of the league in 2011, 2010, and 2007. He is just good at passing, and the team is good at selling it. 

    What do I see? NE hit PA passes on play one, two, or three of the game. I see them hit them after passing several times, and I see them use them in hurry up wit the clock winding and hit them. Lots of noise, no signal. 

    http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/article-JonathanBales/Running-the-Numbers-Callahan--Unexpected-Play-Calls-in-2013/d9ac013d-ba45-4849-96ff-fab7da17df7a

    "And I know it’s popular to argue that you can’t run play-action passes without an effective running game, but that’s just not true. Defenses play situations, not necessarily past rushing efficiency, so defenders typically bite up on play-action passes based on the down-and-distance, not whether you’re averaging 5.0 YPC or 3.5 YPC."

    Bill Belichik on PA and the running game:

    " I would say that most defensive players get their keys from the offensive line and the tight end. Now, unless there’€™s no fake at all, which sometimes you see a quarterback fake this way and the back go the other way and you’€™re like, ‘€˜What’€™s the point?’€™ But if there’€™s any kind of legitimate mesh at all, I would say that the bigger key to the play is the action of the offensive line and the tight end more so than the quarterback and the back.”

    The whole point of that article is Bill being very candid about PA pass. He assents that running well can help a little, and that being in the right situation can help too a little, but the "bigger key" is the look you present. 

    And teams don't think "run" because you ran before. They think "run" partly because there is tape that says you run in a particular situation, and they mostly do it because of down and distance. I mean, the Pats run PA passes out of shotgun all the time, and they do them very well. You fake the to RB, the OL takes off with a low pad level like a run block, and you have a PA pass. If you do it in a situation where the other team is expecting running plays, you might have a slightly larger degree of success. IF you do it in a ridiculous situation like 3rd and 18, no one will bite. 

    Watch a game next season, really dig in. They run PA out of shotgun several times a game. They are great at it. Brady has a stratospheric shotgun rating. They also average a ton of yards per carry out of shotgun too. 

    The idea that you run once, twice, three times, then pass, and only from PA, and somehow the defenders are going to stop reading their keys is simply untrue. It doesn't even make sense from a coaching perspective: I don't want my players thinking about the last play! I want them reading their keys at the LOS and seeing what the guy opposite of them is doing. What od I need free lancers thinking about the last play on the field for? That is called being off in la-la land. 

    Defenders are coached to read keys every single play. They respond toa situation (down/distance/score/time) and what you are showing them (out of the WR stems and offensive line) and formation is such a small part because formation is dealt with by matching personell.  

     

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:


    Excellent work by by pats eng combating a  few ridiculous notions.

    1 that the run game doesn't set up play action. I like pro and z just fine but that idea "ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin it on".

    2. That our offense until the last few years was not an open book pass heavy approach that decimated weaker teams with poor DC's who were unable to understand what we were doing but was has been absolutely stifled in the biggest games of the year against the better defenses.

    And to Z, our offense has been figured out. It is a finesse offense with little to no desire to stay committed to running the football unless the run game is ripping off over 5 ypc which doesn't happen often. 285 passes to 111 runs and almost half those runs coming out of spread/finesse formations in 6 straight playoff losses. This resulted in 15.5 ppg scored. Considering  no team has won a super bowl scoring less then 16 points since 1973 then I guess our offense with their skewed passing numbers just ain't working.



    Good god that post is a mess. 

    When you are behind you pass more. Check. (We've covered this, to death, and BB also stated the same thing in an interview. It's pretty fundamental to football understanding. R/P ratios are meaningless without this context.)

    The result was from losing a key player before a very big game and simply not executing. Check.

     

    (Post-check: you are completely disingenuous to leave this out again, again, and again. An offense with Rob Gronkowski that posts a certain number of points and has certain expectations is not the same as one without Rob Gronkowski where expectations must naturally change. If NE had a real defense they might be able to pick up the slack, but so far they do not.)

    The result, per drive, is actually pretty good considering that fact and the fact that the offenses that did win Superbowls were actually worse. 

    The Superbowl isn't a magical game. There is not a "code" that wins in that game but not in others, so citing SB stats (who wins, what score, what game plan) is basically irrelevant. Check.

    Considering  no team has won a super bowl scoring less then 16 points since 1973 [snip]

    Do you, you know, watch the Patriots? The Patriots offense scored only 13 points in 2001 and won the Superbowl. That is a whole lot closer to now than 1973. How did they win that game? 

    The Giants also won a Superbowl scoring 17 just a few years ago. 

    16 isn't a "magic" number either. 

     

     

     

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    So. If they are so predictable, why are they successful more than almost every other offense in the NFL over the past four seasons?

    If it's that easy? Why can't anyone pick it out? Except one coach, and a couple of guys on a football forum?



    Could it be as simple as most teams don't have the talent in the regular season to stop it?

    I know that we score as much in the post season as the regular season and all but the better D's with actual talent have the ability to stop this O when we are predictable. The bad teams don't have the talent to stop it. Want an example look at how the Pats amaged to stop the Colts high powered O in the early 00's then look at how the Giants and Ravens managed to shut us down effectively int he playoffs recently compared to the regular season

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from zbellino. Show zbellino's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Here is a great article about PA passing and how you teach/run it for people who tend a bit, ahem, mystical, about these things.

     http://smartfootball.com/passing/a-very-wise-coach-once-told-me-if-you-really-want-play-action-you-better-pull-a-guard#sthash.XCuxu3La.dpbs

    It's called play action because of the offensive line "action," the WR "action," the QB/RB "action."

    It's a systematic "sale," of how the WRs come off as blockers, the OL lowers their pads and moves the line forward, and then a fake. 

    It's not a reaction to what happened the play before.

    If your opponent has a defense that is that dumb you probably don't need trick plays ... just run pass run pass run pass. They will be as confused as a one year old watching peak-a-boo. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Hey Z, I'll trust BB on this one:

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/the_blitz/2014/01/bill_belichick_explains_the_art_of_the_play_action

    Some things to note:

    ""Part of play-action is throwing the ball when you think they’re going to run it, when they think you’re going to run it. Part of it is the companion of the play-action to the running game."

    He acknowledges that the OL and TE have to sell it really well but you can't sell it if they don't believe you are actually running it to begin with or have the ability to run it!

    But if you don't believe a coach here's a expert writer using an actual game as an example:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/2231/respect-for-run-game-set-up-shot-play

    Don't want to believe a coach or expert reporter ok how about a HoF QB in Farve:

    "I think at times we, including myself, have lost sight of it," Favre said. "People say, 'Well, you have to run the ball if you're going to have good play-action.' I think if you're a good magician, you can pull it off."

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/columns/story?id=3185256

    All of them say you need to have to have the actual threat of being able to run the ball to pull of the play action well

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    Here is a great article about PA passing and how you teach/run it for people who tend a bit, ahem, mystical, about these things.

     http://smartfootball.com/passing/a-very-wise-coach-once-told-me-if-you-really-want-play-action-you-better-pull-a-guard#sthash.XCuxu3La.dpbs

    It's called play action because of the offensive line "action," the WR "action," the QB/RB "action."

    It's a systematic "sale," of how the WRs come off as blockers, the OL lowers their pads and moves the line forward, and then a fake. 

    It's not a reaction to what happened the play before.

    If your opponent has a defense that is that dumb you probably don't need trick plays ... just run pass run pass run pass. They will be as confused as a one year old watching peak-a-boo. 



    Yes but this all depends on guess what a actual running game! If your front 4 can stop the run effectively to the point the S's can stay deep is pulling the guard going to cause the S's to come into the box? Of course not. The S's only come into the box if there is actually a threat for it to happen!

    but if you want stats here's from profootballfocus regarding play action QB's:

    "Seven of the Top 10 quarterbacks have running games that are above the league average in YPC while no team in the Bottom 10 is above the league average."

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Do the Pats run too little to have effective play action?  Is that the claim here?  They run close to NFL averages and use play action regularly and with some success, so I don't think there's a problem. 

    For the record, let's put the full quote from profootballfocus here, rather than Eng's selectively edited version:

    It’s often said that you need to have a successful running game to be effective with play action. This isn’t always true, as we’ll see later, but coaches sure seem to believe it. Seven of the Top 10 quarterbacks have running games that are above the league average in YPC while no team in the Bottom 10 is above the league average.

    later on, it continues:

    Here we see that an effective running game isn’t always necessary to flourish with play action.Tony RomoRyan Tannehill and Philip Rivers all have made a killing with run action despite having below average running games.

     

    Of course you need to run some to make play action fakes believable, and if you also run well the fakes may get better reactions, but the Pats run around 45% of the time, so they certainly run frequently enough. Do they run well enough? Probably.  They aren't the top running team in the league, but they also aren't terrible, and they run well enough that teams can't ignore it.

    As far as Belichick's quote, his example of an unbelievable play action play is one called on third and twenty.  That's unbelievable because of down and distance, not because of how much or how little you called the run earlier in the game.

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to zbellino's comment:

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:


    Excellent work by by pats eng combating a  few ridiculous notions.

    1 that the run game doesn't set up play action. I like pro and z just fine but that idea "ain't worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin it on".

    2. That our offense until the last few years was not an open book pass heavy approach that decimated weaker teams with poor DC's who were unable to understand what we were doing but was has been absolutely stifled in the biggest games of the year against the better defenses.

    And to Z, our offense has been figured out. It is a finesse offense with little to no desire to stay committed to running the football unless the run game is ripping off over 5 ypc which doesn't happen often. 285 passes to 111 runs and almost half those runs coming out of spread/finesse formations in 6 straight playoff losses. This resulted in 15.5 ppg scored. Considering  no team has won a super bowl scoring less then 16 points since 1973 then I guess our offense with their skewed passing numbers just ain't working.



    Good god that post is a mess. 

    When you are behind you pass more. Check. (We've covered this, to death, and BB also stated the same thing in an interview. It's pretty fundamental to football understanding. R/P ratios are meaningless without this context.)

    The result was from losing a key player before a very big game and simply not executing. Check.

     

    (Post-check: you are completely disingenuous to leave this out again, again, and again. An offense with Rob Gronkowski that posts a certain number of points and has certain expectations is not the same as one without Rob Gronkowski where expectations must naturally change. If NE had a real defense they might be able to pick up the slack, but so far they do not.)

    The result, per drive, is actually pretty good considering that fact and the fact that the offenses that did win Superbowls were actually worse. 

    The Superbowl isn't a magical game. There is not a "code" that wins in that game but not in others, so citing SB stats (who wins, what score, what game plan) is basically irrelevant. Check.

    Considering  no team has won a super bowl scoring less then 16 points since 1973 [snip]

    Do you, you know, watch the Patriots? The Patriots offense scored only 13 points in 2001 and won the Superbowl. That is a whole lot closer to now than 1973. How did they win that game? 

    The Giants also won a Superbowl scoring 17 just a few years ago. 

    16 isn't a "magic" number either. 

     

     

     

     



    Neither is 15.5. And that's what we have actually scored in 6 straight playoff defeats. Nice to know you blame that on 1 player, you sound like rusty.

    Our offense has been stifled in the most important game of the year since 2007. I know you and prolate think they are great and the passing game is great and we don't need a run game and it's all the defense's fault, but you guys are wrong.

     
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    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:

    I



    Neither is 15.5. And that's what we have actually scored in 6 straight playoff defeats. Nice to know you blame that on 1 player, you sound like rusty.

    Our offense has been stifled in the most important game of the year since 2007. I know you and prolate think they are great and the passing game is great and we don't need a run game and it's all the defense's fault, but you guys are wrong.

    [/QUOTE]


    Dude, it's you who has the simplistic (and wrong) analysis, not us.  You think every loss is merely the result of not running enough.  We understand that a lot more is happening in all the those games. 

    • I've said 8 million times that the 2007 Super Bowl loss mostly had to do with our offensive line losing the battle in the trenches to the Giants.  We couldn't run or pass effectively.  Multiple Patriots players have said that the plan actually was to run heavily in that game, but they couldn't execute because of the O line play.  They ended up having to switch to more passing, but struggled with that too.  But if you think handing the ball to Moroney more would have produced a better offensive result, you have no idea what you're watching when you watch football.  I think you must just look at box scores or something.  It's the only way you can make your argument. 
    • Since 2009, a lot of the problem has been the defense.  We've been through that a lot.  On offense, the lack of diversity has been an issue and, since 2011, the injuries to Gronk (which further limit diversity) have hurt.  But sorry, the 2009 team was a poor running team.  They woulldn't have beaten the Ravens in the playoffs by running more.  They got way behind early and had to pass to try to catch up. In 2010, the Jets defense won the game and our defense and special teams blew it on a few big plays. Our offense wasn't good either, but that was just one of many factors in that game--and the biggest problem with the offense was inability to pass effectively, not the amount of runs called.  In both 2011 and 2012, the loss of Gronk was a huge issue for the offense, but the poor pass defense also was a problem.  (And we ran plenty in our loss to the 2012 Ravens, too, and it didn't produce any better results.) Last year, the terrible passing game allowed Denver to key on the run and shut it down.  And of course, the defense could get no pressure on Manning and didn't press the receivers well. 

    So the games were all much more complex than just the number of runs called.  But you reduce everything to that one thing.  I'm sure it works for you . . . but if the losses could have been avoided simply by running more do you really think the coaching staff wouldn't have figured that out in seven years?  How dumb do you think Bill Belichick is?  I mean people are now saying high school coaches could beat him.  I've never heard anything more absurd . . . 

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    Do the Pats run too little to have effective play action?  Is that the claim here?  They run close to NFL averages and use play action regularly and with some success, so I don't think there's a problem. 

    For the record, let's put the full quote from profootballfocus here, rather than Eng's selectively edited version:

    It’s often said that you need to have a successful running game to be effective with play action. This isn’t always true, as we’ll see later, but coaches sure seem to believe it. Seven of the Top 10 quarterbacks have running games that are above the league average in YPC while no team in the Bottom 10 is above the league average.

    later on, it continues:

    Here we see that an effective running game isn’t always necessary to flourish with play action.Tony RomoRyan Tannehill and Philip Rivers all have made a killing with run action despite having below average running games.

     

    Of course you need to run some to make play action fakes believable, and if you also run well the fakes may get better reactions, but the Pats run around 45% of the time, so they certainly run frequently enough. Do they run well enough? Probably.  They aren't the top running team in the league, but they also aren't terrible, and they run well enough that teams can't ignore it.

    As far as Belichick's quote, his example of an unbelievable play action play is one called on third and twenty.  That's unbelievable because of down and distance, not because of how much or how little you called the run earlier in the game.

     



    Of course it isn't always true Pro as 3 out of the 10 QB's had running games below the average of the league. However I would say 70% having running games in the top half and no bottom 10 QB's have running games in the bottom half point to it be a strong case of you need an above average running game to have an effective PA. That's not being selective, that's like someone saying that it isn't always true that you lose on lotto tickets. Of course it's not always true but odds point to you'll lose more often then you'll win it's a strawman argument.

    I've said time and time again you need to run a certain amount of times (look at wins vs loses in which Brady throws 60% of time vs when he throws under and no it's not always because they are behind) but if you are within that golden window (usualy a 60:40 or closer split) it's all about how you run, when you run, and what you run to argment the pass and compliment it. That's one thign stats can't pick up no matter how many numbers you toss around. Heck if it didn't matter then why against the best run D teams in the league does BB still even try to run it against them? Because you can't become 1 dimensional

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Looks like a guy we all respect who has covered the Pats his entire career agrees that the one dimensional offense has been a major problem in the post season since 2007.

    Commitment to run critical ReissBy Mike Reiss
    ESPNBoston.com
    Archive

    There is a common thread to some of the Patriots' most devastating losses in Bill Belichick's coaching tenure, most of which were of the season-ending variety: The offense was so focused on letting it fly in those games that it struggled to control the line of scrimmage.

     

    There's a decisive way to ensure that doesn't happen Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs.

     

    Run it. Run it some more. And then run it some more.

     

    This is what the Patriots did in their final two games of the regular season, identity-shaping victories over the Ravens and Bills. The power-running commitment was there from the start, seldom wavered, and we saw the end result -- decisive control at the line of scrimmage, where games are most often won and lost.

    The Patriots can do the same thing to the Colts, who ranked 26th during the regular season in rushing yards allowed (125.1) and 25th in average yards allowed per carry (4.5).

    It's true that the banged-up Colts aren't that much better against the pass, but their most lethal weapon is pass-rusher Robert Mathis, whose 19½ sacks led the NFL. So if the choice is giving Mathis a chance to make a game-changing play with extended pass-rush opportunities, or handing the ball off and running right at him, the choice seems obvious.

    And it's not as if the Patriots can't still pick their spots in the passing game, as a potent running attack can set up lethal play-action possibilities for Tom Brady.

    The Patriots are at their best when the running game is the focal point.

    Think about what a difference it wo

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

     

     

    I've said time and time again you need to run a certain amount of times (look at wins vs loses in which Brady throws 60% of time vs when he throws under and no it's not always because they are behind) but if you are within that golden window (usualy a 60:40 or closer split) it's all about how you run, when you run, and what you run to argment the pass and compliment it. That's one thign stats can't pick up no matter how many numbers you toss around. Heck if it didn't matter then why against the best run D teams in the league does BB still even try to run it against them? Because you can't become 1 dimensional



    • I think there's some confusion over whether run-pass percentages are causes or consequences.  While the amount a team runs or passes is partly determined by game plan, the actual ratios usually are determined primarily by game situations and therefore are merely outcomes of those situations.  High pass percentages occur when there are lots of long yardage situations, when teams are behind late, or when hurry up drives become necessary at the end of halves. The Pats generally are well within your 60-40 guideline even when many of the things listed above occur.  It's very rare that they run on less than a third of their plays, and when they do it's almost always the result of an end-of-game hurry-up drive.
    • The reality is that you can't mount long drives without effective passing.  There are just too many long yardage situations in any extended drive where runs are low probability plays.  If you don't execute well on those passes, you can't compensate by running instead, because running has a low probability of getting the needed yards. The only way to consistently succeed in the inevitable long yardage situations that occur in long drives is to pass well.  You simply can't run in long yardage situations and expect any consistent success.
    • It's almost unheard of that a team mounts an 80 yard drive running alone.  You just can't move the ball that far without passing unless something truly odd happens (like breaking an 80 yard gain on a run). Yet teams do mount 80 yard drives passing alone.  Successful two-minute drives are often all passes.  And drives that consist of just a few big pass plays are certainly not nearly as rare as long drives consisting only of runs.  Running is important in short yardage situations and for diversity, and long runs when they occur are great pluses, but ultimately it is passing that makes or breaks drives.  
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    Another example of confusing consequences with causes.

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    • I think there's some confusion over whether run-pass percentages are causes or consequences.  While the amount a team runs or passes is partly determined by game plan, the actual ratios usually are determined primarily by game situations and therefore are merely outcomes of those situations.  High pass percentages occur when there are lots of long yardage situations, when teams are behind late, or when hurry up drives become necessary at the end of halves. The Pats generally are well within your 60-40 guideline even when many of the things listed above occur.  It's very rare that they run on less than a third of their plays, and when they do it's almost always the result of an end-of-game hurry-up drive.
    • The reality is that you can't mount long drives without effective passing.  There are just too many long yardage situations in any extended drive where runs are low probability plays.  If you don't execute well on those passes, you can't compensate by running instead, because running has a low probability of getting the needed yards. The only way to consistently succeed in the inevitable long yardage situations that occur in long drives is to pass well.  You simply can't run in long yardage situations and expect any consistent success.
    • It's almost unheard of that a team mounts an 80 yard drive running alone.  You just can't move the ball that far without passing unless something truly odd happens (like breaking an 80 yard gain on a run). Yet teams do mount 80 yard drives passing alone.  Successful two-minute drives are often all passes.  And drives that consist of just a few big pass plays are certainly not nearly as rare as long drives consisting only of runs.  Running is important in short yardage situations and for diversity, and long runs when they occur are great pluses, but ultimately it is passing that makes or breaks drives.  



    Pro - there have been plenty of games in which the passing game was the main focus of the game from the start and carried over till the end in which they were within a score going into the 4th and still had over a 60% pass ratio. There is no correlation to the causation. There is a general trend in which you generally see more pass heavy when you are down however, it is not always the case, esp in the playoffs when, at times, they all but abandon the run. So no, the causation doesn't always line up with the consequences.

    As for teh long drive, it's true you need an effective passing game to sustain drives however, you can't sustain a passing game without an effective running game. You can have flashes of drives against weaker teams and opponents but against playoff caliber D's (this is the Pats we are talking about) relying on the pass play almost exclusively to sustain drives will cause faulter and ultimately failure. It's why the early 00's Pats succeeded and why the last 2 they failed. They never established and effective running game that other teams needed to account for and instead the other teams were able to focus on the passing plays. It's hard to sustain long drives when the opponent is keying in on those passing plays.

 
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    I think you'll be hard pressed to find many games where the Pats threw more than 60% of the time where the situations they were in don't explain it.  Their game plans are almost never as one dimensional as people seem to think, but even if they were, it wouldn't matter because football is much more about execution and match ups than surprise play calls.

     

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    I think you'll be hard pressed to find many games where the Pats threw more than 60% of the time where the situations they were in don't explain it.  Their game plans are almost never as one dimensional as people seem to think, but even if they were, it wouldn't matter because football is much more about execution and match ups than surprise play calls.

     



    Commitment to run critical ReissBy Mike Reiss
    ESPNBoston.com
    Archive

    There is a common thread to some of the Patriots' most devastating losses in Bill Belichick's coaching tenure, most of which were of the season-ending variety: The offense was so focused on letting it fly in those games that it struggled to control the line of scrimmage.

     

     
  • You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: What the stats say about play calling: run or pass?

    In response to PatsEng's comment:

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    • I think there's some confusion over whether run-pass percentages are causes or consequences.  While the amount a team runs or passes is partly determined by game plan, the actual ratios usually are determined primarily by game situations and therefore are merely outcomes of those situations.  High pass percentages occur when there are lots of long yardage situations, when teams are behind late, or when hurry up drives become necessary at the end of halves. The Pats generally are well within your 60-40 guideline even when many of the things listed above occur.  It's very rare that they run on less than a third of their plays, and when they do it's almost always the result of an end-of-game hurry-up drive.
    • The reality is that you can't mount long drives without effective passing.  There are just too many long yardage situations in any extended drive where runs are low probability plays.  If you don't execute well on those passes, you can't compensate by running instead, because running has a low probability of getting the needed yards. The only way to consistently succeed in the inevitable long yardage situations that occur in long drives is to pass well.  You simply can't run in long yardage situations and expect any consistent success.
    • It's almost unheard of that a team mounts an 80 yard drive running alone.  You just can't move the ball that far without passing unless something truly odd happens (like breaking an 80 yard gain on a run). Yet teams do mount 80 yard drives passing alone.  Successful two-minute drives are often all passes.  And drives that consist of just a few big pass plays are certainly not nearly as rare as long drives consisting only of runs.  Running is important in short yardage situations and for diversity, and long runs when they occur are great pluses, but ultimately it is passing that makes or breaks drives.  



    Pro - there have been plenty of games in which the passing game was the main focus of the game from the start and carried over till the end in which they were within a score going into the 4th and still had over a 60% pass ratio. There is no correlation to the causation. There is a general trend in which you generally see more pass heavy when you are down however, it is not always the case, esp in the playoffs when, at times, they all but abandon the run. So no, the causation doesn't always line up with the consequences.

    As for teh long drive, it's true you need an effective passing game to sustain drives however, you can't sustain a passing game without an effective running game. You can have flashes of drives against weaker teams and opponents but against playoff caliber D's (this is the Pats we are talking about) relying on the pass play almost exclusively to sustain drives will cause faulter and ultimately failure. It's why the early 00's Pats succeeded and why the last 2 they failed. They never established and effective running game that other teams needed to account for and instead the other teams were able to focus on the passing plays. It's hard to sustain long drives when the opponent is keying in on those passing plays.





    I mean....YEP

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