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Patriots offense: Pass-run ratio

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PonyExpress, Dec 30, 2011.

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  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Patriots offense: Pass-run ratio analysis
    Data (in descending order of pass %)
    Score Pass % Y/rush (non QB)
    17-25 74% 3.6
    38-24 69% 4.9
    20-24 67% 4.4
    34-27 65% 4.4
    31-34 63% 4.1
    35-21 62% 4
    20-16 62% 4
    31-24 61% 3.1
    27-24 60% 4.6
    37-16 58% 2.3
    31-19 50% 6.3
    30-21 49% 4.4
    38-20 49% 2.9
    41-23 49% 4.6
    34-3 44% 4.5

    Note: I define a balanced attack as a pass% < 60%.

    Observation:When Patriots have pass % less than 60%, they are 6-0 with average score of 35-16.5
    When Pats have pass % greater than 60%, they are 6-3 with average score of 28-23

    Causal relationships.
    I. It is assumed that the reason the Pats offense is a TD a game better when committing to the run is because (i)the pats tend to favor the run over the pass when leading by a large margin (defined here as two scores) and (ii) In close games the run game was stuffed, and the Pats had to pass to win.

    Counterargument: The Past did not favor the run over the pass when leading by a two scores vs Miami in week 1, vs SD in week 2 , vs Buffalo in week 3 (ahead 21-0), vs Indy in week 9. Therefore the run pass ratio is not a clear consequence of having or not having a large lead. In those instances the coaching staff preferred to pass, even when the run game was effective (over 4 yards per non-QB carry in each of those games except Indy).
    A stuffed run game here is defined as less than 4 yards per attempt. In 7 of the 9 games in which the pass ratio exceeded 60%, the non-QB rush yards per attempt also exceeded 4. In 5 of the 7 games decided by 1 score or less, the yards per attempt exceeded 4. The only exceptions were Pittsburgh (3.6) and Indy (3.1). I actually believe 3.6 is a respectable YPA vs Pittsburgh, but the running game was not in the game plan (74% pass). Therefore the Pats decision not to run was not a result of the run game being ineffective. It was a strategic choice by the coaching staff.

    II. It is assumed that the pats defense performs a TD better in games when the offense commits to the run because in games where the defense performs well, the Pats tend to have a big lead and the offense runs out the clock.

    Counterargument: See previous counterargument. Pats are at least as likely to pass as run with two score leads.

    Conclusion:When the Pats staff commits to a balanced attack, here defined as less than 60 % passing, the entire team, both offense and defense, seems to perform better. The offense scores a TD per game more and the defense allows a TD per game less than when the pass % exceeds 60 %.
    Some assume that pass % declines when the Pats have a big lead, but this is not a trend. the Pats have often shown a preference for passing while holding leads of 2+ scores. This decision to pass when leading by 2+ scores may contribute to worse performance on the defensive side of the ball. This may be because passing with a big lead increases the number of plays available to the opposition, giving them more opportunities to score and come back. Maintaining a balanced offense with a 2+ score lead tends to limit the offensive opportunities of the opposition, helping the defense. That is complimentary football.
    When the Pats are in close games, they tend to abandon a balanced attack, even when the run game is working, in favor of the heavy passing attack. I do not understand this strategic decision by the coaching staff. This makes the offense predictable.

    IMO If the Pats commit to a balanced offensive game plan in the postseason, even in close games, they have a much better chance to win the SB. It will also help protect a vulnerable defense.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  2. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here we go again. You should tweet this to Bill. Oh wait, he doesn't twitter... Bill is going to gameplan and commit to whatever he believes the individual game matchups dictate and adjust according to how the game unfolds. He will attempt to do whatever is working in order to move the chains and score points. The balance equation will hang on his players health and availability and how well they are executing on a given day as well as the game plan and execution of the opponent.
  3. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Having offensive balance represented as a % of run/pass has evolved into the most overrated way of analyzing how effective an offense is or should be- especially this year.

    Look at the 2003 Pats. They threw the ball 61% which runs counter to your argument. The key with that team was that they COULD run it when the absolutely needed to. However, I do believe in mixing in a run every now and then to keep the opposing defense honest OR use it to set up plays for later in the game. The challenge there is that you actually need talent to execute that game plan.

    Oh yea, and they also had a stout defense which allowed them the luxury of not needing to score a point a minute.

    As Mo says, the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing defense and matchups determine how the team will attack the opposition.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  4. TBradyOwnsYou

    TBradyOwnsYou Rookie

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    Stats are for losers
  5. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You have causation backwards. They run more because they are winning, not they win more because they are running.
  6. ahmed

    ahmed Rookie

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    lol... exactly, if you were to break the 6-0 games down, you would find the ratio started going under 60 once the win was pretty much obvious. Prior to that, you would see the pass over 60%.
  7. JMarr

    JMarr Rookie

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    Does being Belichick's Imaginary Personal Spokesman pay well? :rolleyes:

    Even though you threw in the "adjust according to how the game unfolds" part, you're still implying that his game planning philosophy always basically stays the same--play to your stengths and exploit the opponent's weaknesses. Doubt that's always the case.

    We beat the Jaguars in '07 by running the ball a lot, even though though our passing game had been off the charts all year and the Jags secondary was their weakness.

    Then against the Giants, he and Josh went back to the well with the deep passes, even though the Giants had seen it once and game planned to stop it. By the time we made adjustments it was too late. Same thing in our last two playoff losses.

    You make it sound like committing to the run when you have Brady under center is almost sacreligious.
  8. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Instead of resorting to snide remarks, why don't you argue your point of view with actual facts? I don't think I've ever seen you do that; most everything you say inevitably descend into ad hominem, and that's getting pretty tiresome.
  9. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    Where's your proof?
  10. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In the film.
  11. Seanzayyy

    Seanzayyy Rookie

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    Stats like these are neat to read, but I can't put much stock in it. Correlation does not equal causation. WAY too many factors to consider in our W's and L's and that's not even including the different gameplans depending on the team.

    The pass to run ratio is most likely caused by something else, and what causes that may be caused by something else...Too many variables floating around. But it was still interesting to read. :)
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  12. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    That may be true as a general rule, but consider...

    Week 5, vs. NYJ
    - Pats win 30-21.
    - Brady: 24-33, 321 yds, 1 td, 1 int
    - Pats running game: 35-152, 2 td

    So 35 rushes vs. 33 passing attempts. Fine, but maybe the Pats just ran late.

    - Drive 1 (13:35-11:55, 1st) - 2 rushes (3 yds), 2 passes (11 yds), punt
    - Drive 2 (10:06-7:32, 1st) - 4 rushes (27 yds, TD), 1 pass (32 yds), 1 penalty, TD (Pats up 7-0)
    - Drive 3 (6:15-0:47, 1st) - 3 rushes (5 yds), 3 passes (26 yds), 1 sack (-6 yds), 3 penalties, punt
    - Drive 4 (14:21-11:15, 2nd) - 3 rushes (7 yds), 2 passes (2 yds), 1 penalty, FG (Pats up 10-0)

    Ok, so at this point, the Pats had built a 10 point lead. They had 12 rushes for 42 yards, and 8 passes for 71 yards, with 1 sack for -6 yards. So not counting penalties, their play selection was:

    - 57% run
    - 43% pass (including the sack as a pass play)

    Then, on their last drive (from 7:14-1:02 of the 4th quarter), the Pats ran the ball 11 times and threw it 1 time, resulting in a FG. That was the drive that salted it away, and it made the score 30-21.

    So between the first four drives and the last drive, they ran it 23 times and threw it 9 times. The rest of the game they ran it 12 times and threw it 24 times.

    Their run-heavy offense produced 13 points in 5 drives (2.6 pts/drive). Their pass-heavy offense produced 17 points in 6 drives (2.8 pts/drive). That's a nice balance. Run early, get a lead. Then mix it up during the middle of the game and throw a lot. Then, with the lead and needing to chew up the clock, pound them on the ground again and put the game away.

    I would say that this particular game represents a case where they won because they ran the ball effectively, both at the beginning and at the end of the game, not that they ran because they were winning.
  13. TheComeback

    TheComeback Rookie

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    You're crazy if you don't think running the ball helps this team win.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  14. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    First they couldn't run it "anytime" in 2003. The leading rusher was Antowain Smith who ran for 642 yards and got just three touchdowns.

    The next season, they went out and got Corey Dillon (who ran for 1600 yards and 12 TDs) and while their record remained the same (14-2) their offensive rank jumped from #12 to #4.

    However, as you said, the big luxury was the best defense the Patriots ever had (ranked #1 in 2003, #2 in 2004) and we just don't have that now so our offensive output has to be even more efficient, and that means staying away from being one dimensional.
  15. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    I maintain that they were able to run it when they had to. Check out the TN, Indy and CAR playoff games and essentially the Jets game in NYJ to clinch the division. 4th qtr in particular in the AFC games.

    Agree. Antowain was done.

    Agree.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The % of runs is a RESULT of success of the passing offense and the building of a lead, not the other way around.
    I recognize what balanced offense does for a game plan and play calling. But the % of runs game by game for the Patriots is simply not causation of the results. That is not the offense we employ.
  17. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But then Dillon tapped out and Maroney petered out and the league changed as the rules changed and here we sit with a RB by committee including two rookies and two effort UDFA's and one of the rooks can't get on the field and the other shows promise but Bill is still insecure about him when it comes to ball security and pass blocking and we have the top WR in the league and the best TE tandem in the game so lets commit to running the ball and matchups be damned... We are a pass to run team and our short passing game is even a function of our running game for that reason. BJGE is a great kid and a hard worker, but he's not signed past this season for a reason...

    Your right that our offense has to be efficient. And if guys are executing consistently we are most efficient when Tom Brady is throwing the ball, not when he's handing if off to BJGE or whichever committee member is in for the rotation. I wish they could simply run the ball at will, and I imagine Tom and Bill wish they could too. But that simply isn't the case here at the moment for a number of reasons nor has it been the case for the last half a decade...
  18. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    In the Oakland game, the Pats ran 30 times and passed 30 times.

    - Drive 1 (10:26-6:07, 1st) - 5 rushes (34 yds), 4 passes (26 yds, TD), 3 penalties, TD (Pats lead, 7-3)
    - Drive 2 (0:03 1st - 13:32, 2nd) - 2 rushes (21 yds), 3 passes (15 yds), punt
    - Drive 3 (10:20-7:44, 2nd) - 3 rushes (14 yds, TD), 3 passes (45 yds), 1 penalty, TD (Pats lead 14-10)

    Again, we see the Pats getting the lead and they did it by running it as much as by passing.

    10 rushes
    10 passes
    4 penalties

    And again, late, holding a 31-13 lead, they proceeded to run again. Last drive of the game for NE: 6 rushes, 1 pass.

    So between the first 3 drives and the last drive, they ran it 16 times and passed 11 times. The rest of the time they ran it 14 times and passed 19 times.

    Another case, though, where the running game was instrumental in building the lead. They didn't just run it once they had a big lead; they had a lead in large part because they ran it.
  19. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Balance matters, but with this team balance means mixing in some runs to augment what we do best. It also means personell groupings that force the defense to commit to something that we can expose.
    Time and again we have seen the results of series using a run first mentality, and the results simply are not as good as when we use a pass first approach.
  20. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp Rookie

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    Those are two different things. Clearly, the Pats have an offense designed around Brady and the pass. Nobody disputes that (nobody in his right mind, anyway). So the running game is the complement to the passing game. So running success can, in part, be attributed to the fact that the Patriots pass well. In other words, when teams game plan against NE, the first thing they have to worry about is the passing game. That has to help the run.

    But I've just given two quick examples where the second part of your statement isn't necessarily right. They ran the ball effectively early in (at least) the Jets' and Raiders' games, and the effective running game is what helped them build the lead in the first place.

    Agreed. But, to go back to what you argued with me about in another thread, in the two game examples (Jets/Raiders) I looked at, I used actual drive by drive data, which keeps the information in context. And in building the leads against the Jets and Raiders, the Pats employed a heavy dose of running the ball. In those two cases, anyway, the Patriots running game had a direct causal effect on the Patriots' getting and building a lead.
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