FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Football analysis and NFL stats for the Moneyball era - Authors of Football Outsiders Almanac 2009 [For the Pats in the recent past, itâ€™s been all about the shotgun formation. In 2007, New England became the first NFL team to run the shotgun formation on more than 50 percent of their plays, and that trend continued in 2008. Our data shows that teams are more effective and efficient in the shotgun â€“ over the last two years, teams have averaged 5.9 yards per play from the shotgun, and 5.1 under center. Cassel threw 433 passes out of the shotgun and amassed a DYAR [Defense-Adjusted Yards over Replacement] of 531, and a DVOA of 7.8%. Under center, he threw 124 passes for a DYAR of 124 and a DVOA of 2.2%. ] ------- Sure the Shotgun puts up more avg yards per play compared to non-shotgun, but this is why stats are a crappy way to evaluate offense (otherwise Marino and Favre are the best QB's ever, which they're not). I'll also go out on a limb and say 4-WR formations have higher yards per play than I-formations, big whoop, it doesn't mean 4-wide is better than I-formation. What is interesting is that on top of using shot-gun for over 50% of all plays, on our passing attempts the vast majority came from shot-gun. I wonder if this gives defenses an easy key (especially for d-line and linebackers) to focus on pass rush and not worry about the run as much. Sure we may get some nice runs out of shot gun occasionally, but the easy telegraph is still there and we still predominantly pass more than run out of shot gun. I also don't think that pass-happy spread offenses have a strong history of being on championship-winning teams. We've seen this with the 01 Rams, the 04 Colts, and the 07 Pats, who all got beaten by more physical defenses in the playoffs. The Pats used shotgun and 3/4-WR way too much the past two years; even under Cassel it was almost always shotgun for passes, which telegraphs to the D what are you doing.