Originally Posted by Outlaw Heroes
Lower that pass success and lower than pass efficiency, but as I say, I don't think that's really in dispute.
It's also fair to say that R values of around .4 are "moderate-at-best", but then I think most statisticians would say that R values don't really exceed "moderate" until you get up over .7. By that standard, pass success and pass efficiency also yield moderate corrrelations.
The correlations that I've seen for run success and similar metrics are usually 0.30 to 0.40. For pass success and similar metrics, they're 0.65 to 0.85. So the high end of the rushing correlations would be the low end of a "moderate" correlation, and the low end of the passing correlations would be the high end of a "moderate" correlation. But the median for rushing correlations would be considered more a "low" correlation, and the median for passing would be considered more a "high" correlation. At any rate, the difference is quite large.
Of course, most of these correlations are based on only one side of the ball at a time and are based on season-long averages and win totals. I'm more interested in the numbers for both sides of the ball and their correlation with winning individual games.
For example, teams that have passed more effectively in a game are 94-24 (.797) this season. Teams that have rushed more effectively (YPC) are 64-54 (.542).
Teams that have passed more effectively AND rushed more effectively are 50-10 (.833). Teams that have passed more effectively but rushed LESS effectively are 44-14 (.759).
Looking at those numbers conversely, that means that teams that have rushed more effectively but passed LESS effectively are 14-44 (.241). And teams that have rushed AND passed LESS effectively are 10-50 (.167).
Those winning percentages are about the same as they are every season -- about 80 percent for passing and a little more than 50-50 for rushing. Given that teams win about 17 percent of the time even if they're statistically worse at both rushing and passing in that game (and therefore lose about 17 percent of the time even if they're statistically better at both during that game), the numbers show that being able to pass better is overwhelmingly more important than being able to run better.
Also, note that the teams that ran the ball better passed it better in 60 games and passed it worse in 58 games -- again barely more than a 50-50 split. Running the ball better than your opponent has very little effect on being able to pass it better or winning.