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Off-Season Priority #1: Find A Running Game

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by TheFinisher, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    I almost forgot about these, but here are the game-by-game ANYPA numbers for all eight of the division champions. I included each team's record and the record of the team that had the higher ANYPA in each of their games. The games when the team with the higher ANYPA did not win are marked with an "-x" after the W or L.

    [b]ATLANTA (13-3 / team with higher ANYPA went 13-3)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]
    KAN 		9.125		3.917		5.208		W
    DEN 		5.622		1.700		3.922		W
    SDG 		5.119		1.641		3.478		W
    CAR 		5.426		7.321		-1.896		W -x
    WAS 		5.434		3.222		2.212		W
    OAK 		2.395		7.639		-5.244		W -x
    PHI		7.935		4.684		3.251		W
    DAL 		8.920		8.667		0.252		W
    NOR 		6.755		7.333		-0.579		L
    ARI 		0.979		1.367		-0.388		W -x
    TAM 		8.939		8.364		0.576		W
    NOR 		4.676		1.667		3.010		W
    CAR 		5.431		7.778		-2.346		L
    NYG 		9.138		2.269		6.869		W
    DET 		8.212		7.018		1.194		W
    TAM 		4.630		4.914		-0.284		L
    [b]BALTIMORE (10-6 / team with higher ANYPA went 16-0)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]
    CIN 		8.800		3.488		5.312		W
    PHI 		3.727		7.559		-3.832		L
    NWE 		8.513		7.419		1.094		W
    CLE 		5.740		4.981		0.759		W
    KAN 		3.710		1.333		2.376		W
    DAL 		8.519		5.514		3.005		W
    HOU 		0.447		6.128		-5.681		L
    CLE 		5.800		1.947		3.853		W
    OAK 		8.560		6.122		2.436		W
    PIT 		4.500		2.976		1.524		W
    SDG 		5.643		4.500		1.143		W
    PIT 		3.432		4.359		-0.927		L
    WAS 		5.348		7.871		-2.523		L
    DEN 		4.000		6.233		-2.233		L
    NYG 		8.583		3.839		4.745		W
    CIN 		2.595		5.071		-2.477		L
    [b]DENVER (13-3 / team with higher ANYPA went 14-2)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]		
    PIT 		8.571		3.533		5.038		W
    ATL 		1.700		5.622		-3.922		L
    HOU 		5.745		7.548		-1.803		L
    OAK 		8.667		4.892		3.775		W
    NWE 		7.043		5.514		1.529		L -x
    SDG 		8.633		0.378		8.256		W
    NOR		10.167		3.512		6.655		W
    CIN 		5.460		4.787		0.670		W
    CAR 		7.560		2.279		5.285		W
    SDG 		4.511		2.818		1.693		W
    KAN 		5.718		2.357		3.361		W
    TAM 		5.053		4.625		0.428		W
    OAK 		6.103		6.871		-0.768		W -x
    BAL 		6.233		4.000		2.233		W
    CLE 		6.721		3.381		3.340		W
    KAN 		9.576		1.300		8.276		W
    [b]GREEN BAY (11-5 / team with higher ANYPA went 14-2)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]						
    SFO 		4.872		6.367		-1.494		L
    CHI 		4.342		-3.706		8.048		W
    SEA 		3.915		5.045		-1.131		L
    NOR 		6.561		7.661		-1.100		W -x
    IND 		4.243		5.000		-0.757		L
    HOU 		8.410		1.976		6.435		W
    STL 		8.300		5.297		3.003		W
    JAX		4.526		5.471		-0.944		W -x
    ARI 		5.100		4.917		0.180		W
    DET 		5.633		3.455		2.179		W
    NYG 		4.719		7.839		-3.120		L
    MIN 		6.297		0.760		5.537		W
    DET 		5.481		4.370		1.112		W
    CHI 		7.128		2.280		4.848		W
    TEN 		8.366		0.027		8.339		W
    MIN 		7.400		7.828		-0.428		L
    [b]HOUSTON (12-4 / team with higher ANYPA went 13-3)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]						
    MIA 		7.697		1.179		6.517		W
    JAX 		5.571		2.167		3.405		W
    DEN 		7.548		5.745		1.803		W
    TEN 		7.214		2.161		5.053		W
    NYJ 		5.679		3.343		2.336		W
    GNB 		1.976		8.410		-6.435		L
    BAL 		6.128		0.447		5.681		W
    BUF 		8.830		5.610		3.218		W
    CHI 		-0.444		1.030		-1.475		W -x
    JAX 		7.088		10.054		-2.966		W -x
    DET 		4.920		6.547		-1.627		W -x
    TEN 		5.914		2.255		3.659		W
    NWE 		4.553		6.459		-1.907		L
    IND 		7.029		4.625		2.404		W
    MIN 		4.135		5.516		-1.381		L
    IND 		3.750		6.345		-2.595		L
    [b]NEW ENGLAND (12-4 / team with higher ANYPA went 11-5)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]						
    TEN 		7.125		4.756		2.369		W
    ARI 		4.940		4.828		0.112		L -x
    BAL 		7.419		8.513		-1.094		L
    BUF 		9.000		3.333		5.667		W
    DEN 		5.514		7.043		-1.529		W -x
    SEA 		4.881		9.759		-4.877		L
    NYJ 		5.814		5.489		0.325		W
    STL		8.447		3.500		4.947		W
    BUF 		5.897		6.256		-0.358		W -x
    IND 		9.457		3.510		5.947		W
    NYJ 		11.963		6.211		5.752		W
    MIA 		3.705		5.500		-1.795		W -x
    HOU 		6.459		4.553		1.907		W
    SFO 		4.779		5.885		-1.105		L
    JAX 		3.318		3.712		-0.393		W -x
    MIA 		7.459		3.786		3.674		W
    [b]SAN FRANCISCO (11-4-1 / team with higher ANYPA went 14-1-1)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]						
    GNB 		6.367		4.872		1.494		W
    DET 		5.912		4.824		1.088		W
    MIN 		3.711		5.657		-1.947		L
    NYJ 		5.583		1.515		4.068		W
    BUF 		12.400		2.407		9.993		W
    NYG 		1.953		6.893		-4.939		L
    SEA 		3.520		2.600		0.920		W
    ARI		8.870		3.714		5.155		W
    STL 		5.267		6.953		-1.687		TIE
    CHI 		9.280		-1.500		10.780		W
    NOR 		7.240		2.848		4.392		W
    STL 		5.457		5.073		0.384		L -x
    MIA 		6.148		3.800		2.348		W
    NWE 		5.885		4.779		1.105		W
    SEA 		4.892		5.217		-0.325		L
    ARI 		9.267		4.361		4.906		W
    [b]WASHINGTON (10-6 / team with higher ANYPA went 14-2)
    Opp.		Offense		Defense		Net		W/L[/b]						
    NOR 		10.929		4.185		6.743		W
    STL 		4.900		6.784		-1.884		L
    CIN 		4.590		11.167		-6.577		L
    TAM 		8.917		6.075		2.842		W
    ATL 		3.222		5.434		-2.212		L
    MIN 		5.565		4.054		1.512		W
    NYG 		5.871		5.585		0.286		L -x
    PIT		4.694		6.324		-1.629		L
    CAR 		4.326		8.740		-4.414		L
    PHI 		11.294		1.540		9.754		W
    DAL 		7.933		5.047		2.886		W
    NYG 		7.762		8.029		-0.268		W -x
    BAL 		7.871		5.348		2.523		W
    CLE 		6.615		3.595		3.021		W
    PHI 		5.400		5.113		0.287		W
    DAL 		4.579		1.179		3.399		W

    In those teams' 128 games, the team with the higher ANYPA went 109-18-1, a winning percentage of .855. They went 78-4 (.951) when they had the higher ANYPA and 14-31-1 (.315) when they had the lower ANYPA.
  2. cowboysooner

    cowboysooner Well-Known Member

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    So given this data and this team strengths and weaknesses would you advocate drafting an improved receiver a right tackle a safety and a defensive end? There is not much variance in centers and guards on pressures allowed so that is not going to fundamentally change your passing attack where a tavon Austin or Paterson from Tennessee can really change the ypa on targets to them.

    I think we are far closer to being a high anypa team from a Green Bay type model than from a Seattle or San Fran one that runs and runs and then surprises with a big play action pass.
  3. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Since there's no way to score two TD on one drive, every additional TD has to come from a different drive.

    Every drive on which we ran and did not end up scoring a TD -- especially from the red zone, and even more so from inside the 10 -- is an example of how running the ball better could have helped us. No one can logically deny this.

    Is 6-of-18 from inside the 10 anywhere near the top of the league? Of course not.

    I'm not saying anything close to that. What I actually said was that, while we could stand to be more productive running the ball, we also need to pass much better than the opponent, but the whole team gets better overall if we make it a high priority to improve both the defense and the running game.

    What I said to *you* was that you're exaggerating when you say that improving the running game shouldn't even be among our top 10 priorities. That you're exaggerating when you say "how well you run the ball doesn't matter." To believe that, you must believe that there is no such thing as a "game manager" QB, since no QB benefits from how well his team runs the ball. That Manning and Griffin are interchangeable parts.

    You know where we ranked in FG attempts from inside 40 yards, per drive. You know where we ranked in TD per red zone possession. Based on win correlations, you're saying that running the ball better could *not* help to improve either one of these rankings. That's a mistake. Scoring more touchdowns improves both those rankings, and run TD are just as good as pass TD.
  4. 706Cowboysfan1

    706Cowboysfan1 New Member

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    I agree 100% we lost all those games last year in the trenches. We must upgrade at the point of attack if we hope to be competative.
  5. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    When you first read that statement it is hard to believe. At first glance it would seem as if you could be saying running well is not important at all - the key is that you are saying that running the ball better than the other team is not the factor that will cause you to win or lose more games in the NFL.

    So after reading what you have been saying about passing efficiency and taking the time to think about it - you can actually see this played out in the games.

    The Houston - Bengals playoff game from last week is a great example.

    Houston was killing the bengals defense with the run, they were just taking it to them but Shaub was playing pretty poorly and they only has 6 points from 2 FG's, the Shaub throws the pick 6 and even though Houston run game was about as good as any team could hope for they were down 7-6 because their pass game was awful.

    Now, Houston did win the game. But in the 2nd half Shaub did play better and the Cincinatti passing game was horrific, so houston won in the end because their passing efficiency was better than the bengals.

    But to someone who watched the game without even looking at passing efficiency, it may appear that Houston won because they were the bettter running team - which they were....

    But when you decide to accept that there may be some truth to this passing efficiency as being able to determine the final outcome of a game you watch the game a little differently, focus on different things.

    Just looking at the 1st half and the texans being down 7-6 at one point after utterly dominating the opponent with the run - you can see that passing efficiency can easily overcome losing the battle of running the ball, but running well cannot usually overcome losing the battle of passing efficiency.
  6. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    But the key point is how many touchdowns you score on those possessions, not how many rushing attempts it takes to score. Going 6-for-18 and going 6-for-6 result in the same number of touchdowns.

    Sure, you can be unrealistic and claim that anything is the difference between winning and losing. If we had returned every kickoff for a touchdown, we would have finished 16-0. If we had returned every punt for a touchdown, we would have finished 16-0. If we had completed every pass for a touchdown, we would have finished 16-0. If we had sacked the quarterback every time he dropped back, we would have finished 16-0. If we had intercepted every pass and returned it for a touchdown, we would have finished 16-0.

    At some point, though, you have to be realistic about things. As I mentioned, there were only four possessions all season when we ran the ball inside the 10 and did not score a touchdown. On all four of those runs, the chances of scoring a TD on those runs were about 12 percent or less. If you're going to be realistic, then not scoring touchdowns on those four runs should not be a big concern.

    I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that. I would much rather focus on improving things that will help us win games.

    A "game manager" QB does not benefit (to any significant degree) from how well his team runs the ball. Whether it runs the ball well or runs the ball poorly is not sure to affect his performance one way or the other. There's no real correlation between the two, nor is there a correlation between running the ball well and winning.
  7. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    I *am* saying that running well is not very important, if at all, and the second part of your statement is one reason why. The other is that running it well does not help you pass it well, to any significant degree.
  8. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    Yes, i understand that we have seen statistically that running well does not help you pass well. What i was trying to say is that it is difficult for many people to accept the concept that running well does not correlate to winning. That was difficult for me to accept, then i started looking at the game differently.

    And for clarification i was thinking that you still agree that it is still important to run the ball at times - because there are those who say "why run it at all".

    Maybe i should not have said "running well" because i am agreeing with your position, but that could have been misunderstood by my wording.

    I think it is important to be able to run in short yardage situations and to keep the defense honest, and i was under the impression that you did agree with that too.

    The point of my post was to use the houston-cincinnati game as an example to support the idea that passing efficiency determines the outcome of games and not running the ball. Even though at first glance, it looks like houston was running well and that they won the game because of the run - Houston didnt have too many memorable big passing plays, so after watching that game one would assume that houston won because the established the run.

    But a closer look shows...

    1) Shaub did not pass well at all in the first half, even though they were running the ball well - it did not help him at passing.

    2) If anything, Houston pass defense won the game by rendering the bengals passing offense to be less efficient that houstons pass ofense. Which, if i have been understanding you, is the whole point of what you are saying about ANYPA.

    My point was for posters that are having difficulty with your statements is that it can look like houston won because of the run, but in reality they won because their pass defense caused the bengals to be less passing efficient than Shaub was. To most viewers it looks like Houston won because of the run because Houstons passing game was nothing spectacular - so it is easy to assume that the run game won it for them. But really they won because their passing game even though not very good was still better than the bengals, so they won the game.

    Sorry if there was confusion from my statements.
  9. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    We were 19th in red zone TD percentage, and 20th the year before.

    In total touchdowns, we were 6th in passing TD, and 5th the year before. We were 27th in rushing TD, and 30th the year before.

    Of course the key point is how many TD you score. How would scoring more rushing TD *not* help us win games?

    The Vikings made the playoffs with the 22nd ranked pass offense and the 25th ranked pass defense. How was running well *not* important?

    In week 17, the Skins took a 66.9 rating by their QB with no interceptions and turned it into 361 yards of offense. How did they do it with no help from the running game?

    Yesterday, Rodgers had a 91.5 rating, to Kaepernick's 91.2. How was passing the story of that game?
  10. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    First of all, the key is how many points you score, not how many touchdowns. And it does not matter how you score.

    The team that passed the ball better in the Vikings' games went 12-5. The team that ran the ball better went 9-8. Even for the team with perhaps the greatest disparity between rushing success and passing success, the correlations are almost exactly as would be expected.

    What are you talking about? I've never said that running the ball doesn't gain yards. It's just that how well you run it doesn't really help decide whether you win or lose.

    The 49ers had a higher ANYPA, 6.438 to 5.175.

    In case you haven't noticed, the team that has passed the ball better is 6-0 during the playoffs.
  11. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    It makes no difference whether the key is how many points you score, or how many touchdowns. If you prefer the question put a different way, how would scoring more rushing TD *not* cause us to score more points, then?

    And it seems misleading to read "the team that passed the ball better" in the Vikings' games went 12-5. Why not say how many of those 5 were wins by the Vikings?

    You avoid any acknowledgment of the importance of the running game in games where running clearly made a difference. Two more examples...

    Then let me explain. Washington's average starting field position in that game was their own 29-yard line. If the Skins don't run the ball well, how do they turn 87 yards worth of passing into 4 TD?

    You're dividing by attempts and sacks with that stat, and the Packers had 30 dropbacks in the 2nd half when they were in catch-up mode, thanks mostly to the 9ers' 172 yards rushing in the 1st half.

    Which team had the higher ANYPA in the 1st half? Green Bay 4.600 to 3.792. Which team had the 1st half lead? The team that trailed in ANYPA by .808 -- the 49ers.

    In fact, by the time Kaepernick went 56 yards around right end to put his team up for good with 7:16 left in the 3rd quarter, his ANYPA had fallen to almost a full point below Rodgers (4.519 to 5.470).

    The 9ers then used the rest of the game to gain their edge in ANYPA with a grand total of 4 more pass attempts, compared to the Packers' 23.
  12. Bigdog24

    Bigdog24 Well-Known Member

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    I see you point but I also think teams that WIN playoff games run the ball and are good at it.

    Houston vs Cincy: Foster 32att for 140yds

    Baltimore vs Indy: Peirce 13att for 103yds Rice 15att for 68yds
    Baltimore vs Den: Rice 30 att for 131yds

    Seattle vs Wash: Lynch 20att for 132yds
    Atlanta vs Seattle Turner 20att for 98yds

    Greenbay is the only team to win a playoff game without a running game. but that is no surprise to anyone.

    SF vs Greenbay: Gore 23 att for 119yards

    Having a solid running game make a BIG difference in between Winning and going home......
  13. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    OK, if net yards per pass play correlate across the board, then a teams complete season should be a sufficient sample size to correlate.

    In looking at the Cowboys 2012 season, I only see correlation at the extreme ends of the Net Yards Per Pass Play Difference.

    If I compared the Net Yards Per Pass Play Difference between the Cowboys and their opponents for the 2012 season, I get the following:
    (note: I refer to it as Net Passing Average)

  14. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    I get a better correlation looking at the Cowboys rushing attempts per game.

    In 2012, the Cowboys lost all games when their rushing attempts per game were less than 90% of the season average.

    They lost 1 game when their rushing attempts were between 90% and 100% of the season average. They had a -3 Interception Ratio in that game.

    They lost 1 game when their rushing attempts were over 100% of the season average. The final score of that game was 31-29. The opponent had a Special Teams touchdown. Without the ST touchdown, the score would have been 24-29 in the Cowboys favor.

  15. CowboyRoy

    CowboyRoy Benched

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    You are the latest poster to waste your time with this guy. He doesnt understand football.
  16. CowboyRoy

    CowboyRoy Benched

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    What you have to understand, is that you are talking to a guy that doesnt think running the football is important. He thinks every team should pass on every down, because its a passing league. He still hasnt figured out that not every team can have Tom Brady at QB.

    This team was #3 in the NFL in passing and #31 in the NFL in rushing and he thinks the #1 priority in the offseason should be improving the passing game.
  17. CowboyRoy

    CowboyRoy Benched

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    Maybe you should start your own football league. One that doesnt allow running. LOL

    What are all these dumb NFL coaches doing in the NFL running the football? Dont they know running the football well isnt important? LOL

    Everyone has it all wrong. Just ask you. Bwaaaaa!!!!!
  18. CowboyRoy

    CowboyRoy Benched

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    " Its not about TD's, its about how many points you score"?

    One of your funnier quotes. Scoring is important, but scoring TD's isnt important. LOL
  19. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Nice to have you back and fundamentally badly misunderstanding even the basics of what's being discussed in the thread.
  20. AdamJT13

    AdamJT13 Salary Cap Analyst

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    Scoring four rushing TDs instead of four passing TDs doesn't change the number of points you've scored.

    What you are trying to do is just create more touchdowns out of nowhere, which is pointless. You could do that with passing TDs, special teams TDs and defensive TDs, too.

    Four of the wins were by the Vikings. In one of those, they also rushed the ball worse but won because they returned one interception for a TD and another to the 5-yard line to set up a TD.

    No, I've said there are some games when running better than your opponent might make a difference. But it is a small percentage of the time. If you look at the facts, you have about the same chance of winning whether you run better than your opponent or not. But whether you pass better than your opponent makes a HUGE difference in your chances of winning.

    Again, you're trying to simply add or detract what happened instead of changing what happened. If the Skins had not run as well, they probably would have had to pass more -- and likely would have had more yards passing.

    First of all, a single game -- or part of a game -- won't always follow the correlations. So finding an example of part of a game when the team with the lower ANYPA was leading doesn't prove anything -- there are plenty of them. The correlations are not based on a few games or parts of games, they're based on thousands of games over many years.

    Secondly, the 49ers led at halftime partly because of a muffed punt that gave them the ball inside the 10. Take away that fumble, which had nothing to do with either running or passing, and the Packers probably would have been ahead at halftime, 21-17.

    Finally, the entire game counts. If Rodgers had shredded the 49ers like Flacco shredded the Broncos on all of those attempts late in the game, he might have been able to rally them to victory. Instead, he averaged only 4.6 yards per attempt and ended two drives with incomplete passes. Meanwhile, Kaepernick went 4-for-4 for 91 yards (plus a defensive holding for a first down on another attempt), extending drives that led to touchdowns. Those differences turned a close game into a blowout.

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