Running the Numbers: Importance of Passing
I just published an article at the team site detailing the importance of a strong passing game in the NFL. The stats I collected were some of the most stunning I’ve analyzed this year. To give you a preview, check out some of these numbers:
- When the Cowboys pass the ball over 57% of the time in a game, they have a .276 winning percentage over the last four seasons.
- When they pass the ball under 57% of the time, they have a winning percentage of .743 over that time.
Looks like pretty good evidence that running the football is important huh? Not so fast.
- The team actually wins over 63% of games when they pass the ball over 57% of the time in the first three quarters.
- They have a .419 winning percentage when they pass the ball under 57% of the time in the first three quarters.
For the past three years, you’ve heard me argue the importance of rushing (at least in terms of attempts) is minimal. Numbers like these back me up. Teams pass the football effectively to get a lead, then run it to milk away the clock. Yes, running the football can have effects that show up in passing statistics, but it is running efficiently, not in abundance, that matters.