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  1. #49
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    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets



    Quote Originally Posted by Carey View Post
    Agreed, my view wouldnt change the number of dropbacks and if so very minimal. I think part of it in the simpliest terms, and maybe you could find this info or lead me in the direction on this....Rice had 104 targets last year, i wonder how many of those were by design/a few yards away from the LOS compared to how many were dump offs. If those targets go down and are distributed to the Pitta's, Jones's, Doss's and Dickson's of the team i think that will tell us Cam has sat down and broke down whats going wrong in those situations specifically and figured out what guys to put in what spots to try to minimize those outcomes. Obviously not nearly that simple and only part of the process, but a thought.
    Good point. There was a four game stretch last season where Flacco actually led the NFL in passing attempts, and it wasn't even close. Yet the results were mixed at best. I think a good passing offense starts with the concept and play design. It doesn't matter if you have Jerry Rice and Randy Moss if you run plays with two wideouts and a limited route tree.




  2. #50

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    You act like there's some magic number of passes that it takes to develop your passing offense. Again, we were a 12-4 team that took 11 of those 12 wins as leads into the fourth quarter. The Ravens passed the ball 544 times plus took 33 sacks and ran the ball 459 times. In other words, they're dropping back to pass 55.6% of the time. It's not just about their current plan resulting in wins. Their current plan should also be developing the passing game.

    How exactly would you attempt to change those ratios in sake of developing the passing game, and how much would it take to be acceptable to develop the passing game? Because I'm just not seeing it. Let's contrast with the Green Bay Packers, who I think we can all agree has an extremely robust passing game. GB dropped back (att+sack) 593 times and ran 395 times, or 60.0% drop-backs. If we held that ratio, it would have meant an additional 47 passing plays (removing those 47 from run plays). Are you contending that getting those additional 47 passing plays would really have made a big difference in how well our passing game developed? Because I don't really see how, if we dropped back to pass 577 times already last year, how an additional 47 would really have helped.

    And it almost certainly would have hurt us from the standpoint of how much we'd have won. So are you contending that it would have been better for us to go 10-6 and lost on the road in the first round of the playoffs in order to get those extra 47 drop-backs in?

    If that's your contention, I totally disagree. If it's not, then I don't understand what your claim is.

    - C -
    For one thing, I would try to pass on first and second down a little more. Second, I wouldn't be as quick to revert to the rush offense, the minute that Flacco throws an interception. It doesn't have to be more passes, but the rhythm needs to be better. If you are going to develop the passing offense, it can't constantly be the last option. In Green Bay, when Rodgers first started, they didn't take the ball out of his hands after every little mistake. The result was a lot of turnovers, during his first year starting. However, I think being able to go through that process made him a better QB today. I think this somewhat applies to the WRs as well. How are you going to develop them if you make them the last option, don't do more to help them get open, then blame them for poor execution?

    I mean, you can look at ratios and all, and that's cool, but that doesn't explain the game situations through which the ratios were formed.
    Last edited by The Excellector; 07-03-2012 at 02:19 PM.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  3. #51

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    For one thing, I would try to pass on first and second down a little more. Second, I wouldn't be as quick to revert to the rush offense, the minute that Flacco throws an interception. It doesn't have to be more passes, but the rhythm needs to be better. If you are going to develop the passing offense, it can't constantly be the last option. In Green Bay, when Rodgers first started, they didn't take the ball out of his hands after every little mistake. The result was a lot of turnovers, during his first year starting. However, I think being able to go through that process made him a better QB today. I think this somewhat applies to the WRs as well. How are you going to develop them if you make them the last option, don't do more to help them get open, then blame them for poor execution?
    Well aren't you lucky? I just happen to have all that data for you...

    Let's break this down a bit more. I'm stripping out everything except drop-backs and rushes, which include removal of plays negated by penalties as well as spikes.

    I would try to pass on first and second down a little more.

    By down (1st, 2nd, 3rd), the % of drop-backs:
    Ravens - 48.5%, 56.4%, 79.1%
    Packers - 54.8%, 62.4%, 81.8%
    League avg - 49.4%, 57.3%, 79.6%
    So, pretty damned close to league avg, and not all that far off GB. If we bumped up our 1st and 2nd down percentages to equal GB's, it would have resulted in 29 more passes on 1st down (out of 464 plays) and 21.5 more on 2nd down (out of 358 plays).

    Second, I wouldn't be as quick to revert to the rush offense, the minute that Flacco throws an interception.

    This is an awfully qualitative argument, but I'll give it a shot. I will define your subjective criteria as "What % of drop-back plays were run a) the play after Flacco threw an INT and b) for the ten plays after Flacco threw an INT?" Flacco threw 12 INTs last year, not hard to go through from the data I've got (thankfully you didn't ask me to do Fitzpatrick). There's one exception to my criteria. One of Flacco's INTs was deep in the 4th quarter of a Browns game, where he did not get ten plays after his INT. His plays were 2/4 drop-backs, then three straight Rice rushes to get a 1st down, then three straight Flacco kneels. Those plays are excluded from this data set. Keeping in mind we dropped back on about 57% of our total plays this year...

    a) On 6 of 11 of Flacco's first snaps after the INT, Flacco dropped back (54.5%).
    b) Counting 10 plays after a Flacco INT, i.e. over 110 plays, Flacco dropped back on 63.6% of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    I mean, you can look at ratios and all, and that's cool, but that doesn't explain the game situations through which the ratios were formed.
    And so I'll just say that I'm happy to look at any ratio for which you would like me to, and for which I have data. I don't have full charting data, so don't ask me how many times Flacco dropped back when we were in an I-formation or when the defense had 5 DBs on the field or whatever like that. But you wanna know how often we dropped back on 3rd and short (3 yds or less), I'm happy to tell you we did that 34 out of 67 times.

    However, it goes back to exactly what I was talking about earlier. People tend to see something, form an opinion about it, and then simply decide that their opinion applies to the entirety of the data without bothering to look at (or to ask about, if they don't have access to it) what the data shows. You can feel free to make assumptions all you want about the Ravens reverting to a run first offense when Flacco throws an INT. You can feel free to assume that despite the fact that the Ravens drop back to pass > 55% of the time, that they still mostly run on first and second down.

    But objectively, they simply don't follow the patterns you're claiming they do. Which gets back to my original point...
    1) If teams could so easily predict what the Ravens would do, they did a poor job stopping it and therefore could not run one simple scheme to stop what they were doing offensively.
    2) If the Ravens were not so awesome as to be able to crush the perfect defense designed to stop their ridiculously predictable offense, it means that their offense wasn't actually nearly as predictable as many here claim it to be, and thus wasn't so simple to stop as to go into a base defense to shut it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    It would be interesting to see if there was a site that detailed information on passing stats. I don't chart games but it would seem to me that Flacco was throwing in 2nd and 3rd and long situations quite often.
    Since I compiled the data to do this post, I decided to look at this too. "And long" tends to be pretty subjective, but just for this post's sake I'm going to claim it as > 7 yards to go (note: that is greater than, NOT greater than or equal to).

    2nd and long: Drop-backs on 129/197 plays, 65.5% ... GB avg 71.4% ... league avg 65.5%
    3rd and long: Drop-backs on 90/100 plays, 90% ... GB avg 87.3% ... league avg 87.7%

    The league avg number is literally the exact same % out to five decimals. I had to double-check that I didn't accidentally filter to the Ravens again when I saw it. But generally it doesn't look like we're passing much more in "and long" situations than we should be.

    - C -
    Last edited by psuasskicker; 07-03-2012 at 10:37 PM.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    www.oblongspheroid.com

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    Twitter: oblong_spheroid




  4. #52

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Being close to a league average, which is here or there, isn't automatically relevant when you are trying to bring to life a passing offense that's been dead for years.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  5. #53

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    So then you're going to need to explain exactly how it is you propose an additional 50 passing plays on first and second down, out of 822 plays, would have made the difference.

    - C -
    ---------------------------------------------------

    www.oblongspheroid.com

    A blog about any and everything football.

    Twitter: oblong_spheroid




  6. #54

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    Well aren't you lucky? I just happen to have all that data for you...

    Let's break this down a bit more. I'm stripping out everything except drop-backs and rushes, which include removal of plays negated by penalties as well as spikes.

    I would try to pass on first and second down a little more.

    By down (1st, 2nd, 3rd), the % of drop-backs:
    Ravens - 48.5%, 56.4%, 79.1%
    Packers - 54.8%, 62.4%, 81.8%
    League avg - 49.4%, 57.3%, 79.6%
    So, pretty damned close to league avg, and not all that far off GB. If we bumped up our 1st and 2nd down percentages to equal GB's, it would have resulted in 29 more passes on 1st down (out of 464 plays) and 21.5 more on 2nd down (out of 358 plays).

    Second, I wouldn't be as quick to revert to the rush offense, the minute that Flacco throws an interception.

    This is an awfully qualitative argument, but I'll give it a shot. I will define your subjective criteria as "What % of drop-back plays were run a) the play after Flacco threw an INT and b) for the ten plays after Flacco threw an INT?" Flacco threw 12 INTs last year, not hard to go through from the data I've got (thankfully you didn't ask me to do Fitzpatrick). There's one exception to my criteria. One of Flacco's INTs was deep in the 4th quarter of a Browns game, where he did not get ten plays after his INT. His plays were 2/4 drop-backs, then three straight Rice rushes to get a 1st down, then three straight Flacco kneels. Those plays are excluded from this data set. Keeping in mind we dropped back on about 57% of our total plays this year...

    a) On 6 of 11 of Flacco's first snaps after the INT, Flacco dropped back (54.5%).
    b) Counting 10 plays after a Flacco INT, i.e. over 110 plays, Flacco dropped back on 63.6% of them.



    And so I'll just say that I'm happy to look at any ratio for which you would like me to, and for which I have data. I don't have full charting data, so don't ask me how many times Flacco dropped back when we were in an I-formation or when the defense had 5 DBs on the field or whatever like that. But you wanna know how often we dropped back on 3rd and short (3 yds or less), I'm happy to tell you we did that 34 out of 67 times.

    However, it goes back to exactly what I was talking about earlier. People tend to see something, form an opinion about it, and then simply decide that their opinion applies to the entirety of the data without bothering to look at (or to ask about, if they don't have access to it) what the data shows. You can feel free to make assumptions all you want about the Ravens reverting to a run first offense when Flacco throws an INT. You can feel free to assume that despite the fact that the Ravens drop back to pass > 55% of the time, that they still mostly run on first and second down.

    But objectively, they simply don't follow the patterns you're claiming they do. Which gets back to my original point...
    1) If teams could so easily predict what the Ravens would do, they did a poor job stopping it and therefore could not run one simple scheme to stop what they were doing offensively.
    2) If the Ravens were not so awesome as to be able to crush the perfect defense designed to stop their ridiculously predictable offense, it means that their offense wasn't actually nearly as predictable as many here claim it to be, and thus wasn't so simple to stop as to go into a base defense to shut it down.



    Since I compiled the data to do this post, I decided to look at this too. "And long" tends to be pretty subjective, but just for this post's sake I'm going to claim it as > 7 yards to go (note: that is greater than, NOT greater than or equal to).

    2nd and long: Drop-backs on 129/197 plays, 65.5% ... GB avg 71.4% ... league avg 65.5%
    3rd and long: Drop-backs on 90/100 plays, 90% ... GB avg 87.3% ... league avg 87.7%

    The league avg number is literally the exact same % out to five decimals. I had to double-check that I didn't accidentally filter to the Ravens again when I saw it. But generally it doesn't look like we're passing much more in "and long" situations than we should be.

    - C -
    Looking for a clarification on what 90/100 stands for? I am guessing that you are saying that the Ravens had 100 hundred drop backs in 3rd and long?

    I would be interested in seeing where the 100 drop backs compare to other teams. Do the Ravens find themselves in third and long more often or about average not necessarily play selection once they get there.

    I don't feel that the Ravens need to increase their passing attempts. It seems like the Ravens run play action on first down and if Tsmith is not open deep the play is a bust resulting in 2nd and ten. I don't go back and watch games but it really seems like the passing game struggles out of the two back formation usually resulting in the dump off to Rice or an incomplete to a covered receiver.

    It would seem that being one of the few teams running an offense that ulitilizes a fullback more often than not that they should find themselves in fewer 2nd and 3rd down and longs. If you are using a run blocking fullback you should rarely if ever get stopped for less than 3 yards. Don't have the stats but from watching the games it would seem that they are in those situations more often than they should.

    I realize that the Ravens are a very good wr away from having the necessary weapons to open it up. The Ravens seem content to have an average to slightly above average offense that is conservative. That coupled with the defense gives the Ravens the edge in most games and a chance to beat any team. Last year seemed to be the perfect opportunity to ride that to a SB.




  7. #55

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    So then you're going to need to explain exactly how it is you propose an additional 50 passing plays on first and second down, out of 822 plays, would have made the difference.

    - C -
    50 pass plays is a lot when spread over 16 games.

    That's at least three pass plays per game that can effect drives and you only get, but so many drives in a game. That still doesn't even touch the surface of the game situations themselves. For example, how long it took the Ravens to actually throw on first down against the Patriots, even though Ray Rice was going nowhere and even though Vince Wilfork was keying in on the run plays.
    Last edited by The Excellector; 07-05-2012 at 10:13 AM.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  8. #56

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    50 pass plays is a lot when spread over 16 games.

    That's at least three pass plays per game that can effect drives and you only get, but so many drives in a game. That still doesn't even touch the surface of the game situations themselves. For example, how long it took the Ravens to actually throw on first down against the Patriots, even though Ray Rice was going nowhere and even though Vince Wilfork was keying in on the run plays.
    It took them 3 drives of 3-out. So they ran on 1st down to start those 3 drives. Then they hit a PA bootleg to Torry Smith for 42 yards on 1st down for their 4th drive. Maybe Cam was just fumbling around and got lucky. OR Maybe he set up the Pats by showing a tendency and then breaking it for a HUGE play that got the Ravens their first points of the game. And that was out of a Power I Formation with Leach in As a Decoy.

    That last point is the aspect that I think gets lost if you just focus on the fact that, 80% of the time the Ravens ran it, they ran it out of 2 backs. For me, that doesn't mean they are predictable. Because, although I don't have the numbers, I am sure that most of the Ravens big pass plays came on PA out of a 2 Back Set. The formation is a huge indicator of Run, that opposing teams have to honor it, and Cam puts the occasional change-up on to the tune of a deep ball. It's the definition of unpredictable because it is infrequent and can be devastating in terms of yardage.

    Couple more examples...
    Long PI call against San Francisco on Torrey--Power I Formation PA Pass = 3 points
    Bomb against the Texans at home to Torrey--Leach in as an H-Back = 3 points
    Bootleg against Cincy at home to Boldin--PA out of the I formation = 6 points
    PA Bomb against Cincy at home to Torrey--I Formation = 6 points

    Clearly it's the Ravens bread and butter with Flacco, Rice, Leach, and now Torrey Smith. Good enough formula to get them within 1 play of the Super Bowl even if it's not "sophisticated" in today's NFL.




  9. #57

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    I would be interested in seeing where the 100 drop backs compare to other teams. Do the Ravens find themselves in third and long more often or about average not necessarily play selection once they get there.
    Don't have that number you are looking for, but the Ravens 3rd Down Conversion percentage was 42%, good for 7th in the league last year. That would seem to indicate either they are not in 3rd-and-long all that often, or Flacco is just money on 3rd and long. Guessing the former.




  10. #58

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by srobert96 View Post
    Looking for a clarification on what 90/100 stands for? I am guessing that you are saying that the Ravens had 100 hundred drop backs in 3rd and long?

    I would be interested in seeing where the 100 drop backs compare to other teams. Do the Ravens find themselves in third and long more often or about average not necessarily play selection once they get there.
    90/100 means the number of times they dropped back to pass on third and long out of all pass/rush situations. They had 100 third and long situations where they either dropped back or ran.

    I did not include:
    - Penalties (there were 7)
    - Kneels (there were 5)
    - FG attempts (there were 3)

    Excluding everything like those plays above and simply looking at the number of pass/rush attempts (which do include drop-backs where there was a sack...those are covered under pass plays, not rushes), the Ravens ran 1,064 plays and were in 3rd and long in 100 of them, or 9.4%. League totals for all teams except Baltimore... The league ran 32,518 offensive plays (pass or rush only) and 2,899 were third and long plays, or 8.9% (they passed 87.7% of those, though I may have already said that). So the Ravens were in 3rd and long a little bit more than the rest of the league, but not by much. Statistical significance of the difference is probably minimal if it's able to be considered statistically significant.

    On 3rd and long, the rest of the NFL converted (1st down or TD):
    24.6% of the passing attempts
    17.3% of the rushing attempts
    23.7% of the attempts total

    Vs. the Ravens conversion rates:
    25.6% of the passing attempts
    20% of the rushing attempts
    25% of the attempts total

    So they converted a bit better than league average despite being in 3rd and long more. That said, 100 attempts is somewhat limited in terms of sample size. Converting two fewer attempts would have resulted in being worse than league avg.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    50 pass plays is a lot when spread over 16 games.
    No it's not. And if you're arguing that they should be passing more to try to teach their players how to do it better, then you're arguing that they should be running sub-optimal plays at the expense of running more optimal plays, which means you should expect worse performance, which means fewer offensive points and likely fewer wins. This argument - that fifty passing plays would have made a substantial difference in teaching the offense how to better run passing plays when they had already run 427 passing plays in those situations, at the expense of winning games - makes literally zero sense.

    - C -
    Last edited by psuasskicker; 07-06-2012 at 08:04 PM.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    www.oblongspheroid.com

    A blog about any and everything football.

    Twitter: oblong_spheroid




  11. #59

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    90/100 means the number of times they dropped back to pass on third and long out of all pass/rush situations. They had 100 third and long situations where they either dropped back or ran.

    I did not include:
    - Penalties (there were 7)
    - Kneels (there were 5)
    - FG attempts (there were 3)

    Excluding everything like those plays above and simply looking at the number of pass/rush attempts (which do include drop-backs where there was a sack...those are covered under pass plays, not rushes), the Ravens ran 1,064 plays and were in 3rd and long in 100 of them, or 9.4%. League totals for all teams except Baltimore... The league ran 32,518 offensive plays (pass or rush only) and 2,899 were third and long plays, or 8.9% (they passed 87.7% of those, though I may have already said that). So the Ravens were in 3rd and long a little bit more than the rest of the league, but not by much. Statistical significance of the difference is probably minimal if it's able to be considered statistically significant.

    On 3rd and long, the rest of the NFL converted (1st down or TD):
    24.6% of the passing attempts
    17.3% of the rushing attempts
    23.7% of the attempts total

    Vs. the Ravens conversion rates:
    25.6% of the passing attempts
    20% of the rushing attempts
    25% of the attempts total

    So they converted a bit better than league average despite being in 3rd and long more. That said, 100 attempts is somewhat limited in terms of sample size. Converting two fewer attempts would have resulted in being worse than league avg.



    No it's not. And if you're arguing that they should be passing more to try to teach their players how to do it better, then you're arguing that they should be running sub-optimal plays at the expense of running more optimal plays, which means you should expect worse performance, which means fewer offensive points and likely fewer wins. This argument - that fifty passing plays would have made a substantial difference in teaching the offense how to better run passing plays when they had already run 427 passing plays in those situations, at the expense of winning games - makes literally zero sense.

    - C -
    Thank you for gathering these stats. Is there a site you go to for these stats?

    The stats that you posted reinforced what I recall from the season. For a team that employs mainly a two back offense predicated on running the ball I would expect them to be above average when it comes to percentage of plays being run in 3rd and long situations. With the best blocking fullback in the league I would expect them to have more positive plays on first and second down. For the commitment to the run and having the leach the offense was stopped too often on 1st and 2nd down for little or no gain.




  12. #60

    Re: Interesting article on 1 vs 2 RB sets

    Quote Originally Posted by psuasskicker View Post
    you're arguing that they should be running sub-optimal plays at the expense of running more optimal plays, which means you should expect worse performance, which means fewer offensive points and likely fewer wins.
    Well no. I think the argument is and I'm not saying this is correct, this is just what I think the theory is is that the extra investment in sub-optimal plays will result in a "teaching effect", where all pass plays become more effective as the players gain more experience executing them. So these plays that initially are sub-optimal, become less sub-optimal during the season, even eventually becoming efficient and productive.

    The theory might go further, where if you are changing the in-game run/pass ratio, then presumably you are also changing the ratio in practice. So the players are not just gaining a teaching effect from the extra 50 pass plays on game day, but also the extra emphasis in practice and extra reps, etc.

    I don't know if there's anything to that theory. But just talking about it makes me even more eager to see what this offense will be like in 2012, with all the young receivers having gotten a full offseason of work in with Flacco and the coaches. I wish Ozzie had taken the money used on Jacoby Jones, and instead put it toward another O-lineman, but oh well.




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