NFL: What Happens When Top Offenses Play Top Defenses? (Part 1 of 2)
September 14, 2011 Leave a comment
About the tables:
Compares all games, 1991-2010, where a top 3 rushing offense plays against a top 3 rushing defense. Table 1 shows the top ten rushing games for the offense and Table 2 shows the top ten rushing games for the defense.
Notables: (These facts are not on the tables, but were in my research; I couldn’t reasonably fit them on the table.)
When a top 3 rush offense plays a top 3 rushing defense, the offense has 18% fewer rushing yards than expected, on average.
In the ten best rushing games, the offensive team had a relatively diverse rushing attack (during the season, the team’s leading rusher accounted for only 48% of the total rushing yards on average, while the average of the yearly top 3 rushing teams (1991-2010) was 61%). On these same teams, the quarterback accounted for 16% of the team’s total rushing yards while the average was 10%.
In the ten worst rushing games, the offensive team had a less diverse rushing attack. The leading rusher accounted for 62% of the team’s rushing yards and the quarterback accounted for only 9% of the total rushing yards.
The statistical significance of these results was not measured, but these results do suggest that this topic might benefit from further study.