Leafing Through Pages: Analysis of Sports and Other Topics

01/04/2009

How Effective Was the Run and Shoot Compared To Conventional Offenses Afterwards?

Filed under: Pro Football — David Hunter @ 8:43 PM
Tags:
Team Years Wins Playoffs SB Pass Comp Passing Yard Per Comp PTD PINT Carries Rushing YPCarry RTD Total Y Total TD
Detroit Lions 1989 – 1991 8 1 0 241 2949 12.24 17 20 414 1970 4.76 20 4919 37
Detroit Lions 1992 – 1994 8 2 0 248 2811 11.33 18 18 413 1889 4.57 10 4700 28
Houston Oilers 1989 – 1993 10 5 0 367 4164 11.35 27 20 383 1626 4.25 13 5790 40
Houston Oilers 1994 – 1998 7 0 0 277 2987 10.78 18 15 475 1936 4.08 13 4923 31
Atlanta Falcons 1990 – 1996 6 2 0 331 3717 11.23 27 21 363 1460 4.02 7 5177 34
Atlanta Falcons 1997 – 2003 7 2 0 264 3067 11.62 20 16 440 1768 4.02 13 4835 33

The only team to eclipse the Run & Shoot in terms of offensive numbers is when Dan Reeves was head coach with the Atlanta Falcons, although he averaged only 1 win more in the same number of seasons despite a losing SB appearance (to the Denver Broncos).

What is really eye opening is the extreme decrease in offensive numbers in Detroit when Mouse Davis left, and the utter poor coaching job out of Jeff Fischer with Houston/Tennessee trying to implement a more conventional smash mouth run game with strong defense. The fact that Houston had made the playoffs 5 straight times makes the aftermath with Fischer all the more painful, in part because Pardee just as easily could have been 6-4 in 1994 if a few games broke his way.

Fact is that this offense was able to win a similar number of games in the same length of seasons as the more conventional offenses that came afterward. It was just the fear/pressure from the front office of “Super Bowl or Bust”, media scrutiny especially in Houston, and the general staunch old school attitude that led to the disappearance of such an offense.

Ironically, the “Spread” is the 2000’s equivalent of (and really an extension) of the Run and Shoot and has also come under attack at times from the media for being a fad/gimmicky offense that either won’t last long in the NFL (despite what New England has shown) or can’t win a Super Bowl because it can’t stand up in the playoffs/in cold weather when throwing the ball so often.

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