Leafing Through Pages: Analysis of Sports and Other Topics


The Pass vs. The Run and Wins In the NFL

A thought popped into my head when thinking about the fact that teams winning a ballgame will “run out” the clock with a heavy run game because they want to ensure the victory. I noticed the Patriots are very well known for going with short passes, even with an underrated run game, and started wondering how a winning record correlates to pass to run ratio.

NFL Year Teams W/Winning Record Teams W/Greater Pass Ratio Teams W/Greater Run Ratio
2008 16 10 6
2007 13 9 4
2006 12 8 4
2005 17 8 9
2004 13 5 7
2003 14 8 6
2002 16 13 3
7 101 61 39

It’s interesting to note that after the extremity of 2002, the ratios slowly balanced back to favor the run until 2005 when the ratio shifted back to the passing game (in part due to the great teams having guys like Brady, Manning, Brees, etc.) Also the number of teams with winning records tends to consistently be between 12-16 teams over the past 7 years and the 2009 season should be within that window as well.


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