"Pass, Run, Run" is the Most Successful Sequence in the Modern NFL

By 11W Staff on January 12, 2019 at 11:18 am
Dec 17, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs after the catch against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
® Jim Dedmon | USAT Sports

The Reverse-Earle Bruce is getting it done on Sundays.

FiveThirtyEight examined every NFL play from the past decade and compared the permutations out of rushing or passing, incorporating expected points and success rate. After calculating 1st down, they looked at 2nd down, then 3rd down - keeping the analysis to those three offensive opportunities.

Here are the results:

For those of you scoring at home: 1) Pass Run Run 2) Pass Pass Run 3) Run Pass Run.

Old school coaches can take solace in knowing their hunches were proven correct; one-dimensional teams that only whip the ball had the lowest success rate, while RTDB offenses finished fourth among the permutations, albeit at a distance.

However, Run Run Pass (cough PUNT cough) is not the most efficient strategy. Loosening up defenses to pound the rock works. Film at 11.

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