Pass Heavy Offense : What's the Story? (revised)

This past Sunday, Eli threw 45 passes.  A much higher # than we're used to.  So it got me thinking, if we're going to win enough games to make the playoffs, we’ll have to throw more than we run.  So what does the history tell us? Do we win more games when Eli throws a ton of passes? Or do we win more games when we're not relying on Eazy-E? So let’s take a look at the #’s.  I used 35 attempts as the benchmark.  Any more than 35 attempts is a lot and (after seeing the #’s) is a definitive cutoff point.

Some have pointed out that these #'s can be deceiving so I've added some extra to the bottom in hopes that it'll tell more of the story.  Please be gentle.  I know these #'s are very subjective but I thought they carried some relevance.  That's not to say the future won't be different.  But I put this together so we can discuss the history & see if it has any effect on the what to expect in the next 9 weeks.


When Eli throws ≤ 35 attempts / game*                        When Eli throws ≥ 36 attempts / game*

57.6 comp %                                                                         59.8 comp %

191.6 Ypg                                                                               287.4 Ypg

6.9 Ypa                                                                                   7.0 Ypa

1.5 TDs / g                                                                             1.6 TDs / g

0.9 INTs / g                                                                             1.4 INTs / g

82.8 QB rtg                                                                             80.1 QB rtg

55 Wins - 26 Losses (.679 win %)                                    14 Wins - 22 Losses (.389 win %)

So there you have it.  We are a better team when we don't have to rely on the pass. Clearly, we’ve been a run first team so that's helped.  And when we do have a lead, we don’t need to pass; which means we win more games (As proven by the new stats below).  But that doesn’t mean Eli has played poorly.  Other than the INT %, he’s played as good or better when passing 35 times or more.  The biggest difference is W/L %.  This season we’re 2-1 when attempting 36 or more passes & 3-1 when not.  Although, only once this season have we thrown less than 30 times (23 attempts vs the Eagles).  And while these are pretty interesting #’s, they don’t really tell us how the remainder of the season will play out. 

Now we have to ask ourselves a new question.  Can we win by passing when the weather changes? So I decided I’d break the seasons in half (1st 8 games vs 2nd 8 games).  I included the postseason too, so let’s see what we come up with. 

Games 1-8 and ≤ 35 attempts / game                                          Games 1-8 and ≥ 36 attempts / game

58.2 comp %                                                                                        63.3 comp %

206 Ypg                                                                                                 304.4 Ypg

7.3 Ypa                                                                                                  7.5 Ypa

1.7 TDs / g                                                                                            2TDs / g

0.8 INTs / g                                                                                           1.4 INTs / g

89.1 QB rtg                                                                                            88.0 QB rtg

32 Wins – 7 Losses (.821 win %)                                                    9 Wins – 7 Losses (.563 win %)


Games 9-16* and ≤ 35 attempts / game                                  Games 9-16* and ≥ 36 attempts / game

57 comp %                                                                                       57.1 comp %

178.3 Ypg                                                                                         273.9 Ypg

6.6 Ypa                                                                                              6.6 Ypa

1.3 TDs / g                                                                                        1.3 TDs / g

1.1 INTs / g                                                                                       1.5 INTs / g

76.8 QB rtg                                                                                       73.9 QB rtg

23 wins – 19 losses (.548 win %)                                              5 Wins – 15 Losses (.250 win %)

So that should tell you the story of our past.  If we have to pass more than 35 times after game 8, we have not been successful.  Considering the level of competition, we have quite a tough road ahead of us.  But let’s remember that nothing is set in stone & anything can happen.  However, I’m upset at myself for pointing out such miserable statistics and I hope they prove me wrong.          (*includes postseason)

Now on to the new stuff.  It's been pointed out that total attempts doesn't really tell you much.  We may have been forced to pass which would deflate the #'s, so I decided to break it down into a more relevant metric.  I compared our average pass attempts vs our average run attempts.  Historically, we've been pretty balanced offensively, passing 52.8% of the time over the last 117 games (which is every game Eli Manning has been our starting QB including playoffs). Over that time, we've averaged 131.9 rushing ypg which has allowed us to be balanced. However, due to the lack of run support, which is now down 46.3yards to 85.6ypg, we've been forced into passing 56.2% of the time.  I'm sure KG & TC would love for us to be more balanced, but that may not be possible.  So I've broken down our performances based on a 55% pass rating cutoff.  That should offset the coaches push to make the run game relevant.  (In contrast, the rest of the league throws 56.5% of the time so we're still under the average.  & Just for comparison purposes, SF throws the least at 46.4% & Sea throws the most at 63.6%.  NE is at 60.9%, Dal is 60.8%, Was at 59.2%, & Phi at  52.9% )

When we look back, we've gone 55% passing or higher in 46 games with an awful win % of .261 (12W-34L).  Of those 46 games, 8 times we had the lead going into the 4th qtr and still lost 3 of them.  If we trailed by 2 scores & passed more, (19 games), we only won 3 of those games.  Conversely, if we trailed by 9+ points & passed less than 55%, we ended up winning 2 of the 7 times that happened.  I used 9 points going into the 4th quarter b/c it's at least two trips downfield & just enough where most teams will lean more heavily on the pass to make up the difference.

If we compare that to a more balanced attack, our winning % is an incredible .803 (57W-14L), a significant difference.  In 3 games this season, we passed less than 55%, & all 3 times we won the game.  In the past 71 games that we passed less often, we had the lead in 49 of those & won 46.  So let's take a look at these #'s in a more structured way & see if they start to make sense. & I apologize in advance for having no idea how to insert picks or charts. 


≥55 % passing

19 games trailing by 9+ pts going into the 4th qtr (3W - 16L = .158)
  • -Rushing / game _ 20.2att - 81.2yds - 0.4TDs - 4.0ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 37.1att - 57.5comp% - 249.2yds - 1.4TDs - 1.6INTs - 71.8QBrtg - 6.5yp
18 games tied or trailing ≤8 pts going into the 4th qtr (4W - 14L = .222)
  • -Rushing / game _ 23.3att - 101.1yds - 0.6TDs - 4.3ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 38att - 56.5comp% - 262.1yds - 1.2TDs - 1.3INTs - 73.8QBrtg - 6.9ypa
9 games with a lead going into the 4th qtr (6W - 3L = .667)
  • -Rushing / game _ 26att - 103.8yds - 0.7TDs - 4.0ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 37.4att - 65.2comp% - 263yds - 2.4TDs - 1.1INTs - 94.9QBrtg - 7.0ypa

≤55% passing

7 games trailing by 9+ points going into the 4th qtr (2W - 5L = .286)
  • -Rushing / game _ 28.1att - 128.1yds - 0.7TDs - 4.6ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 26.1att - 48.8comp% - 151.1yds - 1.3TDs - 1.6INTs - 58.3QBrtg - 5.6yoa
15 games tied or trailing ≤8 pts going into the 4th qtr
  • -Rushing / game _ 30.7att - 148.1yds - 1.0TDs - 4.8ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 27.5att - 60.1comp% - 193yds - 1.4TDs - 0.9INTs - 85.2QBrtg - 7.2ypa
49 games with a lead going into the 4th qtr (46W - 3L = .939)
  • -Rushing / game _ 34att - 157.1yds - 1.3TDs - 4.6ypc
  • -Passing / game _ 29.1att - 58.6comp% - 206.1yds - 1.6TDs - 0.7INTs - 88.9QBrtg - 7.2ypa 

In conclusion, the one thing we can say with certainty is that we have been much more successful in the past when we can get the lead & run the ball.  That hasn't been the case so far this season, but we still have 9 games to go and anything can happen (like learning how to run block).  IMO it's been a lack of effort more than anything else & That can be changed.  The linemen just need to find some motivation & run with it (pun intended).  The other stat of interest is when we do pass more than 55%, we've been averaging roughly 37 pass attempts so my earlier assumption was pretty close.

So let's hear what you guys think.  And remember, I know this is very subjective & flawed but they're just a bunch of #'s packaged a different way so we can discuss how they may effect the rest of our season. 

FanPosts are written by community members. This is simply a way for community members to express opinions too long to be contained in a comment.

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