Robert Griffin III Fell Victim Of The Most Popular Wrong Football Take Ever
It's really obvious what's wrong with this logic, but somehow every year numerous analysts can't quite seem to... analyze it. It happens every year numerous times. The fact is that leading teams will obviously run the ball more later in the game in order to milk the clock and protect their lead. But that doesn't mean that rushing was how they got their lead in the first place! Sticking to a run/pass ratio you started the game with once a team is losing isn't some magical formula.
Show you what I mean. Using the last five years of NFL playoffs data, I crunched the numbers on rush percentage for winning and losing teams grouped into various leads and deficits.
Min 50 plays per grouping
This boring ass dot graph reveals a few key points:
1. Teams that end up winning playoff games DO NOT stick with their normal rush ratio when losing by 1-7 points. They dial back the rush even more losing by 8-14. So it's pretty sus to look at losing teams who rush less and say it's because they didn't run more.
2. When the game is tied, there is quite literally no difference in the amount of runs vs passes for winning and losing teams as demonstrated by the solar eclipse of the two dots in the middle of the graph
3. As teams take greater and greater leads (mini-whomping and greater means leading by 15 points or more) they run the fuck out of the ball to milk the game thus making it seem like that was how they won (this is wrong, dumb, and stupid for anyone to think unless they just had a child in the last 11 days)
4. Losing teams that lead by 1-7 and 8-14 points rush more than winning teams that trail by those same margins
This isn't to say running the hell out of the ball can't be a viable gameplan. The 49ers look to do just that and I think they even take the NFC crown and head to Glendale, Arizona. But this boomer ass general take that you have to "stick with the run" is clearly wrong when history shows us otherwise. And if we want to cherry-pick some anecdotes like Griffin did with just Wild Card Weekend of just 2021 then I'll raise him an anecdote of my own. The Chicago Bears led the entire NFL in rush percentage this year and pretty much followed this old fogie gameplan through and through even when losing. Yeah, they finished in 32nd place.
PS. Robert - Get some rest my man. Also, l hope your baby was considerate enough to be born before midnight for that 2022 tax credit.