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Post Can a balanced offense be a mirage?

Monday June 29, 2009

Matt Hinton adds a few thoughts to the SEC’s run-pass balance discussion and looks at whether the pass has overtaken the run at the national level. He touches on a fundamental point – how a game develops affects a team’s run vs. pass decisions later in the game.

What would be illustrative is to look at when teams run. If you build a first half lead through the air and then seal the game by running the entire second half, your offense will look balanced (or at least more balanced than it looked at halftime). Was it? If you had a 1,000-yard back who put up most of his yards in the second halves of blowout wins, would it make you think differently about the player? Of course not all successful teams can or do skew rushing numbers this way – some just don’t have the running game, and others keep the foot on the pedal until the scoreboard need an additional column.

On the other hand, Hinton notes, “passing is a result of losing.” If you find yourself behind often, it makes sense that you’re going to be forced to the air even if you might consider yourself balanced or even a run-first team.

Boxscores-by-half would be really useful for topics like this, but, sadly, that’s an idea that has never taken off.

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