Let's start there. Has the pass first offense made a difference? The short answer is a resounding "yes." Check out these stats in our last three games compared to our averages in the first eight:
- Averaging 5 pts/game more on offense and allowing nearly 4 pts/game less. That's nearly 9 pts a game in the plus column.
- We are rushing ~1 fewer times/game, but gaining ~4 yards more on the ground and almost a half-yard per carry more. A half yard! Our average leading rusher is gaining ~84 yards/game, which is 19 more before. And we have gotten a rushing TD in each of the last three games after getting only two in the previous eight. Can you say pass setting up the run?
- Opposing teams are running less against us and gaining fewer yards. Maybe the faster pace is discouraging the run?
- We are--not surprisingly--averaging a bunch more passing yards (~27 more/game), with only a slight hit to our YPA (-0.24).
- Opposing teams passing games are falling like a rock! They are averaging 67 fewer passing yards against us and 1.65 fewer yards per attempt! That's insane.
The stats certainly paint the picture of a vastly improved team. Granted, we've played some patsies, but we played some patsies in the first eight games as well. Anyone who saw the Bears game today saw a team that is playing pretty darn well right now on offense, and the Rams had won twice in a row.
Perhaps the most impressive stat is the point differential. You take almost any team and add nine points to their differential, and that is a team playing well. We are definitely seeing some improved individual play on defense from folks like Kearney and Jennings, but we all know how much of a difference it makes for our defense when our offense plays well.
Feel free to make your own conclusions by playing with the spreadsheet posted here.