Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reality check: "Pass first" lasted for two games

I have not had time to sit down and do all the proper analysis, but as I've mentioned before, this switch to a pass-first offense is being oversold. The only two games where we saw a distinct change in how the Hawks started the game on offense were against the 49ers and Bears at home. Our pass-run mix was massively skewed to start those games (on the order of 10 passes to 1 run), and then balanced out after we got the lead and started running the clock.

It looked like we were going to start that way again in St. Louis, but Matt got sacked multiple times to start that game, and we became more conservative.

This last week was a great example of how media and fans can be sheep. Despite the fact that we ended the game with a large disparity in passes (41) vs. runs (14), we certainly did not "pass-first." I was pleading to start slinging the rock during the game, as we opened with 9 runs and 11 passes. It was not until we ditched the run that we started moving the ball.

Holmgren can match his genius with his stupidity if he does not open the offense back up when we get to the playoffs. Getting Hackett back soon will be a lift for sure.

The other myth is that "pass-first" has led to us not running as much or as well. In fact, we've run the ball better when we made this switch. Our top three games in terms of YPC came during our 5-game win streak. I did more analysis of the positive side effects of this switch back in November.

The problem comes when we start the game trying to mix the run and pass. Ditch that, and we're back on track.

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