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I’ve stolen a few moments today to update my Hawks 2007 stat sheet to see if there are any interesting trends. I paid special attention to the last three games when the Hawks have moved to their “pass first” offense, and found some interesting stats.
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.