Inefficiency of Rushing Offenses
Once upon a time, teams were built around their rushing attacks. However, in 2020, that couldn’t be farther from the case.
Of the top-ten offenses in yards/play, the Seahawks are the only team not in the top ten in yards/pass attempt, and they rank 11th! Meanwhile, on four of the top-ten rushing offenses in yards/rush attempt are top-ten offenses.
Why is this the case? It all comes down to the overall efficiency of rushing and passing offenses.
The average pass attempt has gone for 7.2 yards this season. By comparison, the average rush attempt has gone for 4.4 yards. If you run the ball on first down, the most likely scenario is that you’re going to still face a second down in which you need about five to six yards.
Run the ball twice, and you’re facing a third down.
Now, one may say that getting into third down and short situations is ideal stick management. However, as Timo Riske of Pro Football Focus demonstrates here, there is no manageable third down:
In other words, avoiding third downs should be even more of a priority for offenses. Doing so while running the ball is not likely, so offensive play-callers need to be willing to push the ball through the air.