First, a comparison of some of the different formations that were run:
As many of you probably do, I felt the Philly game from Sunday night felt un-even offensively - yet, scoring 5 touchdowns against a pretty good defense - seemed to contradict the "feeling" of how the offense played. So, I decided to take on the unenviable task of analyzing the entire offensive game for the Falcons to see when they were effective, and to try and figure out why. I think you'll be surprised at some of the results.
Formations with 2 or more RBs:
12 Runs - 31 yards Avg: 2.6 yds/carry
10 Pass - 6/10 - 63 yards - 2TD - 1 INT
Formations with 1 RB:
13 Runs - 100 yards Avg: 7.7 yds/carry (only 2 carries for loss)
18 Pass - 7/17 - 90 yards - 1TD - 1 INT - 3 SACKS
Formations with no RB:
4/5 - 28 yards - 1TD - 1 SACK
Now, a comparison of the No Huddle versus using the huddle:
From the Huddle:
19 Runs - 51 yards - Avg: 2.7 yds/carry
28 Pass - 11/21 - 134 yards - 3TD - 2 INT - 4 SACKS - 6.4 yds/attempt
6 Runs - 80 yards - 1 TD - Avg: 13.3 yds/carry
7 Passes - 53 yards - 1TD - Avg: 7.6 yds/carry - NO SACKS
Some additional information I found interesting:
Plays where Ryan changes the call at the line:
1 Pass - 1/1 - 8yds
2 Run - 14 yds - 1TD
Plays out of the Shotgun:
19 Plays - 19 passes
8/19 - 67 yds - 1 TD - 1 INT - 2 SACKS - 1 Scramble for 10 yds
22 carries for 110 yards:
Carries for 5 or more yards: 6
Carries for 0 to 4 yards: 11 (one TD)
Carries for loss: 5
So, what are some conclusions to be drawn?
These conclusions are only true for the Philly game, but they give an interesting picture of how our offense worked best - and when it sputtered.
1) We ran the ball best in single back formations: In single back formations, we average over 7 yards per carry while 2 or more back formations resulted in a meager 2.6 yards per carry. The idea that a lead fullback produces yards was not true for us Sunday. Also, since we passed 18 times and ran 13 out of single-back formations, it appears we keep defenses on their toes - we're less predictable in this formation.
2) Ryan was exposed more in single back formations: This is the unfortunate flip side. He was sacked 3 times in the single back formations (and hurried or knocked down quite a few more). He's also less accurate, going 7/17 and throwing one of his two INTs.
3) We're more balanced and productive in the No-huddle versus the "canned" offense: I know that no one is surprised by this, and the numbers back it up. First, Ryan was never sacked during a no-huddle offense. Secondly, we ran 6 times and passed 7 - so the no-huddle is more balanced (versus 19 runs 28 pass out of the huddle). Thirdly, our backs ran BETTER out of the no-huddle, averaging 13.3 yards/carry and pulling in a TD. Our passing attack is also much more efficient, with only one incompletion for 53 yards and a TD.
4) The shotgun is NOT our friend: I used to think Ryan was good out of the shotgun, but I now believe it makes our offense extremely predictable. From what I could see, our routes were very pedestrian and it shows in the numbers. Only 8 completions out of 19 attempts for 1TD, 1INT, 2 sacks and a QB scramble.
5) Turner can be a mixed bag: I love MT, but he reminds me of good ole' Dale Murphy, who used to give you a game with a Grand Slam and 4 strike-outs. MT doesn't lose yards much, but his average is bloated by his blown-up runs. By the way, of the times that Turner ran for loss, all 5 times were out of the huddle. In the no huddle, he was only held to a 0 yard attempt once.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, it's encouraging that we were able to beat the Eagles, but the game plan was hit and miss. Our offense coming out of the huddle puts Ryan in more danger of being sacked and actually results in lots of low-yardage runs. And while 3 of the 4 passing touchdowns came out of the huddle offense, both interceptions did as well - and all 4 sacks. On top of all of that, the huddle seems to be less balanced and far more predictable.
I know this may come as a no surprise, but it's very obvious that our best offense is run out of the no-huddle, and that INCLUDES the running game. As you can see above, Ryan's decision making - the very thing most analysts agree is his strongest trait - excels in the no-huddle, and it's rare that he makes mistakes when he's running the show.
If any of you are interested in the data I compiled, I've got an Excel spreadsheet that details each offensive down, the formation used, the result and some additional notes for each play.