Current and future applications of drive stats
There are many interesting areas of study one can do by analyzing drive stats.
During last season’s playoffs I analyzed Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl defenses in New England based on drive stats, and went through 3,679 postseason drives for quarterbacks to find some fascinating results.
The research I have spent years on for fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives is essentially looking at drive stats. From that alone we could use drive stats to study and quantify the two-minute drill, the four-minute offense, and which defenses protect the lead best in the clutch.
Field position is a significant factor, especially now with the touchback-heavy league following last year’s rule change on kickoffs. Scoring a touchdown when starting at your own 20-yard line is not as likely if you start at the 35. Drive stats quantify such things.
Which offenses are the best at avoiding three-and-out drives? What impact does an excessive amount of three-and-out drives have on a defense? Analyze the drive stats.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
If someone researched drive stats for past decades and found that teams average fewer possessions (and plays) in today’s game, then that would be the proof that scoring is indeed higher than ever. Once again, offenses can only score if they have the ball, and those opportunities are never constant game to game.
Hopefully we will continue moving forward with football analysis by breaking down games by drive. Anything that gets people to start looking at drives and play-by-play instead of just the league standings and volume stats is a step in the right direction.
Scott Kacsmar (@CaptainComeback) writes for Cold, Hard Football Facts, Bleacher Report, Colts Authority, and contributes data to Pro-Football-Reference.com and NFL Network.
ProFootballTalk: Patriots QB Tom Brady addressed Wes Welker’s decision to head West to Denver. Brady says he isn’t surprised by anything after being in the league for so long and hopes that Welker has a great season with the Broncos.
2013 SNF Schedule
Check out the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule.
Latest from ProFootballTalk
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Best of ProFootballTalk: May 20th-24th
ProFootballTalk: Check out the bloopers from the week of May 20th.
Check out some of the NFL cheerleaders from across the league.