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SaintsGab: Best Tickets Releases Analysis on NFL Passing vs. Rushing

While eagerly anticipating tonight’s home game against the Dolphins, I stumbled upon the Best Tickets Blog and a data-driven article regarding the NFL’s evolution from a run-dominant league to a pass-happy league.  Obviously, the saints have been at the forefront of airing it out ever since Drew Brees donned a Saints uniform so it was an interesting article to dissect.

The author does a good job of presenting the data in an easy to consume manner and clearly proves a point that many already knew: today, teams are passing the ball more than ever.  What was interesting wasn’t the conclusion, but the statistical evidence backing it up.  In 1954, the completion percentage across the NFL passed 50% for the first time ever.  It would stay in that range for another 25 years or so before climbing above 55% in 1980. As recent as 1998, the NFL’s pass completion percentage was somewhere in the 56-57% range so it hadn’t significantly moved over that 20 year time period.  Today, the completion percentage has increased a full 5% to approximately 61%.  When you consider just how high the completion percentage is now, you see why teams are airing it out even more frequently.

In addition, they broke down the “total number of points scored by each team compared to that respective team’s total passing/rushing yardage for the year.”  As you can see in the graphs below, the degree of the slope for the passing graph is much higher than the rushing.  Clearly, passing means a lot more to today’s NFL than previous seasons.

It’s a great read and I’d recommend heading over to the Best Tickets blog to check it out.  When you can visually see just how important throwing the ball is, it makes us really thankful we have Drew Brees on our side.


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