Philadelphia Eagles News

Pass-First Teams Fare Better In Today's NFL

As often as some Eagles fans like to bemoan the "pass-run ratio," perhaps it's time for a look at just what makes a successful offense in today's NFL.

Through a variety of rule changes that have benefited the passing offense over the past several years, the NFL has become, without question, a pass-first league. Of course, the two teams that reached the Super Bowl this season were both pass-first teams. The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts ranked fourth and second in passing yards per game respectively.

In fact, among the top ten teams in passing yards per game in the 2009 season, eight made the playoffs. The two teams that did not make the playoffs were the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers who both finished with 9-7 records. The combined winning percentage of the top ten passing teams in 2009 was .706 and all ten of the best passing teams finished the season with a winning record.

On the flip side, the combined winning percentage of the top ten rushing teams from 2009 was only .544. Only five of those ten teams ended up in the playoffs, or had a winning record, and that's even less impressive when you take a closer look because two of those top rushing teams, the Saints and the Dallas Cowboys, both ranked higher in passing yards per game than they did in rushing yards.

Incidentally, the Eagles finished tenth in the league with 255.6 passing yards per game, while their 102.3 rushing yards per game ranked 22nd. With all the talk about balance, perhaps the Eagles should actually be passing more.

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 4:23 p.m., February 16

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