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Game Scripts, Part II: Analyzing team seasons

Yesterday, I rolled out Game Scripts, a way to measure the flow of every game since 1940. The sum of each team’s Game Script in each game can be used to give us an average Game Script score on the season. You might think that this number would be a good proxy for how dominant a team was, and that’s largely true: the teams with the highest game script scores tend to have been the most dominant teams. However, there are some reasons to be cautious with this approach: game scripts are not adjusted for strength of schedule and in any given game, the losing team can end up with a better score than the winning team. That said, here are the teams with the highest Game Scripts since 1940:

Rk
Year
Team
League
W-L-T
PF
PA
SCRIPT
11942CHINFL11-0-03768413.5
21948CHINFL10-2-037515111.3
31941CHINFL10-1-039614710.4
41948SFOAAFC12-2-049524810.4
52007NWENFL16-0-058927410.3
61968BALNFL13-1-040214410.1
71948PHINFL9-2-137615610.1
81947CLEAAFC12-1-141018510
91946CLEAAFC12-2-042313710
101949PHINFL11-1-03641349.5
111969MINNFL12-2-03791339.4
121954CLENFL9-3-03361629.2
131999STLNFL13-3-05262429.1
141973MIANFL12-2-03431509.1
152001STLNFL14-2-05032738.9
161961HOUAFL10-3-15132428.8
171951CLENFL11-1-03311528.8
181972MIANFL14-0-03851718.7
191998MINNFL15-1-05562968.6
201973RAMNFL12-2-03881788.5
211983WASNFL14-2-05413328.4
221984SFONFL15-1-04752278.4
231948CLEAAFC14-0-03891908.3
241949SFOAAFC9-3-04162278.2
251998DENNFL14-2-05013098.1
261968DALNFL12-2-04311868
271966KANAFL11-2-14482767.9
281995SFONFL11-5-04572587.7
291962GNBNFL13-1-04151487.7
301953CLENFL11-1-03481627.6
311971DALNFL11-3-04062227.6
321944PHINFL7-1-22671317.6
331948CRDNFL11-1-03952267.6
341960CLENFL8-3-13622177.5
351980RAMNFL11-5-04242897.4
362010NWENFL14-2-05183137.4
372011GNBNFL15-1-05603597.4
381976BALNFL11-3-04172467.4
391975MINNFL12-2-03771807.3
401975PITNFL12-2-03731627.3
411992DALNFL13-3-04092437.3
421969KANAFL11-3-03591777.3
431964BALNFL12-2-04282257.2
441997DENNFL12-4-04722877.2
451968OAKAFL12-2-04532337.2
461945RAMNFL9-1-02441367
471943CHINFL8-1-13031577
481967OAKAFL13-1-04682337
491963NYGNFL11-3-04482807
501994SFONFL13-3-05052966.9

The teams with the highest game scripts last year? Green Bay (7.4), New Orleans (5.6) and Houston (5.4), while the Rams (-6.4), Colts (-7.2), and Bucs (-8.7) were at the bottom of the league. But let’s get to the real point of using Game Scripts — to help put passing and rushing ratios in context.

Last year, the Buccaneers had the second highest effective pass/run ratio in the league (defined as total pass attempts divided by rushes plus total pass attempts, but with all kneels and spikes excluded). But that’s misleading, because Tampa Bay had the worst Game Script in the league. Conversely, were Houston and San Francisco really the second and third most run-heavy teams in the NFL last year? The table below lists each team from highest to lowest pass/run ratio:
[click to continue…]

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