There have been 208 games so far this season. Prior to week 14, the Chicago Bears, in a 27-24 win over Baltimore, had the lowest pass ratio of any team in a game at 27.6% (21 passes, 55 runs). Playing in the snow in Buffalo, the Bills rushed 51 times against 16 pass plays, for a 23.9% pass ratio. That’s the lowest pass ratio since a Monday Night Football game in 2014, when the Jets went back to Geno Smith as quarterback and basically didn’t let him throw the ball unless he had to. In modern times, teams just don’t run on 76% of their plays: the only other game since 2010 where that happened involved Tim Tebow, of course.
But wait, there’s more. The Colts ran on two-thirds of their plays, easily the lowest pass ratio of any team that lost its game this year; no other team had passed on fewer than 47 percent of its plays and lost. This was the most run-heavy game of the year and it wasn’t particularly close.
In fact, this was the most run-heavy game since the 2006 game between the Falcons and Panthers where Carolina rolled out a Wildcat offense with Jake Delhomme sidelined and starting QB Chris Weinke playing with a bum shoulder, the Panthers and Falcons combined for 71 rushing attempts and just 27 passes (plus six sacks). But the combined 97 runs for the Bills and Colts (helped by 15 overtime runs) was the most in a game since 1981 between the Chiefs and Bears that also went to overtime and was played in cold and wet conditions. The full week 14 Game Scripts, below:
|Team||H/R||Opp||Boxscore||PF||PA||Margin||Game Script||Pass||Run||P/R Ratio||Op_P||Op_R||Opp_P/R Ratio|
The Lions, Steelers, and Patriots were the most pass-happy teams of the week. Detroit beat Tampa Bay and led most of the game, but that still didn’t stop Matthew Stafford from throwing 44 passes. The Lions running backs combined for just 44 yards on 15 carries, leading to a pass-happy Game Script for the Lions.
Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh had a whopping 69 dropbacks, including 66 pass attempts. Roethlisberger had 44 completions, the 2nd-most in NFL history. The Steelers led big early, then trailed big late, and Roethlisberger and the team never stopped throwing. Pittsburgh scored on its first four drives and last four drives, and the passing offense picked up 23 first downs, tied for the most in a single game this year.
Finally, the Patriots passed on over 80% of plays, something which rarely happens because New England so often plays with a lead. The Patriots had a -7.0 Game Script in the upset loss to Miami and finished with just 10 rushing plays. This was only the sixth time in franchise history, and only the second time in the last ten years that New England had 10 or fewer carries. The only other time came in a game against the Jets that I chronicled during the Game Scripts update that week.