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The New England Patriots on Sunday provided one of the most incredible pass/run ratios in recent history. Last year, teams were very pass-happy against the Jets, as a result of New York having a great run defense and a terrible pass defense. The Jets pass defense is significantly better this year, but that didn’t stop the Patriots from pretending the run option didn’t exist.

New England finished the day with 54 pass attempts, 3 sacks, and just 9 carries, representing an incredible 86.4% pass ratio. If you consider that Tom Brady had two scrambles and a third “carry” that went down for zero yards but was a sack on a pass play where Brady managed to get back to the line of scrimmage, and the Patriots really meant to pass on 60 plays, while calling runs just six times. A fourth run was a Brady sneak, leaving just five rushing attempts for the rest of the team that totaled exactly one yard. Brady was effective but not stellar in the passing game, but it was pretty clear that passing was the best option for the Patriots offense on nearly every play.

Two other big notes from week 7: Washington fell behind 24-0 against Tampa Bay, but won in the final minute of the game. That gave Washington a remarkable victory in a game where the team posted a -9.3 Game Script, topping the Bears game against the Chiefs for largest comeback as measured by Game Script. And, on the far other end of the spectrum, Miami produced an unreal 25.9 Game Script, the top score of the season. There have been three Game Scripts this year of over 20 points, and two of them have come against the Texans. The third was the previous high of the season, Arizona’s 24.3 Game Script against the 49ers.

Below are the Game Scripts data from week seven.

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
MIAHOUBoxscore44261825.9243540.7%532567.9%
OAK@SDGBoxscore3729818.5322655.2%592173.8%
NOR@INDBoxscore2721613.7473656.6%481378.7%
SEA@SFOBoxscore2031711.4294141.4%301566.7%
JAXBUFBoxscore343138.9313150%462763%
STLCLEBoxscore246188.5252649%412463.1%
CARPHIBoxscore2716116.7253343.1%513063%
ARIBALBoxscore261885.2312852.5%431672.9%
KANPITBoxscore2313104.2342954%312456.4%
NYGDALBoxscore272072.2262551%284140.6%
NWENYJBoxscore302370.657986.4%412958.6%
MIN@DETBoxscore281990.2383353.5%331766%
ATL@TENBoxscore10730.1383155.1%361570.6%
WASTAMBoxscore31301-9.3411968.3%303050%

In other pass-happy news, Oakland passed 32 times and ran just 26 times in a game the Raiders led 30-6 at halftime! Derek Carr was excellent in this game, but that’s a really pass-friendly ratio given the Game Script. Don’t expect anything to change next week, though, as the Raiders host the Jets. Tennessee passed on 70% of plays in a neutral game. That’s pretty weird given that, you know, Zach Mettenberger was the quarterback, but Antonio Andrews did rush for 57 yards on 10 carries.

Two teams stuck out as run-heavy this week. The Panthers stuck to the ground against Philadelphia, and for good reason: Thanks to three interceptions, Cam Newton averaged just 3.00 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt, while Carolina rushed 33 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns thanks mostly to Jonathan Stewart. But the most pass-averse team of the week was Dallas: the Cowboys were the only losing team in week 7 that rushed more than it passed. That makes sense given that Matt Cassel was the quarterback. The Cowboys averaged 4.0 ANY/A, but rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown on 41 carries.

What stands out to you from week 7?

  • I’m always at work during the games these days so I don’t get to follow them as they’re happening. I hadn’t realized just how thoroughly Miami and Oakland blew out Houston and San Diego.

    I’m starting to think Oakland is going to be the division front-runner next year, which is something I haven’t thought in my adult life.

    • Adam

      It’s disorienting that the Raiders don’t suck anymore…for the past decade they haven’t even registered as an NFL team in my mind, and now they’re blowing teams out on the road? Whoa.

      I also thought Derek Carr would become the next Jason Campbell, so have to eat crow on that one.

  • anonymous

    The Bucaneers decision to kick the field goal from the 3 yard line when winning 27-24 lowered their win probability from 90% to 75%. Other than Coughlin’s similiar decision in week 1 against the Cowboys, are there any comparably bad decisions this year? What’s sad is that 80% of NFL coaches probably would have done exactly the same as Coughlin and Lovie Smith if they were in the exact same situation.

    • Richie

      Yeah, I saw Tampa Bay make that decision and thought it was bad. I think worst-case scenario if they go for it and miss is that Washington drives the distance and then kicks a field goal to send the game to overtime. It’s usually bad to put the opponent in a position where their only option is to score a TD for the win.