Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

23 Sep 2012

FO Mailbag: Runs from Shotgun

Mike Pirrotta: The Giants seem to run shotgun draw plays about 20 times per game. What teams lead the league in running plays out of the shotgun over the past few seasons? Does Kevin Gilbride truly love them more than everyone else?

Aaron Schatz: Actually, the Giants aren't at the top, although they are close. Last year, they had 70 shotgun runs by running backs, which ranked seventh in the NFL. This was 6.9 percent of their total plays, which ranked sixth. Over the last three years, they've had shotgun runs as 6.6 percent of plays, fifth in the NFL. The leader in running from the shotgun is Detroit, followed by Denver (although that's probably very Tebow-related -- even though I'm only counting running back runs here, the Tebow offense was still very run-heavy). Here are the numbers from last year, plus the percentage of plays for the three-year period of 2009-2011. The percentage of plays is percentage of all plays, period, not all runs or all shotgun plays.

Shotgun Runs by RB, 2011
Team Pct of Plays Runs Yd/Car Rk Suc Rate Rk Pct of Plays
2009-2011
DET 12.4% 129 5.24 17 43% 20 8.8%
DEN 11.1% 110 5.84 11 54% 8 7.4%
CAR 9.6% 94 6.27 5 66% 2 4.3%
BUF 8.8% 87 5.98 9 56% 5 6.9%
STL 8.0% 77 5.82 12 36% 26 5.2%
NYG 6.9% 70 4.43 23 43% 19 6.6%
NE 6.8% 72 5.14 18 54% 6 6.6%
GB 6.3% 60 4.90 19 57% 4 5.1%
PHI 6.0% 62 5.71 14 47% 14 5.8%
SD 5.8% 60 6.17 6 53% 9 3.6%
ARI 5.7% 55 5.69 15 67% 1 4.3%
KC 5.2% 52 4.15 27 38% 25 6.5%
MIA 4.9% 47 5.43 16 51% 10 3.6%
SEA 4.9% 47 4.87 20 34% 28 4.5%
DAL 4.6% 46 4.67 21 39% 24 4.7%
JAC 4.0% 39 4.36 24 54% 7 4.9%
Team Pct of Plays Runs Yd/Car Rk Suc Rate Rk Pct of Plays
2009-2011
OAK 3.8% 39 3.95 31 36% 27 3.6%
TB 3.7% 35 4.46 22 40% 22 3.6%
SF 3.5% 34 6.12 7 32% 29 4.3%
IND 3.1% 29 4.10 29 48% 13 6.1%
TEN 3.1% 30 6.57 3 47% 15 3.6%
CIN 3.0% 30 5.80 13 57% 3 1.9%
NO 3.0% 33 6.00 8 39% 23 1.9%
PIT 2.6% 26 7.85 1 50% 11 2.6%
BAL 2.6% 26 4.31 25 46% 17 3.7%
CLE 2.2% 22 4.27 26 45% 18 2.7%
NYJ 2.2% 22 4.09 30 27% 31 2.1%
HOU 2.0% 20 7.40 2 25% 32 1.3%
WAS 1.7% 17 5.94 10 41% 21 1.4%
MIN 1.6% 16 3.13 32 31% 30 1.8%
CHI 1.4% 13 6.38 4 46% 16 1.9%
ATL 1.3% 14 4.14 28 50% 12 1.2%

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 23 Sep 2012

3 comments, Last at 25 Sep 2012, 9:02am by Mr Shush

Comments

1
by zlionsfan :: Sun, 09/23/2012 - 8:06pm

This makes sense when you remember that Detroit ran a higher percentage of shotgun plays in 2011 than any other team in league history, 68%. Add that to the fact that they were fourth in the league in plays from scrimmage, and you'd expect to see them at the top of the list ... even though they only ran one-third of the time overall, they had enough shotgun plays to lead the league.

2
by JasonK :: Mon, 09/24/2012 - 8:01am

First off, a high percentage of the time, that Giants' shotgun run is a call Eli makes after scanning the defense. It's the play to go to if the defense appears to be selling out to double the wideouts.

Secondly, it isn't actually a draw. The OL doesn't try to fool anybody by mimicking pass blocks-- the pull a Guard and try to bring power against a thinned-out front.

3
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/25/2012 - 9:02am

Texans: #28 in % of plays, #2 in YPC, #32 in success rate. Yup, those are third and long give-up draws exclusively.

As to Denver, from what I've seen of them this season, the rate is likely to remain fairly high. Peyton likes those non-draw shotgun runs too.