Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Sep 2013

ESPN: Will Eagles' Pace Lead to More Injuries?

It's full speed ahead for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, but is it only a matter of time before Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson end up injured? Theoretically, if you increase the number of plays, you increase the opportunities for players to get hurt.

However, we ran some correlation tests on teams from 2002-12 using our Adjusted Games Lost (AGL) metric and the offensive pace stats. The results were actually very interesting and perhaps discouraging for the Eagles.

You can call me a tease, but the results are on Insider. We will leave you with a table of the offenses since 2002 with the fastest and slowest pace (seconds per play). The AGL (offense only) ranks are for that particular season.

Slowest Offenses (2002-12) Fastest Offenses (2002-12)
Team Year Sec./play AGL (OFF) AGL Rank Team Year Sec./play AGL (OFF) AGL Rank
PIT 2007 31.31 9.0 3 NE 2012 24.12 46.7 25
PIT 2004 31.17 13.3 13 SEA 2009 24.67 44.3 29
PIT 2005 30.82 15.2 16 NE 2011 24.76 40.0 22
SEA 2012 30.55 14.8 6 MIA 2005 24.95 6.1 7
NYJ 2004 30.44 6.8 4 DET 2002 25.48 20.9 22
JAC 2006 30.36 25.0 22 CHI 2007 25.57 18.3 9
DEN 2003 30.29 14.9 18 BAL 2012 25.64 8.1 2
MIA 2008 30.24 24.1 16 KC 2009 25.64 13.0 9
PIT 2009 30.22 23.9 16 NO 2012 25.69 11.5 4
NYG 2008 30.22 6.1 1 PHI 2012 25.73 65.2 32

You can see last year's Eagles ranked 32nd in AGL among all offenses. You can also see the three slowest-paced offenses since 2002 were Ben Roethlisberger's early years with Pittsburgh. That's not a coincidence. Five of the 11 slowest offenses have been Roethlisberger offenses, so here's your proof that he seems to wait until the last second to snap the ball way too often.

You can track the speed of the Eagles and all offenses this season with our new pace stats here.

Posted by: Scott Kacsmar on 13 Sep 2013

6 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2013, 12:02pm by can you actually buy instagram followers

Comments

1
by DenverCheeze (not verified) :: Fri, 09/13/2013 - 3:53pm

31 plays/second x60secs x60minutes = 111,000 plays per game? This seems inaccurate to me.

2
by tuluse :: Fri, 09/13/2013 - 6:52pm

31 plays per second is an impressive pace.

4
by Intropy :: Fri, 09/13/2013 - 10:05pm

Well, that's what happens when you hand the ball to the official after each play.

3
by Scott Kacsmar :: Fri, 09/13/2013 - 7:27pm

It's been a long week. At least it was written correctly in the ESPN article.

5
by tbwhite :: Sat, 09/14/2013 - 12:53pm

I don't have Insider so I can't read the full article, but the table doesn't seem that interesting. Not one 'slow' team had a losing record, and their combined record was 107-53. The 'fast' teams had just 4 winning records and a combined record of 74-86. The only reason that is even close to .500 is because of NE, throw them out and the 'fast' teams are 49-79. So, teams win because they play slow and stay healthy? Or do they win because they are healthy, and play slow because they are always ahead ? Likewise teams lose because they play fast and get hurt, or they lose because they are hurt, and play fast because they are always behind and trying to catch up ? I bet the correlations between team record and pace, and between AGL and team record are both higher than the correlation between AGL and pace.

6
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