FO Mailbag: Pass-Run Imbalance
Chris Migliaccio: I know you guys took a look at teams that were lopsided, but you never ran an end of season table on largest differences between passing and running DVOA. Is the Chargers 70+% difference the record? In a cursory glance, I didn't see anyone that close, other than the 2008 Chargers.
It is indeed. Here's the top ten list going back to 1993.
You'll notice that there's nothing wrong with having a great passing game and a mediocre running game. Every team on this list except the 2008 Chargers had a winning record. The team with a losing record and the biggest gap between passing and rushing was the 2005 Arizona Cardinals (5-11) who had 10.4% DVOA passing (15th) but -30.3% rushing (32nd).
Here's the other side of the coin, the teams where the running game was far superior to the passing game. You'll notice that these teams, with the exception of the 2004 Falcons, all have losing records -- but part of that is the fact that being better at running the ball doesn't necessarily mean you are great at running the ball.