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Should Packers Move Away from 11 Personnel?

Going a little more team-specific and a little further with some of the numbers Bryan Knowles broke down in this week's Offensive Personnel Analysis article. One thing pointed out here: passing DVOA is actually higher from 21 personnel or 12 personnel than it is from 11 personnel. It's good to do what the defense doesn't expect.

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Comments

5 comments, Last at 24 Jul 2020, 11:32am

2 When the offense is in 12 or…

When the offense is in 12 or 21, they have more options on how/where to align TEs and RBs so that (in general) it opens up a wider variety of running plays or areas of the field where the offense can attack in the run game. If the defense takes a man out of the box anticipating a pass, they can find themselves weak or exposed to an easy gain in a greater variety ways, so I think their first response is usually going to be to make sure they have the run game covered.

If an offense mostly only passed out of 12/21 or did a poor job designing plays or masking tendencies, I'm sure defenses could catch on. And defenses have been getting more creative in both college and the pros at defending the run with smaller defensive personnel groups and guys lined up farther off the line of scrimmage. But I bet there's still room for many NFL offenses to take advantage of these splits.

As a Packers fan, I'm hoping LaFleur is looking to expand as much on what they were doing with 2 back sets in shotgun/spread formations with Tyler Ervin as the second back late last season as much as they are planning to go extra heavy this year.

3 It occurs to me that the…

It occurs to me that the Packers defensive performance in the NFC Championship game is a much more concise example of why most teams won't come out playing pass defense-first when the offense has base or heavy personnel on the field...

4 The 2019 playoffs were…

The 2019 playoffs were tactically wacky. The league's 5th most efficient passer was asked to not throw the ball in two playoff games -- in the first game he combined with the QB GOAT to total fewer passing yards than rushing yards. It's best rushing team threw 60 times. Three teams* were almost perversely determined to not throw the ball, and two of them made conference championship games -- jumping out to a combined 44-7 lead in the second quarter.

* - and none were named Seattle or Minnesota!

5 I'd love to see more big…

I'd love to see more big variations in strategy like that between teams in the NFL, or even just more teams that are capable of completely switching gears the way SF and TEN did. Unfortunately thanks to the lack of practice time this year I'm afraid we might be in for a relatively vanilla season.