Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Apr 2009

ESPN INSIDER: Analyzing Wildcat Offense

Here's a look at how all those other teams (besides Miami) did when running "Wildcat" style plays in 2008. A few interesting bullet points that didn't make the article:

  • Teams other than Miami ran "Wildcat" style plays 16 times on third or fourth down with 1-5 yards to go, and 14 of those plays converted for a new set of downs (or a touchdown). Overall, however, direct snaps weren't any more successful than normal plays on first or second down.
  • The Browns snap to receiver Josh Cribbs (a former quarterback) in what they call the "Flash" package. While many other teams primarily used "Wildcat" on first and third down, Cleveland ran the Flash mostly on second-and-long.
  • Baltimore's two-quarterback package ran just four pass plays, with 14 runs.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 14 Apr 2009

3 comments, Last at 17 Apr 2009, 1:30pm by Chris


by bballer2294 :: Tue, 04/14/2009 - 9:44pm

But Joe Flacco caught an almost TD BALL !!?!?!?!?!?!/

by Theo :: Wed, 04/15/2009 - 9:50am

Insider: -1

by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:30pm

The Fins "invented/brought back" the wildcat offense because they had the unique talent to run the package well, and because Parcells/Sporano weren't sold on their offensive line and they wanted to figure out a way to pick up 3-5 yards on first downs so that they wouldn't be putting Pennington into 3rd and 9's.

The 1-15 a year prior fins went out on a limb and the offense probably worked out better than they hoped and was in fashion around the rest of the copy cat NFL.

Will teams continue to run the Wilcat? Will they start running other creative packages? Does this increase the draft value of Pat White?