FanPost

BTB Challenge: Predict whether running the ball could work

Here's this week's challenge.

  • Predict how many drives the Broncos have (espn.com has a handy drive summary so that will be the reference index)
  • what percentage of those drives result in TDs
  • what percentage result in FGs

My predictions are

  • 12 drives
  • 33% of those drives are TDs (i.e. 4 TDs)
  • 16% of those drives are FGs (i.e. 2 FGs)
  • Total of 34 pts

Why is this relevant?

A popular claim is that Dallas's best chance of winning is to run the ball.

I can understand how pairing running the ball with a great defense could be a viable strategy. However, pairing running the ball with a bottom 10 pass defense, going against an off the charts good pass offense, sounds like suicide to me. Even if Dallas goes crazy running the ball Denver is still going to get 10 or so drives. Personally, I expect that Denver is going to have offensive success on those drives. If you believe, like I do, that Denver is going to score 25+ points then you need to give yourself the opportunity to match that.

Hence, a key strategy question, and whether running the ball is really viable, rests on these variables

  • How many drives will Denver have
  • What percentage of those drives will they score TDs
  • What percentage of those drives will they score FGs
Because if Denver is going score 30 pts ... Dallas needs to figure out how to score more than 30 pts.

Another example, if Denver has 10 drives and scores TDs 40% of the time and FGs 10% of the time, that would be 4 TDs and 1 FG = 31 pts.

To help you in the challenge here are some summary statistics.

  • Denver has had 52 drives this year
  • They scored TDs 42% of the time
  • They scored FGs 12% of the time
  • They had 16 drives (RAV), 15 drives (NYG), 11 drives(OAK), 10 drives (PHI)

Links to drive summaries

Baltimore

NYG

OAK

PHI

Happy handicapping.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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