Below, I'm going to link to Scott Linehan's offensive records from Pro Football Reference.
What strikes me about this data -- and worries me -- is that in 10 out of 12 seasons, his teams ranked better in YARDAGE than in POINTS SCORED. And sometimes, the difference was dramatic.
For example, his last two years in Detroit, his offenses were 3rd and 6th in yards. But they were only 17th and 13th in points. Indeed, other than his 3 years in Minnesota, when he had Randy Moss, he's only had 1 year with a top-10 offensive point total.
The trouble is - POINTS, not YARDs, win football games. Why the disconnect? One reason I think is that his teams have typically ranked poorly in the giveaway department. In other words, they turn the ball over a lot. 7 of 12 years they've ranked 20th in the NFL or worse, and 6 of those years, they've been in the bottom 5.
Here is the link. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/LineSc0.htm
The interesting thing about this is that Jason Garrett has a similar record as offensive coordinator.
In his 6 years as offensive coordinator in Dallas, he did best his first year (with Tony Sparano's help). He did pretty well in 2010, when he had to pull out all the offensive stops because the defense was so bad. Those were the only years with top-10 offenses in points scored.
Last year, with Bill Callahan calling plays, Dallas flipped the script, ranking 16th in yards, but 5th in points. The year before, it was the exact opposite -- 5th in yards, but 16th in points. Needless to say, the former is better.
Let's compare that record with a guy like Bill Belichick, whose NE teams have ranked in the top 5 in points 5 of the last 7 years, with 2 #1s, a #2, and a #3 in there. In every one of those years, NE ranked very highly in keeping their turnovers down. That's the gold standard.
So what's it going to be for Dallas in 2014? Can Scott Linehan really change his stripes? Can he concoct an offense that's top-5 in points, and top-10 in fewest turnovers? We might SUPPOSE that he could, but there is very little historical evidence that he can.
At some point I realized if I posted the data from PFR into Excel, I could then paste it here. So now you don't have to go elsewhere to see the numbers. The only problem with this is the headings are now a little off, so overall offense now looks like Rushing Off.
|Overall||Offense||Rushing Off||Passing Off||Defense||Rushing Def||Passing Def|