Which of the NFL’s ‘Dumbest’ Strategies Are Smarter Than You Think?

May 19, 2016   ·     ·   Jump to comments

NFL coaches are stupid.
OK, no, that's not even remotely true, no matter what midday sports-talk radio and TV want to tell you.
But NFL coaches are old-fashioned, ultra-conservative and a little stubborn. They make many of their decisions as if one false move will get them ridiculed for weeks, then fired.
Can you blame them? Each NFL Sunday, we see tactics and play calls that make the fans on the upper concourse howl and cause the message boards to hyperventilate. Coaches call plays that "everybody" knows have little chance of success.
But does "everybody" really know which plays work more often than others?
With the help of the Football Outsiders in-house database of tens of thousands of sortable NFL plays, I worked out the success rates for several of the most criticized and reviled NFL tactics.
Some strategies probably should be sent to the tactical retirement home with the flying wedge and the dropkick. Others are much more effective than you migh...

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