Sport Analytics: American Football

A more quantitative approach to football

Atlanta Falcons: Did the playcalling really change in the Jets game?

In week 6, the Atlanta Falcons were defeted by the reigning NFL champions New England Patriots. A week later, the Falcons played the Jets and won 25-20. Apparently, Atlanta's OC Steve Sarkisian significantly changed the playcalling. Was the playcalling really so different than it'd been a week earlier? And if it really did change, when did that happen?

Let's take a closer look at the pass-run ratio. Right panel of the dashboard plots the rolling ratio (i.e. a ratio changing in time as the game progressed) against the ratio for the New Eangland game. The green line stabilises first around 55% (in favour of passing plays), but then after the 20th play it fast converges to the week 6 ratio. Interestingly enough, at this moment Jets' defensive co-ordinator had 94.5% chance the pass-run ratio was identical to the one observed in week 6.