"Football Freakonomics": Is the N.F.L. a Quarterback-Driven League?
We launched the Football Freakonomics series in the spring with an episode called “The Quarterback Quandary.” It examined the difficulty of drafting QB’s since they tend to be a) vital to a team’s success; and b) relatively expensive; but c) hard to assess coming out of college even if they have a substantial track record.
One thing we can all agree on, however: the NFL today is a quarterback’s league — isn’t it?
That’s the question we ask in our latest Football Freakonomics segment.
The numbers certainly line up in support of the quarterback’s dominance. As you can see in the accompanying graphic, there has been a sea change in the pass/run ratio over the past few decades. In the 1970’s, NFL offenses averaged roughly 26 passes and 35 runs per game. By the 2000’s, those numbers had essentially flip-flopped, with about 32 passes and 28 runs per game.