Not long ago, football fans around the world would all collectively gasp when their team went for it on fourth down in any non-traditional scenario. Going for it on your own side of the field? Unheard of. Running multiple fake-punts in one season? Are you in the MAC? Not in today’s NFL. Coaches are being more aggressive than ever, and for some, it is paying big dividends—like for Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni. Aaron Schatz of FootballOutsiders.com breaks down the 2022 Aggressiveness Index.
“Nick Sirianni was the most aggressive coach in the league on fourth downs in 2022, using sound analytics — and a nearly unstoppable fourth-down quarterback sneak — to significantly improve Philadelphia’s chances of winning games,” Schatz wrote.
Regarding the sneak—it will be interesting to see how the NFL approaches that play heading into the offseason. For quite some time, it was illegal to get behind a ball carrier and push the pile. And as entertaining as the rugby-like scrums are, I am not sure the league wants that kind of play deciding games.
Five spots behind Sirianni at number six on the Index—Detroit Lions’ coach Dan Campbell. Although less aggressive than he was during his first season in Detroit, Campbell consistently rolled the dice on fourth down, and more often than not, hit on his gamble.
You can read the full article on the Aggressiveness Index—which is an interesting stat far beyond “who goes for it on fourth down the most”—from Schatz here.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Kyle Meinke of MLive takes his first crack at a mock draft.
- Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com previews his top five defensive tackles to keep an eye on at this year’s combine.
"It's a pretty diverse group of interior defenders with every body type and skillset teams might be looking to add this spring."@ttwentyman gives his top five defensive tackles to watch at the Combine.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) February 22, 2023
- Take this tweet however you like.
- Could Saquon Barkley end up in Detroit? Ian Valentino of Pro Football Network thinks the Lions could potentially be suitors for Barkley if he doesn’t re-sign in New York.