Examining 2018 Offensive Trends

| May 20th, 2019

The offseason is the perfect time to do a deep dive into what exactly we saw on the field last year, so today I want to look more closely at how frequently and effectively the offense used various formations and personnel groupings in 2018. We’ll look at it from a few different perspectives.

Shotgun vs. Under Center

(These stats all come from NFL Savant unless otherwise noted.)

The Bears operated mainly out of the shotgun in 2018, with just over 80% of their snaps (832 out of 1034) coming there. As I noted at the bye, this is in line with the Andy Reid offense that Matt Nagy brought over from Kansas City. Reid’s Chiefs teams have been 70-75% out of the shotgun in the last few years.

The table below shows how frequently and efficiently the Bears ran it out of shotgun vs. under center.

A few thoughts:

  • That looks a bit imbalanced to me, but is actually a better run/pass balance out of shotgun than any Reid team has shown in Kansas City.
  • I’m tempted to say the Bears should avoid going under center, but the low averages there are probably due to them mostly being in short yardage situations, when plays are designed to get 2-3 yards and a first down/touchdown. Success rates would be a good way to confirm if that is indeed the case, but unfortunately that information is not available with this kind of split.
  • The yards/carry split happened with both main running backs, according to Player Profiler. Jordan Howard saw 138 carries out of the shotgun and averaged 4.2 yards/carry, and averaged 3.1 yards/carry on his 112 carries from under center. Tarik Cohen averaged 4.7 yards/carry on 81 shotgun runs and 4.1 yards/carry on 18 runs from under center. New Bear Mike Davis saw 75% of his runs from shotgun last year and averaged 4.6 yards/carry, so there is reason to hope he will thrive in these runs as well.

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