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Kellen Moore has one of the least unique offensive schemes in the NFL

Last week generated some attention-grabbing dialogue when the of us over at PFF deemed Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore as the second-best offensive coordinator in the National Football League. On paper you’ll be able to have a look at the Cowboys offense from a 12 months in the past and make an excellent case for Moore, however clearly the manner issues unfolded over the second half of the season left a bitter style in folks’s mouths. Not the whole lot is about the totality of outcomes, however the totality of outcomes for Moore as winter wore on weren’t precisely glowing.

General criticism of Moore (who’s amazingly getting into his fourth 12 months as the group’s OC) has revolved round what the group does (actually doesn’t do) in the redzone. He takes warmth for not being as inventive as his repute would counsel that he’s.

Kellen Moore has one of the least unique offensive schemes in the NFL in line with PFF

In holding with their examine of offensive coordinators, PFF not too long ago checked out how “unique” every offensive and defensive coordinator is in the NFL. Obviously that’s not precisely a straightforward factor to evaluate.

It is price noting that it isn’t vital for a coordinator to be unique to achieve success. If a group (or coordinator) is nice at a sure factor then why not do it at a excessive frequency? An argument may be made that being extraordinarily unique in phrases of scheme is being indecisive or not significantly profitable at one thing price repeating.

Here is the normal concept:

Now, there’s a distinction between “what” and “how well.” In this text, I need to use a mathematical instrument referred to as principal part evaluation to take our intensive play-by-play information and measure similarities between schemes on the offensive facet of the ball. The cause for utilizing this method is that for those who’re not cautious, intensive information can flip into deceptive information in no time if its dimension isn’t diminished.

Here’s one instance: play-action price and eleven personnel utilization on impartial downs. While the two variables aren’t completely correlated, there’s a correlation, suggesting that as an alternative of having two unique items of data, we actually have lower than two:

PCA takes the linear relationships between all of the variables in a knowledge set pertaining to what offenses are attempting to do, that are how a lot time the quarterback spends in the pocket, how regularly they make the most of play-action ideas, which routes they throw, which run ideas they make use of, which personnel groupings they use, and rather more. Once these are squished collectively, we will have a look at the first two principal elements, that are the topic of many tweets throughout the NFL season.

It probably isn’t stunning that the most “unique” scheme in the NFL in 2021 belonged to Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers with Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals coming in second place. Sean McVay and Andy Reid predictably spherical out the relaxation of the prime 4.

The “least unique” scheme in the NFL final season belonged to Joe Lombardi’s Los Angeles Chargers who weren’t precisely dangerous (they completed fourth in offensive DVOA as one instance of that). Interestingly, Kellen Moore’s Dallas Cowboys offense ranked thirtieth in phrases of total uniqueness.

We know that the Cowboys love 11 personnel and having success in a selected scheme is hardly trigger to deviate from it (Dallas completed sixth in offensive DVOA by the manner, simply one spot behind the 49ers and two behind the Chargers). This has largely been a constant and predictable (from a scheme standpoint) offense for some time now and a few of that even pre-dates Kellen Moore’s time as coordinator.

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