FanPost

A Look at the Elway years

In a recent discussion, I was struggling to make my point about how Elways game changed in the mid-1990's. Obviously part of it was due to two coaching changes, but if you watch just him in the games he was a different player. Now the main point of the discussion was whether or not Reeves used a run first offense more then Shanahan, I suggested that while Reeves wasn't pass heavy, Elway was the center piece of that offense, and he was the bread and butter each game. Once Shanahan came in, most believe it became the passing marvel we all love, but this is a bit off.

Now I have opinions about this, but I do like to actually try and back myself up, otherwise I look like an idiot, so I went back and looked at the offensive numbers to see what I could find. So I did a bit of research, and here's what I found:

Year

Passing atps.

Passing yards

Rushing atps.

Rushing yards

Ratio yards (pass/rush)

Ratio attps. (pass/rush)

Reeves

1983

499

3466

471

1784

1.94

1.06

1984

475

3116

508

2076

1.50

0.94

1985

617

3952

497

1851

2.14

1.24

1986

549

3811

455

1678

2.27

1.21

1987

530

3874

510

1970

1.97

1.04

1988

581

3941

464

1815

2.17

1.25

1989

474

3352

554

2092

1.60

0.86

1990

527

3671

462

1872

1.96

1.14

1991

459

3310

507

2015

1.64

0.91

1992

473

3312

403

1500

2.21

1.17

Avg.

518.4

3580.5

483.1

1865.3

1.94

1.08

Phillips

1993

553

4061

468

1693

2.40

1.18

1994

626

4383

431

1470

2.98

1.45

Avg.

589.50

4222.00

449.50

1581.50

2.69

1.32

Shanahan

1995

549

4260

440

1995

2.14

1.25

1996

536

3662

525

2362

1.55

1.02

1997

513

3704

520

2378

1.56

0.99

1998

491

3808

525

2468

1.54

0.94

Avg.

522.25

3858.50

502.50

2300.75

1.70

1.05

So what did I find, well Wade Phillips actually ran the most pass heavy offense Elway played in, Reeves came in second, and Shanahan actually came in third. Actually, you remember those two Super Bowl years, we actually ran more rushing plays then passing plays those seasons. Shanahan and Reeves were almost identical in their ratio, both in attempts and yards, well actually, Reeves had a better passing yards ratio then Shanahan did. Shanahan had a much higher average yards in both rushing and passing, but the average ratio actually went down. Now this wasn't meant to be twisted, I just took the yards and attempts and divided them, this takes into account changes in the offense, while still keeping things in perspective. I didn't include touchdowns, either rushing or passing, or interceptions or fumbles, I just wanted to look at the offense, and what it was geared to do.

Due to further data work, I will probably keep adding tables to this post.

Biggest surprise though, Philips owned them both in passing. Elway had two of his best seasons with Phillips in terms of yardage, accuracy, touchdown percentage and interception percentages. A bit shocking to say the least.

So tell me, what do you think?

P.S. Due to further data work, I will probably keep adding tables to this post.

Year

Rushing Yards/Attp.

RB/FB Y/A

1983

3.8

3.74

1984

4.1

4.08

1985

3.7

3.60

1986

3.7

3.56

1987

3.9

3.47

1988

3.9

3.84

1989

3.8

3.76

1990

4.1

3.88

1991

4

3.87

1992

3.7

3.81

Avg.

3.87

3.76

1993

3.6

3.64

1994

3.4

3.31

Avg.

3.5

3.47

1995

4.5

4.41

1996

4.5

4.43

1997

4.6

4.68

1998

4.7

4.93

Avg.

4.575

4.61

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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