Bill Lazor's Top Priority for 2018

Bill Lazor's Top Priority for 2018

Joined: November 25th, 2007, 12:30 am

June 2nd, 2018, 5:09 am #1

Simply put, score more points in the second half, dude.

Jay Gruden's offense with it's pedigree stretching back to Bill Walsh is now gone. In it's place Bill Lazor is customizing something new for Andy Dalton, built fresh from the ground up. Or so we are told. It will have bits a pieces of everything Lazor has seen. A little Air Coryell. A little West Coast. A little Joe Gibbs and a little Chip Kelly. Whatever it is and whatever you call it, there's a clear goal for improvement. Check out the chart below.



As bad as they were last season, they could have stayed "in the hunt" if only they had scored in the second half like they did in the first.* And they weren't exactly an offensive juggernaut in the first half. Note the difference in second half scoring in their seven wins versus their nine losses. Second half point production fell through the floor in those nine losses, especially in the four games where they lost by four points or less. This was presumably caused by the O-line wearing down throughout the game. (If you have a better explanation, then do tell.)

This was definitely not a league wide trend. The Bungs produced the worst proportional drop-off in second half scoring: 37%. Only two other teams scored four or more fewer points on average in the second half, and they were the highly prolific Rams and Patriots (approx. 29 points per game each). Think they might have protected any big leads in the second half?

This is MBS where we're typically as pessimistic as all get-out (and proud of it!) but this is cause for a certain amount of modest hope. Don't worry about recreating the 2015 offense. Just become a below-average scoring team in the second half.

For reference, here are Dalton's updated QB rating splits by quarter and a similar chart for yards rushing.  Again, as we can see, everything went to Hell in the second half during 2017. But in the first half the stats were generally consistent with the five consecutive years of playoff appearances, 2011-2015. Yes, even the rushing yardage. Believe it or not.






If you do see any cause for optimism in these data, you should also see the implied indictment of team management. Letting the O-line fall off a cliff really did sabotage the entire season. Hey look, for nine games they couldn't score worth isht in the second half, but they were sort-of okay the rest of the time.

Sources:

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/ ... n/2017.htm

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/

* The scoring chart includes those three pick-sixes on defense. No matter how they actually scored, the pattern tells the tale.
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" Bell-cow quarterbacks are like queen bees. Only one can take you to the land of milk and honey."
~ What Mike Brown never quite said, but should have.
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Joined: December 14th, 2001, 1:34 am

June 2nd, 2018, 5:46 pm #2

The got a nickname 

"The New Bengals"  that should catapult them into the playoffs at the very least 
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Joined: November 25th, 2007, 12:30 am

June 16th, 2018, 2:53 am #3

Thinking again about Lazor's from-the-ground-up offense and how it replaces the West Coast offense they've used since 2011. Seems to me this is more of a unique situation than I realized.

Looking back over the history of the franchise, they've almost always run either a proto-West Coast offense, an actual branch of the West Coast offense, or an offense that used a West Coast offense as its foundation. Check it out below. Recall that for many years the franchise was too damn cheap to even have an offensive coordinator. That's why you'll see the head coach's name (with a question mark) in the third column for multiple years.
Year Offense Type Offensive Head
2018   The Potpourri offense?   Bill Lazor
2017 West Coast foundation     Ken Zampese / Bill Lazor
2016 West Coast foundation Ken Zampese
2015 West Coast foundation Hue Jackson
2014 West Coast foundation Hue Jackson
2013 West Coast branch Jay Gruden
2012 West Coast branch Jay Gruden
2011 West Coast branch Jay Gruden
2010 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2009 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2008 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2007 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2006 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2005 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2004 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2003 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2002 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2001 Air Coryell branch Bob Bratkowski
2000 West Coast branch Ken Anderson
1999 West Coast branch Ken Anderson
1998 West Coast branch Ken Anderson
1997 West Coast branch Ken Anderson
1996 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet / Ken Anderson
1995 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1994 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1993 West Coast foundation David Shula?
1992 West Coast foundation David Shula?
1991 West Coast branch Sam Wyche?
1990 West Coast branch Sam Wyche?
1989 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1988 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1987 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1986 West Coast branch Bruce Coslet
1985 West Coast branch Sam Wyche?
1984 West Coast branch Sam Wyche?
1983 Lindy Infante's offense Forrest Gregg? Bruce Coslet?
1982 Lindy Infante's offense Lindy Infante
1981 Lindy Infante's offense Lindy Infante
1980 Forrest Gregg's offense?   Forrest Gregg? Lindy Infante?
1979 proto-West Coast foundation Homer Rice? Boyd Dowler?
1978 proto-West Coast foundation Bill Johnson? Boyd Dowler?
1977 proto-West Coast foundation Bill Johnson? Boyd Dowler?
1976 proto-West Coast foundation   Bill Johnson? Boyd Dowler?
1975 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1974 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1973 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1972 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1971 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1970 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1969 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
1968 proto-West Coast Bill Walsh
I took some educated guesses, and I'm open to be corrected. Note that out of the first 50 years there were ten that were Air Coryell-ish and three or four that were Lindy Infante's personal creation. And I'm not sure whether Infante built his offense atop a West Coast playbook or not. So for at least 72% of the franchise's history they've been very West Coast-y.

Bill Lazor is thus creating some serious "discontinuity" here. Definitely can't hurt. If there's something this franchise could use it's more of that. Then again, the last time they broke tradition on offense to such an extent, the result was very offensive indeed: Bob Bratkowski's personal branch of Air Coryell. Run-run-pass-punt. Run-run-pass-punt. Run-run-pass-punt. Run-run-pass-punt. Run-run-pass-punt. Run-run-pass-punt...

Let's not go through that again.
_______________________________________
" Bell-cow quarterbacks are like queen bees. Only one can take you to the land of milk and honey."
~ What Mike Brown never quite said, but should have.
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