Now that we have three weeks worth of Miami Wildcat numbers, I thought it would be a good time to start keeping track of this formation's success, both in absolute terms and in comparison with the base offensive formations.
Using NFL.com's play-by-plays from the past three games (the Wildcat era, so to speak) I compiled the stats for all the plays the team has run out of the formation.
First up is a table, showing a game-by-game breakdown of the formation's usage, along with cumulative totals and per game averages (based on the three games since the team started using the Wildcat).
|Week 3, @NE||6||5||1||119||19.8||1||4|
|Week 5, SD||10||9||1||48||4.8||3||1|
|Week 6, @HOU||7||6||1||77||11.0||0||1|
The pass play that is listed for the Chargers game was a play where Ricky Williams looked to pass but pulled the ball down and was sacked for 0 yards.
Obviously, the New England game is extraordinary for the amount of touchdowns this formation produced, particularly in only six attempts, the lowest amount of uses in the three games. Clearly, teams will be better prepared for the formation from here on out, but even against the Chargers and Texans, who did a fairly good job of containing it, Miami was still able to engineer big scoring plays from the Wildcat.
This next table compares the stats of the base offense to those of the Wildcat offense.
|Plays||FDs (non-penalty)||FD%||TDs||TD%||Run Avg|
|Non-WC Plays||277||87||31%||8||3%||3.6 yds|
|WC Plays||23||4||17%||6||26%||8.6 yds|
First off, with only 23 total plays run from the Wildcat, there are obvious sample size warnings about this data. Also, the Wildcat has been used heavily around the goal line, erasing the opportunities for first downs and increasing scoring opportunities, and so those numbers will obviously be skewed to some degree.
Still, it is hard not to notice the immense disparity between the touchdown efficiency of the base offense and that of the Wildcat. The Wildcat has scored a TD 26% of the time compared to only 3% of regular offensive plays. Then again, the Wildcat is less effective at achieving first downs, and has generally been a boom-or-bust proposition up to this point (particularly against the Texans).
I'll keep track of the Wildcat numbers throughout the season, providing the team keeps using it - and they should. It's clearly the team's big-play threat. At this point, I liken the Wildcat formation to a hitter in baseball who hits a ton of home runs while also striking out a lot (think Ryan Howard). The coming weeks will tell a lot about how viable this formation will be further down the road.
With Ted Ginn, Davone Bess, and Ernest Wilford (he has a real strong arm) all available to be used as wrinkles in this scheme, I see it remaining useful for some time.
Finally, here is a comparison of Ronnie's and Ricky's rushing stats from the Wildcat:
The huge gains skew the numbers in such a small sample size, but those are still impressive numbers. Let's see how well they hold up a few weeks from now.
Check out Sam's site Phinaticism for even more Dolphins news and commentary.