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The "Dink and Dunk" Theory

I got an e-mail from a good source of mine who brought to my attention a new trend that is developing in the NFL. The idea that you can be successful when you just "dink and dunk" your way down the field. This is even more of a hot topic for Dolphin fans because of the play of Bills' rookie QB Trent Edwards, who is 1-1 as a starter and, according to some people, is playing "very good." His play is making some Dolphin fans impatient waiting for our very own rookie, John Beck. There's even some that would rather the Dolphins have drafted Edwards than Beck. But has Edwards really been that productive? He's completed nearly 70% of his passes while throwing for one touchdown and three interceptions. And with Edwards starting, the Bills' offense has only scored 20 points in 2 games. What's my point? My point is that the numbers can be deceiving.

Sure, Edwards is completing many of his passes. But he's also been just dinking and dunking his way down the field. That's something that a lot of teams have been doing recently. Just last week, 9 teams picked up less than 10 yards per completion, a surefire way to tell if a team is simply dinking and dunking in the passing game. Of those 9 teams, 2 were winners. Here are the numbers:

Team Completions Yds Yds/Comp Points
Bills 23 176 7.65 3
Ravens 29 214 7.38 9
Bucs 18 143 7.94 14
Lions 16 106 6.63 3
Seahawks 13 116 8.92 0
Colts 29 253 8.72 33
Saints 29 252 8.69 13
Falcons 18 115 6.39 6
Titans 20 157 7.85 13
Average 10.4

I think that table shows a lot. The two teams that won, Colts and Titans, beat teams that are also on that list. Also, if you take away the Colts' 33 points scored (which by the way is an anomoly because, after all, they are the Colts), The other 8 teams who averaged less than 10 yards per completion averaged only 7.6 points per game (keep in mind the points scored column is for points scored by the offense, not special teams or the defense).

These are some serious cases of dinking and dunking, too. None of these teams were even over 9 yards per completion. To me, that's no easy way to win. Sure, it keeps a quarterback's completion percentage on the higher side (see Trent Edwards), but it doesn't produce as many points as you'd like. I'm not saying you can't win playing this way, either. If your team has a great defense or has a gamebreaking return man, then you can still be successful. But this kind of offense does certainly mean that you will tend to score fewer points. So keep this in mind as you all watch Trent Edwards and become more impatient for John Beck. Fact is that Beck is likely to be worth the wait and will likely have a better career than Edwards, no matter what a Bills' fan tells you.