Fascinating study on tempo and how it affects your defensive performance
Roger Bennett over at SB Nation did an interesting study on the no huddle offense and its impact on defenses that recently caught our attention.
In his research, Bennett broke down the teams that run the most plays per minute and then put them into four categories of tempo (normal, fast, very fast, and ball control). Next, he took a look at the defenses of those four categories and ranked them according to points allowed per game, yardage allowed per game, and a metric dubbed "opportunities to give up points".
What Bennett found is that while there is a dramatic difference between points and yardage allowed per game due to tempo, there was virtually no difference between the normal, fast, and very fast offenses when it came to "opportunities to give up points". The only real distinction came between the ball control offenses and the rest of the field.
With everything taken into account, Bennett came to the conclusion that running the no huddle does not put the type of pressure on a defense that most people think it does. An up tempo approach does however, impact the typical national rankings in the major defensive categories because being on the field for more plays and more possessions means giving up more yards and more points, not neccessarily because players are more fatigued.
His original article, complete with all of his research, charts, and numbers, has more information than we could possibly summarize, so take a look at the entire thing here.