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If you’re a dropback pass team — think of the Airraid guys — you need constraint plays that...

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If you’re a dropback pass team — think of the Airraid guys — you need constraint plays that counteract defenses that cheat for the passes. If you’re a great run team, you need constraints that attack safeties and linebackers who all cheat by formation and post-snap effort to stop your run game. You must have the counters, the screens, the bootlegs, and the quick passes, which work best when the defense gives you the structure. All this comports well with a game theory approach to football. Indeed, these constraint plays are most important against the best teams because those teams put the biggest premium on taking away what you hang your hat on. (But be wary of constraint plays against very talented teams — they may be stuffing your core offense not because they are cheating, but instead because they are better than you; the constraint plays then play into their hands.)

A brilliantly simple post from Chris at Smart Football.

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