A Four-Yard Run on First Down is a Dominant Run—Here’s Why

Some of the most defining and important plays of football games come at points in the telecast when many of us will be fetching a fresh beer: first and 10 at the beginning of a new drive.

You won’t see many of these plays in the highlights. More often than not it’s a handoff that, on average, goes for just over four yards. But according to an exhaustive study of NFL play data conducted by Yale professor Cade Massey, what happens on first and 10 in an NFL game is a powerful indicator of who will win.

According to Dr. Massey, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Management, the ability of an NFL team to meet certain benchmarks on each down is one of the best predictors of whether a drive will be successful. When it comes to first down, he says, the magic number is four. That’s the number of yards Mr. Massey says teams need to gain on first and 10. Those that do, he says, are more likely to be successful in making a first down and keeping the drive alive. — Reed Albergotti, Wall Street Journal

Brian Billick made this statement in the mid-1990s when he was the Offensive Coordinator for the Vikings.  This starts at the 4:37 mark on the video right here.

Get great at the Triple Option so you can get four yards on first down and win big in 2019.