As I opened up my e-mail Tuesday evening, I was pleasantly surprised with a message from Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders. You see, a little over a month ago, as I was preparing for my article about Dom Capers and his use of the three-man rush, I decided to send Football Outsiders a query for some information to beef up my analysis. It’s hard to find statistics on the effectiveness of certain types of plays, but I knew they would have this sort of information logged into their databases.
If there’s one criticism Green Bay Packers fans have about Dom Capers, it is his seemingly consistent use – and failure – of the three-man rush in third-and-long situations. Since last year, the defense has been burned numerous times with this “prevent” approach, and perhaps the most maddening use of the three-man rush was on a December afternoon in Pittsburgh last season.