It’s a question regularly asked, “Why is my favorite team constantly running to the short side of the field?” People really do not enjoy jet sweep to the short side. In almost every sport you are taught the concept of using the sideline as an extra defender, and in football it is no different. And in the current era of football, the idea of space is emphasized as much as it has ever been: you have extra wide WR splits, you have light personnel groupings, stretch the field not just horizontally but laterally. So then why does it always feel like the runs aren’t utilizing that space?
Space is a fundamental source of success in modern football, but it is not only the offense that controls space and how it can be used; defense also plays a role. Space is also only a single fundamental facet, others include leverage and numbers. And when you take all those traits into account, that will explain why runs into the boundary are run as often as they are. Let’s take a look.
Want to give example of why teams run outside to short side of field. Here, I’ve diagrammed pin and pull (typically you’d have Y on but this an example). Look at the favorable angles all the way to the playside safety, with 2 defenders stuck on backside to field. Numbers/angles pic.twitter.com/04sJljzpBt— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 14, 2020