The numbers are in and Sean Payton has been crowned the most aggressive play-caller in the NFL for the 2014 season.
FootballOutsiders.com recently conducted a study to determine which coaches were the boldest in fourth-down situations during the 2014 season and the Saints head coach came out on top by a large margin.
Payton was given an”Aggressiveness Index” of 2.01 for the 2014 season. Former Chicago coach Marc Trestman clocked in second with a score of 1.80.
Payton’s score didn’t just top all coaches in the league last season. He finished with the eighth-highest score since 1989. Also on that list is 2007 Payton, who checked in with a score of 2.22.
Here’s an explanation of how the scores are tabulated:
“Aggressiveness Index numbers center around 1.0 and generally describe how much more (or less) likely each coach is to go for it on fourth down compared to his peers; for example, a coach with 1.20 AI is roughly 20 percent more likely to go for it than an average coach in equivalent situations.”
It shouldn’t be surprising that Payton topped the list. The Saints did not kick a single field goal from the 1-yard line last season, instead opting to go for it in three such situations, converting once.
FootballOutsiders.com also points out the instance when New Orleans went from it on fourth-and-2 from the Green Bay 43 in a tie game during Week 8 and Drew Brees’ sneak on fourth-and-1 at the start of the fourth quarter in a Week 10 game against the 49ers.