Eagles coach Chip Kelly: Time of possession overrated
By Gregg Rosenthal
Time of possession long has been one of the most overrated statistics in football. It's broken out by lazy announcers that habitually talk about "controlling the ball" without thinking about what that means.
Thankfully, new Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly can make the point better than I can.
"I've heard the question about time of possession, but we've talked about all the time -- time of possession is how much time can the other team waste," Kelly told the Philadelphia media Friday via CSN Philadelphia. "Most games, we lose the time of possession, but it's how many snaps do you face? And I think in both [preseason] games we've played, we've played more snaps than our other team."
Bill Belichick has said similar things over the years. Points matter. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to score if you score. And it doesn't matter how long you had the ball if you don't score. (The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions ranked second and third in TOP last season.)
Kelly coached a game last season in which UCLA held the ball for 38:31, and Oregon held the ball for 21:29. Kelly's Oregon Ducks won 60-13.
"So all I gathered was that they stand around a lot more [on the field] than we do," Kelly said. "So I think when people look at the time of possession, and that's what people look at automatically ... it's not time of possession. It's plays run is what I look at because you're not exerting any energy if you're just standing in the huddle."
FootballOutsiders.com has done a nice job over the years proving that good teams run the ball when they win, not win because they run. Perhaps Kelly and friends will help prove to everyone how useless time of possession is, too.