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ESPN: Death of the long pass: Are vertical plays trending toward extinction?

C Mart

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Brooke Pryor ⁦‪@bepryor‬⁩

The deep ball is dead. 

There were 3,416 attempts of 15+ air yards in 2022, fewest since 2006.


"It's directly attached to Patrick Mahomes. Teams have sat there and said, 'We are going to take these home-run hitting QBs and make them hit singles.'"

9/13/23, 9:54 AM


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20 hours ago, chirorob said:

I think it comes down to a few trends.  

Defenses playing deeper, taking away deep passes.   D Lineman being so athletic, and a decrease in O Line play across the league, so QBs don't have time to let a receiver run 40 yards down field.

I think the DL and olbs are so athletic and the holding rules are enforced to the extent that qbs have to be more mobile and get the ball out quicker.  Put a guy like Xavier Gipson in there and have him run a quick out and his cut will get him open.  Put the ball there and get 6 yards.  

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Where’s norm Snead when you need him.  I guess I’ll read the article. Seems to me the rules have loosened up the defensive backs a bit and they’re not letting the receivers get to the long balls.  But maybe it’s because teams just can’t cover the shorter passes.  IMO in the passing game the receiver always has the advantage of knowing where he needs to go. Couple that with a qb who can throw the ball to a spot quickly and there’s yardage to be gained.

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I think it's attached to the league going more towards passing, than rushing.  In most cases, the deep pass is usually set up by a good rushing attack because the LBs move up, which in turn causes the safeties to move up, or play more single high coverage.  If the rushing game isn't as prevalent as before, safeties can play back more and funnel everything in front of them.  It's not dead, but it's less frequent now.  

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