FO: On Numbers of Wide Receivers Used On Offense

CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 23: Wide receivers Greg Jennings #85 Donald Driver #80 and Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers on their sideline agains tthe Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23 2011 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Danny Tuccitto looked at the frequency at which offenses used different combinations of wide receivers. From Football Outsiders:

Overall, 38 percent of plays had two wide receivers in the formation, 43 percent had three wide receivers, 11 percent had one wide receiver or fewer, and the remaining eight percent had four or five wide receivers. These ratios were almost identical to those in 2009, and it reflects once again that third slot receiver and nickelback are pretty much starting-level positions in the modern NFL.

According to his stats, the Green Bay Packers were approximately league average in the usage of 0-1 and 3 wide receiver sets, although they still had some "goofy stuff" when they pulled the wide receivers out and brought in two or three full backs. 

It's interesting that the Packers were about average (No. 20 overall) when using the standard two wide receiver set. But they were also below average and only utilized that conventional package on 27% of their plays. Maybe they knew their strengths and kept out of that formation, or maybe the stats would have been better if they utilized it more frequently.

While still a ways behind the Bills, who used 4 or 5 wide receivers on 25% of their plays, the Packers brought in the extra, extra, (and sometimes extra) wide receiver on 19% of their plays. Part of me thinks that's great: keep the defense guessing. And part of me wants to see an extra blocker in to protect Aaron Rodgers

If it seemed like the Packers utilized an extra receiver more than most teams in 2010, it's because they did.

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