We've seen plenty of analysis of NBA games from Kirk Goldsberry, but now he's turned his attention to football. In particular, he's taken a look at passes relative to the line of scrimmage in the NFL—and the results are really interesting.
In the visualization, rung out of the 2012 NFL stats, size represents frequency and color completion percentage, from green at 0 per cent to red at 100 per cent. Goldsberry explains:
More than 68 percent of the league’s passes are short throws that target receivers either behind the line of scrimmage or within 10 yards of it. Some may find it surprising that many of the league’s passes target players behind the line of scrimmage. But screen passes and checkdowns are relatively common. Regardless, the most common throws by far are those short positive-yardage attempts.