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Expand chart
Data: NFL; Table: Axios Visuals

Driven by rule changes and schematic innovations, as well as a correlation between pass-happy offenses and winning, the NFL is in the midst of an aerial revolution. And yet — most of the remaining playoff teams love to run the ball.

By the numbers: For the first time since 1970, the top four passing teams by yards (Buccaneers, Cowboys, Falcons, Rams) missed the playoffs, while the top four rushing teams (Ravens, 49ers, Titans, Seahawks) made it, per FiveThirtyEight.

  • The eight remaining playoff teams gained 36.9% of their yards on the ground this season, while the league's other 22 were decided more passing-oriented, gaining just 30.8% of their yards on the ground.
  • The Chiefs ranked fifth in passing yards during the regular season, but the other seven playoff teams all finished outside the top 12: 49ers (13th), Seahawks (14th), Texans (15th), Packers (17), Titans (21st), Vikings (23), Ravens (27).

Between the lines: Despite gaining so many rushing yards, the divisional-round's best rushing teams look nothing like the "ground-and-pound" offenses of yesteryear (outside of maybe the Titans).

  • Rather, they utilize spread-based attacks where the QB is a threat to run at any given moment.
  • Five of the eight longest runs last weekend were by QBs.

The bottom line: The golden age of superstar RBs has clearly passed, but dual-threat QBs like Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are all the rage, and its changing how we think about rushing offense.

Go deeper ... NFL coaching carousel: Only the Browns remain without a hire

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump, Melania received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  3. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  5. World: Italy tightens restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants — PA announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge.
  6. Local: Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy.
Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were both vaccinated at the White House in January, a Trump adviser tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump declared at CPAC on Sunday that "everybody" should get the coronavirus vaccine — the first time he's encouraged his supporters, who have been more skeptical of getting vaccinated, to do so.

Biden administration seeks to allow separated migrant families to reunite in U.S.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.