Nickel Is The Norm In Today's NFL

PHILADELPHIA PA - JANUARY 09: Jason Avant #81 and Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates Avant's third quarter touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9 2011 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Every week we hear someone say that the NFL is a "passing league" and certainly all offseason we heard about the importance of the Eagles having three starting caliber corners to combat all the nickel packages teams run. But I don't know if we all realized just how prevalent the 3 WR set is these days. It's by far the most common offensive package in the NFL this year. From Dan Pompei,

*The most common offensive personnel package in the NFL might not be what you think. It’s one back, one tight end and three receivers (or in a few cases, two receivers and a sixth offensive lineman), which has been used on 41.9 percent of total plays this year, as per data from Stats Inc.’s Ice program. The next most frequently used package—one back, two tight ends, two receivers—has been used much less—22.2 percent. The traditional two back, one tight end two receiver package? It’s been used only 16.9 percent of the time.

So not only is the fullback a completely marginalized position, but that tried and true old pro set is rarely used at this point. I guess the question is why? Anyone have a theory?

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