Running the ball/resting your D
I'm kind of new here, so forgive if this something that's talked about a lot. This topic has always bugged me. People say that if you want to give your defense a break you run the ball to run more time off the clock. Now, it's one thing if your running game is clearly better than your passing game, and thus you're more likely to get first downs running rather than passing. And that's certainly the case with the Ravens.
However, it seems like some accepted cliche that nobody questions, that if you want to give your defense a break, you run the ball. The justification is that more time has run off the clock. I wasn't aware that the human body recovers faster when some arbitrary clock running in a football stadium is counting down rather than when it's stopped on a constant number. If you run three incomplete passes, or you run three running plays that get stuffed at the line, the same amount of real time has passed, and a defender's body has had the same amount of real time to recover. What difference does it make whether some game clock is running or stopped?
I get so angry when I hear this on TV, just had to vent here.
Re: Running the ball/resting your D
I generally agree. It's a stance that's over-advertised. There's is something to say for maybe shortening the game by running the ball and keeping the clock running. That reduces the potential number of possessions for each team.
But as you said, if you want to give your defense a rest, do whatever you need to do to pick up 1st downs.
Great post though. It's a pet peeve of mine as well.