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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Balt-Wash corridor
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    Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    In 2018, the top 3 teams by rushing attempts were:

    Ravens
    Seahawks
    Patriots

    Y'know who was #5? The Saints.


    Pats

    The Patriots drew a lot of attention in the postseason by running the ball down their high-scoring opponents' throats. Pats averaged 160 rush yds per game in their three postseason wins. That would have tied them (with Seattle) for the lead league, if they had done that all season.

    On the Patriots, Matt Waldman wrote after the draft:
    After James White's performance this year, it will be difficult to envision a scenario where the Patriots elevate Michel to a featured role and bench a healthy White. Michel will remain a co-star in a committee with White for at least another year. The addition of Damien Harris reinforces the idea that New England will be running a lot.

    Hawks

    Seattle has Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, and a history of trusting their rushing game. (Except that one time in the Red Zone with time ticking away in the SB.)

    DK Metcalf should help their running game, by (a) taking some coverage out of the box, and (b) helping them score more, which would let them play with a lead more often. Also he's probably a monster as a blocker.


    Saints
    Drew Brees had less than 500 attempts, for the first time in 15 years! In the four years thru 2016, the Saints averaged just under 400 rushing attempts. Then in '17 that ticked up to 444; and this past season to 471 rushing attempts, their highest number in a dozen years – highest since their SB season way back in 2009.

    Then they spent their first-round pick on a Center.



    That's FOUR SB-winning head coaches.

    We've all heard the rationale: with the explosion of passing offenses over the last ~decade, defenses have had to get smaller and faster to match up. Now maybe the balance has shifted, and most defenses are more vulnerable to the run than they've ever been.

    If the Ravens really are going whole-hog on a throwback smashmouth offense – which I don't fully believe; but if they are – well, they're in pretty good company. I know a lot of you think John Harbs is too stupid to pound sand. But Belichick and Sean Payton are going run-heavy too. Pete Carroll marches to the beat of his own drum a little, but he ain't dumb.

    Maybe we're on the leading edge of a new wave on offense. Interesting.
    "A wise man doesn't have knowledge of everything. Only idiots know everything."
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSoothSayer View Post
    Shut up shut up shut the hell up





  2. #2

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    You know who was number 6? LA Rams. Not a shabby list. I think what your seeing is partly your comment about defenses playing against the pass with more DBs and therefore being softer against the run. I think you're also seeing these coaches realizing that they still have to keep defenses honest. The great passing leads to better performance on running plays but neither can thrive without the other. Balanced offense is still the key. I think we'll be fine, I'm excited for this offense, but if we can't throw than teams will find a way to stop a 1 dimensional offense. And plenty of teams are getting stopped with 1 dimensional passing offenses too.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by guymf4; 06-13-2019 at 12:52 AM.





  3. #3

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    In 2018, the top 3 teams by rushing attempts were:

    Ravens
    Seahawks
    Patriots

    Y'know who was #5? The Saints.


    Pats

    The Patriots drew a lot of attention in the postseason by running the ball down their high-scoring opponents' throats. Pats averaged 160 rush yds per game in their three postseason wins. That would have tied them (with Seattle) for the lead league, if they had done that all season.

    On the Patriots, Matt Waldman wrote after the draft:


    Hawks

    Seattle has Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, and a history of trusting their rushing game. (Except that one time in the Red Zone with time ticking away in the SB.)

    DK Metcalf should help their running game, by (a) taking some coverage out of the box, and (b) helping them score more, which would let them play with a lead more often. Also he's probably a monster as a blocker.


    Saints
    Drew Brees had less than 500 attempts, for the first time in 15 years! In the four years thru 2016, the Saints averaged just under 400 rushing attempts. Then in '17 that ticked up to 444; and this past season to 471 rushing attempts, their highest number in a dozen years – highest since their SB season way back in 2009.

    Then they spent their first-round pick on a Center.



    That's FOUR SB-winning head coaches.

    We've all heard the rationale: with the explosion of passing offenses over the last ~decade, defenses have had to get smaller and faster to match up. Now maybe the balance has shifted, and most defenses are more vulnerable to the run than they've ever been.

    If the Ravens really are going whole-hog on a throwback smashmouth offense – which I don't fully believe; but if they are – well, they're in pretty good company. I know a lot of you think John Harbs is too stupid to pound sand. But Belichick and Sean Payton are going run-heavy too. Pete Carroll marches to the beat of his own drum a little, but he ain't dumb.

    Maybe we're on the leading edge of a new wave on offense. Interesting.
    Apples to oranges. Those other coaches are taking what the defense gives them. Do you think teams game-plan against those teams to stop the run? They let them run the ball because they’re afraid of being torched by their hall-of-fame quarterbacks. Do you see Belichick try to run against 8-man fronts? No, they (or their QB) sees what the defense is giving them and takes it. It’s a big difference between “hey, they have everybody back deep, so let’s run” vs “ we’re running no matter what.”





  4. #4

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    Quote Originally Posted by steelerhater View Post
    Apples to oranges. Those other coaches are taking what the defense gives them. Do you think teams game-plan against those teams to stop the run? They let them run the ball because they’re afraid of being torched by their hall-of-fame quarterbacks. Do you see Belichick try to run against 8-man fronts? No, they (or their QB) sees what the defense is giving them and takes it. It’s a big difference between “hey, they have everybody back deep, so let’s run” vs “ we’re running no matter what.”
    Get your mother fuckin miserable ass off this board every year with this shit





  5. #5

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSoothSayer View Post
    Get your mother fuckin miserable ass off this board every year with this shit
    Lmao dead





  6. #6

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    Quote Originally Posted by Mmcclend View Post
    Lmao dead
    LOL I’m sick of it man this dude is always miserable





  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Ellicott City
    Posts
    577

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    Quote Originally Posted by steelerhater View Post
    Apples to oranges. Those other coaches are taking what the defense gives them. Do you think teams game-plan against those teams to stop the run? They let them run the ball because they’re afraid of being torched by their hall-of-fame quarterbacks. Do you see Belichick try to run against 8-man fronts? No, they (or their QB) sees what the defense is giving them and takes it. It’s a big difference between “hey, they have everybody back deep, so let’s run” vs “ we’re running no matter what.”
    The Saints game against the Ravens last year was a prime example of "we'e running no matter what". How many times did they run it on 4th down against us?

    The Saints and Seahawks last year were as run-first as the NFL gets.





  8. #8

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    The whole ‘passing league’ is such an accepted oversimplification that To Me it’s nothing more then a myth.

    When I’ve looked at recent playoff teams most are top 10 in rushing.

    We’re zigging with the other playoff teams, except at a higher efficiency level, not zagging.





  9. #9

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    The only team on the list in the OP that used the run to set up the pass is the Seahawks....and it was to their detriment in the playoff game.

    Passing is still king in the NFL. Pats were top 5 in pass attempts. Saints are known for their prolific passing so teams sell out to prioritize stopping that instead of the run.

    Basically what this list shows me is that if you do have a good passing offense it'd be foolish to not take advantage of the running lanes the defense is now going to give you.





  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    In a van down by the rivah
    Posts
    1,618

    Re: Zigging when the rest of the league zags

    We should also consider that these are good teams who are often winning games, meaning that more often than not they are leading in the second half and have an incentive to take the air out of the ball and close things out on the ground.

    In other words we should not assume these are "run first" teams. More like: pass first, get a lead, then run to close it out.

    But the general point of a balanced offense usually being the most effective is well taken. I think that's almost always a good strategy.





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