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Old 01-16-2007   #1
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Default Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

Stopping the Run & Running the Ball

Common wisdom suggest there are certain keys to building a successful football team. Two of those keys are stopping the run, and running the ball. However, looking at the stats from the 2006 season may challenge such ideas.

First, you must define success. For me, success would be a play-off berth….. So for this, teams that made it into the play-offs were successful. Those that didn’t weren’t.

Looking at the Rushing Yards per Game stat, all together, 12 of 32 teams reach the play-offs. Of those 12 teams, only 5 were in the top 10 in yards/game allowed.

#2. Baltimore Ravens: 75.9 ypg allowed, 5 TDs
#5 New England: 94.2 ypg allowed, 11 TDs
#6 Chicago: 99.4 ypg allowed, 7 TDs
#7 San Diego: 100.8 ypg allowed, 13 TDs
#10 Dallas: 103.7 ypg allowed, 12 TDs

Other play-off teams…
#14 NYGiants: 103.7 ypg, 19 TDs
#18 Kansas City: 120.5 ypg, 14 TDs
#20 Houston: 122.2 ypg, 16 TDs
#22 Seattle: 126.8 ypg, 12 TDs
#23 New Orleans: 128.9 ypg, 10 TDs
#24 NYJets: 130.2 ypg, 14 TDs
#26 Philadelphia: 136.4 ypg, 12 TDs
#32 Indianapolis: 173.0 ypg, 20 TDs

Of course the Houston Texans are not a play off team, but I added them to the list to illustrate where our run defense stands compared to the play-off teams. Overall, our stats were better than 4 play-off teams, better than 2 AFC teams.


Looking at Rushing Yards per Game, only 3 of the top 10 teams made it into the play-offs in 2006.

#2 San Diego: 32 carries/game, 161 ypg, 32 TDs
#7 NYGiants: 28.4 carries/game, 134.8 ypg, 14 TDs
#9 Kansas City: 32 carries/game, 133 ypg, 17 TDs


Other play-off teams:
#11 Philadelphia: 26 carries/game, 124 ypg, 13 TDs
#12 New England: 31 carries/game, 123 ypg, 20 TDs
#13 Dallas: 29 carries/game, 121 ypg, 21TDs
#14 Seattle: 30.2 carries/game, 120.2 ypg, 8 TDs
#15 Chicago: 31.4 carries/game, 119.9 ypg, 14 TDs
#18 Indianapolis: 27 carries/game, 110 ypg, 17 TDs
#19 New Orleans: 29.5 carries/game, 110 ypg, 19 TDs
#20 NYJets: 30 carries/game, 108 ypg, 15 TDs
#21 Houston: 26.9 carries/game, 105 ypg, 13 TDs
#25 Baltimore: 29.8 carries/game, 102 ypg, 11 TDs

Again, Houston isn’t a play-off team…. Wasn’t even close…… but to compare where we stand compared to play-off teams, Houston was added to the list.

teams in blue are going to the conference championship games.

So, what can we conclude from these stats??
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Old 01-16-2007   #2
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

That a team must have balance on both sides of the ball in each mode, pass and run. Our passing game and defending the pass both need to get better as we all know.
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Old 01-16-2007   #3
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

It reafirms the fact that stats don't mean much at the end of the day...What really matters is having players that can make plays in key situations.
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Old 01-16-2007   #4
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
That a team must have balance on both sides of the ball in each mode, pass and run. Our passing game and defending the pass both need to get better as we all know.
Baltimore is #2 against the run......... #25 running the ball.

Indianapolis is #32 against the run...... #18 running the ball.

I don't think I follow what you are saying.

7 of the top 10 running teams didn't get into the play-offs..... 5 of the top defenders against the run didn't as well.....
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Old 01-16-2007   #5
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

This is also sort of silly. If 16 teams make it to the playoffs, shouldn't you be looking at top 16 teams?

A more powerful argument here would be to find a team who is top 10 (or 16) in both running the ball and defending the run and DIDN"T make the playoffs.
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Old 01-16-2007   #6
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
Baltimore is #2 against the run......... #25 running the ball.

Indianapolis is #32 against the run...... #18 running the ball.

I don't think I follow what you are saying.

7 of the top 10 running teams didn't get into the play-offs..... 5 of the top defenders against the run didn't as well.....
Balance, ying and yang, Starsky and Hutch, Ginger and Mary Ann. Sure it is great to excel with a great Run Defense (Minnesota), but you must have an average Pass Defense or else they will always pass and expose you. Putting out a statistical analysis on just one side of the ball provides no actionaable data.
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Old 01-16-2007   #7
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Balance, ying and yang, Starsky and Hutch, Ginger and Mary Ann. Sure it is great to excel with a great Run Defense (Minnesota), but you must have an average Pass Defense or else they will always pass and expose you. Putting out a statistical analysis on just one side of the ball provides no actionaable data.
Basically when you're lacking in one area, you have to excel in another area to balance it out....

or be like the Patriots and be decent all the way around
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Old 01-16-2007   #8
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
Balance, ying and yang, Starsky and Hutch, Ginger and Mary Ann. Sure it is great to excel with a great Run Defense (Minnesota), but you must have an average Pass Defense or else they will always pass and expose you. Putting out a statistical analysis on just one side of the ball provides no actionaable data.
So Minnesota...... #1 against the run, 32nd against the pass.... is not as balanced as Indianapolis..... #2 against the pass, 32nd against the run??

Basically, I'm asking how important is it to stop the run.... we've been saying all year how important it is. But in the case of Indianapolis, it would appear stopping the pass is more important.

After all, points are generated out of the passing game..... right??
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Old 01-16-2007   #9
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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So Minnesota...... #1 against the run, 32nd against the pass.... is not as balanced as Indianapolis..... #2 against the pass, 32nd against the run??

Basically, I'm asking how important is it to stop the run.... we've been saying all year how important it is. But in the case of Indianapolis, it would appear stopping the pass is more important.

After all, points are generated out of the passing game..... right??
Indy was missing one important piece, a hard hitting Safety. They got Sanders back and it has changed the complexion of the defense. You must stop the run because that equates more to controlling the time of possession in my opinion than passing. Moreover, stopping the run is the penultimate, in your face, testosterone eruption football play that beer drinking hairy mammals like to talk about around the bbq pit or while working on an engine. Just don't feed the mammals beer after the third quarter.
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Old 01-16-2007   #10
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Basically, I'm asking how important is it to stop the run.... we've been saying all year how important it is. But in the case of Indianapolis, it would appear stopping the pass is more important.

After all, points are generated out of the passing game..... right??
If it wasnt because of the colts run defense we would not have beat them. You could say that more points are scored out of the passing game. Example Colts. But if your team is dominating the running game then the other team (Colts) cant score. You know the saying the best defense is a good offense or the best defense is a dominant running game. The best way to beat teams like the colts is Time of Possesion.

On the other hand TOP doesnt mean as much to teams like the colts who dominate the passing game and score in a few plays each drive. Seems like atleast.
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Actually he is an A-Hole because he is an A-hole. just like a tiger is a tiger because he is a tiger.
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Old 01-16-2007   #11
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Yeah....... I lost a bet.
Just curious but when does your bet end.
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Old 01-16-2007   #12
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by Kaiser Toro View Post
Balance, ying and yang, Starsky and Hutch, Ginger and Mary Ann. Sure it is great to excel with a great Run Defense (Minnesota), but you must have an average Pass Defense or else they will always pass and expose you. Putting out a statistical analysis on just one side of the ball provides no actionaable data.
Off topic.
Kaiser, did you grow up watching re-runs or what?

On topic.
I agree with you about balance in all areas of the game. Someone else mentioned the Patriots in this thread, but to me, and probably a few others, they are what "balance" is all about. No real superstars (except Brady), and a bunch of good solid team players at almost all positions. Sure they were ranked high at stopping the run, but where do they rank at stopping the pass and total defense? How about offense? You're right Kaiser, it's the total package. JMHO! Just hope the Texans are headed in that direction!
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Old 01-16-2007   #13
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Basically, I'm asking how important is it to stop the run.... we've been saying all year how important it is.

After all, points are generated out of the passing game..... right??
Here are the teams the Texans play next year:

Denver
Kansas City
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
AFC East
Oakland
San Diego
Atlanta
Carolina
AFC North

Except for maybe Oakland, they are all teams with impressive running backs. According to NFL.com, eight of the Texans games next year (Denver, Atlanta, San Diego, Jacksonville twice, Tennessee twice, and Kansas City) will be against the top ten 2006 rushing teams. That doesn't include New Orleans, who we are watching becoming a rushing powerhouse during the post season. In order for the Texans to win next year, they must be able to win the running game.

On the other hand, only three games next year (Indy twice and NO once) will be played against one of the top ten passing offenses.

Based on this information alone, drafting a powerhouse DT is more important to the Texans than drafting the Safety/Cornerback of the future.

On the other side of the ball, only two games (Atlanta and San Diego) have top ten rushing defenses, but six games (twice at Indy, twice at Tennessee, New Orleans, and Oakland) are against the worst rushing defenses in the NFL.

So being able to put up rushing yards could have a fantastic impact. The question seems to be, then, whether the Texans want to draft a DT to stop the run or a running back to put up running yards. Since last year the Texans' two top draft picks (and most of their FA acquisitions) were defensive, I believe their is good argument that the Texans will draft a running back in the first and a defensive tackle in the second.

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Old 01-16-2007   #14
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Here is our schedule for next year:

Denver
Kansas City
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
AFC East
Oakland
San Diego
Atlanta
Carolina
AFC North

Except for maybe Oakland, they are all teams with impressive running backs. According to NFL.com, eight of the Texans games next year (Denver, Atlanta, San Diego, Jacksonville twice, Tennessee twice, and Kansas City) will be against the top ten 2006 rushing teams. That doesn't include New Orleans, who we are watching becoming a rushing powerhouse during the post season. In order for the Texans to win next year, they must be able to win the running game.

On the other hand, only three games next year (Indy twice and NO once) will be played against one of the top ten passing offenses.

Based on this information alone, drafting a powerhouse DT is more important to the Texans than drafting the Safety/Cornerback of the future.

On the other side of the ball, only two games (Atlanta and San Diego) have top ten rushing rushing defenses, but six games (twice at Indy, twice at Tennessee, New Orleans, and Oakland) are against the worst rushing defenses in the NFL.

So being able to put up rushing yards could have a fantastic impact. The question seems to be, then, whether the Texans want to draft a DT to stop the run or a running back to put up running yards. Since last year the Texans' two top draft picks (and most of their FA acquisitions) were defensive, I believe their is good argument that the Texans will draft a running back in the first and a defensive tackle in the second.
Great post brutha.
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Old 01-16-2007   #15
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

My question concerning this is what are the passing yards allowed per game and passing yards per game. The discrepancy could be due to an over-emphasis on one side of the ball, resulting in a lack of balnce and opposing teams exploiting such weakness.
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Old 01-16-2007   #16
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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My question concerning this is what are the passing yards allowed per game and passing yards per game. The discrepancy could be due to an over-emphasis on one side of the ball, resulting in a lack of balnce and opposing teams exploiting such weakness.
I think we've already gone off on too many tangents already. Whatever the reason is, doesn't matter. The point is.....

Football folks say "to be successful, you must be able to stop the run, & you must be able to run"

The teams in the 2006 play-offs kind of disproves those old addages. We were better at stopping the run than 4 play-off teams, 2 of which are going to be in the AFC Championship game(Indianapolis), or the NFC Championship Game(New Orleans). We were also better at running the football than Baltimore, the #2 seed in the AFC.

9 teams not in the top 10 in the league running the football made it into the play-offs, when 7 teams in the top ten(including league leading Atlanta) did not.

7 teams outside of the top ten in defending against the run made it into the playoffs, when 5 teams in the top 10(including league leading Minnesota) did not.

So.... how important is it really to be able to run the ball?? Baltimore, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and the NYJs aren't really much better at it than we are.

How important is it to stop the run?? Indianapolis, Philadelphia, NYJets, NewOrleans, & Seattle don't do it as well as we do.

& we are 6-10.
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Old 01-16-2007   #17
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Stopping the Run & Running the Ball

Common wisdom suggest there are certain keys to building a successful football team. Two of those keys are stopping the run, and running the ball. However, looking at the stats from the 2006 season may challenge such ideas.

First, you must define success. For me, success would be a play-off berth….. So for this, teams that made it into the play-offs were successful. Those that didn’t weren’t.

Looking at the Rushing Yards per Game stat, all together, 12 of 32 teams reach the play-offs. Of those 12 teams, only 5 were in the top 10 in yards/game allowed.

#2. Baltimore Ravens: 75.9 ypg allowed, 5 TDs
#5 New England: 94.2 ypg allowed, 11 TDs
#6 Chicago: 99.4 ypg allowed, 7 TDs
#7 San Diego: 100.8 ypg allowed, 13 TDs
#10 Dallas: 103.7 ypg allowed, 12 TDs

Other play-off teams…
#14 NYGiants: 103.7 ypg, 19 TDs
#18 Kansas City: 120.5 ypg, 14 TDs
#20 Houston: 122.2 ypg, 16 TDs
#22 Seattle: 126.8 ypg, 12 TDs
#23 New Orleans: 128.9 ypg, 10 TDs
#24 NYJets: 130.2 ypg, 14 TDs
#26 Philadelphia: 136.4 ypg, 12 TDs
#32 Indianapolis: 173.0 ypg, 20 TDs

Of course the Houston Texans are not a play off team, but I added them to the list to illustrate where our run defense stands compared to the play-off teams. Overall, our stats were better than 4 play-off teams, better than 2 AFC teams.


Looking at Rushing Yards per Game, only 3 of the top 10 teams made it into the play-offs in 2006.

#2 San Diego: 32 carries/game, 161 ypg, 32 TDs
#7 NYGiants: 28.4 carries/game, 134.8 ypg, 14 TDs
#9 Kansas City: 32 carries/game, 133 ypg, 17 TDs


Other play-off teams:
#11 Philadelphia: 26 carries/game, 124 ypg, 13 TDs
#12 New England: 31 carries/game, 123 ypg, 20 TDs
#13 Dallas: 29 carries/game, 121 ypg, 21TDs
#14 Seattle: 30.2 carries/game, 120.2 ypg, 8 TDs
#15 Chicago: 31.4 carries/game, 119.9 ypg, 14 TDs
#18 Indianapolis: 27 carries/game, 110 ypg, 17 TDs
#19 New Orleans: 29.5 carries/game, 110 ypg, 19 TDs
#20 NYJets: 30 carries/game, 108 ypg, 15 TDs
#21 Houston: 26.9 carries/game, 105 ypg, 13 TDs
#25 Baltimore: 29.8 carries/game, 102 ypg, 11 TDs

Again, Houston isn’t a play-off team…. Wasn’t even close…… but to compare where we stand compared to play-off teams, Houston was added to the list.

teams in blue are going to the conference championship games.

So, what can we conclude from these stats??
Interesting stuff. Another stat to consider is yards per carry allowed. These can be a little skewed too as good teams are generally up at the end of games more often than not so opposing teams will generally be throwing the ball on them more than running the ball, so that can alter the data a little, which is why I like adding yards per carry into that mix as it helps show if they truly stopped the run well or if they just weren't run on as many times.

Another thought, in my big post I wrote up before last draft investigating whether defense really won championships etc. I actually found that on average the teams that make it into the playoffs were ranked better in offense than in defense by a slight margin, however when comparing teams that actually won the championship each year their average defenses were much better than offensive ranking. It would be interesting to see how the Super Bowl winners and/or participants over the last several years ranked in running the ball and stopping the run, see if that is a key component to actually winning a championship vs. just making the playoffs. Just a thought if you feel like looking into that, if so I highly recommend the site www.pro-football-reference.com, there's a whole lot of good statistics on there, more than most people could ever need.
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Old 01-16-2007   #18
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
I think we've already gone off on too many tangents already. Whatever the reason is, doesn't matter. The point is.....

Football folks say "to be successful, you must be able to stop the run, & you must be able to run"

The teams in the 2006 play-offs kind of disproves those old addages. We were better at stopping the run than 4 play-off teams, 2 of which are going to be in the AFC Championship game(Indianapolis), or the NFC Championship Game(New Orleans). We were also better at running the football than Baltimore, the #2 seed in the AFC.

9 teams not in the top 10 in the league running the football made it into the play-offs, when 7 teams in the top ten(including league leading Atlanta) did not.

7 teams outside of the top ten in defending against the run made it into the playoffs, when 5 teams in the top 10(including league leading Minnesota) did not.

So.... how important is it really to be able to run the ball?? Baltimore, New Orleans, Indianapolis, and the NYJs aren't really much better at it than we are.

How important is it to stop the run?? Indianapolis, Philadelphia, NYJets, NewOrleans, & Seattle don't do it as well as we do.

& we are 6-10.

It's great to see this kind of fun insight concerning the NFL. The analysts look at it as being simply one way only. But I think the main disparity between us and the teams that you mentioned is that they have under a single coaching staff for long enough to develop some sort of consistency. Our players and personnel were constantly changing while we tried to forge an identity. That being said, it's encouraging to see that we still ranked up there with some of the best.
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Old 01-17-2007   #19
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by MorKnolle View Post
Interesting stuff. Another stat to consider is yards per carry allowed. These can be a little skewed too as good teams are generally up at the end of games more often than not so opposing teams will generally be throwing the ball on them more than running the ball, so that can alter the data a little, which is why I like adding yards per carry into that mix as it helps show if they truly stopped the run well or if they just weren't run on as many times.

Another thought, in my big post I wrote up before last draft investigating whether defense really won championships etc. I actually found that on average the teams that make it into the playoffs were ranked better in offense than in defense by a slight margin, however when comparing teams that actually won the championship each year their average defenses were much better than offensive ranking. It would be interesting to see how the Super Bowl winners and/or participants over the last several years ranked in running the ball and stopping the run, see if that is a key component to actually winning a championship vs. just making the playoffs. Just a thought if you feel like looking into that, if so I highly recommend the site www.pro-football-reference.com, there's a whole lot of good statistics on there, more than most people could ever need.
Thankyou.......... someone understands what I'm saying..... or asking.

Thankyou.
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Old 01-17-2007   #20
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Default Re: Running the Football/Stopping the Run 2006

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Originally Posted by TheCD View Post
It's great to see this kind of fun insight concerning the NFL. The analysts look at it as being simply one way only. But I think the main disparity between us and the teams that you mentioned is that they have under a single coaching staff for long enough to develop some sort of consistency. Our players and personnel were constantly changing while we tried to forge an identity. That being said, it's encouraging to see that we still ranked up there with some of the best.
Good point...

so what is it that they are learning?? It's not about the run...... the pass... defense, offense......... it's about doing what it takes to win.

How do you teach that?? & where do you start??
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