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Old 10-24-2009   #1
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Default Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

Just read this interesting article on nfl.com:

http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story?...s&confirm=true

"Here are the top five teams this season in terms of rushing attempts:
Top five teams, rushing attempts/game
Rk

Team

Att/Gm

W-L
1

Miami Dolphins

36.6

2-3
2

New Orleans Saints

34.8

5-0
3

New York Jets

33.5

3-3
4

New York Giants

33.2

5-1
5

Denver Broncos

30.8

6-0
Combined record: 21-7
» How the teams stack up in attempts/game


Obviously, that's pretty rare air right there. So, then I decided to look back at past seasons to see if rushing success (average per carry) or rushing attempts was more directly linked to winning football.

Last year, the top six rushing attempt teams (Baltimore, Atlanta, Minnesota, New England, Tennessee and Carolina) were 68-28, while the top six rushing average teams (New York Giants, Carolina, Denver, Kansas City, New York Jets and Minnesota) went 53-43.

In 2007, the top six in rushing attempts (Tennessee, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Washington and Minnesota) were 52-44, while the top six in average (Minnesota, Philadelphia, Denver, Jacksonville, New York Giants and Cleveland) were 54-42. So the rush average teams "won," but barely. And still that season the rushing attempts teams accounted for four playoff teams, to just two for the rushing average teams.

In 2006, the rushing attempt leaders (Atlanta, San Diego, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Chicago and New England) went 63-33, while the rushing average leaders (Atlanta, Jacksonville, San Diego, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York Giants) went 54-42.

In 2005, the rushing attempt leaders (Pittsburgh, Denver, Atlanta, Washington, Dallas and Kansas City) went 61-35, while the rushing average leaders (Atlanta, Denver, New York Giants, Seattle, Kansas City and San Diego), went 64-32. So again, they essentially “pushed,” while both sets of teams accounted for three playoff clubs.

In 2004, the top six teams in rushing attempts (Pittsburgh, Denver, New York Jets, San Diego, Atlanta and New England) were 72-24, while the top six in rushing average (Atlanta, Minnesota, Kansas City, New York Giants, New York Jets, Seattle and Tennessee) were 56-55.

Then I took a look at a random historical season, in this case, 1985. In that year the top six rushing attempt teams went 61-35, while the rushing average leaders went 53-43. In 1975, the rushing attempt leaders went 63-21, while the rushing average leaders went 54-30.

If nothing else, rushing attempts seems a better predicator of success than sheer rushing success. Of the 42 top rushing attempt teams in the study, 30 made the playoffs and just three finished below .500. Of the 42 top rushing average teams, 20 made the playoffs and nine finished below .500."
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Old 10-24-2009   #2
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

This is the perfect example of correlation not equating to causation.

What do teams do once they've established a lead? Run the ball.
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Old 10-24-2009   #3
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
This is the perfect example of correlation not equating to causation.

What do teams do once they've established a lead? Run the ball.
Not always and that's why they sometimes get into trouble. The Cardinals only threw the ball 4 or 5 times in the 2nd half after getting a 21-0 lead on us.
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Old 10-24-2009   #4
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
Not always and that's why they sometimes get into trouble. The Cardinals only threw the ball 4 or 5 times in the 2nd half after getting a 21-0 lead on us.
Richard Smith: So, if we fall behind, we just need to use the Prevent D and force the opponent to run on us.
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Old 10-24-2009   #5
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

The Texans are 17-2 the last 19 times they've ran 30 or more run plays in a game. They're 6-0 when Slaton carries 20 times or more.

Texans are 0-20 when they run less than 25 times in a game.
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Old 10-24-2009   #6
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

That's some nice stat-age but it's still annoying to watch inept blocking for about a yard when one of the things Kubiak and Poppa Gibbs were supposed to bring was an effective running attack. I think not trying to pound Slaton behind the weak interior so much as trying to get him outside with some space and upfield blocking has helped quite a bit because it plays to both SS's and the OL's strengths. Who cares if they don't all count as rushing stats? Steve Slaton was a productive player last Sunday.

I bet this stat will correlate pretty well with teams who were averaging a high time of possession. TOP is usually a decent indicator of who won. Definitely what people try to do against Manning ie Daynetrain-Daynetrain-Andre-Repeat/Punt.
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Old 10-24-2009   #7
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by TimeKiller View Post
That's some nice stat-age but it's still annoying to watch inept blocking for about a yard when one of the things Kubiak and Poppa Gibbs were supposed to bring was an effective running attack. I think not trying to pound Slaton behind the weak interior so much as trying to get him outside with some space and upfield blocking has helped quite a bit because it plays to both SS's and the OL's strengths. Who cares if they don't all count as rushing stats? Steve Slaton was a productive player last Sunday.

I bet this stat will correlate pretty well with teams who were averaging a high time of possession. TOP is usually a decent indicator of who won. Definitely what people try to do against Manning ie Daynetrain-Daynetrain-Andre-Repeat/Punt.
I think we've been trying to force standard running plays a bit too much (look at the Cardinals game as an example). We aren't equipped in the interior to run up the middle from an I formation. I was encouraged last Sunday with how we utilized the screen pass to mimic a running game but i'd like to see us incorporate more unpredictable ways of getting a running game going. Running back direct snaps from a wildcat type package, spread the field out with 4 WRs if you're gonna run between the tackles. More WR reverses and misdirection plays like what Jacksonville killed us with in week 3. Stuff like that...
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Old 10-24-2009   #8
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

As long as it's Andre or Jacoby and not Kdub on the reverses I'm good with it hahaha....
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Old 10-24-2009   #9
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

Eh, I see signs that it's coming around. They averaged 4.2 per carry in the 1st half of both the Arizona and Cincy games. They only ran it though, 9 and 10 times respectively. And in the 2nd half of the Cincy game, though they only had 45 yards on 21 carries (2.1 avg), they did have 3 rushes for 33 yards called back because of penalties. That would have easily put them over 100 yards (120) for the day. Yeah, I get that maybe you don't have that yardage without the penalties, but still, I think the run game is showing some signs that there indeed is a heartbeat.
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Old 10-24-2009   #10
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
This is the perfect example of correlation not equating to causation.
What do teams do once they've established a lead? Run the ball.
This is exactly right! I'd love to see some statistics regarding Rushing Attempts in games where the score difference is less than 10 and eliminating the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter.

I believe in running the ball... But, I've been watching football for 30 years and have always been annoyed by the way this issue is presented. Basically, commentators and even coaches act as if they simply hand off 25 times to a guy, regardless of situation or circumstance, that will guarantee a win. Clearly, that is silliness!
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Old 10-24-2009   #11
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Post Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
I think we've been trying to force standard running plays a bit too much (look at the Cardinals game as an example). We aren't equipped in the interior to run up the middle from an I formation. I was encouraged last Sunday with how we utilized the screen pass to mimic a running game but i'd like to see us incorporate more unpredictable ways of getting a running game going. Running back direct snaps from a wildcat type package, spread the field out with 4 WRs if you're gonna run between the tackles. More WR reverses and misdirection plays like what Jacksonville killed us with in week 3. Stuff like that...
Slaton's TD against the Bengals got me thinking about an Eagles game a couple of years ago. They were tossing it to Westbrook & IIRC the announcers were saying, "to Andy Reid, that's a run." Surely with Slaton's speed, we can do that, too.
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Old 10-24-2009   #12
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
This is exactly right! I'd love to see some statistics regarding Rushing Attempts in games where the score difference is less than 10 and eliminating the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter.

I believe in running the ball... But, I've been watching football for 30 years and have always been annoyed by the way this issue is presented. Basically, commentators and even coaches act as if they simply hand off 25 times to a guy, regardless of situation or circumstance, that will guarantee a win. Clearly, that is silliness!
I gotta agree with that, especially when our RBs tend to fumble too much.
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Old 10-25-2009   #13
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Default Re: Maybe Kubiak is right RE: Running the ball just for the sake of running

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Originally Posted by TheRealJoker View Post
Not always and that's why they sometimes get into trouble. The Cardinals only threw the ball 4 or 5 times in the 2nd half after getting a 21-0 lead on us.
Not true. The Cards had 18 passing attempts in the second half. They came out with 8 straight passes in the 2nd half.
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