This is a phrase I've been hearing all week, and I wanted to discuss it in detail because I think it's one of the most misunderstood theories in modern football: "To win on Sunday, the Jets need to establish the run so they can control the clock and limit Brady's possessions." Sounds great in theory, and plays into the Jets' offensive strengths, the running game. But let's break down the reasons for this strategy and see what they really mean: 1) Running the ball is how you control the clock. Not entirely. The key to controlling the clock is getting first downs. That's what extends drives and leads to more plays. Running the ball has a greater chance of the clock still moving, but against any decent run defense you'll need the pass to chew up some clock by converting 3rd downs. 2) Controlling the clock means running a lot of game time down. Again, not necessarily. If you're looking to keep your defense rested with extended drives, it doesn't really matter how much clock is run... it matters how many PLAYS you run. Whether the game clock is moving or not, there is roughly 30-40 seconds between each play that the defense is resting. They don't magically stay tired if the drive only ate up two minutes, if there were seven or eight incompletions (admittedly that would take some epic 3rd down conversions), that's still about four more real life minutes of rest for your D (plus timeouts). 3) Controlling the clock means less possessions for X This part is true, but it also means you have fewer possessions for YOU. Holding Tom Brady to four possessions because all of the drives took seven or eight minutes for each team only helps if your guy has MORE SUCCESSFUL drives than Tom Brady. The theory is that the sample size is smaller, so that's more likely (whereas over the course of more possessions, eventually the better QB will win), but as we saw with Peyton vs. the Dolphins last year, all the ToP in the world didn't help because Peyton simply took advantage of every drive he had. Conclusion drawn from these, the only way to truely limit Tom Brady's possessions in a meaningful way is to create turnovers, be they on defense or special teams. That instantly takes any more chances on that drive away from him, and gives them to you. That's how you get more "real" drives than the other team. The idea that simply running the ball means you're effectively limiting Brady is far too simplistic. Any thoughts? It's just one of those football cliches that has never sat well with me.