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Has the NFL learned to stop the run?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by shakadave, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. shakadave

    shakadave Rookie

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    Right now the Pats are 8th best against the rush (85.6 yds/game). Yet they're on pace to allow the fewest yards per game of the Belichick Era, and I know we've ranked higher before (e.g. 4th with Ted Washington IIRC). Thus the question, is rushing in the NFL a less successful venture than it used to be?

    I think that a good run defense can shut down just about any team's running game if they make it a priority, it's just a matter of containing the passing attack while you're at it. Are more teams focused on stopping the run these days? Are WRs now more valuable than RBs, because even great RBs can be shut down easily by good teams?
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I tried starting a similar thread recently but you said it much better and more efficiently.

    I think so, I agree, the run can be stopped if teams decide they will stop the run at all costs. Perhaps the same can be said about a passing attack, as the Pats have shut down Manning whenever they please :D

    If a team committs to stopping the run, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to the passing game. So, I guess I still think that ultimately the running game is more important.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  3. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    I think you also have to consider that its much more of a passing league now than in the past. Teams are much less likely now to use the "4 yards and a cloud of dust" type of offense, and instead utilize wide open, 4 and 5 wide sets. The increase in using the short (3-5 yard patterns) passing game has replaced the running game to some extent as well. Specialization helps too, in that pretty much everybody uses a different defensive package on first and second down than third down, employing run stopping specialists (Ted Washington, Keith Traylor, etc.). If you are only talking about a difference in the last couple of years I'm guessing that by seasons end the league rushing numbers will be comprable, just a little anomaly that they are lower at this point in the season.
  4. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    It's all about Napolian's rule changes to help the Colts, and the general league emphasis these several years, that makes this seem like a passing league. It is no harder to run than before. It is just a helluva lot easier to pass. With PI penalties, you'd be a fool not to try to cash in just on the penalties alone.

    As far as running, have you seen how many running records are being broken? It is easier than ever to run because it is easier than ever to pass, and a defense can't stop both at once.

    I still prefer a dominating run game to anything else. What N.E. is missing is the crushing O-line, we have the running backs we need, but our O-Line is well coached, more than ultra talented. They seem to have somewhat inconsistent results from week to week.
  5. TeamPats

    TeamPats Rookie

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    Well I think a possible theory could be that the season is still young. Usually in good weather the advanatge goes to the QB, but in bad weather the advantage goes to the RB. Once it starts to snow and be -10 degrees, I think the RB will receieve more carries and therefore more yards. but again just a theory, it is though very apparent that the likes of LT and LJ are having far inferior years then they did at this point last year. So it is definately worth mentioning. It think it is benefit as well to just how well our OLine and RB's have been performing comparitively to the rest of the league, not to mention we had to face Denver and Miami, two of the most stout run D's in the league.
  6. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    Agreed, except I don't really see the O-line as a problem. They are smaller and faster, rather than being the huge type of line, but the question is what are they built for? I say their real strength is in pass protection, I think they've done a great job this year in protecting the team's most valuable asset (Brady). I love the running game too, but I'd rather have an average run blocker and great pass blocker than the other way around. By the way (little off topic but interesting) Dan Koppen is amazing at scooping the DT when he is offset. Key on him for a couple of series, he is so fast at getting on that guy in the running game it is ridiculous. Definitely a must sign.
  7. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Unfortunately, the Pats, among many other teams, have yet to figure out how to stop Denver's zone blocking running game.
  8. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! Rookie

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    The O-Line is not a problem, unless you are talking about being a dominating run first team. Clearly that is not the type O-Line that Belichick wants, or he'd have a Kansas City style O-Line.
  9. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Run defenses are always good in the begining of the season because the players are fresh from the offseason. As the season progresses, defenses wear down and you will see some good run defenses get gashed for big chunks of yards on the ground.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  10. slam

    slam Rookie

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    The John Tomase article about John Hannah a week or so ago seemed to say that Hannah felt that the Pats' smaller line, like Denver's smaller line, is well suited for the running game. It's the lines made up of big, fat, immobile guys who can't sustain a running attack.
  11. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    I'd be interested in season yards/carry and total carries rather than yards/game.

    I may be entirely wrong here as I haven't done any research into this, but I'm guessing that this has more to do with teams running less than it has to do with defense. If one team allows 80 yards on 15 carries and another allows 100 yards on 30 carries, the latter is a much better running defense while the former looks better from a yards/game perspective.

    I think a lot of it starts with coordinators. Running offenses don't tend to impress people as much as a prolific passing attack: any shmoe can run the ball but a genius can design intricate passing plays. Offensive coordinators and coaches are very aware of this because impressing people gets you a head coaching job or allows you to keep it. It's also an ego thing. I seem to remember a superbowl victory against the greatest show on turf where the egotistical coach insisted on winning the game through the air.

    Also, maybe I'm imagining this, but it seems that teams have been giving up on the run when trailing much sooner than they used to. It used to be that if you were down 17-3 in the first half you'd keep running your normal offense because 14 points isn't insurmountable. Now it seems many teams go into panic mode and start tossing the ball the moment they're down by more than one score.

    And as has been mentioned, the rule changes making passing easier also effects how often teams run the ball. If passing has become easier while running has stayed the same it makes sense to adjust and pass more.
  12. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear, I wasn't trying to say that bigger guys are better run blockers, just noting that the pats have a smaller line than most. I was just saying the guys they have (with the exception of Neil I'd say) are better in pass protection than in drive blocking. John Hannah was the best O-lineman I've ever seen by the way. Followed closely by Eugene Chung.
  13. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I think John Madden had the best explanation I've heard thus far. He thinks that because teams are less physical and hit much less in TC, that it takes a good 5-6 weeks into the season before OL's start to click and the running game starts to take off.
    There is no doubt in my mind that a BB TC has much less hitting than former HC Myers TC had when he first came to the Pats from college. (PS: He made the defense and offense ride on seperate buses, that drove players crazy.)
    That was a very physical TC. And we ran the ball much better the next season.
  14. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One of the theories I have read, but I can't remember where, is that it is much harder to teach really innovative O line play in the free agency period. The writer described a type of toss play run by Maurice Carthon of the Giants in the Parcells era, where the guard would pull in a certain way. The writer described it as taking a lot of teaching time, something that isn't available these days.

    I remember the counter gap (or tray) as run by the Redskins to devastating effect against Denver in a late eighties SB. It was a fantastic play, run from the two tight end set, IIRC. I remember watching the game and the commentator saying, after the over aggressive Denver D linemen had fallen for it yet again, "guess what that play was". It left a real impression on someone who had only just started to follow Football:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/features/superbowl/archives/22/

    The other point about run defence is simple numerical advantage; realistically, you have seven offensive blockers versus eight defenders, if the D decides to stack the box. Of course, that means that there is more leverage for the play action, outside run, pass and so on.

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