I do not know if I have seen this addressed at all. It may, as the season wears on be the most important factor in getting homefield advantage and winning the SB. OUR RUNNING GAME Through 5 games our running game is performing better than it has over a full-season in the BB era. (I am comparing this year to full seasons. I'm sure we have had 5 game stretches better than this, but this ASSUMES we carry it out over a full season...more on that later) We are averaging 34.6 rushes per game, 155 yards per game, and 4.5 per rush. The best of the BB era 32.8/133.4/4.1 (2004) The average of the BB era 28.8/106.4/3.7 The average of 3 SB champs 30.7/115.3/3.8 Ranking the teams by rush yards per game 2004 133.4 SB Champs 2006 123.1 AFCC loss 2001 112.1 SB Champs 2003 100.4 SB Champs 2005 94.5 2nd round loss 2002 94.2 9-7 no playoffs 2000 86.9 5-11 no playoffs That is quite a correlation. As the season wears on running offense becomes more and more important. We seem to be in the best shape ever to sustain a strong running game. Teams that run well avoid bad days and upsets. (so do teams with a QB named Tom Brady) Lookin gbeyond the numbers, it also seems likely we will sustain the running game at levels near this. 1) The 2 best prior seasons were in 2 of the last 3 years. Our OL has been mostly in place for the majority of that time. (and the down year included a ton of OL injuries) It seems that OVERALL we have been pretty consistently improving the running game. 2) In 2004 we had our best running game, led by Dillon. In 2005 we took a step back with Dillon injured a lot, and replacements lacking. In 2006, with Dillon nowhere near as effective as 2004, but Maroney added we reached 92% of 04s rushing yards, and 95% of the yards per carry. 3) This year our OL has continued to develop (there is no question Mankins, Kaczur and OCallahan are better players today than in their 1st or 2nd years, and none of our more veteran OL have yet declined) Maroney, when healthy has taken on a larger role, and Sammy Morris is extremely productive. It seems that the basis of what is making the running game improve is all going in the right direction. Addtionally, as our passing game is more explosive than ever, the running game should see less focus from defenses. There has been so much notoriety to the unbelievably passing game we have had through 5 weeks, its almost surpising to see that our running game has: 20% more rushes per game than the average of the BB era 45% more rushing ypg than the average of the BB era 22% higher ypc than the average of the BB era If this continues, it will pay HUGE dividends in December and on, and is not a bad harbinger for a game coming up with some team in November that has always had trouble stopping the run.