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  1. #1
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    Debunking the Passing Myth

    I keep hearing that the only way to win in the NFL today is to become a pass first team. Advocates like to point to yards per pass vs yards per rush and state that the run game is simply a change of pace. I will admit that passing numbers are way up but becoming a pass first team is not a key to success.

    People point to pass first teams like the Broncos and Patriots and state this is how teams should be built. The counter argument is so fricken obvious! If you have an elite quarterback (Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers and arguably Ryan) then throw the ball as much as you want. However 28 other teams don't have this luxury and should not succumb to this trend.

    If passing is the end all be all then why are half of the playoff teams (Ravens, Texans, Redskins, Seahawks, Niners and Vikings) run first? Also if high yards per pass were that important than why are the top three passing teams (Saints, Lions, Cowboys) all sitting at home? My argument is that if you are not fortunate enough to have an elite quarterback than becoming a pass first team makes you a weak carbon copy of those that do and you will be exposed. Your best bet is to keep balance, minimize turnovers and maximize X's vs O's. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Debunking the Passing Myth

    You will see when none of those teams in more than one game in the playoffs...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglesfan05 View Post
    I keep hearing that the only way to win in the NFL today is to become a pass first team. Advocates like to point to yards per pass vs yards per rush and state that the run game is simply a change of pace. I will admit that passing numbers are way up but becoming a pass first team is not a key to success.

    People point to pass first teams like the Broncos and Patriots and state this is how teams should be built. The counter argument is so fricken obvious! If you have an elite quarterback (Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers and arguably Ryan) then throw the ball as much as you want. However 28 other teams don't have this luxury and should not succumb to this trend.

    If passing is the end all be all then why are half of the playoff teams (Ravens, Texans, Redskins, Seahawks, Niners and Vikings) run first? Also if high yards per pass were that important than why are the top three passing teams (Saints, Lions, Cowboys) all sitting at home? My argument is that if you are not fortunate enough to have an elite quarterback than becoming a pass first team makes you a weak carbon copy of those that do and you will be exposed. Your best bet is to keep balance, minimize turnovers and maximize X's vs O's. Thoughts?
    Here is the problem when you mention all those teams. Yes, they run the football, but for 5 out of 6 of them, it isn't like they can't throw the ball up and down the field if they want to. Of all those 6 teams, I think you can honestly say that only the Vikings are what you would call a "run majority" team. If you stop the Vikings rushing attack (Adrian Peterson), you beat them every single time. The rest, if you somehow contain their rushing attacks, they still have the weapons to get into an "air attack" type thing.
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  4. #4
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    Well, your thesis is not true. Only 4 teams actually run first (attempts) (Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings) Minnesota Vikings are actually about 50%.

    Additionally, as a practical matter, no team had most of their offensive yards originate from rushing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglesfan05 View Post
    I keep hearing that the only way to win in the NFL today is to become a pass first team.
    Haven't heard that yet. I've heard more about rule changes which benefit the passing game and running back by committe than what you're posting about.
    .
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    "We have been watching and waiting, but I wouldn't say we intend to continue to do that. I think you watch and wait to try and assess a situation and act accordingly. It might involve more waiting. It might involve moving in one direction or another. We've done plenty of watching and waiting. If we can move in a particular direction, we might do that."

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by subroc View Post
    Well, your thesis is not true. Only 4 teams actually run first (attempts) (Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and the Minnesota Vikings) Minnesota Vikings are actually about 50%.

    Additionally, as a practical matter, no team had most of their offensive yards originate from rushing.
    But bad teams have to pass more than run. It's a hard thing to judge because when you're down in the 4th you throw strengths/weaknesses out the window and have to pass.




  7. #7
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    typical question of the chicken or the egg. are teams passing more because they are losing or are teams losing because they are passing more?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramon Nivar View Post
    But bad teams have to pass more than run. It's a hard thing to judge because when you're down in the 4th you throw strengths/weaknesses out the window and have to pass.
    Which makes the point, a rushing attack, even a good one won't win much.

    Pretty much debunks his thesis.

    I will say his point about a balanced attack, I can agree with, but both have to be competent to keep opposing defenses playing both possibilities.

    If a team has a singular attack and a defense does not have to respect the other, it tilts at least some of the advantage to the defense.

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    Well you wouldn't succomb to the trend either if you had AD, Rice, Lynch, Foster. Teams with good running backs run more. Teams with good quarterbacks pass more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccugrad1 View Post
    Here is the problem when you mention all those teams. Yes, they run the football, but for 5 out of 6 of them, it isn't like they can't throw the ball up and down the field if they want to. Of all those 6 teams, I think you can honestly say that only the Vikings are what you would call a "run majority" team. If you stop the Vikings rushing attack (Adrian Peterson), you beat them every single time. The rest, if you somehow contain their rushing attacks, they still have the weapons to get into an "air attack" type thing.
    Obviously you still have to throw the ball to be successful. However I don't think it is a smart move to throw the ball 60% of the time (which is league average) in a close game unless you have an elite quarterback.

  11. #11
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    I suppose this one should be filed under "every team plays the game differently"?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickshaw View Post
    Well you wouldn't succomb to the trend either if you had AD, Rice, Lynch, Foster. Teams with good running backs run more. Teams with good quarterbacks pass more.
    This is obviously true. However three very talented teams (Cowboy, Saints and Lions) missed the playoffs because they did not have a balanced offensive attack. Only one playoff team (Falcons) was in the bottom 15 in rushing attempts. The Patriots and Broncos do not have great running backs but understand the importance of balance and are number 2 and 9 in rushing attempts.

  13. #13
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    The last 9 teams that have won the superbowl have had what would be (at the time) considered elite quarterbacks and very effective passing games overall.

    There are many ways to get to the playoffs. But the best proven way to win it all is to have a great signal caller.
    Last edited by j11430; 01-05-2013 at 01:34 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by j11430 View Post
    The last 9 teams have won the superbowl. Had what would be (at the time) considered elite quarterbacks and very effective passing games overall.

    There are many ways to get to the playoffs. But the best proven way to win it all is to have a great signal caller.
    You are right, its just statistics. The best way to have the greatest outcome is to have one of the best players in the league on your team and touching the ball on every play.
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  15. #15
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    it's a pass first league in the sense that the rules and structure favor the passing game. that doesn;t mean it wins you plkayoff games. balance wins you playoff games. look at the giants last year. they were probably the most blanced team (weren;t great at anything, but good at everything) and they won while teams like baltimore and san fran had obvious offensive weaknesses while new england, green bay and the siants had major defensive weaknesses.


    balance wins championships
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