Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Run, run, running blues

Steelers' great John Henry Johnson,
circa 1963, getting it done.
The Steelers are tied with Tampa Bay for 26th in the NFL in Rushing Attempts, with just 47 rushing plays in the first two games.

Some teams talk about committing to the run. Other teams do it. All during the off-season, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Hue Jackson insisted the Bengals would commit to the run this year.  Now, the Bengals rank second in the league with 71 attempts, behind only Houston's 80. On Sunday vs. the Falcons, the Bengals ran the ball 45 times for 171 yards, led by Giovanni Bernard's 27 carries and Jeremy Hill's 15 caries. The Bengals won convincingly.

Even the Dallas Cowboys demonstrated a newfound commitment to the run during their convincing win over Tennessee. Dallas's defense was on the field for only 49 snaps, as the Cowboys racked up 241 yards rushing and a whopping 41 minutes time of possession behind DeMarco Murray's 167 yards rushing on 27 carries. Dallas is tied with Buffalo for fourth in the league with 66 rushing attempts.

Cleveland is 8th in the league with 60 rushing attempts. Just ahead of them is San Diego, with 61 rushing attempts. San Diego had the ball for a whopping 42:15 time of possession during the team's convincing victory over Seattle on Sunday.

The Steelers are running the ball okay, with a 4.8 yard average per attempt, which is ninth in the league. Todd Haley, Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin just can't commit to it.

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