Friday, November 14, 2014

This may be a good week to run the ball

The Tennessee Titans, with a 2-7 record, rank 29th in the NFL in opponent rushing yards allowed, yielding 136.6 yards per game.

Last week vs. the Jets, the Steelers ran the ball only 17 times, and look where it got them. Conversely, the Jets ran the ball 36 times for 150 yards.

John Henry Johnson was fearsome.
Although this has become a passing league ... and although offensive coordinators around the NFL want to be unpredictable ... running the football still wins games. That's not to say passing doesn't also win games, as we saw when Ben Roethlisberger threw for six touchdowns in each of two consecutive games, or when Aaron Rogers threw six TD passes in the first half vs. Chicago last Sunday.

But when an opponent is weak against the run, it usually pays to run the ball. On Sunday, the Seahawks trampled the New York Giants for 350 yards rushing on 45 attempts.* The Giants couldn't stop them, and there is nothing more demoralizing to a team than realizing it cannot stop an opponent running the ball, over and over and over again. After last week, the Giants rank 32nd against the run.

The 29th-ranked Titans are weak against the run.

It doesn't have to be rocket science.

*Coincidentally, the Giants attempted just 17 rushing attempts against Seattle -- exactly the same number (17) the Steelers attempted to run vs. the Jets. 

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