Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rushing defense does not matter!

Now, I have long been a proponent that rushing the football and defending the run doesn’t matter a whole lot in the modern NFL (the corollary- that rushing the football doesn’t matter much in college- in not true).

In the NFL the run is only good for three things: setting up the pass, tactically moving the clock and reducing the number of points you score. Teams waste too many snaps trying to “establish the run”. Put the ball on the thirty- and run four straight “successful” running plays- and you are looking at 2nd and 5 from your 47. Or run two good pass plays coupled with two incompletes- and it is 1st and 10 near field goal territory. Our Precious League is not the Big Ten- 12 plays and 75 yards doesn’t happen here- you gotta throw it (a lot) to score it.

Anyway, I was heartened by this. Note the worst is Indianapolis. The Champs. For two of their Super Bowls the Pats had the worst, then next to worst, rush defense.

I then took the rushing yards allowed and correlated it to each team's number of wins: -18%. Any number close to zero suggest a completely random relationship- so -18% ain't exactly surprising. If anything, it suggests that the more teams try to run the ball, the more likely they are to lose.

It is the most overrated factor going. Stop the pass and throw the ball is how you win in our precious League!