Pass to win

Top RBs aren’t making the playoffs

Heading into the final day of the regular season, six of the top 11 quarterbacks have directed their teams into the playoffs. It’s 8-of-11 if the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts and Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers win this afternoon.

On the flip side, three of the league’s top four rushers (Houston’s Arian Foster, the Titans’ Chris Johnson and Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew) and five of the top eight may be finished after today.

Pass to Win

This is going on the front page instead of in the links because it’s something I talk about all the time.

The outstanding site Advanced NFL Statistics just put out an incredible report showing just how much more important passing is than running to winning.

The answer:  A LOT more important.

If I were advising a general manager, I’d tell him to largely forget about the run. Get a RB who’s good at picking up blitzes or catching the ball.  Never draft a RB in the first few rounds, and whatever you do, don’t waste precious cap space (or payroll budget) on him. Get a quality QB at all costs. Assess your linemen on how well they pass block, and don’t worry as much about their run blocking. Get lots of pass rushers on defense. Got a LB that’s a great run stopper but can’t play coverage? Trade him to some sucker team that cares that they only give up 3.8 yards per carry rather than 4.2 yards per carry. That’s how you build a perennial playoff contender.

Huh.  A Great QB.  A pass catching, blitz busting RB that you don’t waste cap space on.  Great pass rushers.  Coverage LB.  Perennial playoff contender?

Nah.  Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell.