30.11.05

The New NFL

These days all the teams in the NFL rely on the same basic system: Run the ball, and then give the quarterback the credit. You know why? Because fans only remember the ball in the air. It moves the game along and makes big plays. Even as much as you complain about T.O.'s attitude on and off the field, and Randy Moss stirring up trouble in Green Bay, (Yes, I’m referring to him "mooning" the crowd) you love to see the receivers causing trouble. But what most people don't see is why the running game is really the backbone of most NFL teams.

The colts are the greatest example for that. Sure, Peyton Manning, he's so good; he no one can run an offence quite like him! Bull. I give Peyton loads of credit, but the only reason he has the opportunity to put it to the air is because Edgerrin James allows him to. No, Edgerrin doesn't give him permission to run all his plays, but without the threat on the ground, Peyton is nothing. It takes two guys to take down Edgerrin, and with Manning's linebackers so tough, it takes more than the usual four up front to stop the run. Making the corners and safeties play a little shorter makes them a lot more committed to the running attack, and if Manning ever decides to go play action fake, forget about it; the ball is in the air and the corners are still watching the run. You take away Edgerrin James, and Manning is nothing. So is Peyton Manning a good quarterback? Of course he is, and will continue to be. But is it really Peyton fueling this offence? I know I’d look out for the beast with 4.5 yards a carry if I were on defence.

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