Sunday, October 5, 2008

Running Backs: Don't Leave Home Without 'Em

Week 5 in the NFL proved a tried and true adage: Run the Ball, Defend the Run, Mix Up the Passing Game.

Or, in other words: you need to run the football.

Many times, the team with a great running game will have a much greater chance to win. Let's take a look at some of the more dominating games of the week and compare their RB performances.

Seahawks 6
Giants 44

Brandon Jacobs had a MAGNIFICENT game! Jacobs ran for 136 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. Jacobs is having a great season for NY, rushing for an average of 95 yards a game, 4th in the NFL.

Chiefs 0
Panthers 34

DeAngelo Williams ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while his running mate, Jonathan Stewart, pitched in 72 rushing yards for the Panthers. Together, they helped the Panthers keep the ball for a STAGGERING 38 minutes and 54 seconds.

Bills 17
Cardinals 41

This is a good example of what happens if your running back struggles. Buffalo rode a 4 game win streak into the Arizona this afternoon, but all the while, Marshawn Lynch had performances fluctuating between 50-80 yards. While serviceable, the Bills appeared to need bigger passing performances and, most of all, turnovers, to win games. The lack of a more consistent running game was going to catch up to the Bills eventually... and how! Lynch was held to a paltry 55 yards and the Cardinals ran all over the Bills in Glendale, AZ.

One last example was today's Eagles game agains the Redskins. It's hardly a coincidence that both teams are near the top of the NFC East. With Washington's Clinton Portis and Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook, it was no surprise both teams kept up with each other until the 4th quarter.

It turns out that Portis was the clear winner between the two, with 145 yards plus a TD (Westbook had a lousy 33 yards).

So when you go out for that big game, make sure you get your Running Back with that QB and a side of fries. He's like the gun for your holster, or the Laurel for your Hardy.

The Running Game: It's Everywhere You Want to Be

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