"I believe that the NFL is a passing league,'' Dan Grossman said. "It has been for the last 20 years. Chicago continues to use the phrase, at least Lovie Smith continues to use the phrase, 'We get off the bus running.' I think they need to abandon that concept.I'll tell you what, Mr. Rex, you name for me the really great teams that didn't run the ball well and I'll name the teams that didn't pass the ball well and we'll see whose list is longer.
"Running is obviously a very important part of the offense. But the best teams in this league are prolific passing teams. And they have been for years. You can't name me a really great team in the last 10-20 years that hasn't had a passing component that was a very important part of it.
Let's see, the 2005 Steelers didn't throw the ball at all unless they absolutely had to. Ben Roethlisberger would go entire games thowing the ball less than 20 times, but they would hand the ball to Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker and beat the crap out of you on defense. They won the Super Bowl. That's one.
The 2002 Buccaneers pounded teams with Mike Alstott and let Warrick Dunn run circles around slow defenders. They had the game-managing Brad Johnson at quarterback and won the Super Bowl with a defense that scored three times in the Super Bowl over the Raiders. That's two.
The 2000 Ravens had Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Trent f---ing Dilfer. They also had Jamal Lewis tearing up teams on the ground and a defense that beat the leaving hell out of opposing offenses. That's three.
The 1990 Giants beat Jim Kelly and the pass-happy K-gun Bills with Ottis Anderson running the ball on handoffs from Jeff Hostetler. Jeff Hostetler. That's four.
The 1991 Redskins won the Super Bowl over the same Bills on the strength of Ernest Byner running the ball on handoffs from Mark Rypien. That's five.
Those are five pretty mediocre quarterbacks with rings on their fingers.
So lets look for teams that don't run the ball very well... The Patriots have been pretty pass-happy and they have a few rings, but in 2001 they had Antowain Smith rushing for over 1,200 yards, in 2003, Smith and Faulk combined for over 1,200 yards, and in 2004 Corey Dillon rushed for more than 1,600 yards. Those are all pretty effective running games to help out Tom Brady.
Of course, now that Brady is throwing on practically every down, they haven't won a Super Bowl since 2004. Hmm...
Let's see, the Colts had Joseph Addai, the Rams had Marshall Faulk, the Broncos had Terrell Davis. Sure, they also had Manning, Warner, and Elway, but those were pretty good running games.
The Packers Super Bowl team had Edgar Bennett at 899 yards as its leading rusher, but they also had Dorsey Levens running for 566 and about 1,600 yards total on the ground to help out Brett Favre, so that is still a pretty decent running team. But one could argue that Favre carried Bennett and Levens the way Jamal Lewis carried Dilfer, so I'll be generous and concede this one. One for Mr. Rex.
Emmitt Smith was pretty good at running the football, so we can remove the Dallas Cowboys teams from the discussion.
That leaves the San Francisco 49ers. The 1988 and 1989 teams had Roger Craig running the ball with Tom Rathman, so it wasn't just Steve Young and Joe Montana.
The 1994 49ers had Ricky Watters at running back near the end of his career. He rushed for under 900 yards all season and Steve Young pretty much carried the team with his passing attack, so there is the second team in the last 20 years that won without being really good at running the ball. Two for Mr. Rex.
I tally five teams that had average passing games (at best) that were carried by running and defense, and two teams (by virtue of me being very generous) that had average running games that were carried by their passing. I win.
Obviously, the truly great teams have both a good running and passing game, as well as good defense. But it seems that a team can get by a bit easier without a great quarterback than they can without a great rushing attack. Hell, Mr. Rex, how disappointing is your son's new team with a pretty good quarterback (not your son) at the helm and an underachieving running game (I should know, I have Steve Slaton on a couple of my fantasy teams)?
Passing may be cool and flashy and what gets on Sportscenter every weekend, but running the ball is important in controlling the clock, converting first downs regularly, and scoring in the red zone. If the Patriots could have run the ball better against the Colts to end the game last night, maybe Hoodie doesn't have to make that dumb-ass decison on 4th and 2. To suggest that the Bears just start winging the ball around the field willy-nilly is just plain idiotic and I somehow have less respect for you than your dumbass son.