In the NFL, Pass is still the King, Run is still the Queen

Peyton’s Colts don’t need to run the football

Truth be told, I cannot allow this point of topic to slide without addressing the issue, matter at hand.

In response to an excellent well-written article by Lions Gab columnist Anthony Kuehn earlier in the week:

Despite how outstanding the piece was executed by Anthony, I cannot agree with his motives, conclusion based behind the production.

It’s one thing to say that balanced football wins Super Bowls, but it’s another thing to say that running the football wins over passing the football.

Bob Schnebly says:

October 29, 2010 at 3:25 am


Great article!!! As a fan of “running the football” I can tell you that I’m glad to see the stats about W & L records and Championships won by teams that “run the ball” even in today’s NFL.

Bob Schnebly

So this goes out, not only to Anthony, but to Mr. Bob Schnebly:

And I ask:  But who played in the Super Bowl last season and the year before, and who went 18-0 the year before that, and who won it the year prior to that?

Let me further emphasize my view:

Last year’s Super Bowl participants, Saints-Colts: deemed passing teams, correct?  Drew Brees-Peyton Manning lead passing offenses, right?

The Super Bowl teams the year before, Steelers-Cardinals: both went the direction of via the passing route, truthfully said?  Warner and Roethlisberger traded blows, countering each other with big passing play after big passing play, does my memory serve me precise?  Both clubs needed to utilize the air and rely on deep ball theatrics more often than not throughout the ’08 season, true of me to say?

More examples:

2007 record breaking New England Patriots: Tom Brady to Randy Moss, records shattered, dominance conquered, can we agree?

Peyton again in 2006 against the Chicago Bears.

Brady’s Patriots back-to-back champs in 2003 and 2004.

Passing, and more importantly, big plays, still rule over the run in the NFL.  Nowadays, opportunistic offenses win games, and yes, even, Super Bowls.  Give me a passing team over a running team any day of the week, and especially on Sundays, when it matters the most.

Name me the last team who was run heavy and reached the big dance and won the show?  Even the Super Bowl XLII winning Giants had to feature Eli all throughout the Playoffs and ride Plaxico Burress and go deep to beat New England.

Pass > Run

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2 Responses to “In the NFL, Pass is still the King, Run is still the Queen”

  1. 2000 Ravens, 2001 Patriots and 2007 Giants all heavily featured the run and their big passing plays were set up by the run.

    Dan Marino, best quarterback of the modern era, no running game, no Super Bowl wins.

    Elway only won Super Bowls after Terrell Davis was there.

    Manning despite leading the second winningest team in the NFL in the 2000’s has a horrible post season record and only 1 Super Bowl because he has played on teams that can’t run.

    Mike Martz the most pass heavy offensive coordinator in the NFL has been a failure once he no longer had Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk. He turned the Lions into a top 10 offense and they won three games. The Texans have had a great passing offense for years and still haven’t made the playoffs.

    Saints vs Colts was a battle of two primarily passing teams but who won? The team that ran better.

    Passing is flashy and big plays are great, but if a team can’t run effectively it doesn’t matter how well they pass.

  2. Russ Loede says:

    I think you can win despite a bad running game, but not despite a bad passing game.

    With the Lions situation, Stafford and Calvin are both vital to the team’s offense and success more than Jahvid is.

    Remember with the Rams, Martz, and Marshall Faulk, a lot of their high-percentage plays were short passes to Faulk. In the NFL, a short pass to a back or a receiver is equivalent and just as good if not better than a run. It can almost replace the run in this case.

    Give me big plays, ones of 20+ yards over a solid run game. A steady pass offense leads the way the majority of the time. Just like the whole “defense wins championships” the NFL has changed and the rules are more geared to passing the football and getting big plays via the air. Rule by rule, Sunday by Sunday it is becoming more and more obvious. So I don’t believe you can say anymore that running the football and playing defense can win you championships. It should be this: Big plays through the air and opportunistic defense wins you championships.

    2000 Ravens (mainly due to the defense) are a good example against my point, but that was a decade ago. ’01 Patriots were still Tom Brady-driven. And the ’07 Giants needed the pass, not the run, to bail them out time and time again. It was Eli to Plaxico Burress, to David Tyree, that helped them get to the Super Bowl, get in position to win the Super Bowl, and ultimately win the Super Bowl. Offensively, I believe they did it more via the pass not the run.

    The following year, they were more run heavy and emphasized the three-back system, but were one and done losing to the Philadelphia Eagles at home in the Divisional round. That game wasn’t even close, because they couldn’t pass the ball and produce the big play. Also, run-oriented offenses can be stopped because it’s usually easier to defend against it.