It is fairly certain that no NFL team can win a game passing 100% of the time ... although many have tried. Is it a myth that a team cannot win running the ball 100% of the time? The reality is that nothing in the NFL is 100% where is actually lies somewhere within the 80/20 rule, which approaches 100%. The answers to the "Running Myth" depends on how old you are and how far you go back into NFL history.
There was a time, before the forward pass, where all they did was run the ball. Of course, the "Running Myth" is entangled and entwined within the concept of having to face today's West Coast passing scheme. In other words, it is thought that it is impossible to win in the NFL running the ball 80-100% of the time knowing that you have to contend with the concepts mastered under Bill Walsh. This is the heart of the myth.
As great as Joe Montana's 49ers were under Bill Walsh, I'm almost 100% certain that even with Ronnie Lott, the 1973 Dolphins would have smashed any one of those 49er Super Bowl teams. The only way to stop that 73 machine was by knocking out Larry Czonka. Although Ronnie Lott did in fact do that very thing versus the Bengals, with all due respect, neither of the those Bengal's teams (blockers) could hold a candle to the machine known as the 73 Dolphin's, which by comparison, was significantly stronger than the undefeated 72 Dolphin's team. The difference being there was absolutely nothing moving Shula from his 73 run game. Lott got to the Bengal's run game whereas Czonka, and his offensive machine, as indicated in Super Bowl VIII, would have punished Lott and the 49ers 2nd level due to the execution of Shula's offense scheme. In my mind ... there is absolutely no question of that. The memories of that particular contest, known as Super Bowl VIII, shall never leave anyone that witnessed it.
The fundamental Bill Walsh West Coast concept is to score as early as possible in the contest ... to then play the game with a lead. Almost to a "T", coaches that fell behind early became unhinged where the game plan was then scrapped quicker than you can say boo! Bill Walsh understood that with that lead the opposition would quickly scrap the running game ... making the offense that his defense faced ... a one-dimensional offense. There is a major difference between Leverage Equals Kyptonite and trying to get back in the game by passing the ball. This was the key.
Of course, there was once an exception but the proof lies in the San Diego Chargers prior failures, without the exception that is Marshall Faulk. Both offenses where almost identical where is took Faulk, a running back, to make it Super Bowl successful.
What Walsh was dependent upon was that an early lead held overwhelming status. What was overlooked was the fact games are not won in the 1st or 2nd quarter. So, can a passing game win on its own merit? The answer lies within another question. Does something that depends upon attacking the edges of the defense, or by exploiting voids within zones ... is that something that can be depended upon to overwhelm the opposition to the end? The answer is of course is no, which is why pure passing teams are destined for death ... without question. This, in itself, is what makes this 2012 Minnesota Viking team so playoff capable ... and quite frankly ... DANGEROUS!
As my son recently reminded me, what lies within the statement that, "The Packer's cannot win the Super Bowl relying upon playing those playoff games in Green Bay"? If the offense is almost completely dependent upon Aaron Rodgers and that passing attack, what influence is there when a Southern California "Cal" quarterback, from Chico, CA (northern CA), is reliant & dependent upon both Green Bay weather and the cold of January? It's almost like the LA Rams of old coming to the Met, except in this case, the Packers are providing the warm weather quarterback and that weather dependent offense. If the playoffs qualifiers were finalized today, the Packers would face the Vikings in the Metrodome in week 17, with the Vikings facing the Packers in Green Bay in round one of the playoffs. One is not considered to be friendly confines for the likes of Aaron Rodgers, except for the welcoming Mall of America turf, especially with this team fighting for a playoff spot. The other location exposes a suspect outdoor winter passing attack. Is there anybody out there drooling yet?
This makes this weeks contest in Houston ....paramount.
We are now embarking upon our 3rd consecutive playoff contest. What do we forgo by ignoring both Toby Gerhart and Joe Webb from our running attack ... with so much on the line? Both of these individuals can enhance the Adrian Peterson effect.
Although Ponder did an admiral job versus the Rams, it figures that J.J. Watt will show up this weekend, especially to swat at Ponder's slant. What JJ Watt cannot deal with is a never ending pounding by running both Toby Gerhart & Adrian Peterson right at him all game long ... until he says uncle. Regardless of who holds the lead, we cannot forgo this scheme. Super Charging Adrian Peterson should not be an after thought.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: December 19, 2012