With the NFL constantly evolving there are, have been and always will be constants.  Throughout the years we've all enjoyed remarkable speed, heavy hitters and the precision to put a pass between defenders directly on target.  It's been in football from all generations, from the Joe Montana to Peyton Manning; From Jerry Rice to Randy Moss; From Lawrence Taylor to DeMarcus Ware.  I mean football, this American game that we all love, this game that brings us all together, with beverages and bar-b-q has always been and will be an evolving sport. 

In today's NFL we see a lot of wild things going on, from the scrambling of QB Michael Vick, or the size of RB Brandon Jacobs.  The NFL has always marveled at great athletes who bring a lot to their position, and remarkably adds more to the position.  QB's now-a-days generally have pin point accuracy, precision and the ability to maneuver inside the pocket.  Not most QB's are equipped with those abilities and the ability to rush for more than 100YDS a game.  The emergence of quick legs and a cannon for an arm has put a mark on the NFL, since before the days of Michael Vick (Steve Young).  Then you have running backs like your Brandon Jacobs, Michael Turner, and the famed Adrian Peterson, whom since he came into the league has set the standard for the position.  Yes there is a lot of talent, changes, constants and evolution in the game which brings me to this, what is producing wins?

In the NFL today it seems that it has become a Passing League.  Looking back at the offenses from last season the top ten teams averaged a little over 205 1stD's on the pass, vs. 106 1stD's on the run.  OF these top 10 teams 5 made it to the play-offs including eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay.  Of the top 10 offenses in the league only 5 of those teams were ranked in the top 10 in rushing offense, and of those top 10 only three teams made it to the play-offs.  It's typical to see this a lot in the league today especially with QB's like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers etc., and a lot of it depends on the system that is ran, and the players implemented in the system.  For example, the New York Giants who sport an offense with RB tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw who rushed for 1235YDS last season teamed up with Brandon Jacobs who rushed for 823YDS, along with a passing game featuring Eli Manning who threw for 4002YDS last season but failed to make the play-offs.  The Oakland Raiders who were one of the top 10 offenses in the league as well rushed for 2494YDS and passed for 3180YDS failed to make the play-offs as well.  The Green Bay Packers who rounded out the top 10 offenses and won the Super Bowl rushed for 1606YDS and passed for 4124YDS.

Now the purpose of this blog is not to overload you with stats, because as I ponder this I think the league features great passing games and great running games, but neither of which is the determining factor of a winning system.  Kansas City had the best rushing offense in the league last year and lost to the Ravens in the AFC wild card game, while the Indianapolis Colts who had the number one passing offense in the league with 4609YDS also lost in the AFC wild card game.  Funny thing they both finished the regular season 10-6 and both finished with a record of 10-7.  Even playing against a great defense passing vs. running has a lot with determining the outcome of the ball game.  On the offensive side of the game there are a lot of teams where you pick your poison, and there are teams that are good at the run, but not the pass and vice versa.  That's where balance comes in.  I'm a huge fan of balance at any level of any sport.  Balance is key when it comes down to winning, and not just winning the regular season, but winning big.  Whether its pass first or run first, a strong offense is a strong offense, and the same rules apply to the defense side of things.  Of those top 10 offenses of last season 3 of them were among the top 10 in defenses including the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

So in the end if your favorite team has a pass first or run first offense without equal balance it doesn't matter.  The same rules apply to the defensive side of things.  There is one thing to ponder though, of those top 10 defensive teams 8 of them made the play-offs.  Which leads me to think that in this era of football there are good teams for good reason, but the good teams, the teams who play all facets of the game eventually become Great teams.  A good offense is a collection of good parts of individual offense working together cohesively in sync equaling balance, and those same rules apply to defense.  As a fan I root for my team and on the outside looking in I see a lot that my team could work on to be better, I can only wonder what the organization sees.  Pass it, or run it it does not matter without balance.


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