Running Game is Good for the Soul
Keeping Defenses Honest Opens up the Big Play
Yours truly is not only old, but old school when it comes to football, that is until last season.
When the Packers rang up a 15 and 1 record due mostly to throwing the ball early, often and successfully, I started doubting the importance of a running game. It was like, who cares as long as you're ringing the scoring bell .
Then came the one and done playoffs, and while the Packers ran the ball rather well in their loss to the Giants, it's not like they had a season's worth of establishing the tough, physical mindset that goes with running the ball consistently.
There's just something about lining up and bloodying the opponent's nose on the ground.
Don't know how you're seeing it, but it seems like Mike McCarthy is making a concerted effort to establish a running game this season. At times it hasn't looked too good, but it'll never get better if you don't 'rep' it, and Mike McCarthy has 'repped' it.
His investment paid significant dividends against the Cardinals, who've got a good front seven. Minus Aaron Rodgers scrambles, we're talking 31 carries at better than four and a half per.
Those kinds of numbers have to be respected, and if they continue, they'll slow down the pass rush, keep defenses honest, and present big play opportunities from play-action.
Perhaps just as important, they're good for a team's soul. You throw one over the top, you beat one guy. You shove it down their throat, you're beating all eleven.