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Old 10-20-2009, 10:19 AM    (permalink
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Thumbs down NFL Running Games

What is going on with running games in the NFL this season? It seems like there are very few teams who are getting it done on the ground.

There have been a ton of guys who can't get their YPC over 4. Who do you guys think are some of the biggest disappointments?

Brandon Jacobs - 3.6
Knowshon Moreno - 3.8
Michael Turner - 3.5
Kevin Smith - 3.2
Ryan Grant - 3.8
Larry Johnson - 2.7
Matt Forte - 3.4
Julius Jones - 3.9
Steve Slaton - 3.0
Jamal Lewis - 3.5
Jerome Harrison - 3.7
Joseph Addai - 3.4
Willie Parker - 3.1
Glen Coffee - 2.6

And the list goes on...

Some guys that stand out to me are Forte, Turner, and Jacobs. These guys were supposed to tear it up this year but they've been downright awful.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:20 AM    (permalink
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Whats a running game?

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Old 10-20-2009, 10:23 AM    (permalink
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The fact that Brian Westbrook isn't on that list but the eagles still run as little as you do tells you all you need to know about the eagles running game.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:27 AM    (permalink
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Forte needs to break tackles 5 yards behind the LOS.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:29 AM    (permalink
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Forte needs to break tackles 5 yards behind the LOS.
I haven't seen every Bears game but he doesn't look like the player he was last season despite how poorly their offensive line has played.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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Rashard Mendenhall - 5.1 YPC

He's the Steelers Starter... not Parker.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:33 AM    (permalink
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Peterson has had his struggles this year. I blame our offensive line, with two new starters.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:35 AM    (permalink
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The only guy I'm surprised is on that list is Jacobs.

What's the deal Giants fans? Small sample size or has he worn down some? Because it's to be expected that he'd slow down earlier than most RBs but even so, this is pretty damn early
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:36 AM    (permalink
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Peterson has had his struggles this year. I blame our offensive line, with two new starters.
But yet he's leading the NFL in rushing. lol
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:37 AM    (permalink
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Peterson has had his struggles this year. I blame our offensive line, with two new starters.
Are you kidding me? He's averaging 5.2 YPC. The only game he struggled was against Green Bay.

Only legitimate knock on Peterson I see is his inability to hold onto the football.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:37 AM    (permalink
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The only guy I'm surprised is on that list is Jacobs.

What's the deal Giants fans? Small sample size or has he worn down some? Because it's to be expected that he'd slow down earlier than most RBs but even so, this is pretty damn early
he misses his fire of last year imo
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:56 AM    (permalink
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I haven't seen every Bears game but he doesn't look like the player he was last season despite how poorly their offensive line has played.
AP (the good one) wouldn't be able to run the way our o-line has been. Like GoW said, Forte has to break tackles in the backfield just to eek out the 2 or 3 yards he does get.

And defenders are still stacking the box against him. Even in the losses, Cutler was moving the ball easily through the air before throwing picks in the redzone because the defenders are selling out to stop Forte.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:58 AM    (permalink
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he misses his fire of last year imo
I think it is a little bit of that.

But also early this year I'm sure everyone's game plan was to stop Jacobs and let Eli try and beat them with the unproven WRs. Which he did. I thought Jacbos looked better in the Saints game, but we were down so much so fast that our run game was taken right out of the equation.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:01 AM    (permalink
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Teams early on were playing run to test our WRs out. Now they stopped it, but I always liked Bradshaw's skill set a lot more than Ward, Ware and Jacobs. He is really doing a good job.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:02 AM    (permalink
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AP (the good one) wouldn't be able to run the way our o-line has been. Like GoW said, Forte has to break tackles in the backfield just to eek out the 2 or 3 yards he does get.

And defenders are still stacking the box against him. Even in the losses, Cutler was moving the ball easily through the air before throwing picks in the redzone because the defenders are selling out to stop Forte.
Interesting theory but I don't buy it.

Forte averaged 3.9 YPC last season. He's averaging 3.4 this season.

Look at his game logs:


Take out the game where he beat up on a pathetic Lions rushing defense and his YPC is in the 2s.

The guy hasn't proven he can be a consistent rushing threat whereas Cutler has proven he can move the ball through the air. So why exactly are teams stacking the box?
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:12 AM    (permalink
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because they know eventually Cutler will take a risk and make mistakes. The bears are a run first offense, so taking away the run is crucial. on the other hand Ron Turner is horrible so that he doesnt utilize Forte or Cutler the right way
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:14 AM    (permalink
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This is a trend to notice, but still, it is only 6 weeks into the season. Some guys have 10 or even 11 games left to play, to improve their numbers. Plus their offensive lines can continue to gel and/or the offense as a whole gels. Teams might run the ball more as the weather worsens.

Maybe in a few cases it could also be a scheduling thing, ex. if a back plays 3 tough run defenses in his first 5 or 6 games, that's obviously going to considerably affect the numbers to this point.

Re: the Colts backs, they are running the ball much better than the numbers would indicate, and more importantly they are proficient as receivers and blockers (especially Addai). I'm not concerned about them at all, honestly I don't think I would trade Addai and Brown for anyone because they are a perfect fit for the Colts.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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because they know eventually Cutler will take a risk and make mistakes. The bears are a run first offense, so taking away the run is crucial. on the other hand Ron Turner is horrible so that he doesnt utilize Forte or Cutler the right way
Exactly. They're willing to gamble on the unknown against Cutler and our young receivers rather than let Forte and the run game beat them. Shut that down and hope for the crazy throw from Cutler.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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Exactly. They're willing to gamble on the unknown against Cutler and our young receivers rather than let Forte and the run game beat them. Shut that down and hope for the crazy throw from Cutler.
The fact is, Forte and the "run game" haven't beat anybody this season. Hell, they barely beat anybody last season with the exception of Indianapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis. Look at his game logs.

I just don't see the productivity on the field to back up all the hype Forte got last year. His numbers are eerily similar to Ryan Grant after his first season.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:36 AM    (permalink
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The fact is, Forte and the "run game" haven't beat anybody this season. Hell, they barely beat anybody last season with the exception of Indianapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis. Look at his game logs.

I just don't see the productivity on the field to back up all the hype Forte got last year. His numbers are eerily similar to Ryan Grant after his first season.
If by similar you mean nothing alike, sure :P

Grant had a higher average rushing, but much less attempts. Meanwhile Forte was an all around better receiver.

Ryan Grant:

Run - 188 attempts for 956 yards (5.1 ypc) for 8 touchdowns.

Catch - 30 receptions for 145 yards (4.8 ypc) for 0 touchdowns.

Matt Forte:

Run - 316 attempts for 1,238 yards (3.9 ypc) 8 touchdowns.

Catch - 63 receptions 477 yards (7.6 ypc) for 4 touchdowns.

The main difference between the two backs in their first year, which you can tell from the stat lines and watching the games, is that the Bears needed Forte, the Packers didn't need Grant.

They're different types of backs, with very different styles and the only thing in common is that they both rushed for 8 touchdowns and are similar in size.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:43 AM    (permalink
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or minnesota... or tampa...

you have to remember, he had the highest percentage of team yards.
he WAS the offense...

this year... the run blocking is abysmal, that's the difference between this year and last year... if you'd watch game film on forte you'd see that... it's akin to what happened to grant last year...

the difference between them is... is that they're two different backs, with different lines, but similar problems... you can't say their 'eerily' similar if one is a complete back, and the other is a pound the ball downhill runner.

it's like comparing LJ to LT.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:49 AM    (permalink
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If by similar you mean nothing alike, sure :P

Grant had a higher average rushing, but much less attempts. Meanwhile Forte was an all around better receiver.

Ryan Grant:

Run - 188 attempts for 956 yards (5.1 ypc) for 8 touchdowns.

Catch - 30 receptions for 145 yards (4.8 ypc) for 0 touchdowns.

Matt Forte:

Run - 316 attempts for 1,238 yards (3.9 ypc) 8 touchdowns.

Catch - 63 receptions 477 yards (7.6 ypc) for 4 touchdowns.

The main difference between the two backs in their first year, which you can tell from the stat lines and watching the games, is that the Bears needed Forte, the Packers didn't need Grant.

They're different types of backs, with very different styles and the only thing in common is that they both rushed for 8 touchdowns and are similar in size.
Huh? You're comparing the wrong years. I'm talking about 2008. They had basically identical seasons in terms of RUSHING.

Grant - 1203 yards on 312 attempts (3.9 average)
Forte - 1238 yards on 316 attempts (3.9 average)

Now this season:

Grant - 347 yards, 91 attempts (3.8 average)
Forte - 294 yards, 86 attempts (3.4 average)

So how exactly are they so different in terms of running the football, statistic-wise? They are both subpar backs in the NFL and haven't produced the past two seasons.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:49 AM    (permalink
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Frank Gore coming back this week....welcome back running game.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:50 AM    (permalink
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Dolphins know what's up.

Ronnie Brown has a 4.8 average and Ricky Williams has a 5.2 average.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:57 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, I've also noticed that NFL running games are lagging of late. But those are things that tend to improve as the season progresses, though. It may just be that the big names we've been accustomed to are not longer big, aside from AD. Mendenhall? Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams? Ray Rice? MJD? I mean, we all thought they were good, but the LTs and LJs aren't doing so hot of late.
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