The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Run!

One of the most important things to understand about successful football is that it is important to run the ball. It is not even that important to run the ball well, just to run it. I think the reason for this is that while passing plays tend to gain more yardage they are inherently riskier and usually the turnover differential will determine the winner. Therefore, limiting passing situations will limit turnovers. You should definitely still pass, you should just avoid the Martzian run-n-shoot, pass all day offense.

Why then did the Packers abandon the run so early against the Eagles (I mean, before it got ridiculous)? Instead of throwing fly patterns to our double covered slow tight end named "Bubba," we could have pounded Ahman and Najeh against the suspect Eagle run defense. This would have limited Favre's passing on a day when he clearly didn't have it, and it would have reduced Eagle offensive possessions (and kept our defense a bit fresher). The Eagles probably win either way (and if they don't make the Super Bowl this year they're just sad) but a close game would have been nice.

In other Martzian news, the Vikings decided to run Onterrio Smith and Moe Williams a combined 14 times (plus Culpepper scrambles, which are really passing plays, and a few reverses). They did this despite the fact that Randy Moss was clearly still hampered by his hamstring injury. They did this despite the fact that the game was always close (at least the Packers were down by 21+ most of the game). They did this despite the fact that Onterrio Smith averaged more than 6 yards per carry. They did this despite the fact that Culpepper threw 3 interceptions, all of them terrible.

I can't thank Mike Tice enough for his idiotic game plan. The Vikings should have looked at the schedule and concluded that they would walk out of week 13 in sole possession of 1st place in the NFC north. Choking against the Bears is soooo Viking.

By the way, if anyone is scared that Chad Hutchinson may be an actual good quarterback, just remember that he was playing against the Viking defense.

Remember last week's column?

My longtime theory holds that the Rams play very well when their QB gets hurt because it forces Martz to run the ball.

So what happens? Mark Bulger promptly gets hurt and as a result, Steven Jackson rushes 26 times for 119 yards in a Rams victory. Granted they played the lowly 49ers, holding them to only 6 points, but part of playing good defense is sustaining drives and letting them rest. Running allows you to do just that, and it allowed the elderly Chris Chandler to lead his team to victory.

Finally, the fantastic Monday Night Football game was blacked out in Chicago (until the third quarter) because of wall-to-wall news coverage of a fire on the 29th floor of the office building at 135 S. LaSalle. They covered the fire for over two hours. And just how bad of a fire was it?

No casualties.

It did not spread to another floor.

After one hour they stopped showing live coverage and started showing taped coverage of what the fire used to look like.

Michael David Smith has more here.

Personally, I think that they waited around just to see if anything gruesome would occur. Thankfully nothing did. But there was no excuse to stay on this story for two hours. It was not an interesting fire. They received many complaints and they deserved it.

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