Offense wins championships.
For years it seems, Redskins fans have begged for a return to the glory days of the 80’s and early 90’s - when the ground-and-pound mentality, behind a stellar offensive line and solid defense ruled the day.
I have gotten into so many debates with posters over the years stating that the old ground-and-pound mentality would only get you so far in today’s NFL, and that you absolutely NEED a franchise-type quarterback, legit wide receivers and an explosive, complete running back to keep defenses honest and put of yards and points.
Fans have argued against this; sometimes even getting rather miffed by the idea that offense wins championships in the NFL.
Well, last year, with our first and only season(or I guess I should say half-season) of Alex Smith under center, we saw a true ball-controlled offense focused on running the football and not turning the ball over, with solid defense played behind that.
The result - an early 6-3 record, and a NFC East division lead.
...then things fell apart.
...but, there is more to this story.
Some of the most ardent supporters on Hogs Haven of developing a solid run game, and ball controlled offense, with an solid defense behind that sort of flipped.
And why was that?
Didn’t the fans finally get what they wanted(even though it was only for half of the season)?
Take a look at some of these comments below from our readers when it came to talking about Alex Smith and the early 2018 offense(these are just some recent one’s I’ve pulled - trust me when I say there were MANY more):
We had a running game
Peterson and the defense won those games. Smith gets credit for not turning the ball over. That’s what he did to help us to 6-3, but when we faced high scoring offenses like New Orleans, Colts, and Atlanta you saw that Smith couldn’t keep up. He can’t compete with QBs like Luck, Brees, and Ryan. He’s not in that category and never will be. And Smith takes so many sacks and holds the ball too long because he can’t read a blitz. It’s simple.
We were at 6-3 in spite of Smith.
His main contribution was not making too many mistakes. They let the running game work and leaned on the defense. If either the defense or running game had a bad day, we lost.
Hummm... High scoring offenses, and “not being able to keep up”. “If either the defense or running game had a bad day, we lost”.
So let’s examine this a bit further:
There were 8 team in the NFL who had over 6000 total yards of offense in 2018. 8 TEAMS! Baltimore had 5999, so we can essentially say 9 teams!
Guess what dominated the stat sheet for all 8 of those teams - Yep...passing yards. All but one of those team’s passing yards more than doubled their rushing total. And the lone team to not do so, the Saints, were just 8 passing yards off that mark.
Want to know something else? 5 of those 8 teams made the playoffs(the Ravens did too and they were just one yard away from 6000), 4 of them were represented in their conference championships, and the two teams who went to the Super Bowl, the Rams and Patriots, were ranked second and fifth respectively in total yards.
Looking again at those 8 teams who totaled over 6000 yards of offense, only 2(Falcons and Bucs)had losing records. No team in 2018, who had less than 5500 total yards of offense and did not have their passing yards more than double their rushing yards had a winning record. Actually, no team who finished with less than 5500 total yards of offense had a winning record in 2018.
Going back to championships, over the last three seasons, the teams who won the Super Bowl all were in the top 7 in the league in total offense, and none had less than 5850 total yards that season. Only the 2017 Eagles, who went on a magical and unconventional playoff run with Nick Foles at quarterback, didn’t more than double their running output in passing yards.
No team who has won the Super Bowl in the last five years has had less than 5600 total yards of offense, and only the previously mentioned 2017 Eagles didn’t double their rushing yards by air yards accumulated.
This offensive output is not a NEW trend; it’s been this way for a while now.
Simply put - teams who can move the football, and do so effectively have a greater chance of making the playoffs, winning their conference and bringing home a championship verses those who choose to play more conservative with a ground-and-pound, ball controlled approach and solid defense behind that.
Now, before I let you have fun with this debate, let me just say this - defense is VERY important. You are not going to win consistently without a good defense. However, this debate, if you choose to participate, is more about having an explosive offense.
So, for all these years, and for all those people who begged for the Redskins to get back to that old-school ground-and-pound approach, with a HEAVY dose of the running game, and an offense that limited turnovers...
Why were you so down on what a healthy Alex Smith brought to this team over the first half of 2018?
Is it because what you may have THOUGHT you wanted really wasn’t going to cut it against some of the NFL’s best?
Have fun, and debate your asses off! I left you plenty of rope to hang yourselves - or me, haha!