First let me say that this was a great win and one this team really needed. And if you are like me, you were delighted with our finally being able to run the ball. So after a day to soak up this victory, I broke down the game stats, play by play. You may find this interesting:
1st half - 12 rushes for 54 yds. 8 of the 12 attempts went for 2 yds or less. Most yardage came on the 29 yd gainer.
- 9 passes (6 completions) for 55 yds (includes a 19 and 20 yd gainers)
- only had 3 first downs (2 via pass and 1 rushing)
2nd half - 22 rushes for 134 yds. The first 12 rushes gained 98 yds. The last 14 only gained 36 yds
- 6 rushes were for 95 yds (16, 27, 17, 13, 9, 13)The other 16 rushes gained only 39 yds or 2.4 per carry
. - 9 passes (4 completions) for 67 yds. Completions were for 18,8,30 and 11.
- 11 first downs (7 by rushing and 4 by passing). Every completion resulted in a first down
So what does this tell us? I think that even though we ran the ball much better, and the O-line definitely played much better. We still need to throw about 60% of the time or until the defense starts playing back. In the 1st half we ran 57% of the time to 43% passing. Only 2 of the 12 plays went for 8 yds or more. We average more yards per play passing and we get more first downs passing. And while we had one long run, 8 of the 12 running plays got 2 yds or less. In fact, these 8 rushes netted 3 total yards. So, while I felt like we ran the ball better, the truth is except for one 29 yard run, we really didn't run it very effectively.
In the 2nd half we increased our runs to 71%. So again, while we had a number of excellent double digit running plays, more than half of the runs were ineffective, 11 of our 22 rushes went for 3 yds or less (a total of 8 yds) and 7 of those were for 1 yd or less. Again our yds per play is greater throwing than running, even on our best rushing performance in recent memory. And notice how the second half we ran the ball much more than threw it (22-9). I really think that throwing the ball 60-65% in the first half will open up much better running lanes later. And I still love that quick out to Bellamy or Rogers. That play works for 6-9 yds every time. We don't do that nearly enough.
Although I would like to see us throw more, I do not discount the better performance of the O-line and hope they continue to improve. But, I think our best chance to win is to throw more and ironically that will make our run game even more effective. Teddy has both the arm and the legs to make this our best option. Let's let him loose.