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Will We Commit to the Run Against Arizona?


Oldfan

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Jon Jansen wants it. Bugel wants it. And down deep, JoeGibbs wants to ram the football inside the tackles and blow opponents off the line of scrimmage. The strategy, after all, is the foundation of the H-Back scheme.

They tried it in 2004 with no success. They have tried it at times this year without much to show for it. And I have a feeling that the Rams game has convinced them to give it another shot against the Cards.

The temptation to give the power game another try may be too much for Joe Gibbs despite its record of failure since his return to Washington. If they can make it work, it solves the third and short deficiency, makes us more effective in the red zone, and provides us with the weapon we need to run out the clock and protect leads in the fourth quarter. Hell, we could go to the Superbowl if we could pound the ball inside consistently.

Since their pass rushing DE (Berry) went down, Arizona has been defending the run much better than it did earlier in the year. They're not the Rams up front.

I've been posting since before the San Diego game that we need to gamble with something new and different on offense if we are too run the table...having Musgrave call the plays was my first suggestion...but I have a feeling that Joe Gibbs will go back to a commitment to the ground game.

We are a better football team but I am not as confident going into this game as I was against the Rams.

What are your thoughts? Will Joe and Buges try, once more, to pound the football?

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I can sum it up in one word YES.

Now for the few that follow:

Establishing the run opens up the passing game and if we can establish the run they will bring more in the box and exploit the 1 on 1 opportunities with Santana and Cooley.

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The key to committing to the run is contingent on not allowing the Cards to jump out to an early lead. That means minimizing turnovers :).We have to play the time of possession game and grind it out on the ground to win this football game, IMO. We need to avoid a high scoring contest at all costs, considering our weaknesses in our injury depleted WR core.

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I can sum it up in one word YES.

Now for the few that follow:

Establishing the run opens up the passing game and if we can establish the run they will bring more in the box and exploit the 1 on 1 opportunities with Santana and Cooley.

Teams are going to double Santana. That's a given...since the Giants game. Despite that, we have not had consistent success in running the football inside until the Rams game.

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I have a feeling you're going to see a carbon copy of what we did vs. St. Louis. I just hope it's as successful. You know that Gibbs would love to pound them on the ground and get the Hell out of the desert.

My thoughts exactly on what Gibbs will want to do but, except for the Rams and maybe Tampa Bay (have I missed anybody?) running inside hasn't worked well for us in the past.

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My thoughts exactly on what Gibbs will want to do but, except for the Rams and maybe Tampa Bay (have I missed anybody?) running inside hasn't worked well for us in the past.

Both St.Louis and Tampa Bay run the cover 2 defensive scheme. Also, against Chicago, another cover 2 team, we ran the ball for 164 yards.

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They run it and run it by commitee. The Cards by now have seen the film on last weeks game with the Rams and will be looking for it first early in the game. Thats when you surprise them with the Play Action...

I'm thinking that play-action on first down 50% of the time is our best bet throughout the game, but we ran the ball 72% of the time on first down against the Rams.

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Both St.Louis and Tampa Bay run the cover 2 defensive scheme. Also, against Chicago, another cover 2 team, we ran the ball for 164 yards.

I haven't noticed teams doubling anyone but Santana routinely but it's not easy to tell what coverage teams are in when you watch on television.

For whatever reason, Chicago, despite its strong defense, hasn't been strong against the run for the past few years now. But, I think you're right. We did run the ball inside on them fairly well.

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Oh, I see what you mean.

So, if Arizona shuts our run down, will we continue to give it a go or panic and go shotgun?

I'm hoping the first!

You'll probably get your wish. That's what I'm worried about.. I've seen that act before routinely going three and out.

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Since Berry left, the Cards have played the run decently against the Rams (26th in the league in rushing) and the 49ers (23rd.) That may have something to do with their 'improvement' in that area. In fact, the 49ers rushed for exactly the same yardage against the Cards in their earlier game when Berry was playing.

I know you aren't thrilled with our running game Oldfan, but we are 6th in the league in rushing yards, 7th in yards per attempt and 13th in rushing TDs. The Cards haven't faced a rushing attack as good as ours since they played the Seahawks, who put up 208 yards on them. If we can muster half that I think we'll be ok.

Frankly, with our passing game sputtering and our #2-4 WRs out, I think we'd be fools to abandon the run against this team. It would be Oakland all over again, which the Cards are closer to in defensive capability than San Diego.

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Since Berry left, the Cards have played the run decently against the Rams (26th in the league in rushing) and the 49ers (23rd.) That may have something to do with their 'improvement' in that area. In fact, the 49ers rushed for exactly the same yardage against the Cards in their earlier game when Berry was playing.

I know you aren't thrilled with our running game Oldfan, but we are 6th in the league in rushing yards, 7th in yards per attempt and 13th in rushing TDs. The Cards haven't faced a rushing attack as good as ours since they played the Seahawks, who put up 208 yards on them. If we can muster half that I think we'll be ok.

Frankly, with our passing game sputtering and our #2-4 WRs out, I think we'd be fools to abandon the run against this team. It would be Oakland all over again, which the Cards are closer to in defensive capability than San Diego.

I haven't said anything about "abandoning the run," Henry.

I'd like to see Joe Gibbs stick to his pursuit of balance between the pass an run because that is the best strategy in a system that puts the QB under center making play-action possible.

I'm not big on stats or rankings, but I'd be willing to bet that those you cite for our running game were achieved primarily by running Portis outside or on cutbacks from the stretch play. The way we ran inside successfully against the Rams was atypical of our play this year and last.

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Joe Gibbs is going to try to run the ball all over the place against Arizona. He saw what he did against the Rams and knows he can duplicate it elsewhere.

It would enlighten me if you offered a reason. Why do you think the success of the running game against the Rams can be duplicated?

We haven't had consistent success with that strategy in the past, this year or last. Did you notice something different in the way we did it against the Rams. Was the blocking different?

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I haven't said anything about "abandoning the run," Henry.

I'd like to see Joe Gibbs stick to his pursuit of balance between the pass an run because that is the best strategy in a system that puts the QB under center making play-action possible.

I'm not big on stats or rankings, but I'd be willing to bet that those you cite for our running game were achieved primarily by running Portis outside or on cutbacks from the stretch play. The way we ran inside successfully against the Rams was atypical of our play this year and last.

In the first half we ran 18 run plays and 13 pass plays against the Rams. That's a little run-heavy but not crazy. Again, I think Gibbs is leaning on the run more right now because we are paper-thin at WR, and I don't really disagree with that plan. Even so, it wasn't until the second half, when it was clear the Rams couldn't stop the run up the middle, that we really stuck with it. I suspect we'll see the same this week. If the Cards start giving up huge chunks on the ground, of COURSE we should exploit it.

Otherwise I agree that balance is better, which is why we started with relative balance against the Rams.

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I think that Joe and Joe are going to look at tape and find out what AZ's tendancies are.

Where they see weaknesses, they'll attack. If that means throwing, they will. If it means pounding, they will. If it is both... well, they'll do both.

I don't think that the gameplans will be called beforehand to satisfy ego or to appease the critics... these aren't the Spurrier days.

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Even so, it wasn't until the second half, when it was clear the Rams couldn't stop the run up the middle, that we really stuck with it. I suspect we'll see the same this week. If the Cards start giving up huge chunks on the ground, of COURSE we should exploit it.

.

When people advocate a committment to the run, I don't think they mean we should stick with it when the opponent is "giving up huge chunks on the ground." A committment implies sticking with it even if it fails, say going three and out for X number of times.

I think Bugel and Jansen are on record as wanting a real committment to pounding the running game both inside and wide and, after the Rams game, they might get their way.

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When people advocate a committment to the run, I don't think they mean we should stick with it if it's "giving up huge chunks on the ground." A committment implies sticking with it even if it goes three and out for X number of times.

I think Bugel and Jansen want a real committment to pounding the running game inside and wide and, after the Rams game, they might get their way.

In that case I think you're wrong. :)

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I think that Joe and Joe are going to look at tape and find out what AZ's tendancies are.

Where they see weaknesses, they'll attack. If that means throwing, they will. If it means pounding, they will. If it is both... well, they'll do both.

I don't think that the gameplans will be called beforehand to satisfy ego or to appease the critics... these aren't the Spurrier days.

Gibbs recently chided Bugel on his playcalling. "Do you want 40 Gut or 50?" is his repeated question to Joe during the game.

I gave my reasons for suspecting that Joe Gibbs might be amenable to a stronger committment to the running game. They had nothing to do with satisfying the ego or appeasing the critics. Did they make sense to you or not? If not, please explain.

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