May 16, 2008
A real Super Bowl run
So now we know that Carolina coach John Fox is determined to build around a power rushing game, and that the Panthers believe -- along with all of the problems at quarterback, that the lack of a consistent ground attack is a main reason the Panthers stumbled to a 7-9 finish a year ago.
Since then, the team has bulked up and beefed up, and you know Fox never wants to have to throw on third-and-1 again.
Does a strong running game translate into postseason success?
It did for the 2003 Panthers, who reached the Super Bowl on the back of RB Stephen Davis and averaged 130.7 regular-season rushing yards, their highest mark ever. Last season, Carolina averaged 114.0 ground yards, 14th-best in the NFL.
For comparison, I thought I'd take a look at the last ten SB champs, and see where they finished on the league rushing list.
There is a correlation; six of those ten finished among the league's top seven in rushing, and five of those six were in the top five, with Denver, which won the 2000 Super Bowl, the highest of the bunch at
Then again, Tampa Bay and New England finished a dismal 27th but went on to win the 2003 and '04 Super Bowls, respectively.
-- Stan Olson
Super Bowl rush
The last ten Super Bowl winners, and their regular-season rushing
averages and league rankings. The year is when the SB was actually
played, with rushing numbers from the regular-season preceding it:
2008: Giants, 134.2, (4)
2007: Colts, 110.1 (18)
2006: Steelers, 138.9 (5)
2005: Patriots, 133.4 (7)
2004: Patriots, 100.4 (27)
2003: Bucs, 97.3 (27)
2002: Patriots, 112.1, (13)
2001: Ravens, 137.4 (5)
2000: Rams, 128.7 (5)
1999: Broncos, 154.2 (2)
Posted by Observer Sports on May 16, 2008 at 03:34 PM | Permalink
It seems that with the exception of the Bucs in 03 you need a top 5 run game or a HOF QB. So lets hope our run game gets to top 5.
Posted by: Billy | May 16, 2008 3:55:27 PM
Your right Billy...we would need one of the following; a Great running game, or a Great QB, or you forgot to mention a Great video camera...
Posted by: rhackney | May 16, 2008 4:23:14 PM
Let's not forget that you must have a defense that can get off the field too.
Posted by: LeeL | May 16, 2008 5:19:02 PM
Or, maybe more important than the video camera, you need a douchebag head coach with a hooded sweatshirt and a serious case of OCD...without him, the camera is actually used legally.
Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | May 16, 2008 5:25:23 PM
Actually, the link between those teams from TB and NE were a very strong defense. The last two champs have been the only ones not in the top 8 in scoring defense.
Posted by: Michael Procton | May 16, 2008 6:01:55 PM
Great blog entry, Stan. It's one of those things that makes you go hmmm...
Posted by: Scott | May 16, 2008 7:43:52 PM
FOR THE LAST TIME... the New England Paper Champions DID NOT WIN A SUPERBOWL!!! So their stats should not be taken into consideration.
Posted by: SYRPIS | May 16, 2008 8:14:47 PM
Before last season, Brady's never been an objectively top-notch QB. Good, but not great, stats. So, as Procton noted above, it was the D that made NE that year and linked them to TB.
Posted by: jdb1972 | May 16, 2008 8:25:03 PM
To beat the Pats, its always play the pass, react to the run....
Posted by: Cameron | May 16, 2008 8:41:23 PM
Sypris and the spy-gate please go away. The only reason this is a discussion is b/c a jerk-off congressman wanted to press it. Let it go. If what's his fag wouldn't have brought it up during the Super Bowl week, hince made it a political issue, we would not be talking about this today. This jack ass has me pissed off.
Posted by: CCU | May 17, 2008 12:11:57 AM
CCU: So what's your point. Cheating is ok if you don't get caught?
Spy-gate goes away when NE comes clear and put ALL cards on the table. It is all up to them.
Posted by: Thorrez | May 17, 2008 4:24:44 AM
Great Offensive lines win championships...Even average running backs can run and average QB's have time to throw the ball when they have a great O line in front of them. Every Super Bowl winning team has the ability to protect the QB from a pass rush, and block the D line and get the tough yards when they need it! Even when Carolina made the Super Bowl, the offensive line protected Delhomme and allowed Foster and Davis to run for yards. So Coach Fox, go get us some great linemen!
Posted by: Carguy | May 17, 2008 8:26:26 AM
The Patriots didn't win a superbowl, they one multiple super bowls, doing things that other teams do to gain an edge
Posted by: matt | May 17, 2008 9:42:42 AM
I am going to say this one last time for all you thick-headed know-it-alls out there, the only thing the Pats did that violated league rules was videotaping. Stealing signals is not prohibited in the NFL! You can stand on the sideline and write down what you are seeing, heck, you can even use binoculars. Everyone knows this, and it is the same as baseball when teams and players try and steal signs and relay that information to one another, at which point the other team has to change signals, sometimes in mid-game. You think baseball is the only sport this happens? You should really do your homework before you run at the mouth you self-righteous a** clowns. Just on the radio the other day a former Panther said that teams use the practice of stashing injured players on IR and keep practicing them even though it is prohibited, an allegation against the Pats that came out this week. So you think think that's the only thing the Pats did and the rest of the league does as well? Eric Mangini turned the Pats in not because he thought the what they were doing was wrong or tainting the game, but because he had a bone to pick with Belichick and the Pats. Do you think Matt Walsh came out because of his superior moral fiber? Fat chance, the guy got canned, was bitter, hasn't made it back to the NFL, works as a golf pro at a sub-par resort, and was most likely looking to cash-in, and has already performed multiple interviews on TV. The guy had a bone to pick, as is the case with most people pointing the finger for some reason. Everyone in the organization, even those not in the NFL anymore, maintain that Walsh had no football knowledge, not even the slightest, yet he claimed to be reporting to the assistant coaches and informing them of the detailed schemes and formations he had been seeing? Also, think about it, he is the third video assistant! If they needed someone to do things such as that they would have pinned it on someone with more knowledge of the game, not some clown who just knows how to press play and record at the same time. You all need to quit believing everything you read and hear from the media and take it with a grain of salt. It is called diving deeper and logical reasoning. It's what people with intellect do, you should try it sometime.
Posted by: yo'momma | May 17, 2008 11:05:04 AM
y'm...every IR transaction must be approved by the NFL's medical staff. In cases like Eric Shelton's broken foot, could he have returned? Yes, but he wasn't worth the roster spot, and it could have been argued that we needed the roster spot for the month he would have been out. The NFL has a system in place to regulate this practice...not so for videotaping, it seems. The worst part, as far as I see, is that Belichick continues to lie. What does Walsh have to lose with regards to his statements about assistants quizzing him and Belichick's teachings about avoiding being caught? Not much I can see, and certainly less than "Uhh...I just made a mistake even though the league sent a memo that expressly prohibited the exact thing I was doing" Belichick. It seems to me that YOU'RE the one lacking in logical reasoning.
Posted by: Michael Procton | May 17, 2008 11:45:21 AM
Procton, get over yourself. What are you even trying to get at with the IR thing? The Pats did it, and according to multiple NFL sources, including players, so did other teams. So what is more likely, the idea that this is the only practice multiple, if not all, NFL teams bend NFL rules on? Or the idea that multiple, if not all, NFL teams bend the rules on this but, goshdarnit, that's where they draw the lines? It all comes to down to he said, she said. Of course Belichick is trying for some self-preservation, but you're only kidding yourself if you think Walsh doesn't have anything to gain. And if he is absolutely right on this, then why haven't more former employees or players come to speak our on this? Once again, and everyone never wants to address this, they simply ignore it, it is not prohibited to steal signals! Videotaping is! So, teams can, and most likely have, used other means such as binoculars or something we have called eyes, to steal signals and then relay the information, just as in baseball. It's the use of technology such as video camera which is against league rules. But there is nothing stopping a team from seeing and writing down by hand the signals used and what corresponds. Did they break the rules? Of course. Did they gain an advantage? No way, whatsoever. Wait, what's that? I hear your mom yelling Procton. She says your laundry is ready and quit peeing on the seat, all you have to do is lift it up.
Posted by: yo'momma | May 17, 2008 12:39:10 PM
Because Goodell barely punished them so they'd keep quiet and protect the league's image. I'm proud of you, though, for coming to the conclusion that they gained no advantage...that's why they did it and went to great lengths to cover it up, right?
Posted by: Michael Procton | May 17, 2008 12:43:51 PM
Thats one huge waste of space and time there yo'momma. Writing one sentence defending the Pats and Belicheat is a waste of time, but to make that the topic of the longest post I've ever seen on this blog...wow.
Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | May 17, 2008 12:56:57 PM
Once again, you duck the point that stealing signals is not what's prohibited but videotaping. Nobody ever wants to respond to that because that puts to rest the notion they gained an advantage. So what exactly do you have a problem with, Procton? The fact that they stole signals or the means by which they did? Because it makes a huge difference. They were the ones who got caught, but does that means they were the only ones who stole signals? Of course not, and once again stealing signals is not prohibited! Have you grasped that yet? And Goddell punished them to keep them quiet? That doesn't make sense! If he would have let them walk free, the Pats would have spoke on the issue? I love how everybody loves to play conspiracy theorist. I don't know what happened, I don't pretend to know either, unlike most of the people on this blog, but what I do know is that I don't take Matt Walsh for a saint and believe everything he says as the truth, and what they did was only against the rules because of the way they went about it. I don't think that it's acceptable that they broke the rule of videotaping, but you have to be pretty ignorant to believe they're the only team that has gained in advantage by getting around NFL rules.
Posted by: yo'momma | May 17, 2008 2:10:15 PM
Posted by: agree with yo'momma | May 17, 2008 2:31:48 PM
I have a problem with the fact that they BLATANTLY broke a CLEAR rule and continue to lie about it. Apparently, you have a reading issue, "logical reasoning" abilities aside.
"Goodell barely punished them so they'd keep quiet and protect the league's image."
The money was totally irrelevant. Kraft is a billionaire, and Belichick is paid in the neighborhood of $5 million dollars a year. The draft pick didn't really matter, either. They lost the 32nd, but still got to keep a pick in the top ten. Goodell gave them a slap on the wrist with the agreement that everybody keep quiet for the good of the league.
Your "everybody else does it" agreement doesn't hold water, either. Where are all the people coming forward about that?
Posted by: Michael Procton | May 17, 2008 3:33:41 PM
Apparently, all of the blind Panthers fans don't remember that you guys were cheating in your one trip to the Super Bowl. I guess none of your offensive lines made a trip to a special doctor in Columbia? What about your punter? Who else drove 90 minutes to see a non-team-sanctioned doctor for a "pick-me-up"? The same doctor who may have gotten in trouble for steroid distribution. I guess that wasn't against the leagues rules?
Posted by: John | May 17, 2008 4:01:03 PM
The run game is over rated. The key to a Super Bowl trip is sacking the QB. The Panthers were last in the NFC last year while the Giants were first and the Pats were tops in the AFC at sacking QBs. How is that for a correlation?
Posted by: Greg | May 17, 2008 4:05:54 PM
Hey John, you wanna prove it? Sure James Shortt was giving out steroids, but there were also allegations against other people other than football players. Please tell me which of the players were suspended.
Posted by: stupid people | May 17, 2008 4:32:02 PM
Stupid People, you may want to take up the suspension with the former commish. He probably just swept it under the rug, like so many other things. Try this link if you need anything else: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=gmail&q=Todd%20Sauerbrun%20Steroid%20Investigation
Posted by: John | May 17, 2008 5:52:28 PM
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