Posts Tagged ‘shaun alexander’

Unabated to the Quarterback, Week 1: Running Back in Time

Unabated to the Quarterback–everyone’s favorite NFL penalty–will run every Tuesday during the NFL season.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…. I’m gonna throw you in my DeLorean and gun it to 88.”

—Knocked Up

Back in the 1990s, there were some things we all took as basic facts of existence: The Atlanta Braves would win the NL East, Michael Jordan and the Bulls would win in six, and you won football games by running the football.

Seven of the 10 teams who won the Super Bowl in the 1990s ran the ball more frequently than they passed it (NYG, WSH, all three DAL,* both DEN). While the ’90 Giants averaged a shade under 21 points per game en route to their championship, the other six teams finished in the top three in the league in scoring. An efficient and dynamic running game—led by running backs such as Emmitt Smith and Terrell Davis—was often the foundation for an unstoppable offense.

*People often forget that Hall of Famer Troy Aikman threw 20+ touchdowns once in his career and never topped 3,500 yards in a single season.

Over the past several years, the focus on the running back has shifted. Sure, this decade has seen incredible individual seasons from the likes of Marshall Faulk, Priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander, Jamal Lewis, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Adrian Peterson. If Peterson wins the MVP this season—and he was one of three preseason favorites along with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady—he will become the fourth running back this decade to do so, matching the number in the ‘90s.

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