Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nice Flashback

I watched the Patriots demolishing of the Broncos last night. I don't have strong feelings for either team, but I do hate the way that Denver is such a media darling when they win. That made me enjoy the game a bit more than had the Donkeys beaten Pat the Patriot.

I loved the New England offense. They ran, ran, and ran some more. They mixed in different backs. They ran from creative formations. They threw just enough passes to keep the defense honest. Seeing that kind of running game made me jealous. I'd love to see Big Red turn the RBs loose and really pound the ball.

That got me to thinking when the last time we saw anything like that. I didn't do any research. Just used the ol' brain. Nothing came to mind initially, then I remembered a MNF game against the Giants in 2002.

The game was at The Vet and took place about midseason. We won 17-3. Donovan was 14 of 30 passing for 137 yards. None of that is very impressive, but check out the running game.

We ran the ball 40 times for 295 yards and a TD. 40 runs by an Andy Reid team? In just one game? Yep.

Duce: 24-126
Dorsey: 5-33
Westy: 3-29
D-Mac: 8-107

Here's the box score for the game:


I want to go break out the tape and re-watch that game. I loved watching us run all over the Giants. They had a solid defense, but we just dominated them up front that night.

People forget that Big Red hasn't always been pass crazy. He used to run more of a balanced offense. TO arrived in 2004, the NFL changed the passing rules, and we went from pass happy to pass insane. Reid was never going to be a power football kind of coach, but things were better in the past.

We've had some games in the last couple of years where Andy teased us with the running game. Westy had 32 carries against Miami last year, for example. I just wish things like that didn't take an injured QB or a backup QB playing in the game. Our OL has the ability to be good run blockers, but not if they only do it 18 times a game. You have to let the guys up front beat on the defense and wear them down.

Back to last night...it did help that the Pats ran against the Broncos. Denver's defense did a lousy job of playing the run. That running attack wouldn't fare so well against Tennessee or Baltimore. You do have to be able to throw the ball to win against good defenses.

Our receivers are getting healthy so we'll be throwing the ball. The one bit of good news is that we have yet to see Andy's annual game where he runs the ball more than usual. It's nice of Big Red to save us a treat like that for after the bye. Keeps us on our toes.

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