FanPost

Truth or Myth? Part I:The rushing game and the clock control

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Let me start mentioning from where I had the idea to make this research. I was thinking about how badly we really need talent at DT (as usual) and if we need it more now with Peyton Manning on the roster or not.

Wait, did you say Peyton Manning? What our QB has to do with that, Fabio?
It's a common sense to say that when you face an elite QB like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning (here is our man) and etc., you need to keep them off the field and limit their time of ball possession to avoid the damage they can make to the scoreboard.

It's another common sense that a successful rushing game is crucial to keep the opposite defense on the field and the opposite elite QB on the bench. Really? Is it a truth or a myth? I don't know... so I made a big research on the last 3 years to verify these numbers. I ordered the teams by Rushing Offense and then their rank on "Opposite Time of Possession per Game". To have more stats and a more accurate result, I also included the overall offense rank of that team and their rushing defense. In theory, a great rushing defense should mean more time to your offense and, in consequence, less time to the opposite's offense.

If we can conclude that this common sense is a truth, so we can expect our oponents to run the ball all the game against our poor interior D-Line (or at least more than they are used to do). It would mean that we really would have to forget about CB, RB, MLB, WR or anything else in the 1st round to grab the best DT we could. And also, seriously considering to add another late DT one to have a better depth.

On the other hand, if we can conclude it's not complete truth, or even it's a myth, I think we can draw other strategies to fill our needs this year, regardless of the major one at DT (since this way we could address this position with a 2nd/3rd rounder and be fine, for example).

Let's see what the chart shows us:

Rushing
Offense
Rank
Overall Offense - Opposite Average Time of Possession per Game - Run Defense Rank
Season 2011 Season 2010 Season 2009
Team O Off Opp. Pos. R Def Team O Off Opp. Pos. R Def Team O Off Opp. Pos. R Def
#1 DEN 25th #23, 30:56 22th KC 14th #17, 29:40 14th NYJ 17th #9, 28:24 8th
#2 HOU 10th #2, 27:43 4th OAK 6th #11, 28:54 29th TEN 16th #23, 31:27 12th
#3 CAR 5th #15, 29:45 25th JAC 18th #6, 28:18 22th CAR 21th #12, 29:48 22th
#4 MIN 19th #26, 31:18 11th NYJ 13th #8, 28:44 3rd MIA 15th #6, 28:05 18th
#5 PHI 8th #7, 28:40 16th PHI 3rd #13, 28:57 15th BAL 9th #19, 30:42 5th
#6 NO 2nd #3, 28:00 12th NYG 7th #2, 27:28 8th NO 1st #11, 28:57 21th
#7 OAK 16th #20, 30:13 27th HOU 9th #23, 31:00 13th DAL 14th #4, 27:34 4th
#8 SF 11th #6, 28:29 1st TB 20th #15, 29:12 28th CLE 29th #24, 31:29 28th
#9 CHI 17th #14, 29:43 5th NE 1st #20, 30:17 11th CIN 22th #8, 28:22 7th
#10 BAL 12th #10, 29:13 2nd MIN 29th #18, 29:51 9th JAC 24th #13, 30:06 19th
#11 MIA 20th #12, 29:38 3rd PIT 12th #3, 27:48 1st KC 23th #31, 32:19 31th
#12 JAC 28th #18, 29:59 9th ATL 5th #7, 28:31 10th NE 6th #3, 27:15 13th
#13 BUF 14th #16, 29:50 28th CAR 32th #29, 32:36 23th MIN 2nd #1, 27:13 2nd
#14 PIT 22th #1, 27:32 8th BAL 16th #9, 28:45 5th GB 3rd #2, 27:14 1st
#15 KC 31th #24, 30:56 26th SD 2nd #1, 26:58 4th ATL 13th #14, 30:07 10th
#16 SD 6th #4, 28:12 20th DAL 8th #12, 28:54 12th BUF 28th #29, 32:11 30th
#17 ATL 7th #5, 28:15 6th TEN 17th #32, 34:05 20th NYG 8th #10, 28:35 14th
#18 DAL 15th #8, 28:53 7th BUF 28th #28, 32:12 32th DEN 20th #15, 30:07 26th
#19 CIN 18th #13, 29:42 10th SF 24th #24, 31:26 6th PIT 12th #5, 28:02 3rd
#20 NE 3rd #27, 31:28 17th CLE 31th #26, 32:00 27th STL 32th #20, 30:50 27th
#21 SEA 23th #28, 31:42 15th MIA 30th #16, 29:25 7th OAK 31th #28, 31:43 29th
#22 NYJ 13th #9, 29:11 13th CHI 21th #19, 30:16 2nd PHI 5th #30, 32:24 9th
#23 STL 32th #29, 31:57 31th DET 15th #22, 30:32 24th TB 30th #27, 31:43 32th
#24 ARI 24th #30, 32:06 21th GB 10th #4, 28:00 18th DET 27th #21, 31:04 25th
#25 WAS 26th #17, 29:55 18th STL 26th #14, 29:07 17th SF 18th #17, 30:14 6th
#26 IND 29th #32, 33:47 29th DEN 19th #25, 31:51 31th SEA 25th #32, 32:30 15th
#27 GB 1st #11, 29:32 14th CIN 22th #10, 28:47 19th WAS 26th #22, 31:04 16th
#28 CLE 30th #22, 30:54 30th NO 11th #5, 28:11 16th ARI 11th #18, 30:24 17th
#29 DET 4th #21, 30:25 23th IND 4th #21, 30:24 25th CHI 19th #25, 31:38 23th
#30 TB 27th #25, 30:59 32th WAS 25th #27, 32:05 26th HOU 10th #7, 28:07 11th
#31 TEN 21th #31, 32:06 24th SEA 23th #30, 32:42 21th SD 4th #16, 30:08 20th
#32 NYG 9th #19, 30:02 19th ARI 27th #31, 33:43 30th IND 7th #26, 31:42 24th

Surprised about the numbers? I don't want to draw any conclusions here, neither to answer my own initial question. I'd like us all to discuss the most intriguing numbers of the chart and have a more foundation to have a point about this subject.

Do you think that the statement "The effective rushing game controls the clock and keeps the opposite offenses off the field" is a truth or a myth? Which stats called more attention? Will our opponents run more against us because of Peyton Manning?

GO BRONCOS!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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