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Thread: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

  1. #1
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    Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Since the 70's, Steeler football has been equated by a dominating ground game and an equally dominant run defense. Now in 2010, we hear a lot of people clamoring for a return of the ground game after a poor 2009 season. In short, people want to see a return to the days of smash-mouth football.

    However, the league now is very different than what it was in the 70's.

    In 2009, the top ten teams in rushing yards had a combined winning percentage of .544. Teams that ranked in the top 10 in passing yards, however, had a combined winning percentage of .706! This includes the Superbowl-winning Saints, by the way.
    I also looked at efficiency (YPA). The teams that ran the most efficiently had a combined win percentage of .512. The most efficient passing teams achieved a .694 percentage (again including the Saints). The difference was even more profound this time. To be fair, the Saints also ranked in the top-ten in both rushing categories. But if you look it up, the best passing teams in history tend to be more successful in wins and trophies than the best rushing teams.

    HOWEVER, when one looks at defense,

    The teams that surrendered the fewest rushing yards had a winning percentage of .619. The ones that surrendered the fewest passing yards achieved only .456. Way lower.
    For efficiency, they were roughly the same. The ones that allowed the fewest yards per rush attempt combined for .575. For passing, the teams combined for .600. (The Saints weren't in the top 10 for any category here).

    Now, I know there are other factors at work here - the level of competition and the other side of the ball. For example, the Buccaneers had a good pass defense, but their offense was incredibly inept. Plus, these stats are from just one season. However, the numbers are eye-opening, and it makes one wonder how important running the ball is these days - and whether or not the Steelers should return to "Steeler football".

  2. #2
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    "Steeler football" = doing what it takes to win. We were a predominantly running team throughout the 80's and 90's. How many championships did it get us during those two decades? We finally get a franchise QB, and we are champions once again. If we are champions, then we are playing Steeler football. No matter what it looks like.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Then great misconception is that Steelers football is running the ball. Well kids guess what that doesn't win championships in a league where all the recent rule changes have been made to increase scoring and benefit the passing game.

    Teams without "franchise" QBs do not win championships and are for the most part bottom feeders for a reason...no passing game equals loser. For everyone who wishes for a return to the glory days of old remember we didn't win a championship until we started competing through the air.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  4. #4
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Hmmm...interesting stats. The key is successful runs when they have to be. We had way too may 3rd and shorts that came up empty. So while some teams might run wild between the 20s it doesn't help the cause when redzone running sucks. That's where I am hoping Redman and the OL can make some improvements.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    The simple answer is no - these things are cyclical & there's more balance than you give credit to...Tampa won with a dominating defense & an efficient offense, the same goes for the Giants...Baltimore won with dominating defense & a punishing ground game...the Steelers were hardly a passing powerhouse for XL & were a great defense that year with opportunistic offense.
    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust & sweat & blood...

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer DukieBoy's Avatar
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    It's about the rules changes in support of the passing game. Mel Blount could jam, play bump and run all over the field as long as the ball wasn't in the air. Those were great days, no NBA football then.

    Glad we have a real QB in today's NFL. Love the no huddle fast-break football with Ben running the show.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Obsolete. It's a passing league, it's a QB league.

    How many good rushing teams and defense did we have from 1983-2003?

    How many rings?

    Get Ben? Two rings.

    Here's another, in the first decade of Bill Cowher football, the Steelers had 9 teams in the top 10 in rushing, and only one team in the top 10 in passing,.

    The top 10 passing team? Won the AFC.

  8. #8
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Tampa won with a dominating defense & an efficient offense
    Brad Johnson was the NFC's leading passer. Their offensive numbers tanked when he didn't play for three games when he was hurt.

  9. #9
    Pro Bowler skyhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    Obsolete. It's a passing league, it's a QB league.

    How many good rushing teams and defense did we have from 1983-2003?

    How many rings?

    Get Ben? Two rings.

    Here's another, in the first decade of Bill Cowher football, the Steelers had 9 teams in the top 10 in rushing, and only one team in the top 10 in passing,.

    The top 10 passing team? Won the AFC.
    Yep. Neil O'Donnell.

    And let's remember the Steelers started that season 3-4 trying to run the ball. It wasn't until (Erhardt?) started spreading it out did the Steelers become true contenders (even with a dominant Defense and one of the best Oline's in football that year (1995).

  10. #10

    Re: Is "Steeler football" obsolete?

    People confuse "prolific" passing and "effective" passing.

    Balance is key.

    The reason why we did not win before Ben is not because we didnt pass a lot. Ben is the difference because he is an elite QB, which we did not have. Quality, not quantity is the change.

    Bens least attempts was his first SB victory.
    Bens second lowest attempts was his rookie season with his best career regular season losing to the Cheatriots dynasty.
    Bens third lowest attempts was SB number 2.

    Bens two most pass happy seasons are the only two that we missed the playoffs altogether.

    Let me add the following:
    Tommy Maddox
    Neil O'Donnell (twice)
    Kordell Stewart (three times)
    Mark Malone

    Had more "attempts" than Ben did in either championship season.

    Furthermore, what happened to the Pats once they got pass happy? No more championships.

    Brady has a SEASON FOR THE AGES and loses to a balanced Giants team.

    Peyton the most prolific passer ever won his ONE championship during the only season when his run game and defense showed up.

    People forget Peyton struggled mightily in those playoffs and had TWO RBs tearing it up , and his defense was solid. (BTW Peyton remains chocker supreme, and will NEVER be as clutch as Ben).

    People say "well look at last year".

    The great QBs had success as they usually do. They ALL passed a lot.

    The reason the Jets were limited wasnt the run pass ratio. It is that rookie Mark Sanchez wasnt very good. Put Ben on that team dont change the play calling at all and the Jets contend for a title right now.

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