Sorry I couldn't ignore what has to be one of the most blatant - I'm just saying something without even concerning myself it it's true or not - things I've read in a long while.
This jabroni over at SI penned a little thing saying that the Patriots might be better suited to win a championship this year because they have a good running back. He notes that the Patriots have only been Top 5 in rushing attempts once since 2005 while passing a ton more (even though they've been sitting on some big leads). The problem is NOTHING HERE PASSES EVEN A MONKEY'S REVIEW OF THE STATS. (Ignoring the idiotic notion that two Super Bowl losses and a AFC Championship loss in seven years is somehow seen as having a fatal flaw)
Let's think about what he's implying : The Patriots won before because they ran more and they aren't winning now because they run less. Running = Winning*. Is any of that true?
*well actually he's saying "Balance = Winning" but you need to run in the Top 5 to have balance according to the premise of the article
The Patriots won before because they ran more
The Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2001, 2003, and 2004. They ranked 8th, 12th and 5th in rushing attempts. So only one year did they meet the criteria set up by this guy.
"But Harper" you say "8th and 12th are still pretty good". Ok I agree but is it true that the Pats
aren't winning now because they run less
so they must have run a lot less in the last few years, right? Let's look in where they rank in rushing attempts since 2005.
18th, 7th, 9th, 4th, 10th, 10th, 17th
Hmmm 2006-2010 look as good as their Super Bowl years don't they? And they made the Super Bowl last year when they actually didn't run that much.
"Harper" you plead "you're missing the big picture. Winners RUN. Maybe the Pats ran ok but they still weren't Top 5. That's where the Champions are!" Well let's see, is it true? Does
Running = Winning.
Let's look at how the SB Champs rank in rushing attempts since 2005
"SEE TOLD YOU!"
18th, 8th, 9th, 7th, 20th, 22nd
"Oh, I'll be quiet now"
In fact in four out of the last seven years the Patriots RAN MORE THAN THE EVENTUAL CHAMPION. (and in the year of the first loss to the Giants they were 9th and the Giants were 8th - hardly compelling evidence.
The end result is that NOTHING HE SAID HOLDS ANY TRUTH. He thought of an idea "Steven Ridley makes the Pats a better title contender" but then didn't bother to figure out how exactly to prove that. Thing is there might be something there. He gives a sentence noting Ridley gained the most yards since Dillon 2004. Right behind Ridley is 2001's Antowain Smith. All Super Bowl years. He says balance but he doesn't look at rushing attempts to passing attempts or rush yards to pass yards. Maybe that would show something. Instead he just lead with some nonsense about rushing attempt rankings, which doesn't hold up to the scrutiny of a guy at lunch spending 15 minutes looking at pro-football-reference.com.