FanPost

You can pass your way to the playoffs but you must run your way to a Super Bowl title

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.

This is an article I have been wanting to write for a very long time, but I have been waiting for the right moment.

There was a massive debate in the 2023 off-season over the value of running backs, something I intensely defended and will always do so. Running back is the reason why I love the NFL and the Chicago Bears, it's the whole reason why I'm a fan. There is nothing more awesome than watching someone glide across the ground full speed, jinxing and jiving between players, or outright brute force stiff-arming their way to a first down or touchdown.

Watching running backs do their thing is a thing of beauty to watch.

Has the running back position changed in the NFL?

100% it has, and I think the NFL is more about the weapons a quarterback has than the individual RB, WR and TE rooms.

The main argument has always been that you don't pay running backs because you can find a running back on day 3 in the draft. That is true, you can find running backs on day 3 of the draft, but you can also find quarterbacks on day 3, guess we shouldn't pay them either.

Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick and a seventh-round drafted Brock Purdy just won an NFC Championship, guess we shouldn't pay a quarterback then.

If you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find a successful player at any position who was drafted on days 1, 2 and 3, especially the key positions.

A running back career is shorter and not worth paying is another argument. Yet again, this is true, but it's because the NFL has always put a heavy load on running back legs that they eventually run out of steam.

What is a great day at the office for an offence?

My answer to that question is high red zone percentage efficiency, high third down conversion rate, over 300 net passing yards and over 100 net rushing yards.

If you're looking for value, then the Super Bowl is a place to look directly at. Using the Wikipedia page on each Super Bowl, I went back through the last 19 Super Bowls to see something I saw in last year's Super Bowl.

Would it interest you to know that out of the last 19 Super Bowl winners, only four quarterbacks passed for over 300 net passing yards, but 12 teams had over 100 net rushing yards?

Below is a breakdown of the stats and the Super Bowl number in brackets.

Super Bowl Winners that didn't reach 100 or 300:
Rams (56), Broncos (50), Ravens (47), Packers (45), Saints (44), Steelers (43), Giants (42).

Super Bowl Winners that did reach 100 but not 300:
Chiefs (57), Buccaneers (55), Chiefs(54), Patriots (53), Seahawks (48), Giants (46), Colts (41), Steelers (40), Patriots (39)

Super Bowl Winners that did reach 300 but not 100:
Patriots (49)

Teams that did reach 300 and 100:
Eagles (52), Patriots (51), Patriots (38)

Two times a running back reached 100 net rushing yards:
Damien Williams (54), Dominic Rhodes (41) – both undrafted

Four times a QB reached 300 net passing yards:
Nick Foles (52), Tom Brady (51, 49, 38) – Foles was third round and Brady was sixth round

I'm sure people can and will interpret these stats however they want to.

These stats tell me you need a running back committee, but they also tell me that if you want to win a Super Bowl, you best have a running game.

That is why you value and pay running backs.

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.