I watched most of the opening game of the NFL Season that pitted the New Orleans Saints against the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.
I saw Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw the ball very well and move the Packers out to a commanding 21-7 lead. I also saw New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees throw the ball well and bring his team back to nearly tie or win a game the Packers seemingly had in the bag.
Rodgers finished the game with 312 yards passing.
Brees finished the game with 419 yards passing.
I did not watch any of the Week 1 game that pitted the New England Patriots against the Miami Dolphins. We all know by now that New England quarterback Tom Brady put on a show passing the football. Some of us are aware that Miami quarterback Chad Henne also racked up some impressive yardage in the air.
Brady finished the game with 517 yards passing.
Henne finished the game with 416 yards passing.
In those two games alone, the team that passed for 300 yards had a won-loss record of 2-2.
In those two games alone, the team that passed for 400 yards had a won-loss record of 2-1.
Of course, the tea that passed for 500 yards had a won-loss record of 1-0, but how often does that happen?
In Week 1 of the 2011 Season, fourteen (14) quarterbacks passed for 300 yards or more.
Not all of those quarterbacks led their teams to wins, as we have seen:
Brady, New England: 517 WIN
Newton, Carolina: 422 LOSS
Brees, New Orleans: 419 LOSS
Henne, Miami: 416 LOSS
Romo, Dallas: 342 LOSS
Rivers, San Diego: 335 WIN
Sanchez, NY Jets: 335 WIN
Ryan, Atlanta: 319 LOSS
Cutler, Chicago: 312 WIN
Rodgers, Green Bay: 312 WIN
Kolb, Arizona: 309 WIN
Grossman, Washington: 305 WIN
Stafford, Detroit: 305 WIN
Orton, Denver: 304 LOSS
The total won-loss record of teams whose quarterback passed for 300 yards or more in Week 1 was a cumulative 8 WINS and 6 LOSSES.
That's a 57% winning percentage.
Not very impressive.
Not much was reported about running backs who rushed for 100 yards or more in Week 1. Certainly a mere 100 yards or so running the ball was not as flashy and exciting as a 500 yard passing game or a couple of 400 yard efforts along with a group of 300 yard passing games.
In Week 1 of the 2011 NFL Season, seven (7) running backs rushed the ball for 100 yards or more. Not all of those running backs led their teams to victories:
McFadden, Oakland: 150 WIN
McCoy, Philadelphia: 122 WIN
Benson, Cincinnati: 121 WIN
Tate, Houston: 116 WIN
Jackson, Buffalo: 112 WIN
Rice, Baltimore: 107 WIN
Turner, Atlanta: 100 LOSS
The total won-loss record of teams whose running back rushed for 100 yards on more in Week 1 was a cumulative 6 WINS and 1 LOSS.
That's an 86% winning percentage.
That is very impressive.
A closer look at the two lists reveals that the only running back who rushed for 100 yards on a team that lost was Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback of the Falcons is Matt Ryan. Ryan passed for 319 yards in the same game Turner rushed for 100 yards. The Falcons lost.
In fact, no other running back who rushed for 100 yards or more in Week 1 had a quarterback on his team that passed for 300 yards or more in the same game.
Every other running back, except Turner, who ran for 100 yards led his team to a win.
I think it can be said, at least after one week, the key to winning games in the National Football League lies in being able to successfully run the football.
I have always thought that.
Coaches, analysts and fans have always said that.
After one week of the 2011 NFL season it seems to be the same this year as well.
Statistics don't lie.
Either do Wins and Losses.
(Statistics from NFL.com)
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