From ESPN.com's TMQ:
Here are the 10 teams that run most often on first down: N.Y. Jets (72 percent), St. Louis (61), Tennessee (59), Cincinnati (59), Minnesota (58), Cleveland (57), Carolina (57), Buffalo (56) and San Diego (56).
Let's run those down:
- Jets - their quarterback is a rookie turnover machine
- Rams - their best player, by far and away, is Steven Jackson and their offensive line can't pass protect
- Titans - neither of their quarterbacks are built to sling it around the field and they have a dynamic weapon in the backfield in Chris Johnson
- Bengals - Brat
- Vikings - They have the second coming of Eric Dickerson at tailback
- Browns - Lady Quinn and Derek Anderson
- Panthers - Jake Delhomme might be shaving points and they have a stellar running back duo
- Buffalo - Need I remind you about Crazy Legs Fitzpatrick's play from last year
- Chargers - Norv Turner and some strange devotion to a washed up LdT. I can't explain this one either
Forgetting for a second that Easterbrook is a moron and only listed 9 teams, look at those. Other than the Chargers and Bengals, everyone on that list has a legit reason for being there. One of three things have to happen, A) their quarterback sucks, B) they have an elite running back or C) both.
I'm totally willing to admit I was wrong on Cedric Benson, but I think it's a big stretch to put him in the class of Peterson, Johnson, and Jackson. Benson's good, but he's not that good.
That begs the question. Why, exactly, are the Bengals running the ball nearly 60 percent of the time on first down? According to Football Outsiders, the Bengals pass offense ranks 7th in the league and the run offense ranks 13th. Interestingly enough, of the top 11 total offenses, 8 of them are ranked in the top 9 in passing. Take a look:
|Team||Passing Offense Rank||Total Offense Rank|
Looking at that, you could certainly make the argument that Minnesota should throw the ball more along with San Diego and Cincinnati. Nobody is arguing that Brad Childress is a genius though.
The verdict? BRAT SUCKS!!!