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Is Throw Back Football a sustainable way to win in the NFL?

gidiefor : Mod : 8/7/2019 12:55 pm
Those of us who watch the Giants up close can see that the Giants are moving to more of a throw back style of football: Large men dictating the line of scrimmage, emphasis on the run and play action, emphasis on stopping the run and making offenses throw, and emphasis on man and a combination of speed and physical play in the backfield. The Backfield is also composed of relatively short but very athletic players.

There are still a few questions in terms of personnel that probably won't all be answered this year -- Linebackers, Edge Rushers, Oline Depth, Number 1 WR, #2 RB -- but if this is what the Giants are building -- can this type of football have sustained success in a pass happy league?

I would say...  
Johnny5 : 8/7/2019 1:00 pm : link
... that the Bears and Rams followed similar paths last year, with very good success.

Actually if the Rams had a better QB they definitely could have had a better shot to beat the Pats.
RE: I would say...  
gidiefor : Mod : 8/7/2019 1:03 pm : link
In comment 14521351 Johnny5 said:
Quote:
... that the Bears and Rams followed similar paths last year, with very good success.

Actually if the Rams had a better QB they definitely could have had a better shot to beat the Pats.


I think what really killed the Rams in the Super Bowl was Gurley not being at full strength and able to play with any impact --
I don't think we'll get the answer to that this year  
WillieYoung : 8/7/2019 1:06 pm : link
It is wholly unrealistic to think a team this inexperienced can win consistently so soon. But we'll get some hints. Can we maintain ball control with our running game and still score enough points to be competitive? Can we generate a pass rush while fielding a massive defensive line built to stop the run?
Haven't the Cowboys been doing this for a while now  
BillT : 8/7/2019 1:06 pm : link
They haven't won a SB but they've been posting winning records pretty regularly. And they had been doing until recently that with a mediocre group of WR and a QB that was only running part of the playbook. And I think that the idea that the Giants are going to be just a ground and pound team is overstated. Shurmer's offense has a pretty sophisticated passing scheme if I understand that correctly. Saquon is an unbelievable talent. He should be the centerpiece of the O but he's not the only guy out there who will contribute.
you know that Goff threw for 4688 yards last year, right?  
Greg from LI : 8/7/2019 1:06 pm : link
.
I don’t think anyone’s expecting the mid-80s Giants offense  
mfsd : 8/7/2019 1:17 pm : link
to reappear, but the Pats proved the value of having smash mouth running ability last season. Their Q4 drive to put away the Rams in the Super Bowl was as old school as it gets.

They haven’t gone full “throw back” offense, but as defenses have gotten smaller and faster to compete with modern passing offenses, having a big OL and quality blocking TE and FB creates a good counter punch, especially late in games.

Not sure if the Giants are fully there yet personnel wise, but it’s obvious they’re trying to rebuild that ability, especially during Saquon’s prime

Is it a sustainable way to win? I don’t think so by itself - modern passing game ability is needed. But it will be interesting to see how many other teams start turning back to size and try to create grind it out offensive capability.
Let's not get carried away by labels...  
Klaatu : 8/7/2019 1:17 pm : link
Such as "throwback football." That seems to be a by-product of trading OBJ and lamenting that now we don't have anyone who can take the proverbial top off the defense, so now we have to depend on a running back to be our savior.
Some teams are becoming 'run first'  
Racer : 8/7/2019 1:20 pm : link
offenses, but I don't think we should interpret that as throwback football.
The Pats were third in rushing attempts last year.  
Heisenberg : 8/7/2019 1:21 pm : link
Belicheck seems to be zigging while everyone else is zagging.
Seattle  
Thegratefulhead : 8/7/2019 1:22 pm : link
Is 1 bad play call away from 2 SB victories using that style. I prefer smashmouth football. I want to be able convert 3rd and 4th and short and stop the opposing team from doing the same. These are emotional moments in a sport where emotion(momentum) is key. When everything hurts and you are beyond tired you can channel emotion to overcome. I like teams that say nice plan, let's how well works after we punch you in the mouth a few times. I am right here, not going anywhere and I going to punch you again and again and again. Stay down motherfucker, you gonna get hurt.
High RB draft picks of late  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 8/7/2019 1:23 pm : link
Elliot - perennial playoff team
Gurley - SB
Fournette- NFC championship game when healthy
Michel - SB Champs going old school Pro I and FB run plays

Giants 5-8 <insert sad violin sound>
The Pats were very run oriented last year  
Torrag : 8/7/2019 1:25 pm : link
Belichick can't be put in a box. He literally adjusts every season to highlight his teams strengths and protect it's weaknesses.

You can win in many ways and with many different formulas in the NFL.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 1:27 pm : link
It makes sense that teams would now try and focus more on pounding the rock - of course, Belichick was ahead of the curve the way he always is, but we sort of are too with the generational talent @ RB in place where most other teams don't have that.

The reason why it's working is because teams have now been spending years trying to build defenses better suited to defend the pass. They're trying to use lighter, more mobile linebackers (and even ends) to keep up with the quicker paced offenses.

When you attack these defenses with some heavier sets and start ramming the football down their throats, they're really not equipped to hold up through the course of the game. Eventually the dam just starts to crack and you'll start busting longer gains and will start controlling the clock.

A run heavy approach can and should work now for a lot of the above reasons - but it won't be long before teams wise up to it and defenses start re-shuffing their sets and personnel to better combat it.

You want to be the team that is equipped to attack these weaknesses while they're still more prevalent across the league; but you're going to have to be prepared to zag again when teams start doing things to try taking it away.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 1:28 pm : link
But, the above is why Dallas has been so productive - they built the dominant OL and then added an elite RB to the mix. They've already been doing this for a few seasons now. And its working for them without needing a big time, elite QB.

Prescott has been good enough because they've been able to control so many games with their rushing attack.
I thought there was a BBI rule...  
Klaatu : 8/7/2019 1:29 pm : link
Against using the Patriots as an example for anything?
The Seahawks also had a QB who ran for 800+ yards  
Greg from LI : 8/7/2019 1:29 pm : link
Defense was the backbone of their SB teams more so than running the ball anyway. If that's what is to happen here, the defense is going to have to get a helluva better in short order. Lawrence and Baker are legit talents and steps in the right direction, but the D is still full of holes.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 1:34 pm : link
Look at the teams with the most rushing attempts collectively in recent seasons... the teams are almost all teams that were good to very good.

The Saints ran the ball a ton last year. Baltimore was a very, very run heavy team because of Jackson. But they won games that way until the playoffs.

In 2017, IIRC, JAX and MIN were both at the top of the league in rush attempts. Both teams wound up in their respective conference championship games.

There's definitely some correlation.
Doesn't "throwback" football rely on a strong defense?  
mikeinbloomfield : 8/7/2019 1:34 pm : link
When it takes a team 10 or 15 plays to score, it's important to keep the other team from scoring. While I think some of the players we picked in the draft will be good players, we still don't have a legit pass rusher on the DL. We may be good on offense, the Giants may get blown out.
it relies very heavily on a good defense  
Greg from LI : 8/7/2019 1:39 pm : link
Churning out long, time consuming drives isn't overly effective when you then immediately surrender a quick touchdown.
It does rely on defensive strength  
JonC : 8/7/2019 1:40 pm : link
and an offense that is able to control the football to shorten the game on its opponent.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 1:43 pm : link
It goes both ways, though.

A clock controlling offense that chews up time and yardage is often a benefit to the defense. You keep yours fresh and continue to wear down the other team.

As the game goes on, you start to gain more and more of an advantage against a tired defense.

One of the worst things for a defense is an offense that goes 3 and out all the time... like ours was doing for the majority of 2017.

You positively cannot play defense in this league when your offense isn't able to stay on the field for any length of time. It's very, very difficult.
RE: The Pats were very run oriented last year  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 8/7/2019 1:45 pm : link
In comment 14521393 Torrag said:
Quote:
Belichick can't be put in a box. He literally adjusts every season to highlight his teams strengths and protect it's weaknesses.

You can win in many ways and with many different formulas in the NFL.

He also adjusts to the league. 3-4 or 4-3 depending on the economics of the league.
RE: Doesn't  
Klaatu : 8/7/2019 1:46 pm : link
In comment 14521410 mikeinbloomfield said:
Quote:
When it takes a team 10 or 15 plays to score, it's important to keep the other team from scoring. While I think some of the players we picked in the draft will be good players, we still don't have a legit pass rusher on the DL. We may be good on offense, the Giants may get blown out.


When you're taking ten or fifteen plays to score, you're keeping the opposing team's offense on the bench, preventing them from scoring. You're also keeping your defense fresh and wearing theirs down.

The best defense is still a good offense, and by "good" I mean efficient. An offense that can consistently move the chains, convert on 3rd down, control the clock, minimize penalties and turnovers, and score touchdowns in the red zone. It doesn't matter how you do it - run or pass - it just matters that you do it.
RE: Let's not get carried away by labels...  
jcn56 : 8/7/2019 1:53 pm : link
In comment 14521376 Klaatu said:
Quote:
Such as "throwback football." That seems to be a by-product of trading OBJ and lamenting that now we don't have anyone who can take the proverbial top off the defense, so now we have to depend on a running back to be our savior.


I think there's a bit more to it than that, like the current status of the WR position.
RE: RE: Doesn't  
mikeinbloomfield : 8/7/2019 1:55 pm : link
In comment 14521426 Klaatu said:
Quote:
In comment 14521410 mikeinbloomfield said:


Quote:


When it takes a team 10 or 15 plays to score, it's important to keep the other team from scoring. While I think some of the players we picked in the draft will be good players, we still don't have a legit pass rusher on the DL. We may be good on offense, the Giants may get blown out.



When you're taking ten or fifteen plays to score, you're keeping the opposing team's offense on the bench, preventing them from scoring. You're also keeping your defense fresh and wearing theirs down.

The best defense is still a good offense, and by "good" I mean efficient. An offense that can consistently move the chains, convert on 3rd down, control the clock, minimize penalties and turnovers, and score touchdowns in the red zone. It doesn't matter how you do it - run or pass - it just matters that you do it.


An efficient offense, would score in the least amount of plays. Is it better to stay on the field, or get the most yardage per play? The second option is the philosophy of modern offenses go with, which prize efficiency.

But if the defense is bad, it really doesn't matter how long we keep the other offense off the field, does it? If they score every time (which the throwback offense absolutely will not), then they lose.
RE: RE: RE: Doesn't  
Klaatu : 8/7/2019 2:10 pm : link
In comment 14521431 mikeinbloomfield said:
Quote:
In comment 14521426 Klaatu said:


Quote:


In comment 14521410 mikeinbloomfield said:


Quote:


When it takes a team 10 or 15 plays to score, it's important to keep the other team from scoring. While I think some of the players we picked in the draft will be good players, we still don't have a legit pass rusher on the DL. We may be good on offense, the Giants may get blown out.



When you're taking ten or fifteen plays to score, you're keeping the opposing team's offense on the bench, preventing them from scoring. You're also keeping your defense fresh and wearing theirs down.

The best defense is still a good offense, and by "good" I mean efficient. An offense that can consistently move the chains, convert on 3rd down, control the clock, minimize penalties and turnovers, and score touchdowns in the red zone. It doesn't matter how you do it - run or pass - it just matters that you do it.



An efficient offense, would score in the least amount of plays. Is it better to stay on the field, or get the most yardage per play? The second option is the philosophy of modern offenses go with, which prize efficiency.


An efficient offense would score consistently. The amount of plays doesn't matter, nor does the yardage gained per play, as long as they're achieving positive results without any wasted effort. It doesn't have to be explosive, just efficient, and that also includes not turning the ball over or committing a lot of penalties.

Quote:
But if the defense is bad, it really doesn't matter how long we keep the other offense off the field, does it? If they score every time (which the throwback offense absolutely will not), then they lose.


Are you assuming that our defense will be bad? Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but I'm going to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
Yes.  
Pascal4554 : 8/7/2019 2:10 pm : link
I think the game still comes down to controlling the line of scrimmage. Some things change, but controlling the line of scrimmage does not. My biggest concern is that we still don't have a good enough pass rush, but our secondary has been upgraded in the draft. We shall see.

I remember going back and watching our 2011 Super Bowl run. That 2011 offensive line was starting to decline, but it was still a hell of a lot better than anything I've seen from the Giants in recent years.

I think plenty of Giant fans want physical football. The only thing worse then a losing Giants football team is a soft finesse losing Giant football team. I'm very happy with getting big men. Let the rest of the league try to chase going finesse and pass happy.
It doesn't matter what style of football you play for the most part  
ChicagoMarty : 8/7/2019 2:14 pm : link
Whatever the style -- in crunch time your QB needs to make plays if your team is going to win consistently.

SB teams have good QBs who make plays when they are needed.
RE: .  
Gatorade Dunk : 8/7/2019 2:15 pm : link
In comment 14521407 arcarsenal said:
Quote:
Look at the teams with the most rushing attempts collectively in recent seasons... the teams are almost all teams that were good to very good.

The Saints ran the ball a ton last year. Baltimore was a very, very run heavy team because of Jackson. But they won games that way until the playoffs.

In 2017, IIRC, JAX and MIN were both at the top of the league in rush attempts. Both teams wound up in their respective conference championship games.

There's definitely some correlation.

The question for me is which way the correlation points - are the good teams good because of their commitment to the running game, or are they running the ball to milk the clock with a lead (because they're a good team that often has the lead)?
Well The Ravens are going to try find out this year.  
Zeke's Alibi : 8/7/2019 2:21 pm : link
I'm absolutely fascinated by what they are trying to do this year.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 2:25 pm : link
It's a valid question - I'm not sure it necessarily only works in one way and not the other and it's a hard thing to measure.

But, I do believe each of those two aspects of the game do have an effect on one another.

A really strong rushing offense that can eat up clock isn't going to make a terrible defense good. I just think they'll provide them a better chance to succeed - or, less chances to fail might be a better way of wording it.

An offense that can't sustain drives or stay on the field is almost always going to adversely affect the defense through the course of the game.

Similarly, a dominant defense should logically afford a poor offense more opportunities to put points on the board with the game in reach.

Football is such a synergistic sport - I always say this. If you have a bad cog somewhere, it'll slow the machine down. Each part works off the other.
RE: It doesn't matter what style of football you play for the most part  
Klaatu : 8/7/2019 2:28 pm : link
In comment 14521451 ChicagoMarty said:
Quote:
Whatever the style -- in crunch time your QB needs to make plays if your team is going to win consistently.

SB teams have good QBs who make plays when they are needed.


Your defense also has to get a stop every now and then.

And you can't afford any mistakes on special teams, either.
RE: you know that Goff threw for 4688 yards last year, right?  
Johnny5 : 8/7/2019 2:50 pm : link
In comment 14521360 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
.

Meh. I'm not sold on him. Way inconsistent. Doesn't show up in big games. He was bad in December last year. Awful in the playoffs and Super Bowl.
.  
arcarsenal : 8/7/2019 3:11 pm : link
Goff is going to have to prove he can play late in the year when it's cold outside and the stakes are highest. He raised a lot of questions about that with the way he finished last year.

He was fantastic for 3/4 of it... but he was dreadful in Chicago. None of his playoff performances were anything to write home about. He racked up 339 yards against the Eagles, but the Rams lost that game and Goff didn't throw for any scores and did get picked off once. He also threw the ball over 50 times, so the yardage isn't that impressive.

He chewed up a woeful 49er defense in Week 17 - but that wasn't quite enough to sell me or change my thinking that he's got a bit left to prove.
Well, I'm going to be Captain Obvious here...  
bw in dc : 8/7/2019 3:23 pm : link
but I think blocking and tackling is as bad as I've seen it in decades. So if you can get that part buttoned down, you have a chance to be a very competitive team.

For all the talk about the Patriots doing this and doing that, and they are the most malleable team I've ever seen, they are almost always one of the best at blocking and tackling.

"Throw Back" football, I'm assuming, playing a very run-oriented approach. Grind the yard, control the clock, play keep away, win field position, etc.

I think it has a place, but the rules are too enticing to move the ball mostly through the air. It's very efficient with the right mix of QB, OL, receivers, etc.
RE: Well, I'm going to be Captain Obvious here...  
Johnny5 : 8/7/2019 3:37 pm : link
In comment 14521533 bw in dc said:
Quote:
but I think blocking and tackling is as bad as I've seen it in decades. So if you can get that part buttoned down, you have a chance to be a very competitive team.

For all the talk about the Patriots doing this and doing that, and they are the most malleable team I've ever seen, they are almost always one of the best at blocking and tackling.

"Throw Back" football, I'm assuming, playing a very run-oriented approach. Grind the yard, control the clock, play keep away, win field position, etc.

I think it has a place, but the rules are too enticing to move the ball mostly through the air. It's very efficient with the right mix of QB, OL, receivers, etc.

The way that Pats defense played through the playoffs and SB was phenomenal. They pressured the hell out of everyone, they totally flustered Rivers and Mahomes (For most of the game). Everyone talks about Brady but their defense was just outstanding at the end of last year, and I feel the main reason they won (again! lol)
Yes it is  
Lines of Scrimmage : 8/7/2019 3:48 pm : link
I think strong lines are the foundation of all good teams. Different formations and the high use of shotgun have changed how teams attack as well as tempo being utilized more frequently. There is still a power element to many of these concepts.

Regardless, if you can control the line of scrimmage I think you at least give yourself the opportunity to play meaningful games in December. Of course, a lesser QB and weak skill players will make it a very daunting test to go all the way but at lease your season is not over in October like it has been for the Giants for far too long.


Its a reactive league  
Scyber : 8/7/2019 4:34 pm : link
Great teams will define new trends. Good teams will adopt them quickly. Bad teams will adopt them too late.

Since the passing game openned up and TEs became such a threat in the passing game, you saw a number of teams getting faster and (sometimes) smaller LBs. Now it seems like the running game is coming back into focus across the league b/c of those smaller and faster LBs can be negated by a power OL.

It is an ever changing league.
Power wins football  
Optimus-NY : 8/7/2019 5:11 pm : link
This is how to win.
Indeed  
Beer Man : 8/7/2019 5:27 pm : link
If you control the LOS, control the clock, and have a good D, you will win most games in this league (you might look a boring doing it, but so what)
RE: The Pats were very run oriented last year  
mrvax : 8/7/2019 5:37 pm : link
In comment 14521393 Torrag said:
Quote:
Belichick can't be put in a box. He literally adjusts every season to highlight his teams strengths and protect it's weaknesses.

You can win in many ways and with many different formulas in the NFL.


Did Belichick grow up on a farm? Seems like he has mastered the ability to correctly size up all his players every year. Then he designs a game plan featuring an ever changing offense and defense that is custom made to players talent.

Hard to believe that 1 guy totally redesigns his team every year. I've never seen any coach in any sport do this as well as BB. True Hall of Famer.
...  
christian : 8/7/2019 5:40 pm : link
The pendulum historically swings as teams attack and counter-attack trends.

The constant is the rules. If you can't touch the QB, can't touch WRs, and if the NFL starts enforcing RBs not lowering heads, that's going to make throwback football impossible.
RE: Haven't the Cowboys been doing this for a while now  
LauderdaleMatty : 8/7/2019 6:59 pm : link
In comment 14521359 BillT said:
Quote:
They haven't won a SB but they've been posting winning records pretty regularly. And they had been doing until recently that with a mediocre group of WR and a QB that was only running part of the playbook. And I think that the idea that the Giants are going to be just a ground and pound team is overstated. Shurmer's offense has a pretty sophisticated passing scheme if I understand that correctly. Saquon is an unbelievable talent. He should be the centerpiece of the O but he's not the only guy out there who will contribute.


This. It also mitigates a QBs weakness’s IMO a bit. Also can keep your defense off the field. Which is what I think also is over
Looked these days w the emphasis on passing
BTW if anyone  
LauderdaleMatty : 8/7/2019 7:02 pm : link
Thinks Seattle wins without Lynch the two years they made it to the SB they are just being obtuse
From the O'Connor bio of BB, which a Pats-fan friend insisted I read,  
CT Charlie : 8/7/2019 7:23 pm : link
you learn that Belichick is ruthless at exploiting the weaknesses of the other team. As a center, he understands the importance of line play and he will CRUSH the other team's weak links on either line. So it's not merely his overall use of talent but his weekly plan to neutralize his opponents' talent.
Tough D and a strong running game are the lynch pins  
PatersonPlank : 8/7/2019 7:36 pm : link
of any championship team
RE: BTW if anyone  
bw in dc : 8/7/2019 7:51 pm : link
In comment 14521723 LauderdaleMatty said:
Quote:
Thinks Seattle wins without Lynch the two years they made it to the SB they are just being obtuse


That’s actually a good question. Hall of Fame QB + great D - knuckle head RB = still likely in the hunt...
I think you can be in a lot of games which means you can win a lot  
St. Jimmy : 8/7/2019 8:00 pm : link
of games. It leaves you no margin for error though which is tough in the playoffs. The Cowboys last year vs. the Rams got behind and couldn't come back. Contrast that with the Chiefs who took a half off offensively in the AFC Championship Game and lost because they lost the coin flip in overtime.
If you’re great at any one thing  
djm : 8/7/2019 9:30 pm : link
And don’t suck everywhere else You can win a lot of games in the NFL. The better you can get elsewhere while maintaining that one great thing to do, all the better. Time it just right and pray for a title run.
Teams that run the ball  
djm : 8/7/2019 9:31 pm : link
And play solid or better defense win lots of games as long as they aren’t bad at qb. And we all know that QBs benefit from a good running game/oline.
The Giants can win with a run-centric offense  
giantstock : 8/8/2019 12:27 am : link
Don't know how many years one would call "sustainment" but if the QB is good you can do it. How many years will will the OL be good and how many years will the front 7 be strong?
I wouldn't call this a throw back plan  
Matt M. : 8/8/2019 3:49 pm : link
It will likely be run-centric, but that doesn't mean throw back or smash mouth, etc.

That said, I was thinking last week that I only hope we don't turn Barkley into Rodney Hampton. Hampton was a very dynamic RB when we drafted him and a vital part of the passing game as well. Barkley is a much better player than him, but will we run the risk of running him into the ground behind a terrible line as we did with Rodney?

Last year, as great as he was, we still didn't use Barkley to his full potential, as his touches seemed to be limited. Are we going to do the same this year? I don't see how with no true WR1, especially the 4 games Tate is out.
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