The passing game predominates in the modern NFL, but attacking on the ground, doing it in a variety of ways and directly to the heart of opposing defenses is still a good way to score a victory, as the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys did in the Week 2.
In today’s NFL, short and safe passes, known as high-percentage passes, replaced what until about 10 years ago was used to mount sustained attacks or consume time on the game clock: attacking on the ground.
In Week 2, the Ravens, Titans and Cowboys decided to race for major victories and each did so with their best weapons.
A rolling machine named Derrick Henry
Mike Vrabel’s Titans could be the most “old school” team in the NFL today with physical dominance on both sides of the line of scrimmage as the target and a killer running back like Derrick Henry fitting in as ring to the finger in that style.
And Tennessee seems to have a quality that is rare to find: PATIENCE.
After going down 30-16 with 13:06 minutes to play in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks, the Titans did not panic, on the contrary, they stayed true to their style and turned to their best weapon, Henry, who since then At that time, he rushed 13 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns, including 60 yards with 12:17 left, to kick off the comeback that ended with his overtime victory.
Tennessee won the battle in the trenches after Seattle imposed conditions. In the first quarter, Henry was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage in five of his six races and then only in six of his 29 races. In the second half of the game, the running back added 147 of his 182 yards and recorded his three touchdowns that way.
Staying true to his style was key to the Titans coming out of the win in noisy and difficult Seattle.
Ravens return to their ‘roots’
The defense against the Kansas City Chiefs’ run is bad and the Ravens evidenced it in different ways, in particular with the essence of their attack, that is, with what Lamar Jackson feels most comfortable: the zone readings (zone reads) in the Pistol formation.
In total, Baltimore added 251 yards rushing against the Chiefs on Monday night and they reached that sum with 17 runs in zone reads and when Jackson got the ball in this situation, he rushed for 72 yards on 10 runs, including his two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the win on Monday night.
The dominance of Baltimore’s offensive line over Kansas City’s weak rushing defense was reflected in the 216 rushing yards they added before first contact for an average of 5.3 yards, meaning the Ravens had many manageable situations in second and third. opportunities.
After using Jackson more conventionally in Week 1 and perhaps constrained by the injuries of their main running backs, the Ravens returned to the style that has given them the most success in recent years: make their quarterback run when he deems it necessary, or be, almost always.
Cowboys attack hard and straight
The Cowboys took an important win from the West Coast and much of it was achieved by attacking the Los Angeles Chargers head-on.
Dallas balanced his attack by throwing 27 times and running 31, a scheme that took a lot of weight off Dak Prescott, who also benefited from the way he distributed the ball in the running game, where they added 198 yards (average 6.4 yards per run).
Ezekiel Elliott with 16 runs and Tony Pollard with 13 shared the tasks in the rushing game, for 71 and 109 yards, respectively, and Dallas attacked the Chargers defense through the center of the formation, for where they added 105 yards, their total highest in that area since 2011.
A balanced offense that also offers variety in the running game will be of great help to the Cowboys and Prescott will be the one to appreciate it the most.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report