The days of running the ball eighty percent of the time are over, unfortunately, and the teams who still do are living in the past. Last year, we saw a Patriots team make the Super Bowl solely because of their offense. It reminded me a lot of Texas Tech during the Mike Leach era and Oklahoma State in the most recent Gundy years, an Air Raid plain and simple. But who wouldn’t be with names like Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker for the Pats, Michael Crabtree and Detron Lewis for my Red Raiders, and Justin Blackmon for the Okie State Cowboys? With weapons like that it is almost stupid not to utilize them. But even with the ‘score as many points as possible’ mindset, all three teams found their kryptonite.
The Oklahoma Sooners crushed Tech while we held the number 2 spot in the nation. The New York Giants used pass rush and some Eli magic to beat out the Pats for the Super Bowl. And the Oklahoma State Cowboys lost their National Title hopes because Iowa State came to play. All three were great offensive squads; all had the chance to be great, and all failed.
Now we can’t just give one reason for the three losses, but the one I noticed the most was defense. When Tech got their respective beat down, Graham Harrell couldn’t get a pass out and Crabtree had a high ankle sprain and was blanketed by the OU defense. We couldn’t do anything and lost by our biggest deficit in what felt like ages. Like I said, pass rush and the inability for the Patriot defense to stop the Giants toppled their Super Bowl aspirations. Iowa State played like they had something to prove and they proved it against a shocked Oklahoma State team.
This is a new age of football whether we like it or not. Drew Brees proved that this year by breaking Dan Marino’s passing record. Running the football is not even as widely used on first down anymore. Passing is the name of the game and the Dallas Cowboys must adapt or be left in the dust. We needed to upgrade our backfield and we did that, now its time to upgrade our pass rush. Don’t misunderstand me, I love DeMarcus Ware and think he is still a beast, but think if we had an Osi Umenyiora on the other side of him. These two former Troy University players would be a huge headache for any offensive line in the game today.
I know I’ve said this before, and I’m pretty positive I’ve written something about it, but I feel it’s important enough to reiterate. This new NFL and Collegiate way to play football isn’t going to slow down. I think in a few years we’ll see someone break Drew Brees’ new passing yard record and when I say ‘a few’ I mean just that; two.
I’m not even picky on who we draft with the fourteenth pick as long as it’s a defensive player.
I just want football season back.