After my study, I noticed some peculiar trends. First, Dallas did not have a single rushing attempt on 3rd down. This is alarming because it shows a lack in trust in the run game on the money plays. They also did not have a rush in the 4th Quarter. If they were down 2 scores all 4th Quarter this would be understandable, but they were down 14–13 for much of the 4th and the worst deficit was 17–13. It was close so they did not HAVE to pass. Yet again, shows a lack of confidence in the run game.
Another observation was the lack of misdirection/deception. In the one and only misdirection play, they had their best run of the game. Only calling 13 running plays is bad, but not calling your best running play more often is just as worrisome. Also, the person who ran that misdirection (Dunbar) had 1 carry for 12 yards. On Murray’s 12 carries, his long was only 6 yards. Dunbar, if he can hold on to the ball, deserves more carries. That does not mean I think Murray deserves less, I think Murray deserves more too, but this goes back to only having 13 rushes in the game. The play callers have to do a better job of sticking to the run game even when they are getting minimal gains
The ultimate reason for this was to analyze who deserves most blame between the coaches, the line or the running backs. The OL got the blame on 4 plays, coaching received blame once, the RBs were blamed twice, and there were 6 plays were there was no blame given. Three of those six “no blame” situations came on the last three carries, which tells me the Chief’s Defense was wearing down. This is way not running in the 4th was so surprising. Teams find most running success late as D-Lineman become fatigued. Don’t believe me? Did you watch what RB Jamaal Charles did in the first 3 Quarters? 22 yards on 10 carries (2.2 average). Then rip off 33 yards on 6 carries (5.5 average).
The main blame can be the offensive line, but the coaches have to do a better job of not giving up on the run like they did especially when the defensive is starting to show signs of fatigue. Murray can do a better job of not becoming frustrated with the lack of carries and lack of space early, and stay patient for the right opportunities.