In response to wozzy's comment:
From 2001-2004 we played 9 games in the playoffs, we ran more than our opponent in all but one of those games (which was a blowout) and won them all.
2005 played 2 games, beat the Jaguars ran the ball more, lost to the Broncos ran the ball less.
2006 played 3 games, beat the Jests ran the ball more, barely beat the chargers (3points) because we ran less and Brady threw two INT's, before finally losing to the Colts... we ran less.
2007 we played 3 games and beat the Jags and Chargers, ran more in both games, lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl because we ran less.
2008 we should have made the playoffs, we ran the ball (4th in the NFL in rushing attempts) and that's why we ranked #1 in first downs, 8th in points, 5th in yards, 5th least INTs, 1st in scoring %, 3rd in time of possession and went 11-6 with a QB who didn't start a single college game. This is where I believe McDaniels realized running was why he lost the Super Bowl the year prior and dusted off the old playbooks from 2001-2004 to make Cassel successful.
2009-2011: let's call these the O'Brien years, we got bounced in the first round his first two year against the Ravens and Jests. The Ravens ran the ball 52 times, we ran 18 times, Kevin Faulk our third down back was our leading rusher with 14 attempts = 33-14 loss at home. Next year we started Danny Woodhead against the Jests because we thought he would give us an advantage in the passing game, he was our leading rusher with 14 carries even though LawFirm averaged 4.7 YPC... they ran more, we ran less, they ran with their 1A power back, they won. 2011 we played three games, Denver ran more than us because they had to, Tebow sucked and couldn't pass so we won, we ran an equal amount as the Ravens and barely won, the Giants ran more than us in the Super Bowl and we lost.
2012 we played two games, we ran more than the Texans and won, we ran less than the Ravens (and they knocked our leading rusher the F out) we lost.
2013 = ?
In summation, from 2001 to the present day we've played 24 playoff games.
We ran as much or more than our opponent in 14 of those games and won them all including three Super Bowl titles.
We ran less than our opponent in 10 of those games, we lost all but three of them, getting bounced twice at home and losing two Super Bowls.
I don't need a pie chart... that says it all.
The Ernhardt-Perkins offensive system we employ relies heavily on the run game to set the tone and to beat up our opponent physically. This is a fact, and though it may have evolved over time the only time tested, tried and true version of this system that has been successful in the playoffs, whether it was The Patriots, the Parcell's Giants, the Bill Cowher Steelers or the Tom Coughlin Giants has been the one grounded in the running game.
You can argue against history, playoff records, straightforward easy to read stats, but what is undeniable is that the Patriots ran their way to 3 Super Bowl rings and passed their way to 2 losses.
Those are the facts.
OK, let me put it another way, from 2001-2004 we played 9 games in the playoffs, we ran more than our opponent in all but one of those games (which was blowout) and won them all.
Please explain how this is disingenuous?
I feel like I need to re post this to point out some fallacies that continue to be ignored a day later.
- In the 2001 Raider game both teams ran it 30 times. The Pats ran it 5 times in a row at the end of the game while in field goal position, including a QB sneak. The Raiders ran it 30 times with 31 passes. Vastly superior balance but they ran only 61 plays to the Pats 82 (not counting sacks or penalties). No one would argue the balance favored the Pats. Minus the last few runs when the Pats were within the 20, about to kick the winning field goal, the Raiders would have ran it more.
- In the 2001 Steelers game the Pats ran it 25 times to the Steelers 22 times. The Pats had a 17 point lead in the second half and the last 3 plays of the game were Bledsoe kneel downs which count as runs in the stat book. Down by 17 in the second half the Steelers clearly had to reduce the run game. They threw 42 passes overall but even that is flukey. Eight of those passes were in the final minute of the 2nd quarter when they were trying to score before halftime. So yes the Pats ran it 3 more times but it's a fluke caused by a 4th quarter lead and 3 kneeldowns at the end of the game.
- In the 2001 Rams game the Pats were super balanced. They were a little too conservative at times in my opinion. The last 8 plays by the Pats were Brady passes to set up the winning field goal. The Pats ran it 25 times to the Rams 22 times but let's look at it in the context of Belichicks statements about the 4th quarter. Down by 14 with a minute left to go in the 3rd the Rams passed it 18 times to 5 runs (not counting penalties and sacks). Being down 2 scores late clearly influenced the play calling of the rams.. They scored 2 TD's on those 3 drives and if it weren't for a huge McGinest sack they may have scored more points. The Rams final tally of 2 passes to 1 run ratio (44-22) was a product of the score not the game plan.
-In the 2003 Titans game the Pats ran it 27 times to the Titans 26 times. Not counting sacks the Pats had 68 plays to 52 plays. One more run in all those extra plays. The Pats were never behind in this game and the Pats had 2 kneel downs at the end of the game by Brady to jump over the Titans run total by one.
- In the 2003 Colts game the Pats ran it 32 times to the Colts 25 times. Down 21-7 in the 4th quarter the Colts passed it 27 times to 6 runs (not counting sacks). The Pats ran it 8 times in the 4th quarter including a kneel down to 6 passes. Once again it was the lead that gave the Pats the run advantage. Not the game plan.
- In the 2003 Panthers game Wozzy is right. The Pats clearly ran it more, 35 times to 16, though the Pats ran 30 more plays to skew it some. Since Brady threw it 48 times for well over 300 yards and 3 TD's it's hard to argue the running game was the decider, but it definately contributed.
- In the 2004 Colts game. Another easy win by the Pats. With Dillon leading the way the Pats ran it 39 times to 15 by the record setting Manning Colts. In the 4th quarter down 2 scores the Colts passed it 16 times to 1 run. Not counting sacks or penalties the Pats ran it 15 times. Proving the 4th quarter score dictated the ratio. Though the Pats with Dillon were a great running team.
-In the 2004 Steelers game the Pats ran it less than their opponents. The Steelers ran it 37 times to 32 by the Pats. With a big 4th quarter lead I counted at least 14 Patriot runs, once again proving Belichick's point.
-In the 2004 Eagles game the Pats ran it 28 times to 17 for the Eagles. The Eagles 17 runs got them only 45 yards (less than 3.0 ypc). Nonetheless Belichick's point holds true once again. With the lead in the 4th quarter I count 11 runs. Down by 2 scores in the 4th the Eagles passed it 17 times to 2 runs by my count. Going into the 4th the Pats had only a few more runs than their opponents.
Notice how the Pats had leads in the 4th quarter in every one of these games but the Raider game and the Panther game. Even in the Panther game the Pats were only behind for one drive and that was by one point. So when true champ tells you the Pats passed more because of the score he is being disingenous. The Pats with that defense usually had leads for most of the game. It was the defense that was the key. Put the 2001, 2003 or 2004 defense on the 2011 Pats. That games a blow out. Not even close. There is nothing wrong with a good or great run game. When BB had Dillon he used it. Especially after he got the lead late. Don't try to convince me that the 2007 Giants game would have been won with Maroney carrying it 25 times. I'm not buying it if thats what you are selling and Rusty has been trying to sell that junk for years.