Weekend Reading: The Run Also Rises

The long, agonizing drive. Eat up the clock. Keep your defense off the field, keep the enemy quarterback playing catch on the sidelines. The pendulum swings, and we welcome back, from the pages of history, the running game. This, of course, is a reaction to all that defense against the passing game, which grew wings when the NFL changed the rules, which were changed because everyone was stopping the pass. Got it?

The Run also Rises, by Paul Zimmerman. Published October 17, 1983

This article captures the ongoing debate surrounding the one-back offense in the NFL, which John Robinson installed with the Rams, and which the following year would lead Eric Dickerson to break the NFL single-season rushing record. It also might be the origin of several football maxims which have been repeated by color announcers for the past 25 years, including the “your team wins when you run for 100 yards.” But even as he writes these down, Zimmerman questions their wisdom openly … something that the John Maddens and Phil Simmses can’t quite bring themselves to do.