Stampede Blue writers and a number of analysts say running the ball and stopping the run doesn't win anymore in today's NFL because it's a passing league. In my opinion, if you are a top rushing team, have a good defense and have a good quarterback who can open up the passing game and make big plays when you need them, there's no reason why you can't win.
If your team ranks high in rushing because your quarterback stinks and you keep it on the ground to avoid turnovers and to keep the scoring low, then obviously that's a losing formula.
Let's look at 2012. Of the top six teams in rushing offense, three made the playoffs: the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. All three had standout quarterbacks to go with their power running games.
The 49ers came within a play of winning the Super Bowl. The Redskins led the Seahawks 14-0 before RG III got hurt and had to leave the game. Seattle came close to knocking off Atlanta and making it to the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, but fell short.
It's also been said by experts that you don't win by stopping the run. You win by stopping the pass. Of course it never hurts to stop both. Let's look at 2012's top 10 teams in rushing defense.
By contrast, of the bottom 10 teams at stopping the run, only the Colts made the playoffs.
It sounds logical that with rules promoting the passing game that teams with the great quarterbacks and average running games to go with top passing defenses is the only way to win — but the data, dating all the way back to last season, doesn't back it up.