In a season when six different quarterbacks are on pace to break the NFL record for passing yards, running the ball seems like an afterthought. But Raiders coach Hue Jackson thinks that will change soon enough.
Jackson says that by the end of this season, passing numbers will come back to earth and the good teams will separate themselves by running the ball.
“Hopefully, as the season goes along, I think the league will get back to what it was,” Jackson said. “The teams that can throw the ball will always throw it pretty good. But I think when it gets late in the year, you’ve got to be able to run the ball.”
As the coach of the NFL’s leading rusher, Darren McFadden, Jackson has reason to hope that teams that run the ball will come out on top in the end this season. And Jackson is surely right that some of these crazy passing numbers we’ve been seeing aren’t going to continue. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo aren’t all going to break Dan Marino’s record of 5,084 yards, even though they’re all on pace to do it now.
But NFL rules favor the passing game more than ever before, and that’s not changing. It may just be wishful thinking to expect the NFL to become a running league again.