DETROIT — When Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland sat down this past offseason to plan out his approach, he had one simple goal:
He wanted to win.
I know, weird.
Besides the changes to the draft lottery, young Noah Hanifin Jersey players are getting bigger contracts earlier, which lends itself to more parity. The Edmonton Oilers, you can be sure, are planning on Connor McDavid’s next contract looking much more like Kane’s and Toews’ current ones than their second deals. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to land McDavid during your rebuild in the first place. Only one team every decade gets to do that.
Thirty years ago, when quarterbacks were Riley Nash Jersey throwing farther downfield and completing a far lower percentage of their passes, it made sense for teams to strictly limit their quarterbacks to handing off the football in situations where running clock was more important than picking up a first down. Quarterbacks simply couldn’t be trusted not to screw up, and most receivers weren’t good enough to regularly win one-on-one matchups.
Today’s game is different. Quarterbacks routinely throw bubble screens and other short passes designed to get the ball out quickly, and their success rate on those throws is remarkable: They complete 70.9 percent of their passes within five yards of the line of scrimmage and throw interceptions 1.1 percent of the time. That’s similar to the fumble rate on rushing plays since 2012 (1.2 percent, although only 0.7 percent are lost to the opposition).
With a banged up running back corps, Packers coach Mike McCarthy should trust Aaron Rodgers to kill the clock with his arm. Joe Robbins/Getty Images
In situations where teams are one or two first downs away from ending the game, passing simply has to be part of the equation, if only to prevent teams from teeing off on your running game. The screen Dak Prescott set up with Cole Beasley to seal the game against the 49ers is a perfect example. And, with run-pass options, you can ask your quarterback to make a simple check at the line of scrimmage and either hand the ball off or make a pass that is likely to be completed.
In situations where teams simply want to run as much clock as possible and punt without any real concern about getting a first down, they’re probably better off kneeling than running offensive plays, if only because of the risk of a fumble. There’s little logic behind teams “half-trying” to succeed on offense. Another example of that …
Run to start your two-minute drill, because if it fails, just run out the clock.
The Browns ran into the furor surrounding this unwritten rule a couple of weeks back, when Hue Jackson decided to go for two down 28-19 with 2:10 left to try to make it a one-score game. He failed. This essentially ended the contest: The Browns recovered an onside kick and scored a touchdown, but that was only enough to make it 28-26. They failed on a second onside kick try and subsequently lost.