A tough, reliable running game allows an offense to dictate a game's pace. In the majority of contests, it can also control the game's result.
In 2012, NFL teams with a 100-yard rusher in a game posted an 83-35-1 record for a .702 winning percentage. That rated higher than clubs with a 100-yard receiver (92-78-1, .541) or a 300-yard passer (61-65, .484). It marked the fifth time in the past six seasons that NFL clubs with a 100-yard rusher registered a winning percentage above .700, a winning percentage not reached by teams with 100-yard receivers or 300-yard passers during that span.
"There are so many good things that come from running the football," says Seattle Seahawks head coach PETE CARROLL, whose team posted a 7-3 record when Pro Bowl running back MARSHAWN LYNCH rushed for 100 yards in a game. "It adds to the mentality of your team. It adds to the toughness of your football club. We want to be a physical, aggressive, tough, get-after-you football team. And that's where we can send the biggest message about our commitment to that."
Over the past five years, teams have compiled a 432-172-1 record (.715) when a player has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. By comparison, clubs with a 100-yard receiver have a .561 winning percentage (457-357-2), while offenses with a 300-yard passer have won 55.2 percent of games (288-234-1).
The winning percentage of teams with a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver, or 300-yard passer over the past five seasons: