Commentary

The myth of San Diego's run game

Think the Bolts can't run on Gang Green? They can -- and will

Updated: January 17, 2010, 12:57 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesWill he be dancing at 7 p.m. Sunday? Quite possibly, yes.

For the 2009 NFL playoffs, Football Scientist K.C. Joyner offers "Contrarian Thoughts" on various games; essentially, he tells you the things you'll keep hearing that aren't necessarily true. This edition focuses on everyone's favorite "He's in decline!" punching bag, Mr. LaDainian Tomlinson.

LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers will be able to run the ball with frequent success against the Jets. This would seem highly unlikely, given that New York ranked eighth in rush yards allowed in the regular season and San Diego was next to last in ground yards gained.

I wouldn't have believed it myself, but then I broke it down more: That No. 8 rush defense ranking isn't all it's cracked up to be -- and the Jets, despite beating the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend at their place, are coming off one of the worst run-defense performances of the season. Oh, and San Diego and LT? Not quite over that hill just yet.


Hmmmm. So SD had a rough year on the ground, right? LT was under 1,000 yards. The Jets have a swarming defense. So... this run game seems like a mismatch. Rivers must win it through the air, no? But... wait... maybe SD *can* run. To figure out how and why this idea works, though, you must be an ESPN Insider.