<
>
Insider

Finding the true meaning of 'balance'

The Eagles averaged 5.4 yards per pass (adjusted for INTs, sacks) and 5.4 yards per carry in 2010. Matthew Emmons/US Presswire

EVERY WEEK, you'll hear football analysts say it: To be effective, an offense needs balance, meaning it should run the ball about as often as it throws. Every week, the analysts are dead wrong. An offense's job is to score points, and the best way to do that is not by balancing its rush and pass attempts but by balancing the yards per play it gets from each.

This is far from a radical concept. In fact, the principle behind it was hatched many years ago by a certain beautiful mind, which we'll talk about in a moment. Yet it's difficult to accept for many coaches, who always seem to be hung up on canards like "keeping defenses honest," "establishing the run" and "setting up the pass."