In a previous article regarding Kevin Stefanski finding the magic of 2020 to help get the Cleveland Browns back to the playoffs, fans responded with "Run the damn ball more."
This got the wheels turning on if the Browns need to run more to get to the top of the NFL mountain. We never want to leave a stone unturned when it comes to finding a way to get to and win a Super Bowl in Cleveland.
How many top ranked running games have made the Super Bowl since 2010?
To be as fair as possible, but still keep it to the recent trends, we go back 12 years of Super Bowl teams. I want to make sure that there is enough data to confirm the notion that having a top back and running game can carry a team to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans vs. Indianapolis
The 2010 Super Bowl featured the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. The Drew Brees-led Saints would beat the Peyton Manning-led Colts 31-17 in Miami.
New Orlean's rushing attack that season was led by running back Pierre Thomas's 793 yards on 147 carries over 14 games. The entire rushing attack would gain 2,106 yards placing the Saints sixth in the NFL in rushing. Drew Brees would pass for 4,388 yards and 34 touchdowns that season, leading the seventh-best passing game in the NFL.
The Colts would finish the season with the worst rushing attack in the NFL. The leading rusher for them was Joseph Addai with 828 yards on 219 carries. He did score 10 touchdowns on the season. Peyton Manning led the number two passing offense with 4,500 yards passing and 33 touchdowns.
Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers faced off in Dallas against the Packers taking the title with a 31-25 win. 2011's NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers would win his first, and only so far, championship.
Green Bay featured Brandon Jackson in their rushing attack. Jackson ran for 703 yards on 190 carries to lead the 24th-ranked rushing attack in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers would throw for 3,922 yards and 28 touchdowns that season to lead the fifth-ranked passing attack in the NFL.
The Steelers are known for a foundation of smash-mouth football and ranked 11th in 2010, with Rashard Mendenhall leading the way with 1,273 yards on 324 carries. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 3,200 yards and 17 touchdowns in 13 starts that season. The Steelers defense also ranked first in the NFL in points given up that season.