[to top of second column]
Phil Simms finds the numbers misleading and the trend exaggerated. He says short, safe throws pad passing stats, and teams use such plays to control the ball.
"There are some teams in the NFL that will throw 10 to 15 passes a week of 5 yards or less," says Simms, MVP of the 1987 Super Bowl. "It's really just another way of running the ball, instead of dropping back and throwing it like we did in the old days. I could go out there now and throw left-handed and hit 50 percent, because there are so many easy throws."
Others argue this is an era of uncommon talent at quarterback. Saints coach Sean Payton says passing wins today because of those doing the throwing.
"You're seeing quarterback play that's probably as good as this league has ever had," Payton says. "There are a dozen teams that are getting outstanding play at quarterback, and you would go back a long time before you could say that."
Along with Manning, Brees and Favre, there's Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and newly retired Kurt Warner. That's a dozen.
Peyton Manning's at the head of the class. He won the NFL MVP award for the fourth time this season, and 78 percent of the Colts' yards came through the air.
"Indianapolis is an exception," Cowher says. "I don't think you'll ever find another team that can do what they're doing. I don't think you can use them as a model."
The Saints are more balanced, with 67 percent of their yards via the pass, and they ranked sixth in rushing.
Perhaps that gives them an edge in the Super Bowl. Deion Sanders, for one, believes the path to a championship remains on the ground.
"Both of these teams are going to have to resort to the old model to win this game," Sanders says. "They're going to run the ball. It's got to be a little more balanced. If you see a team with 45 passes and 15 runs, that means that team is losing."
How times change: Prime Time is now old school.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor