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Why Winning And Running The Ball Aren't Mutually Exclusive

In his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan, Clinton Portis had to answer a lot of questions about the success, or lack thereof, of the Redskins running game so far this season, particularly in Sunday's loss to the Texans. Here is what he had to say.

I think it's more wins and losses. If we would have came away with a win and Donovan would have thrown for those 400 yards everybody would have been excited about the passing game. But given that we lost people have to find something to pin it on.

Later, he reiterated his stance on winning being the most important thing

There's no panic, as long as we win games, I don't think anybody would worry about how we done it.

I like that he says winning is absolutely the most important thing, but I think he's writing off the problems in the running game too easily.

The problem with Clinton's analysis is that the two concepts he is talking about, winning ball games and having a successful running attack, are not mutually exclusive. To win consistently in the NFL, you need to be able to run the ball. The two things rely on one another.

If the team could have moved the ball on the ground on Sunday, they might have been able to run the clock out in the fourth quarter, and hold on to their 17 point lead against the Texans. The running game isn't just something that fans are picking on because the team lost, it is likely the reason they lost.

He's right, if they had won on Sunday people wouldn't be talking about the problems in the running game. But that is only because it would have been a successful running game that helped preserve the victory.

If they win, no one will talk about their problems. But they won't be able to win that much if they are counting on Donovan McNabb to throw the ball for 500 yards every Sunday.