Through the first 14 weeks of the NFL season, there were 63 games in which one team had 40 or more running plays. The result? The teams that rushed 40 or more times won 62 and lost one.
It is likely the running game will separate winner from loser today when the Bengals visit the Redskins.
A comparison of statistics shows the Redskins have the advantage on offense with an average of 35.4 rushes, to the Bengals' 32.4. The Redskins rush 155.3 yards per game, the Bengals 144.5. Cincinnati has the defensive edge, giving up 27.08 rushes to Washington's 27.36. In total yardage, however, the Redskins' defense has been giving up 107.1 yards, better than the Bengals' 113.6.
There are two Bengals defensive statistics the Redskins may exploit. First: Cincinnati is allowing 4.2 yards per rush. This is the sort of modest rush defense the Redskins can run against all day. If 40 or more rushing plays spells victory at the rate of 62-1, then determination is all George Rogers needs.
Allowing 6.48 yards per pass attempt is a puny defense this year (the league average is 5.8 yards per throw). The Bengals' defense has played six games in which it gave up more than seven yards per pass attempt -- and lost five.
Computer projection: The game is even. If Washington runs the ball close to 40 times, it will win; if the Redskins gain seven yards per pass attempt, they will win big.