The Rules for Winning in the NFL

In the spirit of Independence Day, we declare these truths to be self-evident, that not all players and coaches are created equal… THE RULES FOR WINNING IN THE NFL! Please comment, detract, add your own. These rules can be amended (doubtful, but possible!) by your feedback.

1) Do not draft a “versatile” player in Round 1 of the draft. “Dominant” should be there, not versatile.
2) Left Tackle is a rare commodity. A good Left Tackle is better than a great ______ (fill in almost any other position).
3) WRs are a dime a dozen. Do not waste resources here; pick one up when you are close to the prize. They are always available.
4) “Linebackers, I collect’em.” – Bill Parcells.
5) Pitchouts do not work in the red zone.
6) Repeat after me, Do not go for the 2 pt. conversion until there are 6 minutes left in the game. If there are more than 8 minutes left in the game, it is a 99% certainty that it was the wrong decision.
6a) The Mike Tomlin Rule- The only thing worse than violating Rule 6 is violating Rule 6 AFTER a penalty makes it a 7 yd (or 12! or 17 yard) attempt.
7) The Devin Hester Rule- If there is a special teams player in the end zone on a FG attempt, it is probably a good idea to fake the kick.
8) Do the unpredictable. Once you are predictable you are dead.
9) Trading down in the draft is good.
10) Investing all of your resources in one player is (now, more than ever in the era of free agency) a mistake. Eli Manning, Herschel Walker, Ricky Williams… the teams that do the best are usually giving the pick and getting multiple players.
11) “Read and react” is for losers. Set the tone, dictate terms of engagement, let others copy your SB blueprint. By the time you copy someone else’s, the league has figured out how to adjust, so you are wasting your time.
12) Let the clock wind down to 3 seconds and kick your FG. I have never seen a team muff the (3rd down) attempt and kick on 4th down with the extra time that you left on the clock. I HAVE seen plenty of teams kick the FG and give the other team the oppty/win when they got their hands on the ball again. (ie Dallas Mon Night 2003)
13) The 2 week layover for the SB makes for a lousy game which improves the chances for the favorite.
14) Special teams are always underrated.
15) The only thing the prevent defense prevents you from doing is winning.
16) The only thing the prevent offense prevents you from doing is winning.
16a) The Kenny Holmes Rule- the only thing worse than the prevent offense is the prevent offense when your defense is exhausted/impaired by injury.
17) Players are told to play for 60 minutes. Yet who benches the head coach when he only coaches for 50?
18) The Fassel Rule of Prevent: It is always the coach’s fault when a large lead is blown/the game is lost.
19) The Fassel Rule of December: Practice in December w/o pads- your players will appreciate it and win many more games for you with their fresh legs.
20) The Bill Walsh “Quality Win” (winning by 11+ points) is a necessary objective at all times because it enables you to win MORE games that are more hotly contested.
21) After 1st and Goal from the 1-2 yard line, if you fail to score a TD on your first three tries, kick the FG on 4th down.
22) The Carl Banks Rule- You cannot simply turn it on and turn it off in the NFL. Play every game and maintain/improve on your high level of play.
23) Second round draft picks are the best value in the draft. No sizzle, all steak.
24) # of headcases <= strong head coaches. (If you have a strong head coach you can have up to 1 head case in the locker room. If you have a weak head coach you cannot have any. A strong head coach with 2 head cases means a locker room infestation and problems.)
25) The Phil Simms Rule- You must stretch the field on offense. If you do not/cannot pass the ball >20 yards down field, LBers and Safeties will choke off your offense.
26) Defense wins championships.

2 Responses to “The Rules for Winning in the NFL”

  1. edgwsyg Says:

    What’s up with item 10 (pun intended, I’m sure)? The Giants made a mistake trading 2 # 1s for Eli? Eli’s 27 and he’s given you a ring. Plus he was the consensus first pick in the draft.Accorsi drafted Eli with Unitas and Elway in mind. IMO, that deal’s already paid off – if you could buy a superbowl win with 2 # 1 picks, you’d do it in a second. Every team and fan in the NFL would do it. Let the Jet, Saint, Eagle, Bill, Dolphin, etc., etc. fans worry about style points. I’ll take the wins and the championships.

  2. Andy F. Says:

    This has zero to do with style points. It is all about allocation of resources. Accorsi went all-in with Manning. Did it work? Yes. But that does not have anything to do with the rule. The rule is what STATISTICALLY is the best MOVE. He overpaid, it worked out, but by that same logic- we’ll play a game… we’ll flip a coin, heads you win $1, tails I win $2. We flip the coin and it comes up heads. Did that make it a good decision? Unless the #1 pick CLEARLY DWARFS every other pick, men vs. boys, like LeBron James vs. the rest of the pack, then it is the incorrect decision. I never spoke to Wonder about this topic until this morning on email- his response was succinct, the Giants trade was “overpaid/ridiculous.” Manning is the Giants QB, and I enjoy seeing him cool as a cucumber in Q4 of each game. But I will be fair and call it the way I see it. As for style points, if I want to use hindsight, Rivers/Merriman/Kaeding doesn’t look so bad either. Could you imagine Merriman last year on that defense? Rivers was hurt in the AFC championship game or they could beat NE. I am not exactly giving up the championship either! My team paid enough for Manning, he is our QB for better AND for worse.

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