When Andy Warhol made his statement about everyone getting their 15 minutes of fame, perhaps he was eluding to the Run-and-Shoot offense in the NFL.
It's too soon to stick this offense in the ground and start shoveling dirt on it, but the trendy offense of the '90s hasn't exactly gotten off to a roaring start this season.The four teams whose four wide-receiver, no tight-end attack is either their entire offense or a large part of it are 2-6. And the two victories came in games played between two Run-and-Shoot teams.
Here's a team-by-team look at what's gone wrong with the Run and Shoot.
- 1. Detroit (1-1): Mouse Davis brought the offense he developed to the NFL last year, and the Lions were 2-9 with it before ripping off five victories at the end of the season. Barry Sanders nearly won the NFL rushing title as a rookie. The addition of Andre Ware was supposed to make the Lions even more dangerous in 1990.
Ware's holdout has postponed his chances of making an impact. But after two games - a 38-21 loss at home to Tampa Bay and a 21-14 victory over Atlanta also at home - Sanders' numbers are way down. Everyone figured that with a year's experience and a full training camp behind him (he missed camp last year), Sanders' figures would head for the stratosphere in 1990. Instead, he has 134 yards rushing - a pace that would put him 400 yards behind last year's total - and give him a 4.2 average, down from last year's 5.3.
In both games, opponents have brought seven men to the line of scrimmage to stop Sanders while daring the Lions to pass. Cold streaks by Rodney Peete in each game have kept the Lions from taking advantage. He's 22nd in the league in yards per attempt (6.6).
In what is supposed to be a low-risk offense, the Lions have turned the ball over eight times. Only New Orleans and Houston, another Run-and-Shoot club, have been worse.
- 2. Houston (0-2): Off to their worst start since 1984, the Oilers rank last in the NFL in rushing (40 yards per game) and last in turnovers . Most of Warren Moon's impressive passing yardage total came in the second half of the Atlanta game after the Falcons had put the Oilers away.
Oilers coach Jack Pardee saw this offense work at the University of Houston, but he's finding out that this isn't the SWC. "We need to be up around 60 percent completions and five-yard per carry running," he said. "We're two weeks gone, and we're not anywhere close to that."
- 3. Atlanta (1-1): The Falcons' victory over the Oilers was due primarily to a defense that scored three touchdowns. The success they have had has mainly been because of their two-back offense.
Against the Lions last week, the Falcons ran from their two-back set 31 of 61 plays. Jerry Glanville talked as if his "Red Gun" attack would be the Falcons' primary weapon but that hasn't been the case.
- 4. Seattle (0-2): The Seahawks may be the worst team in football, so maybe their methods hardly matter. Regardless, they tried their version of the Run-and-Shoot for 23 of 44 offensive plays against Chicago. The Bears won, 17-0, as the Seahawks totaled all of six first downs.
Last week in a more competitive 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, the Seahawks didn't use their Run-and-Shoot offense. The plan is to use it enough to make teams practice for it during the week.
But as a weapon, the Seahawks have not yet mastered it. If anyone has at the NFL level, the evidence is well-hidden.