|Written by Chris Vannini|
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 22, 2013
A week ago, we looked at the rushing numbers in the NFL play-offs leading up to the conference championship games.
It should not surprise you, then, that the two winners on Sunday won the rushing battle in their respective conference championship games.
Here's an updated chart with each play-off game, the rushing winner and the game winner.
Through 10 games, the team that finishes with more rushing yards is 9-1, with the one loss being Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings falling to the Green Bay Packers. If you go by yards per carry, the record is 7-3, though the Bengals only had 16 rushes in their loss to the Texans.
As mentioned last week, some of these rushing results are going against regular season numbers. The Patriots averaged 18 more rushing yards per game than the Ravens in the regular season, but Baltimore won the rushing battle on Sunday.
So what does this mean for the Super Bowl? It could mean good news for 49ers fans.
San Francisco finished No. 4 in the NFL in rushing at 155.7 yards per game in the regular season, while the Ravens finished No. 11 at 118.8 yards per game. In the play-offs, the 49ers are averaging 236 yards, though that's certainly aided by a 323-yard performance against the Packers. The Ravens are at 148.7 yards per game.
Baltimore's play-off opponents have had increasingly better regular season rushing numbers. The Colts were No. 22, the Broncos were No. 16, the Patriots were No. 7, and now San Francisco at No. 4.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com
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