Great comments, all, and thank you for the compliments. And Riddle of Steel, you can never go wrong with a Conan reference in my book...
The article is not trying, and the model is not predicting, that rushing the ball is useless. What the model notes is that passing the ball well is more conducive to winning than is running the ball well
over the last three years. I think you all know this intuitively to be true, but I'm just trying to show it statistically.
Surely running the ball is valuable, it just doesn't predict wins as well as passing does, that's the bottom line. The new NFL analytical way of thinking is as follows: Winning teams that run the ball well do so mainly because they're passing well. They're running once the pass is established as a lethal means of attack.
If you're into this kind of stuff, I encourage you to follow me and my partner on Twitter at @the_thinkingguy and @the_drinkingguy. We'll tweet out (and I'll try to remember to come back here and post) when a new article is posted to www.steelcitystats.com
As far as the question on San Diego...I think you meant the 2010 Chargers, right? The model predicts they should have won 10.5 games. They went 9 and 7. The standard deviation for wins is 2.5 in the league, so the model accurately predicts this.
The 2011 Chargers weren't the dominant ones in scoring offense and scoring defense. But, if you're curious, the model predicts they won 7.75 games. They won 8.