Originally Posted by Brutus
It's lazy but at the end of the day it's still the best bet.
To be honest, though, in that situation, it's not just about playing percentages; there's no doubt in my mind running it up the gut is the highest percentage play. However, like was mentioned, if the Bengals run it up the middle and get stuffed three straight plays, so what? At least they'd have run off almost two more minutes of game clock. At that point in the game, it's a win even if they had to settle for a field goal (or go for it on 4th & 1 meaning the Ravens would have to go 99 yards).
Sure, but I was speaking to a generality that the poster was making, not this particular situation. Plus, if you mix it up in short yardage, then the defense may not sell out on the plunge play and increase the ability to pound it in going forward. That failure (unintended) may help in a playoff game where we need a yard for a score and call the plunge. Now SD and all future opponents have to cover a read option, a quick out to a tall receiver, Domato Peko in the backfield, etc. I think the "man up, don't deserve it if you can't get a yard" philosophy is some manly man stuff that gets in the way of thinking.