We saw weather become a factor in a number of games this past weekend. As the year goes on, some combination of coldness, rain, snow and wind is going to affect more and with the elements playing a larger role, some teams will increase the frequency that they run the ball.
With that in mind, this week’s 32 Observations takes a look at some of the running backs in the league and some piece of information I found interesting about them.
Buffalo Bills: On 55 of C.J. Spiller’s 123 carries, he has not gained any yards after contact. That is a rate of 44.7% of his carries, which is the worst in the league.
Miami Dolphins: Lamar Miller has carried the ball 10 times where the Dolphins have needed 3 yards or fewer for a first down. He has converted just two of them for first downs, and has just 5 yards on those 10 carries.
New England Patriots: Brandon Bolden has averaged 3.4 yards before contact per attempt, which is the highest rate in the league. Only two other backs with at least 30 carries have above 3.0 yards before contact per attempt.
New York Jets: When Chris Ivory runs to the left end or right end, he averages 7.3 yards per carry which is the third highest rate in the league. His teammate Bilal Powell averages 6.6 yards per carry which is fourth highest. Both players average less than 4 yards per carry when running in any of the gaps between the two ends.
Baltimore Ravens: There are only two running backs in the league with four or more games with 10 or more carries, but have only averaged above 3.0 yards per carry in one or fewer games. Those two are Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. Rice has eight games with 10 or more carries, and he only reached over 3.0 yards per carry last week. Pierce has had 10 or more carries four times this year, and reached over 3.0 yards per carry in Week 5.
Cincinnati Bengals: There have been six games where Giovani Bernard has had at least 10 carries, and in four of them he has averaged 4.0 yards per carry or more. That is two thirds of his games, which is tied for the third best rate for those with six or more games of 10 or more carries. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has averaged 4.0 yards per carry or more in just one of his nine games with 10+ carries; tied for the second worst rate in the league.
Cleveland Browns: Willis McGahee has had 13 rushing attempts with 5 or fewer yards to go for a touchdown which is the third most opportunities in the league. On those 13 carries, he has rushed for -2 yards, and has just one touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers: When Le’Veon Bell runs to the left, he has only averaged 2.0 yards per carry which is the fourth lowest rate in the league. When he runs to the right, he runs much closer to league average at 3.8 yards per carry.
Houston Texans: Over the first five weeks of the season, Ben Tate saw nine or fewer carries in each game. He had a total of 41 carries for 255 yards for 6.2 yards per carry. In his last five games, he has had at least 10 rushing attempts, and a total of 287 yards on 81 carries for an average of 3.5 yards per carry.
Indianapolis Colts: Donald Brown has rushed for 5 or more yards on 49% of his carries which leads the league. Teammate Trent Richardson has rushed for 5 or more yards on 25.2% of his carries, which is fifth fewest for those with over 100 attempts.
Jacksonville Jaguars: In his last 13 games, Maurice Jones-Drew has failed to get over 75 rushing yards in a game. In the 19 games before that, Jones-Drew failed to reach 75 rushing yards only twice.
Tennessee Titans: When the Titans have had 2 or fewer yards to go for a touchdown, it’s been Jackie Battle getting carries. He has yet to score a touchdown on his four attempts with 2 or fewer yards to go.
Denver Broncos: Knowshon Moreno has only had eight players miss tackles on him on his 150 carries. That is a rate of 0.05 players missing a tackle on him per attempt. That is the second lowest rate for those with at least 50 carries.
Kansas City Chiefs: Jamaal Charles is the only running back in the league to have rushed for at least 50 yards in every game this season.
Oakland Raiders: While Darren McFadden’s numbers look a little better this year than they did in 2012, it is important to note a lot of McFadden’s good numbers came in a Week 2 matchup against Jacksonville. Ignoring that game, McFadden has just averaged 2.8 yards per carry over his six other games.
San Diego Chargers: There are only five running backs in the league with three or more 100-yard games. One of those is Ryan Mathews who has at least 100 yards in three of his last five games.
Dallas Cowboys: Since Week 6, DeMarco Murray has averaged 5.5 yards per carry which is the fifth best for those with at least 20 carries. Joseph Randle has averaged 2.5 yards per carry, which is the fourth worst.
New York Giants: David Wilson has averaged 0.3 defenders missing a tackle on him per attempt, which is the highest rate in the league.
Philadelphia Eagles: LeSean McCoy has faced defenses with five or more defensive backs on 90.1% of his carries which is the highest rate in the league for those with at least 40 carries. Bryce Brown is third at 83.0%.
Washington Redskins: Alfred Morris has nine carries of 20 or more yards, which is the largest total in the league. Only two other backs have more than five.
Chicago Bears: When Matt Forte runs to the right of the right tackle gap, he has 309 yards on 39 carries for a 7.9 yards per attempt average which leads the league. When running to the left of the right tackle gap he has 472 yards on 134 carries for 3.5 yards per carry.
Detroit Lions: Joique Bell becomes less effective at running the ball as the game does on. In the first quarter he has averaged 5.9 yards per carry, which decreases to 4.0 in the second quarter, 3.9 in the third quarter, and 2.6 in the fourth quarter.
Green Bay Packers: Eddie Lacy has converted five of his six rushing attempts with 5 or fewer yards to go into touchdowns. That is a rate of 83.3% which is the highest in the league for those with four or more attempts in this situation.
Minnesota Vikings: Part of why Adrian Peterson’s 2013 hasn’t been as good as 2012 is he is getting contacted earlier than last year. He has averaged just 1.2 yards before contact per carry. Of the 13 running backs with an average yards before contact per attempt of 1.3 or fewer, Peterson is the only one to have a yards per carry average above 3.6. Peterson’s rate is at 4.4.
Atlanta Falcons: When Steven Jackson faces defenses with five or more defensive backs, he has averaged 5.1 yards per carry. When he faces defenses with four or fewer defensive backs, he averages 1.5 yards per carry. That is a difference of 3.6 yards per carry, which is the second highest difference for those with at least 20 carries against both a base/goal line and nickel/dime defense.
Carolina Panthers: Mike Tolbert gains at least 1 yard after contact on 89.2% of his carries, which is the highest rate for those with at least 40 carries.
New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram has run between the guards 18 times this year, and has 165 yards on those carries. That is an average of 9.2 yards per carry. When he runs outside of the guards, he only has 55 yards on 23 carries, for a 2.4 yards per carry average.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike James has had 5 or more yards after contact on 21.7% of his carries which leads the league. His replacement Bobby Rainey has had 5 or more yards after contact on 19.6% of his carries which is third most.
Arizona Cardinals: Andre Ellington has rushed for 10 or more yards on 23% of his carries which is the most for all backs with 30 or more carries. Teammate Rashard Mendenhall has rushed for 10 or more yards on 4.3% of his carries which is the sixth lowest rate in the league.
St. Louis Rams: There have been 12 times where Zac Stacy has needed 3 yards or fewer to go for a first down. He has been successful each time, and has a total of 96 yards on those carries.
San Francisco 49ers: There are 13 running backs in the NFL with four or more carries with 1 yard to go for a touchdown. Frank Gore is the only one of the 13 who has made a touchdown on each of his opportunities. He is a perfect 4-for-4.
Seattle Seahawks: Marshawn Lynch has been tackled for a loss on 26 carries. That is the highest amount in the league.
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