How important is getting one running back 20-plus carries in a game for Packers?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Ahman Green warming up for a preseaso...

Former Green Bay running back Ahman Green (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Packers running game… not enough carries/attempts, running backs who aren’t “difference makers,” too much focus on the pass… ect., etc., ect!

Let’s take a look at one stat: Twenty or more carries by one running back in a game. This season the Packers have had five games where they have gotten one running back 20 or more carries. Those games:

* Sept. 13: Cedric Benson gets 20 carries for 81 yards against the Bears.
* Oct. 14: Alex Green gets 22 carries for 65 yards against Houston.
* Oct. 21: Alex Green gets 20 carries for 35 yards against the Rams.
* Oct. 28: Alex Green gets 22 carries for 54 yards against Jacksonville.
* Nov. 18: James Starks gets 25 carries for 74 yards against the Lions.

One interesting thing you’ll notice about these five games is that the Packers won each of those contests.

Let’s expand the look at this stat: Going back to 2000, the Packers have had one running back with 20 or more carries in a game 81 times. The team has compiled a 63-18 record in those games, a winning percentage of .778. For the record, Ahman Green tops the list during this timeframe with 46 games with 20-plus rushes, followed by Ryan Grant, 17 games, and Samkon Gado with five such games.

Since 2010, the Packers have only played six games with one runner getting 20 or more carries in a game. That’s six games out of 45 (from the 2010 season through the first 13 games of the 2012 season). You might think that six games would be the lowest of the 32 teams; you’d be wrong!

The New Orleans Saints have played only one game since the 2010 season where they have had a running back get 20 or more carries in a game. The Indianapolis Colts have only had two such games. Here’s a look at how many of the last 45 games each team has had a running back with 20 or more rushing attempts in a game.

Games with a running back with 20-plus rushing attempts (since 2010), teams

1: New Orleans
2: Indianapolis
3: Detroit
4: Carolina
6: Green Bay
7: Miami
9: Pittsburgh
10: Arizona, Dallas, New England
11: Buffalo, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia
12: San Diego
13: Kansas City, N.Y. Jets
15: Chicago, Tampa Bay
16: Cleveland, San Francisco
17: Denver, Tennessee
18: Atlanta, Oakland
19: Minnesota, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington
20: Baltimore, Cincinnati
23: Jacksonville
25: Houston

One final note: Of the 429 times since 2010 that an NFL team has had a runner with 20 or more carries in a game, teams have won 310, lost 117 and tied two. That’s a winning percentage of .725.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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