Tag Archives: Maurice Jones-Drew

99 Stats Until Kickoff: (#30) The evolution of the pass-catching running back in the NFL

From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)

LaDainian Tomlinson tossing a football before ...

LaDainian Tomlinson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re looking for one way that the National Football League has changed since, say the start of the century, you don’t have to go much further than looking at how running backs are being used.

In simple terms, NFL teams are looking for ways to get the ball into the hands of their fleet-footed runners. No longer is the game limited to handing the ball off to the best runner and letting him find a way up the field. These days, passing the ball to your running back is just as important as the quarterback handing the ball off to his runners.

Let’s quantify this… using 250 or more rushing attempts and 50 receptions in a season as the yardstick, we see that in NFL history there have been 109 occasions when a running back had 250-plus rushing attempts and 50-plus receptions in the same season. Fifty-one different running backs have accomplished this feat in NFL history.

Last season two players met these numbers: Baltimore’s Ray Rice, who carried the ball 257 times to go along with his 61 catches, and Cleveland rookie Trent Richardson, who had 267 rushing attempts to go along with 51 receptions.

Of those 109 occasions, 57 of them have occurred since 2000, a testament to the fact that teams have increased the workload of their runners with pass catching responsibilities. (The most running backs to meet these numbers were seven in both the 2000 and 2003 seasons.)

Following are the running backs that have had the most seasons with 250+ carries and 50+ receptions.

Seasons with 250+ carries/50+ receptions, Players

8: LaDainian Tomlinson

6: Marshall Faulk

5: Tiki Barber, Edgerrin James

4: Ahman Green, Ray Rice, Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas, Ricky Watters

3: Marcus Allen, Ottis Anderson, William Andrews, Priest Holmes, Lydell Mitchell

If we move the criteria up to 300 carries and 70 catches, only eight players have met those numbers in league history. They are:

Lydell Mitchell, 1977, Baltimore, 301 carries, 71 catches
James Wilder, 1984, Tampa Bay, 407 carries, 85 catches

Roger Craig, 1988, San Francisco, 310 carries, 76 catches

Marshall Faulk, 1998, Indianapolis, 324 carries, 86 catches

Curtis Martin, 2000, N.Y. Jets, 316 carries, 70 catches

LaDainian Tomlinson, 2002, San Diego, 372 carries, 79 catches

Priest Holmes, 2002, Kansas City, 313 carries, 70 catches

LaDainian Tomlinson, 2003, San Diego, 313 carries, 100 catches

Priest Holmes, 2003, Kansas City, 320 carries, 74 catches

Steven Jackson, 2006, St. Louis, 346 carries, 90 catches

Here’s a few more stats concerning running backs with 250-plus carries and 50-plus catches in a season:

* Four players accomplished this feat while in their 30’s: Tiki Barber (2006, 2007 at age 30 and 31), Ricky Watters (2000 at age 31), Tony Dorsett (1984 at age 30) and Priest Holmes (2003 at age 30).

* LaDainian Tomlinson holds the record for most consecutive seasons with 250-plus rushing attempts and 50-plus receptions with eight. He did it from 2001-2008. Tiki Barber did it in five straight seasons from 2002-2006.

* Nine players reached the 250/50 milestone in their rookie season, including this year’s rookie to make the list, the Browns’ Trent Richardson. The others were: Billy Sims (1980), Joe Cribbs (1980), Eric Dickerson (1983), Marshall Faulk (1994), Edgerrin James (1999), LaDainian Tomlinson (2001), Steve Slaton (2008) and Matt Forte (2008).

* Two players in NFL history not only had 250 carries and 50 catches, but also had at least one kickoff return and one punt return in that season. Joe Cribbs did it in 1980, Maurice Jones-Drew did it in 2009.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


Matt Forte carries the rushing workload for the Bears

Matt Forté of the Chicago Bears

Matt Forte... Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

There has been a lot written that Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is looking for a new contract. If workload alone was a criteria for Forte’s request, the running back who leads the Bears in most yards rushing and most yards receiving, deserves a new contract.

Forte has gained 672 of the Bears 803 yards rushing, 83.7% of the team’s rushing total. This percentage is tops among the 32 NFL teams. There are seven running backs who have 70% or more of their team’s rushing yards. The seven:

Matt Forte, Chicago 83.7%

Michael Turner, Atlanta, 78.7%

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville, 78.0%

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati, 72.5%

Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants, 72.1%

Chris Wells, Arizona, 71.9%

Fred Jackson, Buffalo, 71.0%

On the other side of the coin, a handful of NFL teams are spreading the wealth when it comes to the ground attack. For example:

* Dallas and Indianapolis each have two players with 250 or more rushing yards.

* Philadelphia has two players with 350 or more rushing yards.

* Houston has two players with 400 or more rushing yards.

* New Orleans has three players with 200 or more rushing yards.

* Carolina has three players with 250 or more rushing yards.

NFL ‘Big Game’ players ready for some football!

Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints at ...

Drew Brees... Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

The 2011 NFL regular season begins tomorrow night with a match-up between the past two Super Bowl champions… the Packers and the Saints.

As the season kicks off, each team is looking to their “big game” players to lead the way to success. It seems as though we have an unofficial definition of “big game” for quarterbacks, running backs and receivers in the NFL:  For QBs it’s a 300-yard passing game; for running backs and receivers it’s a game with 100 or more yards in a game.

Who have been the top “big game” players in the NFL over the past three seasons? Here’s a look at those players who have had at least 10 “big games” over the past three seasons. In addition, their team’s record in those games is also listed.

Quarterbacks (300-yard passing games/W-L in those games)

Drew Brees                       24          18-6

Peyton Manning              20          16-4

Matt Schaub                     20          10-10

Tony Romo                       16           11-5

Philip Rivers                     16           10-6

Aaron Rodgers                 14            7-7

Jay Cutler                          12            5-7

Tom Brady                        11            9-2

Ben Roethlisberger         11            8-3

Running Backs (100-yard rushing games/W-L in those games)

Chris Johnson                  24           17-7

Michael Turner                19           17-2

Adrian Peterson               18           13-5

Steven Jackson                15            4-11

Thomas Jones                  14            8-6

Maurice Jones-Drew      14           11-3

Cedric Benson                  12           10-2

Frank Gore                        12           8-4

Deangelo Williams          12           8-4

Jamaal Charles                10            6-4

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION. Four different Green Bay Packers players had a “big game” in the playoffs last season. Aaron Rodgers had two games with 300 or more yards passing (366 vs. the Falcons and 304 yards passing in the Super Bowl). Greg Jennings also had two “big games”… 101 yards receiving against Atlanta and 130 yards vs. the Bears. Can you name the other two Green Bay players who had 100 or more yards in a playoff game last year? Answer at end of blog.

Receivers (100-yard receiving games/W-L in those games)

Andre Johnson                20          12-8

Roddy White                    16           10-6

Greg Jennings                  15            9-6

Larry Fitzgerald               13            6-7

Hines Ward                      13           10-3

Reggie Wayne                  13           10-3

Calvin Johnson                12            3-9

Miles Austin                     11             5-6

Desean Jackson               11            9-2

Wes Welker                      11             9-2

Vincent Jackson              10            9-1

Brandon Marshall           10            3-7

Steve Smith                       10           7-3

TRIVIA ANSWER: Running back James Starks had 123 yards rushing against the Eagles in the Wild Card game; Jordy Nelson had 140 yards receiving in the Super Bowl.