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.)
Last season, 16 teams had a 1,000-yard rusher. The 16 1,000-yard rushers was the third lowest number since 1999 when 14 runners gained 1,000 or more yards rushing. Most 1,000-yard rushers since 2000? In 2006 there were 23.
The St. Louis Rams, led by Steven Jackson, lead the NFL with eight straight seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher. The Tennessee Titans have a streak of seven straight seasons, with Chris Johnson reaching that mark in the past five seasons and a pair of runners accomplishing that mark in two previous years.
A pair of teams last season had their first 1,000-yard rusher in a couple of years; the Washington Redskins had a 1,000-yard rusher in rookie Alfred Morris, the first runner to reach that mark for the Redskins in a season since Clinton Portis did it in 2008. The Buffalo Bills in 2012 had a 1,000-yard rusher in C.J. Spilller; the last Bills runner to accomplish that feat was Fred Jackson in 2009.
Following are the NFL teams that have had a 1,000-yard rusher for three or more consecutive seasons (active).
Year streak, Team (rushers)
8: St. Louis Rams (Steven Jackson 2005-2012)
7: Tennessee (Chris Johnson 2008-2012, LenDale White 2007, Travis Henry 2006)
4: Baltimore (Ray Rice 2009-2012)
4: Cincinnati (Cedric Benson 2009-2011, BenJarvus Green-Ellis 2012)
3: Houston (Arian Foster 2010-2012)
At the other end of the spectrum are the six teams that have not had a 1,000-yard rusher in the past three seasons… and beyond. The Detroit Lions top this category; they have not had a 1,000-yard runner since 2004.
Following are the teams that have the longest current drought of 1,000-yard rushers.
Last year with 1,000-yard rusher, Team (last 1,000-yard runner)
2004: Detroit (Kevin Jones)
2006: Dallas (Julius Jones)
2006: New Orleans (Deuce McAllister)
2007: Indianapolis (Joseph Addai)
2009: Carolina (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams)
2009: Green Bay (Ryan Grant)
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
First, the team scored four rushing touchdowns. This was the first game with four or more rushing TDs since the team had five TDs via the run in a December 27, 2009 game against the Seattle Seahawks. It was also the ninth game with four-plus rushing touchdowns since 1966 (the start of the Super Bowl era). Games with four-plus rushing TDs:
December 23, 2012: four rushing TDs vs. Tennessee
December 27, 2009: five rushing TDs vs. Seattle
January 2, 2000: four rushing TDs vs. Arizona
October 31, 1994: four rushing TDs vs. Chicago
October 9, 1988: five rushing TDs vs. New England
September 9, 1979: four rushing TDs vs. New Orleans
October 15, 1978: four rushing TDs vs. Seattle
September 26, 1971: four rushing TDs vs. Denver
October 22, 1967: five rushing TDs vs. New York Giants
The Packers won each of the above nine games. In fact, in the 33 games where the Packers have scored three or more rushing TDs, the team has a 32-1 record (only loss was a 41-38 defeat at the hands of the Rams when the Pack scored three TDs via the run).
The four-rushing-TD game last Sunday was unique for two more reasons: The team gained only 117 yards rushing in this four-TD game; it was the fewest rushing yards in a game where they scored four-plus rushing touchdowns. The Packers averaged only 3.3 yards per rushing attempt in the game, the lowest yards per rushing attempt in a game where they scored four-plus TDs rushing.
The other rarity we saw last Sunday was a running back with two rushing touchdowns. Ryan Grant had a pair of TD runs, the first time a Packers runner has scored two or more rushing TDs since Grant did it in a December 11, 2011 game against the Raiders. The Packers have played 95 games since 1960 where a runner had two-plus rushing touchdowns in a game. The team has a 81-13-1 record in those games.
It was Grant’s fifth game in which he scored two or more rushing touchdowns as a Packer. Jim Taylor tops the list with 16 games with two-plus rushing TDs. Here are the Packers who have scored two or more rushing touchdowns in the most games since 1960:
Games with two-plus rushing TDs, Player
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
WE INTERRUPT THE START OF THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION. After the first three weeks of the NFL season only five teams are averaging four or more yards on every run and eight or more yards on every pass. Can you name the five teams? Answer to follow.
One expert calls the NFL “a passing league.” Another says “today’s marquee NFL stars are quarterbacks and receivers.” A friend of mine (a football fan) recently said to me, “If you would had asked me to name last year’s top three running backs in the NFL I’m not sure I could name them.” The point is, or maybe better stated, the question is… is the passing game the pathway to success in the NFL?
TRIVIA ANSWER: The five teams that after the first three weeks of the season were averaging four or more yards on every run and eight or more yards on every pass were Green Bay, Houston, New England, New Orleans and Arizona. They have a combined 10-5 record.
Here’s a look at the teams with the best and worst average yards per run and yards per pass:
Top Six rushing yards per play: Minnesota (5.8), Buffalo (5.6), Oakland (5.5), Philadelphia (5.4), Baltimore (5.2), Atlanta (4.8). These teams have a combined record of 9-9.
Top Six passing yards per play: New England (10.0), Dallas (8.9), Green Bay (8.9), Houston (8.9), NY Giants (8.8), Pittsburgh (8.8). These teams have a combined record of 13-5.
Bottom Four rushing yards per play: Tennessee (2.4), San Francisco (2.5), Detroit (2.8), Denver (3.2). These teams have a combined record of 8-4.
Bottom Four passing yards per play: Indianapolis (5.0), Kansas City (5.2), Seattle (5.4), Cleveland (5.7). These teams have a combined record of 3-9.
Let’s take a look at some more average run and average pass yardage stats after the first three weeks and how it translates to wins and losses:
* Teams averaging 8 or more yards per pass have a combined record of 24-12.
* Teams averaging 4.5 or more yards per run are a combined 9-18
* Teams under 7.0 yards per pass play are a combined 11-25.
* Teams averaging 7.5 or more yards per pass are 30-18; those under 7.5 are 18-30.
* If you combine each teams average yards per run and their average yards per pass, there are four teams that total 13.0 or more (Green Bay, New England, Buffalo and Houston). These four teams are a combined 10-2.
* The Tennessee Titans have the largest differential between average yards per run and average yards per pass. They are at 8.3 per pass and 2.4 per run, a difference of 5.9.