Preseason Rusher Rating: Hightower earned his spot

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 05, 2011



By Ken Crippen

Washington running back Tim Hightower led all preseason rushers using CHFF’s Rusher Rating System. Hightower, who left the desert of Arizona for the Beltway, had a 6.8 yard per attempt average to propel his Redskins to a 3-1 record in the preseason.
 
However, it was not the Redskins, but the Philadelphia Eagles who led the exhibition in team Rusher Rating Differential. The Eagles and their league-leading 36.96 Rusher Differential also had a 3-1 preseason. The Baltimore Ravens (34.60 Rusher Differential) were a close second, propelled by the fourth ranked rusher Ray Rice. His 4.92 yards per carry and two touchdowns gave him a rating of 132.55 and his team a 3-1 record.

Here are the top 25 rushers of the preseason with a minimum of 20 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Tim Hightower (WAS) 25 170 6.80 2 0 142.87
Ben Tate (HOU) 20 147 7.35 1 0 137.00
Richard Medlin (NE) 20 66 3.30 2 1 134.77
Ray Rice (BAL) 25 123 4.92 2 0 132.55
Jamie Harper (TEN) 38 168 4.42 3 0 129.81
Ryan Mathews (SD) 24 187 7.79 2 1 128.40
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE) 23 79 3.44 4 0 124.40
Keith Toston (STL) 23 77 3.35 2 0 123.93
Isaac Redman (PIT) 22 117 5.32 1 0 121.86
Thomas Clayton (SEA) 37 131 3.54 2 0 119.65
Ronnie Brown (PHI) 21 88 4.19 1 0 117.57
Stevan Ridley (NE) 30 148 4.93 2 1 116.70
Matt Forte (CHI) 21 81 3.86 1 0 115.74
Danny Ware (NYG) 21 79 3.76 1 0 115.22
Anthony Dixon (SF) 40 129 3.23 2 0 114.36
Kendall Hunter (SF) 35 231 6.60 1 0 114.07
Joique Bell (NO) 31 182 5.87 1 0 113.31
Cedric Peerman (CIN) 22 75 3.41 1 0 111.38
Darren Evans (IND) 25 96 3.84 1 0 108.96
Armond Smith (CLE) 31 192 6.19 2 2 108.72
Cedric Benson (CIN) 29 119 4.10 1 0 105.56
Xavier Omon (SF) 30 121 4.03 1 0 104.17
Leon Washington (SEA) 27 92 3.41 1 0 103.98
Cadillac Williams (STL) 30 116 3.87 1 0 103.25
Kahlil Bell (CHI) 35 157 4.49 1 0 102.47
 
The average for all running backs with at least 20 rushes was 27.25 carries for 111.13 yards (4.08 yards per carry) and a rusher rating of 95.23.
 
Now, let’s look at team Rusher Rating, namely Rusher Rating Differential.
 
The top five teams, based on Rusher Differential, had a record of 14-6, with a 1.46 PF/PA ratio.
 
Team Rushing Attempts Offensive Rusher Rating Defensive Rushing Attempts Defensive Rusher Rating Rusher Rating Differential
PhiladelphiaEagles 125 96.48 95 59.52 36.96
BaltimoreRavens 95 125.54 114 90.94 34.60
PittsburghSteelers 115 94.28 101 62.44 31.84
New EnglandPatriots 116 115.34 108 83.81 31.53
TennesseeTitans 117 93.66 103 68.32 25.34
TampaBayBuccaneers 98 100.81 109 76.72 24.09
New YorkGiants 114 103.74 111 80.73 23.01
DenverBroncos 116 92.55 105 71.69 20.81
MinnesotaVikings 119 110.36 107 89.54 20.82
SeattleSeahawks 128 99.54 102 81.49 18.05
ArizonaCardinals 114 85.50 91 69.04 16.46
AtlantaFalcons 103 85.58 104 71.07 14.51
HoustonTexans 114 113.22 112 103.18 10.04
San Francisco49ers 128 101.77 119 94.58 7.19
Green BayPackers 82 76.93 121 72.13 4.80
New OrleansSaints 115 104.86 117 101.58 3.28
St. LouisRams 136 93.28 102 90.80 2.48
WashingtonRedskins 124 91.97 85 90.53 1.44
CincinnatiBengals 123 90.64 114 89.93 0.71
MiamiDolphins 116 92.27 97 100.57 -8.30
ChicagoBears 134 106.62 100 118.56 -11.94
BuffaloBills 106 84.03 133 96.17 -12.14
ClevelandBrowns 100 80.46 135 95.93 -15.47
CarolinaPanthers 91 84.06 139 100.77 -16.71
JacksonvilleJaguars 104 85.53 132 102.89 -17.36
DallasCowboys 100 84.77 112 103.97 -19.20
DetroitLions 145 65.93 82 86.36 -20.43
IndianapolisColts 90 82.41 131 104.17 -21.76
San DiegoChargers 88 81.88 130 106.88 -25.00
New YorkJets 114 58.39 111 91.67 -33.28
OaklandRaiders 94 66.31 129 121.59 -55.28
Kansas CityChiefs 106 44.47 119 108.84 -64.37
 
The average team rusher rating was 91.17, based on an average of 111.56 carries.
 
This system will be put to the test this season. Each week, the Rusher Rating and Rusher Rating Differential will be updated to determine its impact on winning percentage.

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