Week 14 Rusher Rating: Focus on Mendenhall

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 13, 2011



By Ken Crippen
Pro Football Researchers Association


Maurice Jones-Drew’s spectacular performance was only good enough for second place in this week’ Rusher Rating. Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants led all Week 14 rushers with a 134.72 Rusher Rating. Jones-Drew had a 122.83 Rusher Rating. Shonn Greene, Marshawn Lynch and Steven Jackson round out the top five.

Here are the top 10 rushers of week 14 with a minimum of 15 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Brandon Jacobs – NYG 19 101 5.32 2 0 134.72
Maurice Jones-Drew – JAX 27 85 3.15 2 0 122.83
Shonn Greene – NYJ 24 129 5.38 1 0 118.84
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 23 115 5.00 1 0 118.38
Steven Jackson –STL 20 63 3.15 1 0 113.95
LeSean McCoy – PHI 27 38 1.41 2 0 113.28
Michael Bush – OAK 23 78 3.39 1 0 109.55
LeGarrette Blount – TB 18 74 4.11 1 1 97.56
Ray Rice – BAL 26 103 3.96 1 1 89.90
Marion Barber – CHI 27 108 4.00 1 1 89.54
 
 
For the season, McCoy still holds a commanding lead with a 130.13 Rusher Rating. Ray Rice is a distant second with 110.33 and Marshawn Lynch has a 105.15 Rusher Rating for third place.
 
Now, the top 10 rushers of the season with a minimum of 190 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
LeSean McCoy – PHI 242 1,172 4.84 14 0 130.13
Ray Rice – BAL 234 1,029 4.40 10 2 110.33
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 225 969 4.31 9 3 105.15
Chris Wells – ARI 216 943 4.37 9 4 104.46
Michael Bush – OAK 196 764 3.90 7 1 103.08
Arian Foster – HOU 239 957 4.00 8 2 100.13
Shonn Greene – NYJ 207 868 4.19 6 1 98.92
Michael Turner – ATL 254 1,068 4.20 8 3 97.85
Steven Jackson – STL 202 895 4.43 5 1 96.45
Frank Gore – SF 234 1,054 4.50 6 2 95.92
 
 
Real Running Back Rating
 
Looking at the season leaders (based on Rusher Rating) through Week 14 of the NFL regular season (minimum 190 attempts) we have the following (Listed by Real Running Back Rating):
 
Player Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TD Rusher Rating Real RB Rating Diff.
LeSean McCoy – PHI 45 310 3 130.13 112.73 -17.57
Michael Bush – OAK 26 319 1 103.08 94.30 -8.78
Arian Foster – HOU 45 543 2 100.13 93.62 -6.51
Ray Rice – BAL 62 593 2 110.33 92.71 -17.62
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 22 178 1 105.15 92.08 -13.07
Steven Jackson – STL 30 222 1 96.45 80.00 -16.45
Michael Turner – ATL 11 128 0 97.85 76.09 -21.76
Shonn Greene – NYJ 26 191 0 98.92 70.39 -28.53
Chris Wells – ARI 8 34 0 104.46 69.16 -35.30
Frank Gore – SF 16 101 0 95.92 67.06 -28.86
 
McCoy again leads in Real Running Back Rating. His 45 receptions for 310 yards and three scores gives him a Real Running Back Rating of 112.73. That gives him a  comfortable lead over Michael Bush, who has a Real Running Back Rating of 94.30.
 
 
Rusher Rating Differential
 
San Francisco has yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. As a result, they still hold the top spot in Rusher Rating Differential with 38.14. Baltimore holds second place with 23.69. The Carolina Panthers are in third place with 22.03, due to their league-leading Offensive Rusher Rating of 125.93. The Colts, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Jaguars and Browns are the bottom five.
 
Here are all 32 teams ranked, based on Rusher Rating Differential, for the season:
 
Team Rushing Attempts Offensive Rusher Rating Defensive Rushing Attempts Defensive Rusher Rating Rusher Rating Differential
San Francisco 49ers 391 93.49 284 55.35 38.14
Baltimore Ravens 376 97.74 333 74.05 23.69
Carolina Panthers 356 125.93 372 103.90 22.03
Minnesota Vikings 365 110.76 352 91.69 19.07
Houston Texans 460 97.69 290 83.55 14.14
New Orleans Saints 335 110.10 295 97.87 12.23
Miami Dolphins 377 85.66 335 73.62 12.04
Tennessee Titans 310 89.59 369 78.94 10.65
New England Patriots 342 101.53 326 91.70 9.83
San Diego Chargers 351 96.68 387 88.71 7.97
Philadelphia Eagles 372 107.74 339 99.84 7.90
Chicago Bears 358 95.02 303 87.54 7.48
New York Jets 364 96.81 366 90.00 6.81
Pittsburgh Steelers 351 95.84 318 89.60 6.24
Seattle Seahawks 351 91.19 371 87.90 3.29
Atlanta Falcons 366 94.60 316 91.70 2.90
Denver Broncos 433 84.98 394 83.77 1.21
New York Giants 336 99.26 354 98.64 0.62
Green Bay Packers 332 98.93 287 98.33 0.60
Cincinnati Bengals 363 88.20 351 93.58 -5.38
Detroit Lions 299 90.64 347 96.63 -5.99
Oakland Raiders 395 102.70 350 112.53 -9.83
Washington Redskins 312 87.80 363 97.75 -9.95
St. Louis Rams 324 80.92 411 90.88 -9.96
Arizona Cardinals 316 93.60 378 103.81 -10.21
Buffalo Bills 324 90.00 365 105.23 -15.23
Dallas Cowboys 332 76.91 315 94.71 -17.80
Indianapolis Colts 294 87.03 455 105.93 -18.90
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 300 90.52 392 109.77 -19.25
Kansas City Chiefs 388 74.80 418 94.69 -19.89
Jacksonville Jaguars 407 73.52 353 97.02 -23.50
Cleveland Browns 346 65.96 437 93.13 -27.17
 
 
Situational Statistics
 
For the rest of the season, we will focus on a specific running back and their situational statistics. This week, we look at Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
 
Rusher Rating Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Overall 187 710 3.80 8 1 108.61
 
Real Running Back Rating Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TD Rusher Rating Real RB Rating Diff.
Overall 13 87 0 108.61 75.18 -33.43
 
His 108.61 Rusher Rating would put him in the top ten running backs this season, but he falls slightly short of the minimum number of carries used for our analysis. His Real Running Back Rating also compares favorably to the top ten backs in the league. With a few more carries, we could see him on the leader board before the season ends.
 
Here is how he breaks down by game:
 
Season Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
@ Baltimore Ravens 12 45 3.75 0 1 33.54
SeattleSeahawks 19 66 3.47 1 0 118.04
@ Indianapolis Colts 18 37 2.06 0 0 64.06
@ Houston Texans 9 25 2.78 1 0 120.80
JacksonvilleJaguars 23 146 6.35 1 0 125.77
@ Arizona Cardinals 13 32 2.46 0 0 66.28
New EnglandPatriots 13 70 5.38 0 0 82.32
BaltimoreRavens 13 52 4.00 1 0 127.50
@ Cincinnati Bengals 16 44 2.75 2 0 120.64
@ Kansas City Chiefs 17 57 3.35 0 0 71.18
CincinnatiBengals 16 60 3.75 2 0 126.13
ClevelandBrowns 18 76 4.22 0 0 75.94
 
Friends of CHFF predicted that Mendenhall would have a stellar game against the Browns, due to the fact that Ray Rice chalked up a 29 carry for 204 yard performance the previous week (Rusher Rating of 121.64). However, Mendenhall only had 18 carries for 78 yards for a Rusher Rating of 75.94.
 
  Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Running Lane            
Left Sideline 5 -10 -2.00 0 0 41.80
Left Side 28 111 3.96 1 0 105.88
Middle 59 234 3.97 0 1 66.44
Right Side 78 290 3.72 4 0 118.19
Right Sideline 17 85 5.00 3 0 132.99
 
Attempts            
1 through 10 119 518 4.35 6 1 116.90
11 through 20 65 182 2.80 2 0 95.10
21 through 30 3 10 3.33 0 0 71.07
 
Field Position            
Own 1-20 36 157 4.36 0 0 76.71
Own 21-50 71 354 4.99 0 1 73.41
Opponent 49-20 45 119 2.64 0 0 67.29
Redzone 35 80 2.29 8 0 118.10
 
Half            
1st 85 367 4.32 5 0 128.10
2nd 102 343 3.36 3 1 92.36
 
Quarter            
1st 54 191 3.54 3 0 120.95
2nd 31 176 5.68 2 0 136.71
3rd 65 269 4.14 2 1 95.14
4th 37 74 2.00 1 0 87.48
 
Looking at three stats in particular: Number of Attempts, half and quarter, it shows that Mendenhall declines as the game progresses. With a 116.90 Rusher Rating on the first ten carries, he drops to 95.10 on the next ten carries and bottoms out at 71.07 on carries 21 through 30. He has a 128.10 Rusher Rating in the first half, but falls to 92.36 in the second half. A 92.36 is not bad, but it is still a sharp decline from his first half numbers. When we break down the second half into quarters, his decline becomes more apparent. He has a 95.14 Rusher Rating in the third quarter, but falls to 87.48 in the fourth quarter.
 
Point Differential Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
When Winning 104 431 4.14 2 0 92.40
When Losing 46 161 3.50 2 1 99.76
When Tied 37 118 3.19 4 0 123.05
 
Winning by 15-21 Points 22 142 6.45 0 0 88.19
Winning by 1-7 Points 67 248 3.70 2 0 99.29
Losing by 1-7 Points 29 103 3.55 0 0 72.27
Losing by 15-21 Points 14 51 3.64 2 1 91.42
 
 
Let’s look at how he performs based on margins of victory:
 
Margin of Victory Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Wins 153 588 3.84 6 0 108.29
Losses 34 122 3.59 2 1 110.05
 
Win by 1-7 Points 96 361 3.76 5 0 119.13
Win by 8-14 Points 44 178 4.05 0 0 74.98
Win by 15+ Points 47 171 3.64 3 1 115.35
 
 
Finally, let’s break down Mendenhall’s rushing by down and distance:
 
Down and Distance Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
1st Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 7 0 0.00 2 0 105.56
To Go: 3-7 Yards 8 16 2.00 1 0 116.63
To Go: 8-10 Yards 102 437 4.28 1 1 80.21
To Go: 11+ Yards 4 12 3.00 0 0 69.24
2nd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 9 40 4.44 1 0 129.94
To Go: 3-7 Yards 27 85 3.15 3 0 122.83
To Go: 8-10 Yards 21 91 4.33 0 0 76.55
To Go: 11+ Yards 3 17 5.67 0 0 83.87
3rd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 4 12 3.00 0 0 69.24
4th Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 2 0 0.00 0 0 52.78
 
He performs at a higher level in short to mid-range yardage situations. When there are seven or fewer yards to go for a first down, he has a Rusher Rating of 120.03. Compare that to his Rusher Rating of 79.36 when the Steelers have eight or more yards to go to get a first down. He also has a better Rusher Rating on first and second down than he does on third or fourth down.
 
 
How the Rusher Rating is Calculated
 
Here is how each component is calculated:
 
Average Yards Gained per Attempt (YD) = [Total Yards/(4.05 * Rushing Attempts)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Carry (TD) = [(39.5*Touchdowns)/Rushing Attempts]
 
Percentage of Fumbles per Carry (F) = [2.375-((21.5*Fumbles)/Rushing Attempts)]
 
Adding these components together and adjusting to a scale of 158.3 (the same as the NFL Passer Rating System) yields:
 
Rusher Rating = [(YD) + (TD) + (F)] * (100/4.5)
 
 
How the Real Running Back Rating is Calculated
 
Now, we look at the Real Running Back Rating. Here are the updated equations with the receiving components:
 
Average Yards Gained per Attempt (YD) = [Total Yards/(4.05 * Rushing Attempts)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Carry (RUSHTD) = [(39.5*Touchdowns)/Rushing Attempts]
 
Average Yards Gained per Reception (REC) = [Receiving Yards/(9*Receptions)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Reception (RECTD) = [(27.5*Touchdowns)/Receptions]
 
Percentage of Fumbles per Touch (F) = [2.375-((21.5*Fumbles)/(Rushes + Receptions))]
 
Adding these components together and adjusting to a scale of 158.3 yields:
 
Rusher Rating = [(YD) + (RUSHTD) + (REC) + (RECTD) + (F)] * (100/7.5)
 
 
Ken Crippen is the executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving football history.You can follow him on Twitter: @KenCrippen.

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