Rushing Stats Analysis: Find the Gap Week 7
The season rolls on. Teams are beginning to separate, and the rushing giants are showing themselves. Which Week 7 teams could find the gap this week?
Week 6 Recap
But first, let’s take a look at those teams picked last week
THE RAVENS – 38 carries, 187 yards, 3 TDs
The Ravens sparked up their rushing game after stretching themselves into a comfortable lead. The Chargers couldn’t do anything about the variety of rushing personnel Baltimore threw at them. Freeman, Murray and Bell all bagged rushing scores, and both Freeman and Jackson saw carry averages of over 5 yards.
THE STEELERS – 30 carries, 119 yards, 1TD
The Steelers continued to plug their first round pick Najee Harris into their offense. Aside from a brilliant receiving game, Harris ran 24 times for 81 yards. But he wasn’t the one to score the touchdown. In clever use of their receiving personnel, the Steelers moved the ball ‘outside the box’ and Eric Ebron was the one to get into the endzone.
THE COLTS – 26 carries, 174 yards, 2 TDs
Jonathon Taylor was stifled quite early on in the game, but a huge breakout run smashed the wall, and many more big plays came after that. His two rushing touchdowns continued a very good season for the Colts Running Back. The main rushing backups Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines got a few carries each, signalling that, when they do decide to run it, Taylor is the man.
Week 7 Selections
The Bills, Cowboys, Vikings, Steelers, Chargers and Jaguars are all on bye this week. So, with several teams out this week, the pickings are slim. So this week only sees two selections on the card.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (vs. the Giants)
Without Christian McCaffrey on the field, it would seem wise to avoid the Panthers for their rushing game. But I’m going to take a chance on them this week.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- Even without CMC to help them out, the Panthers have steadily been increasing their yards per carry over the last three weeks. From an average of 3.82 yards / carry over the first three weeks, they have risen to 4.4 yards per carry from Weeks 3 to 6. When you also consider that they have lost these last three games, then the average increase holds promise in the face of a game that they could win this week.
- Chuba Hubbard lost a lot of favour coming out of college. But the fourth round draft pick’s strong performances have been going under the radar. The Running Back has got a very good chance of continuing them this week. The Giants have conceded the second most yards to Running Backs this season.
- Sam Darnold may also have a chance of adding to his rushing haul as well. The Giants have conceded two rushing touchdowns to Quarterbacks already. And Darnold was, at one point, the highest rushing scorer at the position. With redzone rushes a particular Sam specialty so far, he’s as good as any to bag a score.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Texans)
The Cardinals continue an ultra-impressive season with an ultra-aggressive offensive approach. And the Texans are next in the firing line.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- Kyler Murray has used less of his mobility to run the ball this season, favouring a passing approach. And he’s been leaving the carries to his Running Backs. But this could be a game where K1 can strike it lucky. The Texans have conceded the most touchdowns to Quarterback rushes – 4 as it stands! That unlucky record could continue if Kyler runs in that fifth touchdown.
- Not only that, but James Conner also seems to be getting steadily more used to this Cardinals offense. The Running Back has seen double figures in rushing attempts in 5 of the 6 games so far. And his match against the Browns was his most efficient by far – averaging 4.4 yards / carry. And with 5 touchdowns in his last 4 games, Conner has seen some hot form hitting the end-zone as well.
- Their opponents, the Texans, did reasonably well keeping Jonathan Taylor quiet for most of the game last week. But they still succumbed to large runs and multiple rushing touchdowns. This unfortunately is endemic of the Texans rush defence at the moment – they have conceded twenty 10+ yard carries already this season.
- Six of those big carries have come around the outside of the line. So this is also something to keep an eye on during the game. Murray, Edmonds and Rondale Moore have seen success with outside runs this season.
Let’s see how these teams do next week!