Great running back indicator – Broken Tackle

It is really hard to see clearly where an RB’s effort starts and ends. The offensive line can make an average RB look elite, not just on stats. Therefore the most important part is how the RB can extend plays. Here comes in the picture the Broken Tackle (BT) and the Yards after contact (YACo) metric.

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-ranking-32-starting-running-backs-elusiveness

We only take player with more than 50 attempt in 2020. Not a big surprise that Derrick Henry had the most BT, 34. After him comes Cook and Montgomery 33 and 29. Only the raw number are not really telling us a lot. From Christian McCaffrey’s attempt (only 59), a 15% had a BT, the second Mike Davis 13% (165 attempt). The Panthers RBs had to face a crowded box, and they were really doing a great job. Worth to mention 12% of David Montgomery’s 247 attempts ended with a BTs. This metric can be really high with 3. down backs, and players used in the short yard situation.

The Yards after contact (YACo) is as important among RB as it is in WRs is the Yards after catch. This number is in favour of the 3 down backs, like Derrick Henry, who had an unbelievable 1040 YACo. Although we really have to keep in mind that this metric is really sensitive to outliers, like breakaway runs. The average YACo is greater than Henry’s (2,75 yard) for Singletary, Dobbins, Aaron Jones and Ronald Jones. So typically RBs from teams with a lot of RPO play and great passing QBs are more likely to have higher YACo.

Interesting to see that with this metrics, it is really easy to understand why teams like the Falcons, Bills or Washington is satisfied with the RBs in the squad.

BT/YACo

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