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538: Mid-Season Awards (2016)

Today at 538: my mid-season awards column!

Offensive Player of the Year: David Johnson, RB Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals running back leads the league with 1,112 yards from scrimmage through eight games. He’s averaging over 80 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving per game, which has only been accomplished by four other players in NFL history. But what’s most impressive has been his consistency: Johnson has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this year, making him just the 12th player since 1960 to do that in each of his team’s first eight games. Every other player this year has at least three team games in which they failed to gain 100 total yards.4 He’s also averaging 4.5 yards per run and 11.6 yards per reception while scoring eight touchdowns, showing that Johnson’s season hasn’t been fueled only by a heavy workload.

You can read the full article here.

  • Richie

    The comments section at 538 is brutal.

    Apparently you shouldn’t even bother writing about football today – since there is an election tomorrow.

  • Josh Sanford

    Gordon’s bounce-back from non-scoring is pretty impressive. He is scoring this season like he did in college. Almost. But it makes me wonder: what’s the greatest number of rushing yards between rushing TDs?

    • I don’t know the answer to that question, but here’s the fellow with the most career rushing yards without a TD:


    • In 1978-79, Joe Washington went 23 games without scoring a rushing TD. He gained 1333 yards in those games. I don’t have PBP data, so I have no idea when in the game he scored before and after the streak.

      • Josh Sanford

        Those are great facts, for sure. Thanks!

        Following up on Washington, he didn’t score in 1977, either, so I think you can push that number up to 1,550 and change.

        • sacramento gold miners

          Joe Washington was a terrific RB, so that’s a weird statistic attached to a dangerous offensive player. During this time period, Washington turned in a great performance at New England on Monday Night Football. In the last 15 minutes against the Pats, he threw, caught, and returned a kick for a TD in a Baltimore comeback win. I don’t believe that’s ever been repeated in a regular season NFL game.

  • It’s possible, if he improves a bit in the second half, that Prescott will have the best rookie season ever for a QB. His ANY/A+ is 125. Marino’s was 131. (Griffin also had a 120 plus crazy rushing value, so he’s probably in that discussion as well.) It’s more likely that he’ll regress some and end up somewhere in the Griffin/Ryan/Roethlisberger range, but it is not impossible.
    Dallas has a great situation for a QB, but we saw other guys fail in it last year. And somehow he lasted until the fourth round.

    • Richie

      Not that I wish injury on anybody, but it would be nice if Ezekiel Elliott could miss a game. That might give us a better comparison between 2015 Matt Cassell and 2016 Dak Prescott.

      I have to believe that having Elliott back there sure makes the learning curve easier for Prescott.

      • That is true, but it’s not like the Dallas running game was bad last year. It was 9 in DVOA (-4.6%) with a non-functioning passing game. The improvement in each area is helping the other, which is the positive feedback loop that has fueled how dominant Dallas’s offense has been.

        I think it will be fascinating to see how Prescott’s career plays out.

        • Richie

          Drives me crazy watching teams like the Raiders and Cowboys return to glory, while the Dolphins still wallow in mediocrity.

          • I’m a big fan of Gase, so I’m kind of rooting for the Dolphins to figure it out. Plus, any self-respecting fan who isn’t actually a Cowboys fan doesn’t want to see them winning. 😉