On Friday, I asked the question: how many carries would we need to take away from DeMarco Murray in order to drop his YPC average to at or below league average?
Today, I want to look at it from the other side. How many of Trent Richardson’s worst carries would we need to erase to bring his YPC above league average? For this experiment, assume that we are sorting each running back’s carries in ascending order by yards gained. I’ll give you a moment to think about the answer.
[Final Jeopardy Music]
[Are you ready?]
[Your time is now up. Post your answer in the comments!]
For Trent Richardson, the answer is 27, which represents nearly 17.0% of his carries last year. It’s a sign of how far the former third overall pick has fallen that we need to remove so many carries just to bring him to a hair above league average. But, believe it or not, two other running backs fare even worse in this experiment. Houston’s Alfred Blue had a worse YPC average than Richardson and a few more carries, so Blue actually needs to remove 30 of his carries to bring his YPC above 4.16, the average for all runs last year.
But the most extreme case belongs to New York Giants rookie Andre Williams. I think his failings may have slipped under the radar for some fans, but he was just barely better than the historically bad performance Ray Rice produced in 2013. But here’s the good news, Giants fans: if you remove his worst 34 carries, he was above average!
The table below shows each running back in 2014 who recorded at least 100 carries and averaged fewer yards per rush than league average:
Leave your thoughts in the comments — what would you do with this data? Should we extend this idea to other positions?