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13 May 2015

Broken Tackles 2014: Offenses

by Vincent Verhei

The 2013 Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in part because they excelled at breaking tackles. Not only did they lead the league in broken tackles as a team, but their top rusher, passer, and receiver were all first or second at their position in this category. In 2014, they led the league again, and the running back and quarterback were exceptional for the second year in a row. They lacked the same physicality at wideout, though, and that might have cost them their shot at back-to-back championships.

Historically, we have defined a "broken tackle" as one of two events: either the ball carrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ball carrier jukes him out of his shoes. If the ball carrier sped by a slow defender who dived and missed, that didn't count as a broken tackle. It also doesn't count as a broken tackle if a defender gets a hand on the ball carrier but is effectively being blocked out of the play by another offensive player. We only measure broken tackles for standard plays; volunteers didn't have the time to track them for all special teams plays.

This year, we added a third category, "dragged" broken tackles where defenders were able to bring the ball carrier to the ground, but only after the runner had gained at least 5 yards from the point where the tackle started. We seemed like a reasonable compromise to deal with plays we had struggled with in years past, where what looked like a broken tackle would end up with a defender getting marked with a tackle or assist by the NFL because he was the last player to make contact before a ballcarrier fell down ten yards later. There weren't very many of those plays; St. Louis tight end Jared Cook led the league with just five. (Ironically, he only had one other broken tackle all year.)

We recorded significantly more broken tackles in 2014 than in any previous season, but we want to make it clear: that jump has to do with our methods. We don't want these numbers to encourage any "tackling in the NFL is getting worse" narratives. Between 2009 and 2013, league totals on broken tackles fell between 1,975 (2012) and 2,236 (2009). In 2014, we marked a total of 2,644 broken tackles.

The addition of "dragged" tackles was roughly half of the reason for the increase. The other reason was that any plays where ESPN Stats & Information marked a minimum of 5 yards after contact were specifically flagged to indicate to game charters that they should be particularly mindful of broken tackles. Unfortunately, it's the nature of charting to be subjective. We believe that flagging these plays for charters actually resulted in more accurate numbers than in previous seasons. But obviously, when comparing 2013 and 2014 totals below, be aware that the average player should have a 20-25 percent increase in broken tackles per play simply because of the change in our charting methodology.

The natural variation that comes with subjectivity is tempered by the fact that there were over two dozen charters involved, so no team's numbers could be overly slanted because of the bias of a single specific charter. (In addition, as we have done in past years, we spent time after the season reviewing plays from the charters with the highest and lowest rates of broken tackles marked.) We know that there are other groups on the Web who track broken tackles, and because of the subjectivity, their numbers won't be exactly the same as ours. Given the mistakes that are easy to make when marking players off of television tape, a difference of one or two broken tackles isn't a big deal. But looking at the players with the most and fewest broken tackles does a good job of showing us which ball carriers are able to power through defenders -- or avoid them with agility -- and which ball carriers go down quickly when there's contact.

You know who doesn't go down quickly when there's contact? Marshawn Lynch. The Seattle running back led the league in broken tackles for the second year in a row, this time by a great margin.

Running Backs

Most Broken Tackles, 2014 RB
Player Team BT Runs Rec Touch BT/Touch BT
2013
Marshawn Lynch SEA 88 280 37 317 27.8% 59
Le'Veon Bell PIT 59 290 83 373 15.8% 21
DeMarco Murray DAL 51 392 57 449 11.4% 35
Eddie Lacy GB 51 246 42 288 17.7% 29
C.J. Anderson DEN 46 179 34 213 21.6% 1
Arian Foster HOU 43 260 38 298 14.4% 9
LeSean McCoy PHI 40 310 30 340 11.8% 51
Chris Ivory NYJ 33 198 18 216 15.3% 20
Ahmad Bradshaw IND 33 90 38 128 25.8% 3
Jonathan Stewart CAR 32 175 25 200 16.0% 4
Trent Richardson IND 32 159 27 186 17.2% 24
Matt Forte CHI 30 265 103 368 8.2% 24
Mark Ingram NO 30 226 29 255 11.8% 15
Jamaal Charles KC 30 205 41 246 12.2% 39
Player Team BT Runs Rec Touch BT/Touch BT
2013
Branden Oliver SD 29 160 36 196 14.8% --
Alfred Morris WAS 28 265 17 282 9.9% 24
Jeremy Hill CIN 26 222 27 249 10.4% --
Rashad Jennings NYG 26 167 30 197 13.2% 9
Justin Forsett BAL 25 234 45 279 9.0% 3
Fred Jackson BUF 25 141 66 207 12.1% 27
Joique Bell DET 24 223 34 257 9.3% 24
Lamar Miller MIA 24 216 38 254 9.4% 16
Andre Williams NYG 23 217 18 235 9.8% --
Terrance West CLE 21 171 11 182 11.5% --
Carlos Hyde SF 21 83 12 95 22.1% --
Roy Helu WAS 21 40 42 82 25.6% 9
Steven Jackson ATL 20 189 20 209 9.6% 15


The gap between Lynch and second-place runner Le'Veon Bell is bigger than the gap between Bell and anyone else in the top 10. There's no question that Lynch is the most difficult runner in the league to get to the ground. Need some examples? Here's Lynch breaking three tackles on one play against San Francisco:

And here he is breaking four tackles (while Ricardo Lockette picks up three blocks) on one play against Arizona:

To a large degree, this table mirrors the overall rushing yardage leaders, so there aren't too many surprises. Justin Forsett is lower than one might have guessed, and Frank Gore finished with 19 broken tackles, one shy of being listed. On the other hand, however limited Trent Richardson may be, it must be said that he's harder to tackle than his reputation would suggest. His broken tackle stats were high in both 2013 and 2014.

Lynch was in the top five in total touches (runs plus receptions). Is it fair to say that he amassed so many broken tackles mainly because he got the ball so often? No. No, it isn't fair to say that at all. On a per-touch basis, Lynch is still atop the field, though the gap between him and his peers is much more narrow.

Highest Broken Tackle Rate, 2014 RB

Lowest Broken Tackle Rate, 2014 RB
Player Team BT
Runs Rec Touch BT/ Touch
Player Team BT
Runs Rec Touch BT/ Touch
Marshawn Lynch SEA 88 280 37 317 27.8%
Latavius Murray OAK 3 82 17 99 3.0%
Ahmad Bradshaw IND 33 90 38 128 25.8%
Stevan Ridley NE 3 94 4 98 3.1%
Roy Helu WAS 21 40 42 82 25.6%
Alfred Blue HOU 6 169 15 184 3.3%
Carlos Hyde SF 21 83 12 95 22.1%
Jonas Gray NE 3 89 1 90 3.3%
C.J. Anderson DEN 46 179 34 213 21.6%
Isaiah Crowell CLE 6 148 9 157 3.8%
Khiry Robinson NO 16 76 8 84 19.0%
Ronnie Hillman DEN 6 106 21 127 4.7%
Darren Sproles PHI 18 56 41 97 18.6%
Doug Martin TB 7 134 13 147 4.8%
Pierre Thomas NO 16 45 45 90 17.8%
Matt Asiata MIN 10 164 44 208 4.8%
Eddie Lacy GB 51 246 42 288 17.7%
Andre Ellington ARI 13 200 47 247 5.3%
Trent Richardson IND 32 159 27 186 17.2%
Robert Turbin SEA 5 74 16 90 5.6%
Minimum 80 touches


Lynch was one of five runners to average a broken tackle on at least one-fifth of his touches, and only one of the other four was able to sustain that rate on even half as many touches as Lynch did.

The Saints, meanwhile, have acquired an entire depth chart full of tackle-breakers. While Mark Ingram narrowly missed the top ten list for total broken tackles, his teammates Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas both made the top ten in broken tackles per touch, a list that also includes Darren Sproles, who spent three seasons in New Orleans before joining Philadelphia last season. Clearly the Saints place a lot of value on running backs who can create their own holes. (Thomas is currently an unsigned free agent.)

At the other end of the spectrum we have New England, a team that relies on a rotating cast of specialized runners, none of whom specialize in breaking tackles. Stevan Ridley and Jonas Gray both made the bottom ten here, while Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden both had rates right around 10 percent, which would be close to league average for the position.

Quarterbacks

Last year, Cam Newton was the dominant leader here, breaking ten more tackles than any other quarterback. This year, perhaps due to the ankle surgery he underwent before the season, he fell back to the pack somewhat, leaving a pair of NFC West youngsters to battle for the crown.

Most Broken Tackles, 2014 QB
Player Team BT Houdinis Past LOS
Colin Kaepernick SF 27 21 6
Russell Wilson SEA 25 18 7
Cam Newton CAR 14 10 4
Ryan Fitzpatrick HOU 11 11 0
Blake Bortles JAC 10 9 1
Andrew Luck IND 9 6 3
Michael Vick NYJ 8 3 5
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 8 8 0
Robert Griffin WAS 8 7 1
Geno Smith NYJ 8 7 1


Russell Wilson finishes second here for the second year in a row. He actually led all quarterbacks in broken tackles beyond the line of scrimmage, but Colin Kaepernick led the league in "Houdinis" (a term coined by Bill Simmons for quarterbacks who escape sacks) and trumped Wilson in total broken tackles.

Andrew Luck and Blake Bortles are both young, big, and athletic, and right now that's about all they have in common. Michael Vick and Geno Smith both made the top ten, which may be the first time ever that two Jets quarterbacks have made the top ten in anything positive.

Broken tackle rate stats don't really work for quarterbacks, because even if we include sacks as touches, they still get tackled so rarely that it can be hard to draw meaningful conclusions. Peyton Manning only broke four tackles last year, but technically he broke more tackles per "touch" than either Kaepernick or Wilson. Still, it's clear that some quarterbacks go down easier than others. Philip Rivers had 22 runs (not counting kneeldowns) and was sacked 36 times, but he broke only tackle all season. Other one-break wonders include Mark Sanchez, Kyle Orton, Nick Foles, and Shaun Hill.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

The following table shows the top ten receivers in broken tackles, along with the ten receivers with the worst rates of broken tackle per touch (minimum 32 touches):

Most Broken Tackles, 2014 WR/TE
Lowest Broken Tackle Rates, 2014 WR/TE (min. 32 touches)
Player Team Pos BT Runs Rec Touch BT/Touch
Player Team Pos BT Runs Rec Touch BT/Touch
Rob Gronkowski NE TE 24 0 82 82 29.3%
Greg Olsen CAR TE 1 0 84 84 1.2%
Martellus Bennett CHI TE 19 0 90 90 21.1%
Roddy White ATL WR 1 0 80 80 1.3%
Dez Bryant DAL WR 18 0 88 88 20.5%
Eric Decker NYJ WR 1 0 74 74 1.4%
Golden Tate DET WR 18 5 99 104 17.3%
Calvin Johnson DET WR 1 0 71 71 1.4%
Antonio Brown PIT WR 18 4 129 133 13.5%
Antonio Gates SD TE 1 0 69 69 1.4%
Julio Jones ATL WR 14 1 104 105 13.3%
Brandin Cooks NO WR 1 7 53 60 1.7%
Odell Beckham NYG WR 14 7 91 98 14.3%
Mychal Rivera OAK TE 1 0 58 58 1.7%
Delanie Walker TEN TE 14 0 63 63 22.2%
Andre Holmes OAK WR 1 0 47 47 2.1%
Kendall Wright TEN WR 14 4 57 61 23.0%
Scott Chandler BUF TE 1 0 47 47 2.1%
Steve Smith BAL WR 13 0 79 79 16.5%
Brian Hartline MIA WR 1 0 39 39 2.6%


It might seem obvious that a physical freak like Rob Gronkowski would break tons of tackles, but he had only four in 2013, a low number even considering that he played only seven games. Golden Tate, last year's leader, still ranked highly. He was sorely missed by Seattle, whose remaining tight ends and receivers had only 27 broken tackles combined.

There are a lot of question marks in Tennessee, but at least Marcus Mariota will have a pair of targets in Delanie Walker and Kendall Wright who can do something with the ball in their hands. Finally, as I have done many times before, I must point out that Odell Beckham made the top ten in yet another statistic despite missing a quarter of the season.

As for the worst broken tackle rates, all I can really say is man, that's an awfully good group of players for guys who are supposed to be worst in the league at anything. It's safe to say that tackle-breaking ability is pretty low on the list of what's required to make a great receiver.

Total Offense

As mentioned, Seattle led the league in broken tackles for the second year in a row. Six of the top nine teams in broken tackles per play made the playoffs, while seven of the bottom eight teams missed the postseason. DPI are included in the play count because they can be marked for a Houdini by the quarterback.

Broken Tackles by Offenses, 2014
Offense Plays (incl.
DPI)
Plays
with BT
Total BT Pct Plays w BT
SEA 1036 126 156 12.2%
IND 1116 106 121 9.5%
DAL 1018 89 102 8.7%
TEN 925 78 87 8.4%
GB 1003 84 103 8.4%
SF 1019 85 98 8.3%
PIT 1064 88 108 8.3%
WAS 1033 83 98 8.0%
CIN 1027 77 84 7.5%
NYG 1107 81 99 7.3%
KC 970 70 84 7.2%
NYJ 1066 75 82 7.0%
MIA 1052 74 83 7.0%
CHI 1028 72 80 7.0%
HOU 1066 72 86 6.8%
PHI 1134 75 86 6.6%
Offense Plays (incl.
DPI)
Plays
with BT
Total BT Pct Plays w BT
BUF 1028 67 74 6.5%
ATL 1045 68 77 6.5%
DEN 1070 69 86 6.4%
DET 1042 66 74 6.3%
NE 1081 67 77 6.2%
NO 1101 68 85 6.2%
BAL 1029 63 70 6.1%
CAR 1073 65 74 6.1%
STL 975 59 66 6.1%
SD 1019 60 70 5.9%
MIN 988 57 63 5.8%
JAC 1001 57 65 5.7%
CLE 1027 51 58 5.0%
TB 957 47 51 4.9%
ARI 1013 49 54 4.8%
OAK 1011 36 43 3.6%


Comparing 2013 to 2014, Minnesota had the biggest drop in broken tackles, for very obvious reasons. Despite the change in our methodology, the Vikings went from 7.6 percent of plays marked with broken tackles in 2013 to just 5.8 percent. Three other teams also saw this rate drop by at least 0.5 percent: Carolina, Arizona, and Philadelphia. Five teams saw their rate of broken tackles increase by over 2.5 percent, more than twice the league average caused by the methodology change: Washington, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Tennessee, and Dallas.


Click here for the article on 2013 broken tackles (offense)
.

Click here for the article on 2012 broken tackles (offense)
.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 13 May 2015

40 comments, Last at 25 May 2015, 5:59pm by Grendel13G

Comments

1
by ChrisS :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:30pm

Does anyone think it is worthwhile to look at a new stat, Net Sacks, which would be sacks less Houdinis? We all know that running QB's get sacked more often but perhaps this is offset to a large degree by the sacks they avoid (but maybe these could have been more easily avoided by releasing the ball sooner). Based on the Houdinis above and a threshold of 200 passes Kaepernick moved from a sack% (sacks/atts+sacks) of 9.8% to 5.8% and moved from 4th most sacked (by %) to 15th. Wilson moved from 8.5% (8th worst) to 4.9% (20th).

3
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:26pm

A good idea.

2
by RickD :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:50pm


It might seem obvious that a physical freak like Rob Gronkowski would break tons of tackles, but he had only four in 2013,

This year, we added a third category, "dragged" broken tackles where defenders were able to bring the ball carrier to the ground, but only after the runner had gained at least 5 yards from the point where the tackle started.

I suspect some relationship there.

7
by Elric :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:08pm

Considering Jared Cook lead the league in drags with 5, that certainly isn't the whole story here...

4
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:27pm

This article has me looking forwards to more Carlos Hyde next year.

5
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:30pm

"It's safe to say that tackle-breaking ability is pretty low on the list of what's required to make a great receiver."

Being tall and fast (which precludes having a lot of bulk) is pretty high on the list for many great receivers, which leads to a high center of gravity. That combined with having small DB's latching on to your legs makes to difficult to break tackles. At least that's the conclusion I've drawn from watching Calvin Johnson year after year. Not sure how to explain Julio Jones, though.

13
by LyleNM :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:06pm

Receivers who get thrown a lot of "jump balls" won't be breaking many tackles.

15
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:10pm

The correspondence between decreased bulk and increased center of gravity is probably a tenuous one. There's a sweet spot for sprinters in terms of BMI, but most of their muscle mass is in their legs -- thus carried lower than the typical human.

So on the elite end, you're selecting for tallish, slender people with low centers of gravity.

6
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:36pm

Not that I want to add more work for your charters, but I wonder what % of the WR broken tackles are on screens/hitches/smoke routes. At least from watching Golden Tate, the vast majority of his broken tackles are on those routes. It intuitively makes sense more BT's would be racked up on those plays for WRs (since you can see where your potential tacklers are coming from, and have more blockers to impede defenders from taking ideal angles), so I wonder if WR's who don't have many of those plays called for them are short-changed.

8
by chemical burn :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:14pm

Interesting that Beckham Jr. had so many broken tackles - my impression of him was that he wan't very physical and could be muscled out of plays. That appears to be entirely untrue (post-catch, anyways.) That young man is going to be very, very good...

10
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:21pm

That young man is going to be very, very good...

Pretty sure you can drop the "going to be" from this.

11
by chemical burn :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:41pm

Well, my only caveat is that the Giants offense famously got less productive the more he saw the field. Right now, double-teams shut him down (in a way they don't Dez Bryant , Larry Fitzgerald cor Megatron) and the team was unable to capitalize on the extra attention he garnered. He just hasn't yet hit that "Steve Smith in his prime" level which seems totally in play, is all I mean...

(And maybe this just comes from the Eagles having owned the Giants for such a long stretch, but he doesn't scare me half as much as Bryant or DJax - he's not even the best wr in his own division right now...)

9
by chemical burn :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:19pm

Also interesting how so many of the worst teams in the league had the lowest broken tackles rates - that bottom 5 is a pretty dire group. It seems like having guys who can make that extra effort and get that extra first down, get that extra four yards really matters in grand scheme of it...

(It's also funny to say "New Orleans acquired an depth chart of tackle-breakers" and then see them solidly in the bottom half of the league in broken tackle rate...)

27
by Franchise_Punter :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:38am

Or possibly that QB play is a major determinant of broken tackles for receivers. Throws that are late or behind the receiver are typically more difficult to turn into broken tackles. And teams that routinely throw short of the sticks on third down are going to face a lot of off coverage.

33
by zenbitz :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 3:30pm

You might be inverting cause and effect here. Maybe they aren't playing as hard because their team is terrible.

12
by tuluse :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 3:45pm

Very minor nitpick: the table header is "BT/Touch" but you list percentages.

14
by LyleNM :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:06pm

Um, how else would you display "Broken Tackles per Touch"?

16
by tuluse :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:11pm

As the title implies it should be either a decimal or fraction. A percentage doesn't make any sense. Percentage of what? There is 23% of a broken tackle on each touch? That doesn't mean the same thing in English that .23 broken tackles means despite being numerically equivalent.

17
by pablohoney :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:30pm

Yeah, I noticed the same thing. What would really be slick is if they used the same tables that pro-football-reference.com does, which allow dynamic sorting of any column and the ability to hover the cursor over the column header and get a long description of what the column means. But I don't know how difficult that is, so not complaining ;-)

18
by LyleNM :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:31pm

Wow, where to start. The snarky comment is to suggest that you should sue your math teachers (or maybe your English teachers) for getting you to think that 23% is not a representation of "a decimal or fraction". The non-snarky comment is to simply say that it means that 23% of touches resulted in a broken tackle.

Innumeracy is not a good thing.

19
by tuluse :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 6:45pm

"The non-snarky comment is to simply say that it means that 23% of touches resulted in a broken tackle."

See the presentation already misled you. This is not what happened.

Lets say there are 3 plays, 1 play has 3 broken tackles, the other 2 have 0. That would mean 1/3 of plays resulted in a broken tackle, but there was 1 broken tackle per play. Listing a percentage makes you think it's percentage of plays with a broken tackle when that is *not* what the title says.

21
by RickD :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 7:48pm

Ah, now I see what your point is.

"% of touches with a broken tackle" is not going to be necessarily as "BT/touch" if one allows multiple BTs in play.

FWIW, your comment aligns with my general disdain of percentages. What's worse is when people talk about percentage change...of percentages. That's a good way to deceive people.

20
by RickD :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 7:43pm

A percentage is a fraction. Literally.

'per' means "divide by" and 'cent' means "100"

90 percent = 90/100

I'm not following what your point is supposed to be.

26
by ChristopherS :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:22am

I was confused too, but I think it's this: you can break multiple tackles on a play. So you can have 0.40 BT/Touch, but break tackles on only 30% of your touches. So listing the first stat as 40% is mathematically accurate, but doesn't really describe anything.

34
by SandyRiver :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 3:33pm

I'd call it a convenient though simplistic way to compare frequency of broken tackles by players with different numbers of touches. A guy with 20 BTs and 100 touches can be said to be roughly twice as likely to break a tackle as a guy with 30 BTs and 300 touches. The multiple BTs on one touch makes it inexact, but to refine it the charters would need to count how many "tackle opportunities" the ballcarrier faced, and I think that would be hopelessly subjective.

35
by tuluse :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 3:51pm

Well it describes how much of a broken tackle there is per tough. On average there is 40% of a broken tackle per touch. It's just a strange way to presenting it. People are much more used to reading .40 BT per touch. So it leads to confusion.

25
by InTheBoilerRoom :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 8:35am

For what it's worth, I thought the exact same thing as tuluse when I read that column listed in percentages instead of decimals.

22
by Thok :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 7:59pm

My guess for Trent Richardson's high broken tackle rate is that he had a lot of plays where he broke a tackle at the or behind the line of scrimmage only to be tackled by another player one yard later. Is there any good way to test that (say by measuring YABT, yards after broken tackles)?

23
by Ranccor :: Wed, 05/13/2015 - 9:55pm

My thoughts exactly. I watched almost every Colts game and Trent's problem was not breaking the first hit. His problem was choosing the wrong place to run, getting hit immediately at the line of scrimmage, and falling forward two yards into the arms of the next guy. I wish him luck at his next stop, but he was not a good match for the Colts offense.

You also have to look at Bradshaw's numbers and wonder what kind of season he would have had if he didn't get knocked out halfway though the season.

24
by Dan :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 2:06am

YABT is the way to do it. Pro Football Focus published an article about the 2013 season which included YABT for some players, and Trent Richardson was last (by far) at only 3.7 YABT. The average for a RB looks to be around 7 YABT. (The spam filter won't let me post the link, but it's called "Not Going Down", published by Ben Stockwell on May 7, 2014.)

38
by Ranccor :: Fri, 05/15/2015 - 6:45pm

Good article, thanks for the tip. Put a statistic that matched my eyeball of Richardson.

39
by lightsout85 :: Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:12pm

I had totally forgotten that piece. I hate when PFF teases with metrics like that, but doesn't include them in their subscription package. It would allow for a lot clearer picture than just MT% and Yards/contact avg. (And I'm still pining for their 3rd/4th down pass-rushing numbers).

28
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:12pm

In 2012, Doug Martin was 3rd in broken tackles. This past year, his rate was 7th from the bottom.

Hey, I remember when the 2012 class was so exciting. At least we still have Lavonte.

29
by Bobman :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:33pm

Jonas Gray had only 4 all season? Must have all come on one play versus Indy... (which is some trick since 3 were on rushes and one on a reception!) Or did the Colts just whiff entirely? I think I have suppressed the memory of that game, but his numbers seem low, even for a guy who only played a few games.

And Richardson's seem high, but that's explained in the comments--break tackle #1 behind the LOS, only to dance a while before picking the wrong hole and being taken down by the next tackler at the LOS. He hit holes like Meg Ryan ordered food in When Harry Met Sally.

30
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:40pm

So Richardson hits the hole while loudly and dramatically simulating an orgasm? Not surprising that nobody wants to tackle him.

31
by Bobman :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 1:41pm

Wow, Ricardo Lockette may be my new favorite NFL player based on that clip above--not only does he block a guy who is already out of bounds (man, I like hitting you so much I'll continue to do it after you're through just to keep you from returning to the field), he outruns guys to get in more blocks downfield.

Every youth coach should show this play to their kids.

40
by Grendel13G :: Mon, 05/25/2015 - 5:59pm

Yeah, it was impressive to watch him in that clip. I love the effort!

32
by danplatt17 :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 2:59pm

The percentage on Matt Forte confirms what I saw last year. He's not making too many people miss any more. He's still a valuable player because of his versatility, but he's not making tacklers miss often. I'd like to see how that percentage has moved in the past 5 years for him. We was never bowling people over, but he used to break through arm tackles more frequently, from my recollections. A common complaint last year amongst Bears' fans was that Forte wasn't being given the ball enough (low number of carries per game). But I would argue that he was getting the ball too often (total number of touches). He is not the explosive, dangerous player he once was, and that was one of many reasons that the Bears' offense struggled last year.

36
by duh :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 5:22pm

This line from the 2011 article might be relevant

Who saw their broken tackle stats drop? The biggest name is Matt Forte, whose broken tackle stats have bounced all around since we started tracking this. Fore had 27 broken tackles in 2009, 15 in 2010, 36 in 2011, and then only 15 in 2012. He's probably been the most inconsistent player in the league when it comes to broken tackles

He followed that up with 24 last year

37
by tuluse :: Thu, 05/14/2015 - 5:57pm

I'm pretty sure the reason Forte was getting fewer carries was that the offense had to pass-pass-pass to keep up with their porous defense.