Quick Reads
The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Quick Reads Decade in Review: RB Games

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome back to the Quick Reads Decade in Review! Longtime Football Outsiders readers will be familiar with Quick Reads, our regular in-season feature that runs down the best (and, just as fun, the worst!) passers, runners, and receivers of every week. That's 210 columns since 2010 covering each week's results, but aside from the occasional year in review piece, we rarely look at things in the big picture. That changes today!

Today we're going to look at the most remarkable running backs of the 2010s (20-teens?) with the best and worst games of the past 10 years. Later we'll examine the best and worst players in total value and separate looks at rushing and receiving production and efficiency. You can find our earlier work on quarterbacks here and here. In the coming weeks we'll be back with a similar look at wide receivers and tight ends.


Best Games

Since 2010, there were 72 running back games (including the postseason) with at least 75 total DYAR. Houston's Arian Foster leads the way with six, followed by Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (who wasn't even drafted until 2016) with five. Jamaal Charles and Todd Gurley had four each; Marshawn Lynch had three.

The following table lists the 20 best games of the 2010s. We're including the original comments that ran in Quick Reads at the time, written by myself or by my predecessor Bill Barnwell, along with notes with current updates or observations where relevant. We've also added the defensive DVOA of each opponent so you can see which games came against stout units, and which were dominant performances against bad teams. Playoff games are highlighted in blue.

Best Running Back Games, Total DYAR, 2010-2019

Year Player Team Runs Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Week Def DVOA
2013 Jamaal Charles KC 8 20 1 8/8 195 4 116 4 112 15 OAK 10.3%
The Chiefs threw [Charles] eight passes, all complete. The first two receptions resulted in touchdowns of 49 and 39 yards, the latter on third-and-19. He added a 16-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and a 71-yard score (on third-and-1) in the third. His other four receptions netted only 20 total yards and one first down, but that hardly matters. It was just the sixth time in league history that any player at any position had gained 195 yards and four touchdowns through the air, and the first since Jerry Rice against Atlanta in 1990. (It probably goes without saying, but this was the best game of this or any other decade for a running back by receiving DYAR. Nobody else has his hit 195/4TD since, but Pro Football Reference now lists eight games that qualify.)
 
2018 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 25 152 0 4/4 88 1 110 50 59 4 DET 9.0%
In one stretch in the second half, Elliott gained five first downs in six carries, and the other carry was a 9-yard gain on first-and-10. All told he gained nine first downs on the ground, including gains of 14, 19, and 41 yards. He had six carries with 1 or 2 yards to go for a first down and converted five of them, while being hit for no gain or a loss only three times. All four of his receptions went for first downs, including a 38-yard touchdown and a 34-yard gain on second-and-10. His day was so good he finishes as the top running back even though he had a fumble at the goal line.
 
2010 Arian Foster HOU 33 231 3 1/1 7 0 109 110 0 1 IND 5.5%
Foster averaged 9.2 yards a pop on first down, converted four of the five third downs he faced, and picked up that one leftover on the ensuing fourth down. Nearly half of his carries -- 14 of 33 -- resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. Barring an injury or a sudden case of Eric Mangini, the Texans have found their starting running back for the foreseeable future. (Foster was indeed Houston's starting running back until 2014. By rushing DYAR alone, this was the best game for a running back in the 2010s.)
 
2014 Jonas Gray NE 37 201 4 0/0 0 0 104 104 0 11 IND -2.3%
Gray's yeoman-like effort produced a whopping 15 first downs on the ground. That's the most for any player in a game this year, and only the sixth time a player has hit double digits in this category. (Coincidentally, two of the other players with ten first downs in a game also did it in Week 11. Jamaal Charles had 11 first downs against Seattle, while Alfred Blue had the same number against Cleveland.) It was Gray's ability to move the chains in short- and even medium-yardage that really stood out. He had 16 carries with 5 yards or less to go for a first down, and he picked up that first down 13 times. (Nobody has run for 15 first downs in a game in the regular season since Gray. The most for any runner in 2019 was 12 by Derrick Henry in Week 17.)
 
2015 David Johnson ARI 29 187 3 4/4 42 0 103 75 27 15 PHI 3.0%
Johnson's longest gain against Philadelphia was a 47-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but he had four other 10-plus-yard runs on the night. Including his touchdowns, he ran for ten first downs, including conversions on all five of his carries with 1 yard to go. He had 21 runs of 3 yards or more, but was hit for no gain or a loss only twice. Only eight of his 29 carries were unsuccessful, giving him a smashing success rate of 72%.
 
2016 Rex Burkhead CIN 27 119 2 2/2 25 0 103 90 13 17 BAL -9.9%
(Because Burkhead's big game came in Week 17, it ran without a comment. Burkhead ran for 10 first downs against Baltimore, with gains of 10 and 17 yards, while being stuffed just three times. He had a dozen carries with 8 yards or less to go for a first down and converted -- you guessed it -- 10 of them.)
 
2017 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 26 147 2 1/3 72 1 101 79 23 7 SF 8.3%
The most impressive part of Elliott's day wasn't his long reception, or his seven first downs, or his five runs for 10 or more yards. The most impressive part is that in 26 carries -- 22 of them with Dallas ahead, 11 of them with Dallas ahead by 24-plus points in the second half -- Elliott was hit for no gain or a loss just one time.
 
2016 Spencer Ware KC 11 70 1 7/8 129 0 100 38 61 1 SD -6.8%
Four of Ware's runs went for 10 yards or more, he converted both of his third-down carries, and he was hit for no gain just once. One of his targets came on third-and-3 (he converted with a 5-yard gain), but the rest were all on first-and-10. He turned four of those into first downs, on gains of 12, 20, 28, and 45 yards.
 
2019 Christian McCaffrey CAR 19 128 2 10/11 81 0 99 70 29 1 LAR -6.4%
Five runs for 10-plus yards with three shorter first downs, including two red zone scores. He was stuffed for no gain or a loss just twice, and one of those was on third-and-12 so it barely mattered. Six of his 10 catches were successful (a good rate for a running back), including three first downs.
 
2011 Arian Foster HOU 25 115 2 5/5 119 1 99 42 57 7 TEN 0.3%
Foster had 25 carries against Tennessee and gained 4 or more yards 11 times. He had three other short runs for first downs or touchdowns and was stuffed for no gain or a loss only three times. It was a very good day as a runner, but not the best. Foster finishes atop the list of running backs, and by a healthy margin, because he also caught all five passes thrown his way, including a 78-yard touchdown, a 26-yard gain, and gains of 5 and 6 yards on first down. He finished with three touchdowns on the day, which always helps.
 
2010 Jason Snelling ATL 24 129 2 5/5 57 1 98 66 32 2 ARI 5.6%
You didn't have Jason Snelling in your fantasy lineup? Well, I didn't either. But Snelling showed off the sort of production Michael Turner could have put up against a Cardinals defense that appears to dearly miss both Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. With the game in hand most of the way, Snelling simply took over the clock. Nine of his 24 carries went for a first down or a touchdown, and he converted three of the four third downs he faced (with the one holdout a third-and-15 job). He even caught all five of the passes thrown to him while accruing 60 YAC. With Snelling playing so well, the Falcons were able to let Turner rest a balky groin on the sideline; in the future, they might even give Snelling a share of the workload before Turner gets hurt.
 
2019 Aaron Jones GB 19 107 4 7/8 75 0 96 65 31 5 DAL 3.0%
You've probably heard by now that Jones ran for four touchdowns against Dallas, but he had six other first downs too, six of them on gains of 10 yards or more. That more than offset the four times he was stuffed for no gain or a loss (including a 10-yard loss on first-and-10, which, wow). He had three more first downs as a receiver, the longest a gain of 22 yards.
 
2015 Thomas Rawls SEA 30 209 1 3/3 46 1 96 68 28 11 SF 9.9%
He had 13 total first downs on the ground, most of any runner in any game this year. (Only two others have even hit double-digits: Carlos Hyde had 11 in Week 1 against Minnesota, and Devonta Freeman had 10 in Week 5 against Washington.) Half of Rawls' carries gained 5 yards or more and seven gained 10 or more, with a long carry of 30. Meanwhile, he was hit for no gain or a loss only three times, and two of those came with Seattle up by 16 points in the last five minutes of the game when everyone on the West Coast knew the Seahawks would be rushing. His receptions included a 12-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 31-yard touchdown on second-and-5.
 
2016 Carlos Hyde SF 17 193 0 1/1 7 1 95 79 16 14 NYJ 3.7%
Seven runs of 10-plus yards -- including gains of 20, 25, 43, and 47 -- while getting hit for nor gain or a loss only four times.
 
2012 Shane Vereen NE 7 41 1 5/6 83 2 95 34 61 19 HOU -14.2%
In 62 runs and 13 pass targets in the regular season, Vereen had two plays for 20 yards or more, and one of those came on a defensive pass interference foul. He had three 20-yard plays against Houston, and there were no referees involved. First came a 25-yard catch in the first quarter, then a 22-yard run in the second, followed by a 33-yard catch for a touchdown in the fourth. (This was the best playoff game for a running back this decade. The best Super Bowl was Devonta Freeman with 62 DYAR in Super Bowl LI, followed by James White with 61 DYAR, also in Super Bowl LI.)
 
2010 Jamaal Charles KC 22 177 0 5/5 61 0 94 62 32 8 BUF 6.8%
Charles was ridiculously effective on first downs, averaging 11.1 yards on 12 carries, including nine gains of 6 yards or more. He also led the team with four catches and 61 yards in only five targets, and all four catches resulted in first downs.
 
2018 Derrick Henry TEN 17 238 4 0/0 0 0 94 94 0 14 JAX -9.4%
By now, most of you have no doubt seen Derrick Henry's record-tying, tackle-busting, Jaguars-shaming 99-yard touchdown run from last Thursday. That was the biggest play in a night straight out of a running back's dream. Henry finished with 238 yards and four touchdowns on only 17 carries. Henry was spectacular, and he was efficient too -- eight of his carries resulted in first downs, while only two were stuffed, and both of those came with Tennessee ahead by three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
 
2016 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 21 114 2 2/2 95 1 94 49 44 10 PIT -4.7%
Opponent adjustments can and will fluctuate over the rest of the season, but right now this was the best game a running back has had in 2016. Touchdown runs of 32 and 14 yards, five other first downs on the ground, while getting hit for no gain or a loss three times. His best catch was his 83-yard touchdown on second-and-18, but that 12-yard gain on second-and-8 helped too. (As you can see, this ended up the third-best game of 2016.)
 
2016 Le'Veon Bell PIT 38 236 3 4/5 62 0 92 60 32 14 BUF 7.8%
This was the best game of the year so far for a running back, but it wasn't close to the best game of all time (Priest Holmes against Seattle, Week 12 of 2002), or any of the other 23 100-DYAR games running backs have put together in the past quarter-century. Why not? Well, while Bell had eight runs of 10 yards or more (!), he was hit for no gain or a loss six times. He also takes a hit of more than 30 DYAR in opponent adjustments due to playing the Bills and their stinky, stinky defense. Oh, and three of Bell's receptions also gained 10-plus yards, including a pair of third-down conversions. (And, as you can see, this ended up the fourth-best game of 2016.)
 
2017 Alvin Kamara NO 5 87 1 6/6 101 1 91 26 66 12 LAR -9.8%
Kamara's rushing value was basically nil outside his 74-yard touchdown. But five of his six receptions produced first downs, including a fourth-down conversion, and the other was a 9-yard gain on first-and-20.

Worst Games

As for bad performances, we found 56 running back games of the decade at -50 DYAR or worse. The list of players with multiple appearances on that list is short, because players who routinely play this badly don't tend to last long in the NFL. Melvin Gordon of the Chargers and Jonathan Stewart of the Panthers each had three games on the list. Six other players -- Cedric Benson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamar Miller, C.J. Spiller, and Michael Turner -- had two each.

The following table lists the worst running back games of the 2010s.

Worst Running Back Games, Total DYAR, 2010-2019

Year Player Team Runs Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Week Def DVOA
2010 Steven Jackson STL 29 72 0 3/3 -6 0 -74 -45 -29 12 DEN 16.6%
Jackson certainly didn't lack for opportunity, as he got 29 carries and three targets in the passing game. Despite playing an awful Broncos defense, though, Jackson could muster just three downs on those 32 touches, and his 20-yard run in the third quarter was the only time he picked up more than 7 yards on the day. Eighteen of his 29 carries went for 2 yards or less, and while one of them was a fourth-and-1 conversion, it also includes two stuffs from the Denver 1-yard line. He also only caught one of three passes thrown to him, and that catch went for -6 yards. The Broncos clearly built their game plan around slowing Jackson down, but much better teams have had that plan against the Rams for years, and Jackson has still managed to do much better than this.
 
2012 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN 26 82 0 3/3 12 0 -73 -66 -7 4 JAX 11.7%
Green-Ellis gained 82 yards on 26 carries (3.2 yards per rush) with only three first downs. Meanwhile, he was stuffed for no gain or a loss seven times and fumbled twice. His two receptions in three targets resulted in a 1-yard loss and a 13-yard gain for a first down. (This was the worst game for a running back this decade if you look only at rushing DYAR.)
 
2018 David Johnson ARI 15 49 0 8/10 12 0 -69 -16 -54 14 DET 9.0%
[Johnson's] 15 carries resulted in all of 49 yards (you'll recall that Derrick Henry doubled that on one play) and two first downs. That's nothing, though, compared to his receiving numbers. Johnson amassed eight receptions in 10 targets, and for all those receptions, he came away with 12 yards and one first down. Three of those catches lost yards, and one of those resulted in a fumble. (This was the worst game for a running back this decade if you look only at receiving DYAR.)
 
2011 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 30 105 0 3/3 -1 0 -67 -33 -34 7 BAL -17.1%
Three fumbles. That's bad. Jones-Drew also had a lot of 1- and 2-yard runs running up the gut as the Jaguars tried to kill clock late in the game. But mostly it's the three fumbles, which I remind you are bad. (Jones-Drew ranks this low despite gaining 15 DYAR for playing Baltimore, the best defense in the league in 2011.)
 
2010 Thomas Jones KC 23 51 0 0/1 0 0 -65 -61 -4 16 TEN -5.8%
So, how can Thomas Jones be last [this week] when Jamaal Charles is first? Well, to begin, Jones' only target fell incomplete to the ground. As a runner, Jones had as many first downs as he did fumbles: two. Those two first downs were two of just five carries that went for more than 2 yards, and his long carry was 14. He had six carries for a loss, two carries for no gain, four carries for 1 yard, and six for 2 yards. None were successful.
 
2019 Brian Hill ATL 15 30 0 1/3 8 0 -65 -59 -6 11 CAR 8.2%
Behold the power of opponent adjustments, Part XIII: Hill loses 31 DYAR for playing the Carolina defense. He is the 17th running back to get at least five carries in a game against Carolina this year; among that group, his average gain of 2.0 is worst by more than a full yard. He had just one run of more than 4 yards (an 11-yard gain on second-and-7, his only first down of the day) while being stuffed five times. Each of his three targets came on second down with 10 or 11 yards to go. Obviously, this game was played in 2019, the year opponent adjustments went bonzo-gonzo.)
 
2019 Melvin Gordon LAC 16 32 0 2/3 -3 1 -64 -65 1 7 TEN 1.0%
Gordon's carries resulted in as many first downs (two) as fumbles. He was stuffed six times, including three carries that failed to score from within the 3-yard line. (This was the second-worst game for a running back this decade if you look only at rushing DYAR.)
 
2011 Javon Ringer TEN 9 12 0 5/5 6 0 -64 -27 -37 12 TB 14.2%
(Ringer originally didn't get a comment for this game in Quick Reads because Arian Foster's game in the same week was even worse. By season's end, fluctuating opponent adjustments had pushed Ringer's game below Foster's, because Ringer played the second-worst Tampa Bay defense, while Foster played fifth-best Jacksonville. You'll find Foster's game a few spots down in this table. As for Ringer his longest carry against the Bucs gained only 7 yards, none of them gained first downs, and four of them were stuffed for no gain or a loss. None of his receptions picked up a first down either. His longest catch went for 5 yards, two of them lost yardage, and the fourth was fumbled away and recovered by the defense.)
 
2018 Joe Mixon CIN 13 50 0 3/5 1 0 -63 -24 -39 7 KC 6.9%
This is largely due to opponent adjustments, which dropped Mixon's rushing DYAR from -3 to -28. Mixon is the seventh player to get at least ten runs against Kansas City in a single game in 2018. The other six all averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry, with a collective average of 5.3; Mixon's average was just 3.9. Mind you, he also had a terrible day as a receiver. Two of his targets resulted in incompletions, and his receptions were a 2-yard gain on third-and-5, a 3-yard gain on first-and-10, and a 4-yard loss on second-and-6. Mixon actually had a better DVOA on his incompletions (-109.0%) than on his catches (-123.8%). (Updating with some end-of-year numbers: with final opponents adjustments, Mixon lost 21 rushing DYAR and 5 receiving DYAR for playing the Chiefs. In later weeks, Doug Martin and Justin Jackson would have even worse averages against Kansas City, but at least they scored touchdowns. And Mixon's final DVOA on incompletions against Kansas City was -127.6%, while his DVOA on receptions was -136.6%.)
 
2016 Justin Forsett DEN 22 90 0 0/1 0 0 -62 -51 -11 17 OAK 4.3%
Forsett had minus-62 DYAR, which ties Charles Sims' Week 4 game (See next comment) for the worst of the year. It sure doesn't look like 22 carries for 90 yards should be the worst game of the year, but Forsett got 64 yards on a single carry. The rest of the day, he had 21 carries for 26 yards against a below-average Raiders run defense, with as many fumbles as first downs (one of each).
 
2016 Charles Sims TB 15 28 0 2/3 7 0 -62 -57 -5 4 DEN -18.3%
Sims had no first downs, a long gain of just 6 yards, two stuffs, and a fumble. None of his completions gained a first down either. (Sims ranks this low despite gaining 7 DYAR for playing Denver, the best defense in the league in 2016.)
 
2014 LeSean McCoy PHI 19 24 0 0/2 0 0 -61 -55 -7 3 WAS 9.9%
McCoy's 19 rushes resulted in seven stuffs for no gain or a loss, one fumble, one first down, and nary a 10-yard gain to be seen. He failed to catch either of the two passes thrown his way.
 
2010 Cedric Benson CIN 24 53 0 0/0 0 0 -61 -61 0 16 SD -10.0%
(Benson originally didn't get a comment for this game in Quick Reads because Thomas Jones' game in the same week, which we discussed earlier in this table, was even worse. Benson's 24 carries against Cincinnati produced a total of one first down and his longest run gained only 11 yards. Eight of his carries went for no gain or a loss. One of those was on fourth-and-1. Another was fumbled away to the Chargers on first-and-10.)
 
2014 Matt Forte CHI 17 51 0 8/12 23 0 -61 -15 -46 17 MIN 4.3%
(Forte originally didn't get a comment for this game in Quick Reads because it came in Week 17. His longest run against the Vikings gained only 9 yards, and only two of his carries resulted in first downs. Two others were stuffed. None of his eight catches gained first downs, and only one -- a 4-yard gain on second-and-6 -- counted as a successful play. Two of them lost yardage.)
 
2013 C.J. Spiller BUF 17 41 0 6/6 14 0 -61 -56 -4 1 NE 4.2%
(Spiller originally didn't get a comment for this game in Quick Reads because it was in Week 1 and without opponent adjustments, Isaac Redman's game against Tennessee looked even worse. End-of-year opponent adjustments, however, showed that Spiller had the poorer outing of the two. None of his 17 carries gained first downs, his longest run gained only 9 yards, five went for no gain or a loss, and another was fumbled away to the Patriots. None of his four catches gained first downs either. His best catches were a pair of 7-yard gains; his worst was a 2-yard loss on second-and-17.)
 
2019 Kalen Ballage MIA 20 43 0 4/4 2 0 -60 -40 -21 10 IND 2.3%
Ballage's longest carry against Indianapolis gained only 7 yards. None of his 20 runs picked up a first down, and only four counted as successful plays. Five resulted in stuffs. His four receptions: 3-yard gain on first-and-10; zero-yard gain on second-and-5; 2-yard loss on first-and-10; 1-yard gain on second-and-10.
 
2015 Adrian Peterson MIN 26 60 0 1/1 -3 0 -60 -51 -9 6 KC -11.6%
Yes, Peterson had runs of 12 and 23 yards, but he had just one other first down on the day, he fumbled on one carry, and he was hit for no gain or a loss 12 times. And lest you think the Vikings were protecting a late lead by slamming Peterson into the line repeatedly, nine of those stuffs came in the first half. Oh, and his only catch was a 3-yard loss on third-and-2.
 
2017 Jonathan Stewart CAR 18 21 0 3/3 23 0 -60 -54 -6 5 DET 4.0%
(Stewart originally didn't get a comment for this game in Quick Reads because Todd Gurley's game against the Seahawks looked worse at the time before end-of-season opponent adjustments kicked in. Stewart's longest run gained just 9 yards, only one of them resulted in a first down, and nine of them were stuffed for no gain or a loss. He did pick up a first down with a 21-yard catch on second-and-10, but his other two catches were a 4-yard gain and a 2-yard loss, both on second-and-8.)
 
2013 Willis McGahee CLE 21 34 0 0/0 0 0 -59 -59 0 9 BAL -8.7%
McGahee ran the ball 21 times against Baltimore and never gained more than 7 yards. He had one first down and only two other successful plays, but he was hit for no gain or a loss eight times, and fumbled on one of those plays.
 
2011 Arian Foster HOU 22 77 1 9/9 24 0 -59 -46 -13 12 JAX -11.3%
Foster had 22 carries for 65 yards against Jacksonville. One of those runs gained 43 yards, and another gained 10. Otherwise, he averaged -- this is not a typo -- 0.6 yards (or, if you prefer, 1 foot, 10 inches) per rush. He had 14 runs for less than 2 yards (although one of those was a 1-yard touchdown) and also fumbled twice. The Texans also threw him nine passes. He caught seven of them, but for just 24 total yards and no first downs.

No postseason games qualified for that table, so we also looked up the worst playoff game for a running back as well:

Worst Running Back Playoff Game, Total DYAR, 2010-2019

Year Player Team Runs Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Week Def DVOA
2017 Leonard Fournette JAX 21 57 0 3/5 21 0 -54 -46 -9 WC BUF 1.6%
Fournette only ran for three first downs in his 21 carries. His second-longest run was a 10-yard gain on third-and-13, which padded his yardage total but did little for his DYAR. He was hit for no gain or a loss six times. And he lost 25 DYAR for doing it against the defense ranked 30th in DVOA against the run this season.

Comments

17 comments, Last at 25 Jun 2020, 10:13pm

1 I remember that 2010 game…

I remember that 2010 game. It basically cemented that the Colts team coming off a SB defeat was decidedly not going to be a real contender that year. 

Manning was brilliant that game, but his defense never gave him a chance. It was a bit like that 2004 Chiefs loss. 

2 Colts

The Colts have been on the business end of some rough rb games. The two defeats by NE in the playoffs were horrible. The jaguars game in 2006 was brutal. Call it PTSD, but I don't think a single colts fan ever truly trusted the team's run defense between the Manning and Luck eras.(despite Pagano's repeated emphasis that the key to winning games was running the ball and stopping the run; something they shouldn't have aspired to do in the first place and never accomplished anyways). 

10 Definitely not. Even in 2005…

In reply to by theslothook

Definitely not. Even in 2005 when the run defense was starting to look vaguely trustworthy, they then got trounced by the Chargers.

3 Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray had 201 yards in his big game, and 256 more yards in his entire career.

5 Johnathan Williams

In reply to by Boots Day

In 2013, the Packers' Johnathan Franklin rushed for 103 yards in his first game with carries and led all running backs in DYAR that week (pre-opponent adjustments, but the Bengals run defense was better than average that year).

He then went back to a backup role, gained four yards on six carries over the next eight games, and retired (after injuring his neck on a kickoff return) with 107 career rushing yards.

9 RB Fungability

In reply to by Boots Day

The Jonas Gray game will forever be burned in my memory - one of my favorite NFL moments of all time.

I think it really speaks to the how deeply fungible GM's see between the tackles RB's that Jonas never got another real chance with any other team after the Pats cut him. The following year he saw the field a bit for MIA/JAX and was ok from a yrd/carry point of view, but was never featured in another game plan again. This kind of thing always makes me wonder how many athletes BB could make an absolute star for a game given the right conditions, and makes me glad I don't have to be an NFL GM.

15 Billy Ball

In reply to by sbond101

What this series clarifies for me is how Belichick won't keep trying something that isn't working and how he has no problem doing the same thing over and over again until you stop him. Which seems like Football 101 and yet...

16 Billy Ball

In reply to by sbond101

What this series clarifies for me is how Belichick won't keep trying something that isn't working and how he has no problem doing the same thing over and over again until you stop him. Which seems like Football 101 and yet...

6 I love these series, going…

I love these series, going down memory lane. 

So what you're saying is that the best RB game of the decade was mostly decided by the passes he caught?

I'd love to rewatch that game.

11 Jamaal Charles

He was the fastest dude I ever saw in 2007. I was at a preseason game, he ran a sweep, a DB had the angle on him and he just ran past like he was standing still. I knew he could be special. Too bad he was injured so much the last 4-5 years of his career, he was great. 

14 Remember, opponent…

In reply to by cstoos

Remember, opponent adjustments change, especially for games in Week 1. When the season was over, that game was only worth 75 DYAR, because it came against the Patriots, and the Patriots were next to last in both total defense and rushing defense.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/nfl/team-defense/2017