Dec 9, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) carries the ball as Washington Redskins strong safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (20) chases in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
This week we’re diving into our expansive database to look at which running backs performed best in 2018 when running through each point of attack (the gap they run through as they pass the line of scrimmage). Excluding trick plays, we have eight different gaps that we sort runs into: off left end, left tackle, left guard, middle left, middle right, right guard, right tackle, and right end. Today we’re going to look at which running backs performed the best by each gap, using PFF rushing grades and a minimum qualifier of 15 rushes through the given point of attack.
[Editor’s Note: To view more of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats on point of attack, check out our Premium Stats 2.0. All ELITE subscribers already have access to these stats, and for those who don’t, you can subscribe today!]
Gordon was one of 42 running backs last season to rush the ball off the left end at least 15 times, and he led that group with a total of 277 yards through that point of attack. Gordon ranked fourth among qualified running backs by averaging 0.41 forced missed tackles per attempt off left end, and the 13 combined first downs and touchdowns he picked up through that point of attack tied for the most among backs.
Despite seeing just 15 carries off the left tackle last season, Mack ranked third among all running backs with 139 rushing yards through that point of attack in 2018. Mack ranked fourth among backs with an average of 3.9 yards after contact per attempt on such runs, and he led all backs by picking up either a first down or touchdown on 53.0 percent of his attempts – no other running back had a conversion rate higher than 35.0 percent.