Connect
To Top

The NFL’s top running backs by point of attack

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.
[Editor’s Note: To view more of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats on point of attack, check out our Premium Stats 2.0.
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.
Left Tackle Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – 84.5 rushing grade 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.
Left Guard Saquon Barkley, New York Giants – 90.5 rushing grade Barkley led 36 qualified running backs in terms of PFF rushing grade on runs that went between the left guard and left tackle, picking up 114 rushing yards along with three first downs and two touchdowns on 19 attempts through that point of attack.
The rookie phenom ranked fifth among players at the position with an average of 6.0 yards per attempt off left guard, and he ranked second by forcing 0.26 missed tackles per attempt.
Middle Left Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos – 89.4 rushing grade Fifty running backs ran the ball at least 15 times through middle left this past season (between the center and left guard); Lindsay was one of just two running backs (fellow rookie, Nick Chubb being the other) to earn a PFF rushing grade north of 80.0 running through that gap.
Lindsay averaged a whopping 8.8 yards per attempt on his 22 rushes through middle left, and he ranked second among backs by averaging 5.0 yards after contact per attempt going through that point of attack.
The former second-round pick ranked fourth by picking up either a first down or touchdown on 28.0 percent of his carries on such runs, and he ranked sixth among the group by averaging 3.4 yards after contact per attempt.
The third-round pick ranked second among running backs by averaging 5.6 yards after contact per attempt off right end, and he tied for sixth by averaging 0.32 forced missed tackles per attempt through that point of attack.

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!]

Left End

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.

Left Tackle

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts – 84.5 rushing grade

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.

Left Guard

Saquon Barkley,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Pro Football

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 DeVoe Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.