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Factoid

Most improved

Looking at which ground games have gotten better

I like this point of the season. Every team has played at least a dozen games, so there’s a decent amount of data to work with. You can slice the numbers in different ways and see which teams and players bubble to the surface.

Consider, for example, rushing production. We can take the rushing stats for each team from its first six games and compare it to the last six games. Those overview numbers paint of picture of which teams are getting better, and which are getting worse.

Four teams are averaging at least 30 more rushing yards per game now (last six games) than they were in the first six weeks: Steelers, Patriots, Vikings, Falcons. Four offenses, on the other hand, are averaging at least 30 fewer yards: Dolphins, Jets, Eagles, Cardinals (those offenses have all also averaged about a yard less per carry).

Four teams right now are averaging over a yard per carry more than they did back in the first six games: the Steelers (at almost 2 yards per attempt), Lions, Ravens and Patriots. (Two of those teams will be in action tonight, if you’re looking for additional reasons to be fired up for the most recent Amazon matchup – I actually kind of like Ezekiel Elliott in this game.)

If we’re looking solely at rushing touchdowns, the Texans, Bengals and Vikings are the three teams that have risen the most, each scoring at least 5 more rushing touchdowns in their last six than they did in the first six.

The Dolphins and 49ers have declined the most in the rushing touchdowns category. Miami has scored 7 rushing touchdowns in its last six, but it was up at 15 in their first six games. The 49ers similarly have scored 8 in their last six but were up at 12 rushing touchdowns.

If we look at composite rushing production (using 1 point for every 10 yards and 6 points for touchdowns) the Steelers, Vikings, Texans and Bengals have the rushing offenses that have improved the most overall. The Dolphins, Jets, 49ers and Chargers have the ground games that have declined the most.

In the final two columns of the chart below, you’re seeing the overall rank (1 thru 32) for each offense for its first six games, and the same number for its more recent six games. Note that Atlanta and Washington have played 13 games, and for those two clubs, I tossed out their seventh games entirely.

MOST IMPROVED RUNNING GAMES
TeamYd/GYd/AttTD1st Rk2nd Rk
Pittsburgh681.82276
Minnesota34-.253219
Houston181.062911
Cincinnati25.953122
Baltimore281.2431
New Orleans19.542310
Tampa Bay15.943024
Atlanta32.42174
New England401.202623
Denver20-.922521
Las Vegas181.022825
Detroit261.3162
Chicago3-.73147
Washington28.702016
Buffalo8.1098
Green Bay28.9-22126
Carolina-4-.512429
Dallas-5.411314
Indianapolis-2-.2079
Tennessee-3-.601620
NY Giants17.3-22228
LA Rams13.1-21115
Philadelphia-48-.8443
Arizona-35-1.22812
Jacksonville-21-.401017
Kansas City-17.1-11827
Seattle-24-.1-31531
Cleveland-25-.6-3518
LA Chargers-28-.6-31230
San Francisco-23.0-425
NY Jets-54-1.9-31932
Miami-77-2.5-8113
RUSHING PRODUCTION (first 6 games)
TeamAttYardsAvgTDF Pts
Miami1681,0916.515199.1
San Francisco1988904.512161.0
Baltimore2038694.39140.9
Philadelphia2019004.57132.0
Cleveland1988854.57130.5
Detroit1877454.09128.5
Indianapolis1667004.28118.0
Arizona1618465.35114.6
Buffalo1627094.47112.9
Jacksonville1816813.87110.1
LA Rams1536494.27106.9
LA Chargers1626714.16103.1
Dallas1827183.95101.8
Chicago1708164.8399.6
Seattle1566364.1699.6
Tennessee1456624.6596.2
Atlanta1787144.0495.4
Kansas City1657114.3495.1
NY Jets1357055.2388.5
Washington1245274.3582.7
Green Bay1455453.8478.5
NY Giants1585933.8377.3
New Orleans1685753.4375.5
Carolina1445884.1270.8
Denver1296364.9169.6
New England1475023.4368.2
Pittsburgh1464883.3366.8
Las Vegas1484413.0362.1
Houston1675333.2159.3
Tampa Bay1534673.1152.7
Cincinnati1214193.5147.9
Minnesota1134504.0045.0

Statistics compiled using search tools at Pro-Football-Reference.com

RUSHING PRODUCTION (last 6 games)
TeamAttYardsAvgTDF Pts
Baltimore1871,0345.513181.4
Detroit1719035.310150.3
Philadelphia1666123.711127.2
Atlanta2089084.46126.8
San Francisco1667524.58123.2
Chicago2068364.16119.6
Pittsburgh1748965.15119.6
Buffalo1707594.57117.9
Indianapolis1706904.18117.0
New Orleans1736864.07110.6
Houston1546424.27106.2
Arizona1576384.17105.8
Miami1586294.07104.9
Dallas1596864.36104.6
LA Rams1667254.45102.5
Washington1426964.9599.6
Jacksonville1645583.4797.8
Cleveland1927363.8497.6
Minnesota1716553.8595.5
Tennessee1626454.0594.5
Denver1877534.0393.3
Cincinnati1305714.4693.1
New England1617424.6392.2
Tampa Bay1425553.9585.5
Las Vegas1375514.0585.1
Green Bay1547144.6283.4
Kansas City1396084.4378.8
NY Giants1706924.1175.2
Carolina1575643.6374.4
LA Chargers1415013.6368.1
Seattle1224904.0367.0
NY Jets1163843.3038.4

Statistics compiled using search tools at Pro-Football-Reference.com

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index