Contextualizing the Run: Offensive Run-Game Win Percentage – Week 2

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Contextualizing the Run: Offensive Run-Game Win Percentage – Week 2

OrW tracks both teams and players and evaluates one thing—the frequency with which the subject can win the play by running the ball. How do we define this? An offensive run-game win is any run play (excluding kneel-downs) that keeps an offense on track to pick up a first down, or a touchdown if it’s a goal to go situation.

This stat, on a team level, will show who has the most efficient and reliable running games. On a player level, while it shouldn’t be viewed as a be-all end-all stat to evaluate running backs, combining it with a stat like Justis’ that tracks what RB’s do past the line of scrimmage, or Ryan Jackson’s ANRY/A that adjusts running backs yardage for efficiency, it can paint a pretty good picture.

Over the season, I will be posting the weekly results here on settingedge.com, and every four weeks I will be giving a big-picture, season long look at how teams and players are faring. With all the introductory stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at Week Two.

Week 2 is in the books, and the Titans were the stars of the show. The Jaguars allowed the Titans to run all over them, to the tune of 28 successful runs on 34 attempts, for an OrW% of 82%. The saving grace for Jacksonville is that they performed well in their own right, finishing third on the week with a total win percentage of 68%. The league average was just under 50% this week, up 3% from last week, but four teams found themselves with a total win percentage under 30 on the week, double last week when only the New York teams found themselves under 30%. A big storyline on Monday Night Football was the Lions new commitment to the run, which was shown with 32 rushing attempts. They were only successful on 13 of those attempts, however, finding themselves with the third worst total win percentage (41%) of the eleven teams to run the ball at least 30 times (The Ravens and Dolphins were both 12 of 31, 39%). Uncharacteristically, the Cowboys were tied for the fewest total rushing attempts and total wins, finishing tied for the third worst win percentage (29%). The Bills had the least success this week, only 4 wins on 16 attempts in the atrocity that was the Carolina-Buffalo game.

Looking at individual players, the team success can be seen in the success rate of players. Derrick Henry-like the Titans-paced the group, finding success on 13 of 14 runs (93%), and LeSean McCoy followed in the steps of his team, winning just 2 out of 12 attempts (17%). CJ Anderson and Carlos Hyde continue to be underrated, finding success more than 50% of the time on teams with awful offensive lines. Leonard Fournette found the most success of the trio of week 1 rookie stars, winning 57% of his attempts to Dalvin Cook’s 50% and Kareem Hunt’s 46% (Fournette also had 2 more carries than Cook and 1 more than Hunt). The Redskins continue to find success with Robert Kelley, D’Onta Foreman was significantly better than Lamar Miller, and Peyton Barber looks like he should be the guy in Tampa until Doug Martin returns.

The data from first downs this week isn’t interesting enough to be worth its own chart, but Melvin Gordon continues to struggle to win rushes, Semaje Perine saw 14 first down carries and only won 2, and both Ty Montgomery and Matt Forte were a perfect 5 for 5 on first down. Teams aren’t running on third down anymore, and no running back carried the ball more than 3 times on third down. Some interesting trends have started as we enter week two, and I’m excited to start looking at them when we hit the quarterly update. Check back in next week for Week 3’s OrW% summary, only on settingedge.com