By Ken Crippen
Pro Football Researchers Association


We here at CHFF thought we should take a look at Tim Tebow’s Rusher Rating and break it down for various circumstances. First, let’s take a look at his overall rusher rating for the season:
 
Season Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Overall 82 468 5.71 3 2 104.55
As a Starter 75 431 5.75 2 2 94.98
As a Substitute 7 37 5.29 1 0 134.56
 
Now, let’s see how he has done in each game this season. Obviously, he has relied more on his running abilities as the season has progressed. Why? Because it has been very effective.
 
Season Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
At Green Bay Packers 1 -1 -1.00 0 0 52.78
San Diego 6 38 6.33 1 0 140.31
At Miami Dolphins 9 59 6.56 0 0 88.75
DetroitLions 10 63 6.30 0 1 39.57
@ Oakland Raiders 13 118 9.08 0 0 102.58
@ Kansas City 9 43 4.78 1 0 131.77
New York Jets 8 68 8.50 1 0 152.19
@ San Diego 22 67 3.05 0 1 47.77
@ Minnesota 4 13 3.25 0 0 70.61
 
The first two games listed (at Green Bay and versus San Diego), Tebow came in relief of Kyle Orton. The true indication comes in the games that followed, where he was a starter. The Broncos lost one game with Tebow as a starter, and he had a Rusher Rating of 39.57 in that game against the Detroit Lions. In his wins, he had a Rusher Rating of 88.75, 102.58, 131.77 and 152.19. The only anomalies are the latest wins over the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings, where he had a Rusher Rating of 47.77 and 70.61 respectively. Overall, Tebow has a Rusher Rating of 104.55. In his one loss as a starter this season, he had a Rusher Rating of 39.57.
 
  Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Running Lane            
Left Sideline 16 115 7.19 1 0 144.99
Left Side 6 34 5.67 1 0 136.65
Middle 30 119 3.97 1 2 71.95
Right Side 10 83 8.30 0 0 98.32
Right Sideline 14 127 9.07 0 0 102.55
 
Attempts            
1 through 10 67 403 6.01 3 2 110.82
11 through 20 13 63 4.85 0 0 79.37
21 through 30 2 2 1.00 0 0 58.26
 
Field Position            
Own 1-20 12 86 7.17 0 1 52.29
Own 21-50 41 233 5.68 0 1 72.31
Opponent 49-20 22 117 5.32 1 0 121.86
Redzone 7 32 4.57 2 0 130.64
 
Half            
1st 31 170 5.48 1 0 111.18
2nd 45 281 6.24 2 2 104.82
Last 2 Minutes of Half 13 69 5.31 1 0 134.68
 
Quarter            
1st 13 85 6.54 1 0 141.43
2nd 18 85 4.72 0 0 78.69
3rd 15 89 5.93 0 2 32.56
4th 30 192 6.40 2 0 140.67
Overtime 6 17 2.83 0 0 68.32
 
 
As shown by the table below, Tebow is most effective when his team is behind. When they are losing or are tied, his rushing ability get his team back into the game and positioned for victory.
 
Point Differential Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
When Winning 14 74 5.29 0 0 81.78
When Losing 48 331 6.90 2 2 107.28
When Tied 20 63 3.15 1 0 113.95
 
Winning by 15-21 Points 3 19 6.33 0 0 87.53
Winning by 1-7 Points 11 55 5.00 0 0 80.21
Losing by 1-7 Points 27 179 6.63 1 1 103.97
Losing by 15-21 Points 15 104 6.93 1 1 111.75
 
 
Keep in mind when looking at the information below that in the losses, Tebow was only the starter in one of those games. As a starter, Tebow has a Rusher Rating of 39.57 in losses this season.
 
Margin of Victory Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Wins 65 368 5.66 2 1 103.50
Losses 17 100 5.88 1 1 108.58
 
Win by 1-7 Points 58 288 4.97 3 1 117.19
Win by 8-14 Points 13 118 9.08 0 0 102.58
Win by 15+ Points 11 62 5.64 0 0 83.70
 
 
Finally, let’s break down Tebow’s rushing by down and distance:
 
Down and Distance Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
1st Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
To Go: 3-7 Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
To Go: 8-10 Yards 30 175 5.83 0 0 84.79
To Go: 11+ Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
2nd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 5 36 7.20 0 0 92.28
To Go: 3-7 Yards 10 71 7.10 1 1 96.74
To Go: 8-10 Yards 8 56 7.00 1 0 143.96
To Go: 11+ Yards 8 52 6.50 0 1 28.72
3rd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 4 13 3.25 0 0 70.61
To Go: 3-7 Yards 10 49 4.90 1 0 132.44
To Go: 8-10 Yards 2 5 2.50 0 0 66.50
To Go: 11+ Yards 5 11 2.20 0 0 64.85
4th Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
To Go: 3-7 Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
To Go: 8-10 Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a
To Go: 11+ Yards 0 0 0.00 0 0 n/a

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Marshawn Lynch led all Week 13 running backs with a 142.47 Rusher Rating. His 22 carries for 148 yards and two scores gave him a slight edge over Chris Johnson of Tennessee. Johnson, who has struggled for the bulk of the season, put together a quality performance for the second-consecutive week. His Rusher Rating of 142.06 put him in second place for the week. Ricky Williams rounded out the top three with a 131.62 Rusher Rating.

Here are the top 10 rushers of week 13 with a minimum of 15 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 22 148 6.73 2 0 142.47
Chris Johnson – TEN 23 153 6.65 2 0 142.06
Ricky Williams – BAL 16 76 4.75 1 0 131.62
LeSean McCoy – PHI 17 84 4.94 1 0 131.52
Shonn Greene – NYJ 22 88 4.00 3 0 127.50
Rashard Mendenhall – PIT 16 60 3.75 2 0 126.13
Mark Ingram – NO 16 54 3.38 1 0 124.07
Ray Rice – BAL 29 204 7.03 1 0 121.64
Reggie Bush – MIA 22 100 4.55 1 0 117.62
Chris Wells – ARI 20 67 3.35 1 0 115.05
 

THE TOP 10

LeSean McCoy has held the first or second spot all season on overall Rusher Rating. This week is no different as he still holds a lead over the injured Adrian Peterson. Baltimore’s Ray Rice is a distant third.
 
Now, the top 10 rushers of the season with a minimum of 175 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
LeSean McCoy – PHI 215 1,134 5.27 12 0 130.71
Adrian Peterson – MIN 186 872 4.69 11 1 127.84
Ray Rice – BAL 208 926 4.45 9 1 112.89
Chris Wells – ARI 201 916 4.56 9 4 107.58
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 202 854 4.23 8 3 103.64
Arian Foster – HOU 224 916 4.09 8 2 102.30
Michael Turner – ATL 233 992 4.26 8 3 100.13
Shonn Greene – NYJ 183 739 4.04 5 1 96.31
Cedric Benson – CIN 201 792 3.94 5 0 96.23
Steven Jackson – STL 182 832 4.57 4 1 94.53
 
 

REAL RUNNING  BACK RATING

Looking at the season leaders (based on Rusher Rating) through Week 13 of the NFL regular season (minimum 175 attempts) we have the following (Listed by Real Running Back Rating):
 
Player Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TD Rusher Rating Real RB Rating Diff.
LeSean McCoy – PHI 42 277 3 130.71 114.39 -16.32
Adrian Peterson – MIN 16 125 1 127.84 111.32 -16.52
Arian Foster – HOU 38 469 2 102.30 99.33 -2.97
Ray Rice – BAL 56 547 2 112.89 95.59 -17.30
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 20 170 1 103.64 93.50 -10.14
Steven Jackson – STL 26 151 1 94.53 78.24 -16.29
Michael Turner – ATL 11 128 0 100.13 77.48 -22.65
Chris Wells – ARI 6 25 0 107.58 70.89 -36.69
Shonn Greene – NYJ 23 133 0 96.31 66.53 -29.78
Cedric Benson – CIN 10 53 0 96.23 65.59 -30.64
 
Of the top ten running backs, Foster still shows the least drop-off when factoring in receiving. However, McCoy has the overall lead in Real Running Back Rating, with 114.39.
 

TEAM DIFFERENTIAL

San Francisco still retains the top spot in Rusher Rating Differential. Led by the fact that they have yet to give up a rushing touchdown, they are by far the most efficient rushing defense. Baltimore was able to move back into the second-place spot and Minnesota rounded out the top three.
 
It is no surprise that Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Cleveland were the bottom four teams. They have been struggling all year.
 
Here are all 32 teams ranked, based on Rusher Rating Differential, for the season:
 
Team Rushing Attempts Offensive Rusher Rating Defensive Rushing Attempts Defensive Rusher Rating Rusher Rating Differential
San Francisco 49ers 370 92.10 261 56.25 35.85
Baltimore Ravens 339 99.11 317 74.26 24.85
Minnesota Vikings 330 112.68 331 92.97 19.71
Carolina Panthers 333 125.76 344 106.69 19.07
Miami Dolphins 351 87.75 303 69.10 18.65
New Orleans Saints 309 112.90 278 96.30 16.60
Houston Texans 432 99.88 261 84.85 14.95
Tennessee Titans 293 87.62 343 78.98 8.64
New England Patriots 322 103.21 292 94.67 8.54
Atlanta Falcons 338 96.67 293 88.82 7.85
Chicago Bears 320 96.06 269 89.40 6.66
San Diego Chargers 319 95.75 367 89.24 6.51
Seattle Seahawks 319 92.79 340 86.68 6.11
Pittsburgh Steelers 323 97.07 288 91.56 5.51
Philadelphia Eagles 340 106.92 313 103.36 3.56
Denver Broncos 399 86.02 356 83.51 2.51
New York Jets 322 91.67 345 91.24 0.43
Green Bay Packers 308 94.40 258 97.55 -3.15
New York Giants 305 96.25 330 101.11 -4.86
Detroit Lions 278 92.08 312 97.07 -4.99
Arizona Cardinals 293 97.41 357 102.97 -5.56
Cincinnati Bengals 334 89.62 323 96.15 -6.53
Oakland Raiders 366 102.51 326 109.25 -6.74
Washington Redskins 278 90.45 343 99.11 -8.65
Dallas Cowboys 308 77.87 284 90.98 -13.11
St. Louis Rams 293 78.76 379 92.20 -13.44
Buffalo Bills 304 90.59 333 105.16 -14.57
Kansas City Chiefs 367 75.09 376 90.05 -14.96
Indianapolis Colts 278 88.02 418 107.76 -19.74
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 276 86.98 359 109.68 -22.70
Jacksonville Jaguars 374 70.24 329 94.53 -24.29
Cleveland Browns 316 65.51 409 93.92 -28.41

 
 
How the Rusher Rating is Calculated
 
Here is how each component is calculated:
 
Average Yards Gained per Attempt (YD) = [Total Yards/(4.05 * Rushing Attempts)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Carry (TD) = [(39.5*Touchdowns)/Rushing Attempts]
 
Percentage of Fumbles per Carry (F) = [2.375-((21.5*Fumbles)/Rushing Attempts)]
 
Adding these components together and adjusting to a scale of 158.3 (the same as the NFL Passer Rating System) yields:
 
Rusher Rating = [(YD) + (TD) + (F)] * (100/4.5)
 
 
How the Real Running Back Rating is Calculated
 
Now, we look at the Real Running Back Rating. Here are the updated equations with the receiving components:
 
Average Yards Gained per Attempt (YD) = [Total Yards/(4.05 * Rushing Attempts)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Carry (RUSHTD) = [(39.5*Touchdowns)/Rushing Attempts]
 
Average Yards Gained per Reception (REC) = [Receiving Yards/(9*Receptions)]
 
Percentage of TDs per Reception (RECTD) = [(27.5*Touchdowns)/Receptions]
 
Percentage of Fumbles per Touch (F) = [2.375-((21.5*Fumbles)/(Rushes + Receptions))]
 
Adding these components together and adjusting to a scale of 158.3 yields:
 
Rusher Rating = [(YD) + (RUSHTD) + (REC) + (RECTD) + (F)] * (100/7.5)
 
 
Ken Crippen is the executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving football history.You can follow him on Twitter: @KenCrippen.