For a second time this year, a running back achieved a perfect Rusher Rating score. Donald Brown of the Indianapolis Colts carried the ball 16 times for 161 yards and a touchdown to get a perfect 158.33 Rusher Rating. The only other running back to accomplish that feat was Jahvid Best in Week 5.

Marshawn Lynch had an excellent 152.08 Rusher Rating. Lynch has ten consecutive games with a touchdown, a franchise record.

Here are the top 10 rushers of Week 15 with a minimum of 15 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Donald Brown – IND 16 161 10.06 1 0 158.33
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 20 42 2.10 2 0 152.08
DeAngelo Williams – CAR 15 61 4.07 1 0 127.87
Ryan Mathews - SD 26 90 3.46 2 0 124.55
Chris Wells – ARI 15 51 3.40 1 0 124.21
Frank Gore – SF 18 65 3.61 1 0 121.36
Michael Turner – ATL 19 61 3.21 1 0 116.59
Reggie Bush – MIA 25 203 8.12 1 1 113.33
Arian Foster – HOU 16 109 6.81 1 1 113.07
Cedric Benson – CIN 22 76 3.45 1 0 111.63
 
 
LeSean McCoy still holds a comfortable season lead for overall Rusher Rating with a 130.60. Ray Rice and Lynch round out the top three with 109.26 and 108.98 respectively.
 
McCoy is having record-setting season. His three touchdowns on Sunday put him past Steve Van Buren for the franchise lead in touchdowns in a single season. Van Buren set the record in 1945 with 18 touchdowns.
 
Now, the top 10 rushers of the season with a minimum of 200 attempts, based on Rusher Rating:
 
Player Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
LeSean McCoy – PHI 260 1,274 4.90 17 1 130.60
Ray Rice – BAL 244 1,086 4.45 10 2 109.26
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 245 1,011 4.13 11 3 108.98
Rashard Mendenhall – PIT 202 774 3.83 8 1 106.20
Chris Wells – ARI 231 994 4.30 10 4 106.11
Arian Foster – HOU 255 1,066 4.18 9 3 101.07
Michael Bush – OAK 214 841 3.93 7 1 100.82
Michael Turner – ATL 273 1,129 4.14 9 3 99.16
Shonn Greene – NYJ 225 941 4.18 6 1 97.01
Frank Gore – SF 252 1119 4.44 7 2 97.73
 
 
Real Running Back Rating
 
Looking at the season leaders (based on Rusher Rating) through Week 15 of the NFL regular season (minimum 200 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 47 305 3 130.60 111.55 -19.05
Michael Bush – OAK 26 319 1 100.82 92.92 -7.90
Arian Foster – HOU 50 601 2 101.07 92.73 -8.34
Marshawn Lynch – SEA 24 183 1 108.98 92.28 -16.70
Ray Rice – BAL 71 648 2 109.26 89.93 -19.33
Michael Turner – ATL 13 132 0 99.16 74.68 -24.48
Rashard Mendenhall – PIT 13 87 0 106.20 71.11 -35.09
Chris Wells – ARI 8 34 0 106.11 70.13 -35.98
Shonn Greene – NYJ 27 191 0 97.01 68.82 -28.19
Frank Gore – SF 16 101 0 97.73 68.13 -29.60
 
McCoy still holds the top spot, when you factor in receiving stats. Michael Bush, Arian Foster and Lynch are battling for second place in the standings.
 
 
Rusher Rating Differential
 
The San Francisco 49ers continue to roll in Rusher Rating Differential. With a 38.84 RRD, they are in a comfortable lead over the surging Carolina Panthers. The 49ers have yet to give up a rushing touchdown all season. The Philadelphia Eagles are also moving up and are now in fifth place, based on the league leading rusher (based on Rusher Rating) McCoy. Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Cleveland still struggle at the bottom of the list.
 
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 421 93.98 302 55.14 38.84
Carolina Panthers 390 126.39 397 102.56 23.83
Minnesota Vikings 383 109.54 390 91.19 18.53
Baltimore Ravens 390 97.38 370 79.90 17.48
Philadelphia Eagles 405 111.74 366 96.47 15.27
Miami Dolphins 415 86.97 354 75.38 11.59
San Diego Chargers 388 100.10 401 88.68 11.42
New Orleans Saints 373 107.70 313 97.12 10.58
Houston Texans 485 96.91 324 88.55 8.36
New England Patriots 378 104.64 357 96.89 7.75
Tennessee Titans 329 88.56 403 81.70 6.86
Seattle Seahawks 384 93.32 402 86.99 6.33
Chicago Bears 389 93.52 336 88.90 4.62
Atlanta Falcons 401 94.46 335 91.39 3.07
Pittsburgh Steelers 370 93.58 348 90.52 3.06
Green Bay Packers 350 100.66 326 97.91 2.75
New York Giants 354 99.44 394 97.93 1.51
Denver Broncos 364 88.40 430 87.99 0.41
New York Jets 391 93.87 399 95.53 -1.66
Cincinnati Bengals 397 87.50 375 92.36 -4.86
Oakland Raiders 417 103.91 369 110.30 -6.39
Detroit Lions 318 89.36 369 98.36 -9.00
Arizona Cardinals 340 94.50 407 103.95 -9.45
St. Louis Rams 348 80.47 445 90.05 -9.58
Washington Redskins 351 88.33 381 97.99 -9.66
Dallas Cowboys 369 79.25 328 92.56 -13.31
Buffalo Bills 343 90.91 403 104.73 -13.82
Indianapolis Colts 328 89.59 474 104.56 -14.97
Kansas City Chiefs 427 76.63 436 96.26 -19.63
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 313 88.44 429 108.95 -20.51
Jacksonville Jaguars 426 74.09 388 96.66 -22.57
Cleveland Browns 375 69.04 461 93.81 -24.77
 
 
Situational Statistics
 
For the rest of the season, we will focus on a specific running back and their situational statistics. This week, we look at Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
 
Rusher Rating Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Overall 294 1,334 4.54 7 3 93.70
 
Real Running Back Rating Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving TD Rusher Rating Real RB Rating Diff.
Overall 35 348 3 93.70 100.95 +7.25
 
Jones-Drew is one of the few running backs that have a better Real Running Back Rating than Rusher Rating. His differential of +7.25 ranks as one of the best in the league.
 
Here is how he breaks down by game:
 
Season Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
TennesseeTitans 24 97 4.04 1 0 111.53
At New York Jets 18 88 4.89 0 0 79.60
At Carolina Panthers 24 1 5.08 0 0 80.67
New OrleansSaints 11 84 7.64 0 1 51.24
CincinnatiBengals 19 85 4.47 1 0 123.52
At Pittsburgh Steelers 22 96 4.36 0 0 76.72
BaltimoreRavens 30 105 3.50 0 2 40.13
At Houston Texans 18 63 3.50 1 0 120.75
At Indianapolis Colts 25 114 4.56 1 0 112.91
At Cleveland Browns 21 87 4.14 1 0 117.31
HoustonTexans 18 99 5.50 0 0 82.96
San DiegoChargers 20 97 4.85 0 0 79.39
TampaBayBuccaneers 27 85 3.15 2 0 122.83
At Atlanta Falcons 17 122 6.59 0 0 88.93
 
Now, lets start to dig into the situational statistics.
 
  Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Running Lane            
Left Sideline 23 75 3.26 1 0 108.83
Left Side 55 322 5.86 1 0 100.86
Middle 143 650 4.55 5 3 98.39
Right Side 47 164 3.49 0 0 71.92
Right Sideline 26 123 4.73 0 0 78.74
 
Attempts            
1 through 10 140 726 5.19 3 2 93.22
11 through 20 121 537 4.44 2 1 87.69
21 through 30 33 71 2.15 2 0 117.36
 
Field Position            
Own 1-20 73 430 5.89 0 2 72.01
Own 21-50 136 633 4.65 0 0 78.32
Opponent 49-20 53 195 3.68 1 0 89.53
Redzone 32 76 2.38 6 1 103.66
 
Half            
1st 141 716 5.08 4 2 98.77
2nd 153 618 4.04 3 1 89.03
 
Quarter            
1st 71 329 4.63 2 2 89.47
2nd 70 387 5.53 2 0 108.19
3rd 84 378 4.50 0 1 71.78
4th 69 240 3.48 3 0 110.03
 
Jones-Drew has a decent Redzone efficiency with a Rusher Rating of 103.66. Not the best in the league, but solid. He turns it on as each half progresses. In the first and third quarters, he has an average Rusher Rating of 79.88, compared to the second and fourth quarter Rusher Rating of 109.10.
 
Point Differential Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
When Winning 83 306 3.69 2 2 82.65
When Losing 131 684 5.22 2 0 94.83
When Tied 80 344 4.30 3 1 103.32
 
Winning by 15-21 Points 26 75 2.89 0 0 68.61
Winning by 1-7 Points 50 216 4.32 1 1 84.48
Losing by 1-7 Points 45 253 5.62 1 1 92.52
Losing by 15-21 Points 60 254 4.23 1 0 90.64
 
 
Let’s look at how he performs based on margins of victory:
 
Margin of Victory Attempts Yards Yards per Attempt TD Fumbles Rusher Rating
Wins 106 401 3.78 4 2 97.64
Losses 188 933 4.96 3 1 91.47
 
Win by 1-7 Points 139 606 4.36 2 2 82.45
Win by 8-14 Points 73 346 4.74 3 1 108.31
Win by 15+ Points 82 382 4.66 2 0 99.75
 
 
Finally, let’s break down Jones-Drew’s’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 3 4 1.33 2 0 112.87
To Go: 3-7 Yards 7 16 2.29 1 1 49.84
To Go: 8-10 Yards 158 826 5.23 1 2 80.97
To Go: 11+ Yards 4 22 5.50 0 0 82.96
2nd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 12 34 2.83 1 0 121.10
To Go: 3-7 Yards 39 130 3.33 0 0 71.07
To Go: 8-10 Yards 37 158 4.27 0 0 76.21
To Go: 11+ Yards 6 41 6.83 0 0 90.27
3rd Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 15 44 2.93 1 0 121.65
To Go: 3-7 Yards 8 43 5.38 1 0 135.05
To Go: 8-10 Yards 1 1 1.00 0 0 58.26
To Go: 11+ Yards 2 6 3.00 0 0 69.24
4th Down            
To Go: 1-2 Yards 2 9 4.50 0 0 77.47
 
Jones-Drew shows that he is more efficient as a short-yardage running back. With under two yards to go for a first down, he has an average Rusher Rating of 121.16. In the remainder of the situations (more than two yards to go for a first down), his average Rusher Rating is 80.04. A dramatic difference.
 
Now, we can compare that to last week’s featured back Rashard Mendenhall. He performs at a higher level in short to mid-range yardage situations. When there are seven or fewer yards to go for a first down, he has a Rusher Rating of 120.03. Compare that to his Rusher Rating of 79.36 when the Steelers have eight or more yards to go to get a first down. He also has a better Rusher Rating on first and second down than he does on third or fourth down.
 
Mendenhall is a better mid-range back, but his efficiency drops off as the game progresses. Jones-Drew, on the other hand, is better in the second and fourth quarters. However, his efficiency drops when the team is not in a short-yardage situation.
 
 
 
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.