PFF's Elusive Rating: Where our Steelers RB's Rank in 2010

Pro-Football-Focus has developed the Theory of Elusivity, which they have quantified with the Elusive Rating (ER).  Essentially, it is a ranking where they try to rule out the effectiveness of the OL in front of the running backs.  The statistic takes yards after contact and broken tackles and creates a grading system out of them.  The equation is (MT rush + MT rec)/(Att + Rec)*(YCo/Att*100), where MT = missed tackle, Rec = reception, Att = rush attempt, and YCo = yards after first contact.  Seems reasonable to me, but before we jump into the rating, lets take a look at the components.

Yards after contact is an interesting statistic, that I have only seen kept by PFF.  It is important because it is a result of several things that cannot be quantified like the ability to break tackles, the ability to fight for extra yards while wrapped up, etc.  It is too bad that PFF is only a few years old, because I bet someone like Jerome Bettis would have a ton of yards after contact because of his unmatched size, power, and quick feet.  Anyway, below I have listed the top 5 in both YCo/Att (green cells) and YCo% (blue cells) (the percent of total yards that are YCo) as well as all Steelers RBs and Ben Roethlisberger (why not?).  Players need a minimum of 50 carries to be in my top 5.

Player Team Att. Yds YCo YCo/Att. YCo%
 Derrick Ward Texans 51 315 198 3.88 62.86
LeGarrete Blount
Buccaneers 201 1007
739
3.68 73.39
 Rashard Jennings
Jaguars 84 459
298
3.55 64.92
Darren McFadden
Raiders 222 1157
766
3.45
66.21
 Chris Ivory
Saints 137 718
455
3.32 63.37
Chester Taylor
Bears 112 267
212
1.89
79.40
Marshawn Lynch Seahawks 165
573
440
2.67
76.79
Pierre Thomas Saints 83
269
201
2.42
74.72
Cadilac Williams Buccaneers 125
437
326
2.61
74.6
Donald Brown Colts 129
497
370
2.87
74.45
Rashard Mendenhall Steelers 385
1280
993
2.55
64.53
Mewelde Moore Steelers 33
99
96
2.91
96.97
St. Isaac Redman Steelers 28 143
107
3.82
74.83
Jonathan Dwyer Steelers 9
28
26
2.89
92.86
Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers 55
233
73
1.33
31.33

 

MeMo has the best YCo% in the entire league, albeit on a relatively smaller sample size.  Also, PFF says that since they have been keeping an eye on YCo% that is by far the highest they have seen.  Moving on, Redman has the second best YCo/Att. in the entire league, but again on a small sample size.  Most importantly, Mendenhall is on par with the rest of the league, sporting average numbers in both categories.  I think he could definitely bring his numbers up if he avoided spinning and tried to fall forward more often.

Missed  tackles are quite similar to yards after contact in that you do not see them recorded often.  However, if you are a running back and you are breaking tackles, you are doing something right.  A lot of what Adrian Peterson does stems from his uncanny ability to break tackles. For the record, PFF calls them "Missed Tackles", because that includes broken tackles as well as ankles broken.  For this table, I will collect the top 10 in missed tackles a long with the Steelers above.

Player Team Att. Rush MT
Rec. Rec. MT
Total MT
Adrian Peterson
Vikings
283
46
36
7
53
Michael Turner
Falcons
334
46
12
5
51
 Fred Jackson
Bills
222
42
31
9
51
LaGarrette Blount
Buccaneers 201
50
5
0
50
Ahmad Bradshaw
Giants
276
42
47
8
50
Chris Johnson
Titans
316
44
44
5
49
Arian Foster
Texans
327
31
66 18 49
Rashard Mendenhall
Steelers
324
42
23
6
48
Peyton Hillis
Browns
270
31
61
11
42
Darren McFadden
Raiders
222
30
47
12
42
Mewelde Moore Steelers 33
4
27
6
10
St. Isaac Redman Steelers 28 11
9
3
14
Jonathan Dwyer Steelers 9
0
0
0
0
Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers 55
1
0
0
1

 

Nice, Mendenhall breaks into the top 10 for missed tackles, which does not surprise me.  When he sweeps to either side he easily becomes any defenders nightmare.  One thing that sticks out to me is the amount of missed tackles per touch that Redman has.  The guys in the top 10 are making people miss tackles at about 12-18% of the time, whereas Redman does it about 38% of the time.  That is very impressive, especially when you consider that most of his carries are on short yardage situations.  I have a feeling this is going to sky rocket his ER.

Finally, we can move onto the Elusive Rating after getting a feel for our data.  As you can see in PFF's article, LaGarrete Blount has the best ER of 89.8 by a considerable margin.  Second place is Fred Jackson with 58.5 and then Ryan Torain with 58.0.  If you want a good laugh, you can take a look at Ray Rice's ER of 11.8, which is the 4th worst in the entire NFL.  Anyway, here are the Steelers ratings (note my rating for MeMo is different because I rounded to the hundredth):

Player Att. Yds YCo YCo/Att. YCo% Rec. MT Elusive Rating
Rashard Mendenhall 324 1280 826 2.55 64.53
23 48 35.27
Mewelde Moore 33 99 96 2.91 96.97
27 10 48.48
St. Isaac Redman 28 143 107 3.82 74.83
9
14 144.49
Jonathan Dwyer 9 28 26 2.89 92.86
0
0 0
Ben Roethlisberger
55 233 73 1.33 31.33
0
1 2.41

 

There you have it, according to this Elusive Rating, Redman is the best RB in the world.  That is no news to us here at BTSC.  Anyway, PFF puts MeMo in their top 10 for ER, which is impressive.  Mendenhall is not in the top 10, but he is still above average.  Like I said before, I think he could bring this number up if he spins less and squares up more.  Furthermore, I think with a better RG who can pull and swing for screens he can get into open space more and that is where he shines.  Anyway, maybe somehow a Steelers coach will see these numbers and realize that Redman should be getting more opportunities.

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