“Facts are stubborn issues, but data are pliable.” — Mark Twain
Perfectly, at times, they are. At other times, stats reveal truisms we can not get absent from. For instance, if I were state evidently for the report that Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans is the NFL’s most effective jogging back again in terms of speed, electric power, and the capacity to make yardage immediately after call, you might appear back again with a number of other names: Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, Dalvin Cook dinner of the Minnesota Vikings, or Ronald Jones of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for instance. And you’d have sound conditions for every back again.
For every Professional Football Concentrate, and like the postseason, Chubb received 883 of his 1,212 rushing yards just after get hold of in 2020. Cook attained 1,039 of his 1,515 speeding yards that way, and Jones (a highly underrated energy runner) acquired 802 of his 1,117 yards right after the initial defender attempted to end him.
But Derrick Henry lives in an fully various galaxy immediately after get in touch with. How do we know? Here’s how we know: In excess of the past two seasons, Henry doesn’t just direct the NFL in speeding yards with 3,567 in the regular season and 4,052 if you consist of the postseason, but he also has a lot more yards following speak to — 3,130 — than any other NFL back again has in complete hurrying yards. Prepare dinner ranks second with 2692, Chubb ranks third with 2561, and Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys ranks fourth with 2,336. Visualize getting 438 far more yards immediately after make contact with in a two-calendar year time period than any other running back gains in rushing yards no issue the scenario.
It is really abnormal, at greatest. In 2018, Elliott led the league in yards after get in touch with with 1,083, and there ended up eight backs who exceeded that whole in pure rushing yards. In 2017, Kareem Hunt of the Chiefs led the league with 861 yards following contact, and there were 21 backs who exceeded that in total speeding yards. In 2016, it was Elliott the moment once again with 1,018 yards right after contact, and 12 backs exceeded that overall in complete dashing yards. And so on.
So, though Henry was ideal-recognized in 2020 for starting to be the eighth back again in NFL heritage to exceed 2,000 speeding yards in a common time (2,027), his most outstanding statistic arrived following he was initial contacted by these regrettable defenders who tried — and unsuccessful — to deliver him down.