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Titans Steelers recap: Running back success rates

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Every week we will look at how "successful" each of the Titans running backs is. The results from Pittsburgh are really good.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Looking at the success rate (as defined by Football Outsiders) for the running backs gives us better insight on how they did on each individual carry than just looking at the end of game stats.  So what defines a successful run?  I am so glad you asked:

  • On first down, the runner must gain 40%+ of the yardage necessary to reach a first down.
  • On second downs, the runner must gain 60%+ of the remaining yardage necessary for a first down.
  • On third and fourth downs, the runner must gain 100%+ of the remaining yardage necessary for a first down.
  • So here is a look at Chris Johnson's carries:
    Cjsuccesspit_medium
    To put that in perspective, CJ's success rate last year was 41%.
    Here is a look at the human battering ram, Jackie Battle:
    Battlesuccesspit_medium
    63% is an insane number.  A quick glance at this Football Outsiders post shows that the highest success rate in 2012 for rushers with more than 100 carries was 55%.  Obviously take that with a grain of salt on 8 carries.
    Shonn Greene led the pack percentage wise on the day before he went down with an injury.
    Greenesuccesspit_medium
    No reason to believe he cannot be at 100% for the rest of the year, right?

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