I’ve done some number crunching here to see who the best goal line running back’s have been over the last 3 years. Well, not exactly goal line, these numbers are all from the 5 yard line in. I’ll call it goal line because that sounds better and true goal line numbers are insanely small and make for a poor data set (like I know anything about math). Overall these numbers aren’t exactly indicators of what a player will do the next time he gets inside the 5 yard line but that area of the field is so insanely important that whatever happens there has been dissected by the coaching staff over and over. So anyway, let’s look at some of this stuff.
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First off we have the bell cow of all bell cows over the last 3 years, Michael Turner. He has 64 carries inside the 5 over the last 3 seasons and has taken 25 of those into the end zone for a TD every 2.56 carries. That ranks him 30th overall in TD rate but that’s not bad since he has a ton more attempts than most of the guys ahead of him. Of course all this work has worn the big-butted man down some. But he will be the goal line guy until he falls apart.
Adrian Peterson leads all running backs in goal line touchdowns because he is a man among boys. I hope he comes back sooner than later.
Matt Forte is an amazing talent but God-awful at the goal line. He’s had 33 attempts inside the 5 and only got into the end zone 3 times. I’m not going to lay that all on Forte but it’s still not good. Last season he only had 5 attempts and couldn’t get into the end zone on any of them while Marion Barber had 8 attempts and found pay dirt 4 times. Barber is gone but Michael Bush will take Barber’s place and he’s a much better player than Barber was last season. Bush saw a lot of goal line work in Oakland and finished his last three seasons with 15 touchdowns in 36 attempts. That’s better than Forte. Dur. Bush will be the goal line back.
For a smaller back Ahmad Bradshaw is quite efficient near the goal line. In 24 attempts he has 15 touchdowns. His foot problems are troublesome but with Brandon Jacobs gone he should at least see more work if healthy. He’s risky but every running back this season is to some degree.
Darren McFadden also has foot problems and also is quite efficient near the goal line. He of course hasn’t had many opportunities but he’s had 6 touchdowns in 7 attempts which is quite good. Of course he is an injury risk, but his upside is insane times insane which is twice the insanity.
Beanie Wells showed that he could play through injuries last season. His overall goal line numbers are good as well with 13 TDs in 25 attempts. Ryan Williams will be back this season but he still isn’t 100 percent and Wells played well enough to be the starter and goal line back once again.
In Kansas City we have two running backs in Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. I don’t think I can will Charles to get the goal line carries but he has been pretty good at it with 7 touchdowns in 12 attempts for a nice TD per 1.71 attempts. Hillis of course has had more attempts with 9 touchdowns in 28 tries for a less good touchdown every 3.11 attempts.
Rashard Mendenhall: I was slightly amazed that Mendy had the third most goal line carries over the last 3 seasons and third most TDs. Of course he is hurt and could miss a lot of next season and our man Isaac Redman has a paltry 1 TD in 9 attempts, but 9 attempts is still fairly small. He should at least get his opportunities.