TODAY’S SPORTSTAT: NFL’s young guns strut their stuff

By JERRY TAPP

While we are in the midst of the NFL playoffs, here is a trio of interesting stats that you may not know …

1,000-yard rushers

Up until the 2018 regular season, 31 of the 32 NFL teams had at least one runner who had amassed 1,000 or more yards rushing in a season this decade (2010-17). The only team without a 1,000-yard rusher this decade was the Carolina Panthers.

That changed after this past season; all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey (pictured) had 1,098 yards rushing for the Panthers in 2018. All total, there were eight teams that had a 1,000-yard rusher this past season: Saquon Barkley (N.Y. Giants), Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), Todd Gurley (L.A. Rams), Joe Mixon (Cincinnati), Chris Carson (Seattle), Christian McCaffrey (Carolina), Derrick Henry (Tennessee), Adrian Peterson (Washington), Phillip Lindsay (Denver).

Cincinnati and Denver have had the most different players reach 1,000 yards rushing in a season from 2010-18 with four each. Here is a look at how many different 1,000-yard rushers each team has had since 2010 (a player who has had multiple 1,000-yard seasons this decade is counted only once; this is the number of individual players).

Four different 1,000-yard rushers: Cincinnati, Denver

Three different 1,000-yard rushers: Dallas, Miami, New England, Tennessee

Two different 1,000-yard rushers: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, N.Y. Giants, N.Y. Jets, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington

One 1,000-yard rusher: Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Young receivers

Does it seem to you that the elite receivers in the NFL are becoming younger and younger? Well, there are some numbers to back that up.

There were 74 players who had 50 or more receptions during the 2018 regular season. Of those, 41 (55%) were age 25-29. Twenty-one of the 74 (28%) were age 20-24; and 12 of the 74 (16%) were age 30 and older.

Of the 74, 33 (almost half… 45%) were between the ages of 24-26. Fifteen of the 74 players with 50 or more receptions in 2018 were age 25, the most of any age group.

If we bump the stat to players who caught 80 or more passes in 2018, 15 of the 21 players (71%) who caught 80 or more passes were age 25-29; five (24%) were age 20-24, and only one was over the age of 30.

Finally, if we just look at the 11 players who caught 100 or more passes in 2018, there were eight (73%) who were age 25-29, two age 20-24 and only one that was in his thirties.

Just in case you were wondering, here are the 12 players in their 30’s who caught 50 or more passes in 2018: Larry Fitzgerald (age 35), Jordy Nelson (33), Danny Amendola (33), Julian Edelman (32), Jimmy Graham (32), Emmanuel Sanders (31), Jared Cook (31), Demaryius Thomas (31), Michael Crabtree (31), Antonio Brown (30), Golden Tate (30), Doug Baldwin (30).

Aaron Rodgers sets interesting mark

If you are a Packers fan, you know that QB Aaron Rodgers had only two interceptions in the 2018 regular season. You may also know that Rodgers was sacked a total of 49 times last season.

Here’s the stat: Of all QBs who have been sacked 40 or more times in a season, Rodgers becomes the first in NFL history to have less than three interceptions in the same season.

Following are the five QBs with 40 or more sacks and five or fewer interceptions in the same season.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 2018: 49 sacks, 2 INT
Jim Harbaugh, Indianapolis, 1997: 41 sacks, 4 INT
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo, 2017: 46 sacks, 4 INT

Steve Bartkowski, Atlanta, 1983: 51 sacks, 5 INT
Alex Smith, San Francisco, 2011: 44 sacks, 5 INT.

Rodgers also becomes the first QB in NFL history to have 25 or more TD passes, less than five interceptions and 40 or more sacks in a season.

If we adjust the numbers a bit and look at how many QBs were sacked 40 or more times and had fewer than 10 interceptions in a season, that has happened 38 times in league history by 27 different QBs: six of them have reached these two numbers in a season multiple times. The six who reached these numbers multiple times: Aaron Rodgers (four seasons), Russell Wilson (four seasons), Alex Smith (three seasons), Ken O’Brien, Neil O’Donnell and Tyrod Taylor (two seasons each).

Six QBs in 2018 were sacked 40 or more times and had fewer than 10 interceptions: Rodgers, Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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