How Top Players Are Impacting Their Offenses

Photo is courtesy of vikings.com

We are halfway through the season, and award-winning hopefuls are beginning to emerge.

Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and even Dalvin Cook are some names being thrown around for MVP candidates, and a number of other players are staking their claims for OPOY and DPOY as well.

Rather than making my picks for mid-season award winners, I wanted to analyze how these players are impacting their teams.

When looking at player performance and statistics, what is due to pure skill and talent, and what is due to having a great supporting cast?

I have taken the top-5 statistical players in each of the following categories and determined how many yards they have, what percentage that is of total team yardage, and what percentage of team touchdowns they contribute to.

Quarterbacks

 

Player

Total Yards % Of Team Yardage % Of TDs

Patrick Mahomes

2,858 89.6%

84%

Josh Allen 2,828 83.2%

85.7%

Matt Ryan

2,814 78.8% 61.5%
Russell Wilson 2,806 84.5%

80.5%

Kyler Murray

2,673 79%

82.7%

Looking at the top, there’s no surprise here.

While Patrick Mahomes fatigue hasn’t quite kicked in yet — wait another year or two for that — he seems to be flying more under the radar this year despite leading quarterbacks in yardage halfway through the season.

A more balanced offense can do that to a quarterback, and the storylines of rookie standout Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell joining the Kansas City backfield seemed to have been taking more of the spotlight.

The biggest surprise here is the inclusion of Matt Ryan. Despite the Falcons’ disappointing 3-6 start, Ryan’s 2,814 all-purpose yards rank third among all quarterbacks. 

Running Backs

 

Player

Total Yards % Of Team Yardage

% Of TDs

Alvin Kamara 1036 33%

29%

Dalvin Cook

1031 38% 52%

Derrick Henry

924 30% 28%
Ezekiel Elliott 810 23%

28%

Clyde E-H 810 22%

9.3%

(These numbers do not include Derrick Henry’s stats from 11/12.)

The battle for running back supremacy seems to be evolving into a two-horse race.

Alvin Kamara was the early season standout after taking more snaps lined up as a receiver due to the absent Michael Thomas, but Dalvin Cook has put on a pair of performances that have turned the tide and made the race quite a bit more interesting.

Two straight games of more than 200 all-purpose yards have shot Cook’s stats into the stratosphere — even after missing a game to his peers.

As of writing, Cook currently accounts for 38% of the Vikings’ offensive yardage, and a staggering 52% of touchdowns. His 6.4 yards per touch — second only to Kamara’s 6.6 — is the highest yards per touch number for a Vikings running back this century (for running backs with at least 100 touches).

Yes, that means he is currently performing better than Adrian Peterson’s 2012 MVP season.

Can he keep it up this Monday against a stout Chicago Bears defense?

Wide Receivers

 

Player

Total Yards % Of Team Yardage % Of TDs

Stefon Diggs

813 23.9% 10.7%

D.K. Metcalf

788 23.7% 22.2%
Travis Kelce 769 20.8%

18.7%

Robby Anderson 754 22.6%

4.5%

DeAndre Hopkins 734 21.7%

10.3%

In any other universe, Vikings fans would be smashing their heads against the wall after looking at these stats.

Stefon Diggs forced his way out of Minnesota after complaining about not getting enough targets and now leads the league in receiving yards. But, this is a rare instance of a win-win trade. Buffalo gets an elite receiver and perfect pairing with Josh Allen, and the Vikings get a rookie wide receiver with immense potential in Justin Jefferson.

One of the biggest standouts on this list, however, is second-year receiver D.K. Metcalf.

Metcalf is having a true breakout season, currently second in the league in receiving yards and accounting for nearly a quarter of all Seahawks’ offensive touchdowns. It looks like Russell Wilson has found himself a top target in Seattle.

Rookies

 

Player

Total Yards % Of Team Yardage % Of TDs

Clyde E-H

810 22% 9.3%

James Robinson

805 28.7%

33.3%

Johnathan Taylor

631

19.0% 19.0%
CeeDee Lamb 628 17.6%

14.2%

Justin Jefferson 627 20.5%

10.7%

Vikings fans will be pleased to see Justin Jefferson as fifth amongst all rookies in offensive yardage (not including quarterbacks).

Jefferson has been a pleasant surprise for the team, averaging 93 yards per game since becoming a full-time starter in week three. Not only that, but he is emerging as a true downfield threat, second behind only D.K. Metcalf in total yardage from deep passes.

Elsewhere, undrafted rookie James Robinson is tearing up the field for the Jaguars.

Not only is he sixth in the league in rushing yards, but he is also accounting for nearly a third of all Jaguars’ yardage and touchdowns.