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June 6, 2015

Which Running Back Will Play More Games In 2015?

by Larry Leek

Former Raider, New Cowboy Darren McFadden


Now That DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden are on new teams. With one (McFadden) signed with the other’s (Murray) former team and with Murray now with his former’s arch rival. Many Fans, Especially Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles Fans are curious to see which team will have the best running game and which RB will gain the most yards. But going by these two RB’s history, perhaps the right question to ask is which RB will play more games in 2015.

DeMarco Murray led the league in rushing last year (his 4th season) with 1,845 yds. on 392 hauls, his best season by far. Murray also carried the ball 44 more times last year in the post season for 198 more yds.

Considering Murray’s history and ALL the other RB’s that ever played’s history, There’s two big obstacles that Murray must overcome in order to duplicate last year.

One is the fact that no RB in the history of the NFL that had over 350 carries in a season has ever been able to duplicate that accomplishment again and while we are not talking about who will have the biggest year, BUT who instead will play the most games, That brings me to number two. Murray was injured in each of his first three season’s as a Cowboy missing games in all three and did not play a full season until last year, which “O by the way” just happened to be his final year under contract. Not saying anything, but just saying ūüėČ .

But to make matters POSSIBLY worse for Murray, you have to wonder how playing in the  coooold confines of Lincoln Financial Field behind a much less talented offensive line will effect him after playing his NFL career in AT&T Stadium and last year (His Best) behind that young all pro O-line.


Former Cowboy, New Eagle DeMarco Murray

What ever happened to the old names for stadiums, whose very name’s made the game seem so much more enticing? Names like War Memorial, Veterans Stadium and Soldier Field. But that’s another story….

Now for Darren McFadden who spent his entire 7-year career with the Raiders.

Here you have a RB that’s never played with a very good team, similar in comparison to Murray’s first couple seasons with the Cowboys. ¬†Also in similarity to Murray, McFadden never completed a full season until YES, last year, however McFadden’s numbers ( 155 carries for 534 yds,) wasn’t anywhere close in comparison to Murray’s

McFadden’s most productive season (his 3rd) came in 2010 when he rushed for 1,157 yds. on 223 totes.

But when you look a little deeper you find that the two RB’s health issues and the fact that both players first full 16 game season came last year are not the only things similar about the two RB’s

This is Whats On My Sports Mind about the subject….

When you start looking at a RB’s stats you always have to consider the O-lines they played behind.

For Example: The Cowboys gave up only 29 sacks last year and allowed 43 tackles for a loss, while the Raiders yielded just 28 sacks, (close in comparison), BUT they allowed 57 tackles for loss,14 more than the Cowboys. Which may not seem like a lot but depending on how many yds. were lost and where it occurred on the field could be huge.

One things for sure, the O-line has to give a RB the opportunity to get past the D-line before they can really show what they are capable of, getting stopped behind the line, generally puts a team in a passing situation, killing a RB’s number of carries.

Last year Murray carried the ball 237 times more than McFadden and you would have to multiply McFadden’s total carries in 2014 by three (155*3=465), in order for him to have more than Murray had (436), which includes Murray’s post season carries.

Another very interesting stat on the two, If you take away Murray’s BIG year last year behind that MUCH improved Cowboys O-line and you take both players stats for their first three seasons, (since Murray’s only played four), you will find that they are VERY close in most stats. Here’s how they stack up.

In Murray’s first three seasons he had 542-carries for 2,681 yds. 114-receptions. for 784 Yds. with 16 total TD’s.

In McFadden’s first three season’s he had 440-carries (102 less), for 2013 yds. 97-Receptions for 1037 Yds. with 15 total TD’s.¬†If you take McFadden’s rushing avg. 2013 / 440 = 4.58 YPC X 104 (less carries) =476 yds + 2013 yds. = 2,489 yds. only 192 yds. less than Murray’s 2,681 yds.¬†McFadden has played three more years than Murray, Murray has carried the ball 934 times in his NFL career compared to 1038 carries (104 more) for McFadden. BUT If you take Murray’s 234 avg. carries per year over his four years x the 3 extra yrs. McFadden has played that would give Murray a total of 1,680 carries or 642 more carries than McFadden after 7 yrs.. He will NEVER get that many.

SO if you take all of that into consideration, you can see where both RB’s are VERY close in comparison stat wise. So my next task would be to compare both teams current O-lines, which I would have to currently give the Cowboys a huge edge, then next would be the avg. weather conditions each would be subjected to over next season, another edge to the Cowboys and after considering everything, My Sports Mind tells me that McFadden has the BEST chance at playing more games next season because of the final two factors.

But of course those are just stats and all it really takes is just ONE GOOD HIT to send a player off the field on a stretcher.

So Whats On Your Sports Mind on this subject?



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