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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Rewind'10: NFC North tackle-breakers

By Kevin Seifert

Earlier this week, we reviewed the tackling proficiency (or lack thereof) of NFC North defenses last season using Football Outsiders' annual charting project. Now let's check out how Football Outsiders rated each NFC North offense's ability to break tackles.

As a reminder, broken tackles in this subjective analysis are defined thusly: "Either the ballcarrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ballcarrier jukes him out of his shoes. If the ballcarrier sped by a slow defender who dived and missed, that didn't count as a broken tackle."

To me, the rankings listed in the chart make intuitive sense. The Minnesota Vikings have two of the NFL's best open-field runners at their positions, tailback Adrian Peterson and receiver Percy Harvin, and those two players largely accounted for the Vikings' No. 13 overall ranking. There are many talented running backs and receivers in the NFC North, but not many of them are known for breaking tackles.

Some notes and thoughts on players listed in the individual rankings: