- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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In terms of breaking tackles, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the best in the league last year and NFC South running backs fared very well in general in this category.
Broken tackles aren’t an official stat, but Football Outsiders charted every game last year and they define a broken tackle as an instance in which the ball carrier escapes from the grasp of a defender or fakes out a defender who is in good position to make a tackle.
Using those guidelines, Football Outsiders determined that the Bucs broke tackles on a league-high 8.1 percent of their offensive plays last season. The Panthers broke tackles on 6.5 percent of their plays. The Falcons were at 6.2 percent and the Saints at 6.1 percent.
A large chunk of Tampa Bay’s broken tackles came from running back LeGarrette Blount. He ranked third in the league by breaking tackles on 16 percent of his touches. New Orleans running back Chris Ivory led the league at 16.9 percent.
Blount and Ivory didn’t have as many carries as Atlanta’s Michael Turner and he finished tied for third in broken tackles by running backs with 38. Blount had 33 broken tackles and Ivory 27. Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart broke 25 tackles.