Sunday, January 1, 2012
Passing league? NFC West runs strong
By Mike Sando
Four of the 13 players with at least 1,000 yards rushing this season call the NFC West home.
All four run with power.
Two in particular -- Arizona's Beanie Wells and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch -- have racked up yardage after contact. Both rank among the NFL's top four in total yards after contact. And among those players with at least 1,000 yards, Wells and Lynch rank high in percentage of yards gained after contact (see chart, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information).
Week 17 gives us one last chance to see Wells, Lynch and St. Louis' Steven Jackson in action this season. Along with San Francisco's Frank Gore, they give the NFC West more 1,000-yard rushers than any division. The AFC North, AFC South and AFC West have two apiece. The AFC East, NFC East and NFC South have one apiece. The NFC North has none after injuries sidelined Matt Forte (997 yards) and Adrian Peterson (970).
Six other backs are within 150 yards of 1,000 this season: Shonn Greene (999), Chris Johnson (986), Fred Jackson (934), Michael Bush (911), DeMarco Murray (897) and Rashard Mendenhall (890). Murray is sidelined by injury.