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Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams Has An Explosive Past

The Pittsburgh Steelers will more than likely need three solid starts at the beginning of the 2015 season out of veteran running back DeAngelo Williams unless starter Le’Veon Bell has his suspension reduced via the appeal process.

Even though he’s now on the wrong side of 30, Williams doesn’t have the typical amount of mileage on him that is often associated with veteran running backs his age. Because of that, he should still be able to produce a few explosive plays in the Steelers offense in 2015 as long as he can stay healthy.

Even though Williams only played in six games last season with the Carolina Panthers, you might be surprised to know that he and Chris Johnson both have the most explosive touchdowns (20 yards or more) by running backs since 2006, which was Williams’ rookie season.

Here’s something else to consider about Williams’ career big play ability. Since 2006, only four other running backs who have 600 or more touches have a better explosive play percentage. As you probably guesses, Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are two of those players.

History proves that explosive play differential is a big part of winning and losing football games and while Bell is sidelined for the Steelers, I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t expect Williams to produce two or three plays of 20 yards or more during his absence.

Sortable Running Back Explosive Play Stats 2006-2014 (minimum 600 touches)

PLAYER TCH RSH RSH YDS RSH AVG RSH TD REC REC YDS REC AVG REC TD TOT TOT YDS TOT AVG TOT TD PER TCH %
Adrian Peterson 2279 94 3355 35.7 22 17 526 30.9 1 111 3881 35.0 23 4.87%
C.J. Spiller 911 32 1140 35.6 6 12 361 30.1 2 44 1501 34.1 8 4.83%
Justin Forsett 826 32 968 30.3 3 6 181 30.2 0 38 1149 30.2 3 4.60%
Jamaal Charles 1562 47 1838 39.1 13 24 763 31.8 5 71 2601 36.6 18 4.55%
DeAngelo Williams 1655 58 1983 34.2 20 15 537 35.8 6 73 2520 34.5 26 4.41%
Darren Sproles 1383 21 642 30.6 2 40 1283 32.1 10 61 1925 31.6 12 4.41%
Jerious Norwood 640 15 600 40.0 4 12 374 31.2 2 27 974 36.1 6 4.22%
Brian Westbrook 1160 26 697 26.8 6 22 741 33.7 6 48 1438 30.0 12 4.14%
Le’Veon Bell 662 12 406 33.8 2 15 484 32.3 0 27 890 33.0 2 4.08%
Chris Johnson 2194 72 2610 36.3 21 16 561 35.1 5 88 3171 36.0 26 4.01%
Darren McFadden 1252 35 1143 32.7 5 15 436 29.1 1 50 1579 31.6 6 3.99%
LeSean McCoy 1761 47 1535 32.7 12 22 686 31.2 1 69 2221 32.2 13 3.92%
Frank Gore 2642 76 2462 32.4 13 26 716 27.5 3 102 3178 31.2 16 3.86%
Arian Foster 1618 40 1292 32.3 5 22 768 34.9 3 62 2060 33.2 8 3.83%
Mike Tolbert 710 13 339 26.1 0 14 407 29.1 2 27 746 27.6 2 3.80%
DeMarco Murray 1106 35 1108 31.7 2 6 145 24.2 0 41 1253 30.6 2 3.71%
LeGarrette Blount 759 25 833 33.3 7 3 96 32.0 0 28 929 33.2 7 3.69%
Jonathan Stewart 1188 36 1125 31.3 7 7 195 27.9 1 43 1320 30.7 8 3.62%
Matt Forte 2260 47 1600 34.0 8 33 1023 31.0 4 80 2623 32.8 12 3.54%
LaDainian Tomlinson 1754 40 1355 33.9 12 22 683 31.1 4 62 2038 32.9 16 3.53%
Ray Rice 1806 35 1292 36.9 6 28 888 31.7 4 63 2180 34.6 10 3.49%
Michael Turner 1670 54 1872 34.7 8 4 142 35.5 1 58 2014 34.7 9 3.47%
Derrick Ward 634 18 546 30.3 3 4 145 36.3 0 22 691 31.4 3 3.47%
Felix Jones 841 16 559 34.9 5 13 411 31.6 1 29 970 33.5 6 3.45%
Joique Bell 613 9 289 32.1 1 12 352 29.3 0 21 641 30.5 1 3.43%
Ahmad Bradshaw 1314 35 1097 31.3 3 10 325 32.5 0 45 1422 31.6 3 3.42%
Fred Jackson 1673 29 900 31.0 4 28 868 31.0 2 57 1768 31.0 6 3.41%
Alfred Morris 913 28 771 27.5 6 3 70 23.3 0 31 841 27.1 6 3.40%
Donald Brown 750 14 535 38.2 3 11 335 30.5 1 25 870 34.8 4 3.33%
Willie Parker 1029 30 920 30.7 2 4 99 24.8 2 34 1019 30.0 4 3.30%
Pierre Thomas 1227 16 464 29.0 6 24 654 27.3 2 40 1118 28.0 8 3.26%
Ryan Grant 1049 27 880 32.6 8 7 236 33.7 1 34 1116 32.8 9 3.24%
Brandon Jacobs 1188 30 902 30.1 4 8 276 34.5 2 38 1178 31.0 6 3.20%
Fred Taylor 755 20 756 37.8 4 4 114 28.5 1 24 870 36.3 5 3.18%
Reggie Bush 1831 30 980 32.7 8 27 834 30.9 4 57 1814 31.8 12 3.11%
Marshawn Lynch 2272 44 1451 33.0 10 26 703 27.0 1 70 2154 30.8 11 3.08%
Maurice Jones-Drew 2287 51 1753 34.4 13 19 600 31.6 1 70 2353 33.6 14 3.06%
Doug Martin 655 15 574 38.3 5 5 194 38.8 1 20 768 38.4 6 3.05%
Chris Ivory 659 19 688 36.2 5 1 23 23.0 0 20 711 35.6 5 3.03%
Steven Jackson 2753 56 1781 31.8 13 27 819 30.3 1 83 2600 31.3 14 3.01%
Danny Woodhead 602 3 87 29.0 3 15 410 27.3 1 18 497 27.6 4 2.99%
Marion Barber 1179 26 706 27.2 3 9 290 32.2 1 35 996 28.5 4 2.97%
Eddie Lacy 607 11 373 33.9 1 7 261 37.3 2 18 634 35.2 3 2.97%
Rashard Mendenhall 1183 25 816 32.6 2 10 245 24.5 0 35 1061 30.3 2 2.96%
Larry Johnson 1049 24 821 34.2 0 7 225 32.1 1 31 1046 33.7 1 2.96%
Ladell Betts 645 7 155 22.1 0 12 295 24.6 0 19 450 23.7 0 2.95%
Julius Jones 924 19 600 31.6 5 8 250 31.3 1 27 850 31.5 6 2.92%
Chester Taylor 991 19 665 35.0 4 9 270 30.0 1 28 935 33.4 5 2.83%
Knowshon Moreno 1035 13 332 25.5 2 16 445 27.8 3 29 777 26.8 5 2.80%
Kevin Smith 721 12 336 28.0 1 8 239 29.9 2 20 575 28.8 3 2.77%
Tim Hightower 651 13 429 33.0 3 5 112 22.4 0 18 541 30.1 3 2.76%
Michael Bush 914 18 587 32.6 5 7 243 34.7 0 25 830 33.2 5 2.74%
Ryan Mathews 1069 24 683 28.5 7 5 152 30.4 0 29 835 28.8 7 2.71%
Josh Cribbs 852 6 171 28.5 0 17 493 29.0 3 23 664 28.9 3 2.70%
Clinton Portis 1078 22 642 29.2 3 7 248 35.4 0 29 890 30.7 3 2.69%
Ricky Williams 770 14 466 33.3 4 6 208 34.7 1 20 674 33.7 5 2.60%
Beanie Wells 653 11 376 34.2 1 6 160 26.7 0 17 536 31.5 1 2.60%
Laurence Maroney 703 11 372 33.8 4 7 203 29.0 0 18 575 31.9 4 2.56%
Stevan Ridley 679 15 393 26.2 1 2 44 22.0 0 17 437 25.7 1 2.50%
Ronnie Brown 1296 17 572 33.7 1 15 378 25.2 1 32 950 29.7 2 2.47%
Mark Ingram 635 14 387 27.6 3 1 23 23.0 0 15 410 27.3 3 2.36%
Cadillac Williams 893 17 447 26.3 3 4 88 22.0 1 21 535 25.5 4 2.35%
Rashad Jennings 694 8 300 37.5 3 8 193 24.1 0 16 493 30.8 3 2.31%
Willis McGahee 1646 28 957 34.2 10 8 247 30.9 1 36 1204 33.4 11 2.19%
Maurice Morris 827 15 497 33.1 3 3 92 30.7 1 18 589 32.7 4 2.18%
Ben Tate 614 12 370 30.8 2 1 23 23.0 0 13 393 30.2 2 2.12%
Trent Richardson 727 4 107 26.8 2 11 244 22.2 1 15 351 23.4 3 2.06%
Warrick Dunn 805 13 424 32.6 2 3 94 31.3 0 16 518 32.4 2 1.99%
Leon Washington 1128 13 458 35.2 5 9 319 35.4 0 22 777 35.3 5 1.95%
Shonn Greene 1065 16 435 27.2 4 4 115 28.8 0 20 550 27.5 4 1.88%
Thomas Jones 1754 26 876 33.7 6 6 142 23.7 0 32 1018 31.8 6 1.82%
Peyton Hillis 840 7 208 29.7 2 8 284 35.5 0 15 492 32.8 2 1.79%
Cedric Benson 1652 24 680 28.3 5 4 146 36.5 0 28 826 29.5 5 1.69%
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 1061 13 391 30.1 1 4 119 29.8 0 17 510 30.0 1 1.60%
Justin Fargas 810 12 366 30.5 0 1 21 21.0 0 13 387 29.8 0 1.60%
Rudi Johnson 635 8 175 21.9 1 2 67 33.5 1 10 242 24.2 2 1.57%
Jamal Lewis 1113 15 476 31.7 2 2 59 29.5 0 17 535 31.5 2 1.53%
LenDale White 671 9 307 34.1 1 0 0 0.0 0 9 307 34.1 1 1.34%
Joseph Addai 1286 9 246 27.3 1 7 238 34.0 4 16 484 30.3 5 1.24%
Edgerrin James 917 5 131 26.2 1 1 26 26.0 0 6 157 26.2 1 0.65%
DeShaun Foster 623 4 114 28.5 1 0 0 0.0 0 4 114 28.5 1 0.64%
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