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Comparing Le’Veon Bell’s 2017 Stats To The Other Top 9 NFL Running Backs

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers ultimately place the franchise tag on running back Le’Veon Bell in the coming weeks? It’s hard to say for sure, but if we’ve learned anything about Bell’s 2017 season it’s that it wasn’t as successful as his 2016 season was even though he did register more yards rushing and receiving than he ever has during his career.

Below is a quick look at the rushes and receptions registered by the top 10 running backs in total yards from scrimmage during the 2017 regular season and they are sorted as such (TYDS). While Bell’s 4.0 YPR stat in 2017 wasn’t awful, other running backs such as Todd Gurley, Kareem HuntMark Ingram and Alvin Kamara all easily bested him.

Yards per rush doesn’t tell the whole story, however, so it’s important to look at run success rates. Bell registered a run success rate of 40.2% during the 2017 regular season and once again, Gurley and Kamara bested him in that stat along with Ezekiel Elliott with Hunt and Ingram both well within striking distance.

By now, you should already know that Bell isn’t a running back that’s likely to register many explosive runs of 20 yards or more. He had just 3 such runs during the 2017 regular season with produced a lowly 0.9% rate. If that’s not bad enough, only 5.9% of Bell’s 85 total receptions during the 2017 regular season produced explosive gains of 20 yards or more.

If there’s one thing that Bell is still relatively solid at it’s his ability not to produce zero yardage or less gains on runs. During the 2017 regular season only 15.3% of Bell’s 321 total carries resulted in either no gains or lost yardage.

Bell’s average yards per reception was down in 2017 from 2016, however, as was his average yards per touch.

Below the table of 2017 running back stats is Bell’s 2016 numbers and as you can clearly see, he went backwards in most of those categories outside of yardage.

So, is Bell still one of the top running backs in the NFL? Absolutely he is, but is he that much better than fellow NFL running backs Gurley and Kamara? Is he worth $14.54 million or more a season? That’s the question the Steelers will answer very soon.

2017 NFL RUNNING BACK STATS

PLAYER RU YDS YPR 20% SUC% NOG% REC YDS YPR 20% TT TYDS YPT
Todd Gurley 279 1305 4.7 2.9% 44.4% 21.9% 64 788 12.3 18.8% 343 2093 6.1
Le’Veon Bell 321 1291 4.0 0.9% 40.2% 15.3% 85 655 7.7 5.9% 406 1946 4.8
Kareem Hunt 272 1327 4.9 4.4% 39.7% 18.4% 53 455 8.6 7.5% 325 1782 5.5
LeSean McCoy 287 1138 4.0 4.2% 38.7% 27.5% 59 488 8.3 5.1% 346 1626 4.7
Melvin Gordon 284 1105 3.9 1.8% 37.7% 23.9% 58 476 8.2 6.9% 342 1581 4.6
Alvin Kamara 120 728 6.1 4.2% 47.5% 14.2% 81 826 10.2 13.6% 201 1554 7.7
Mark Ingram 230 1124 4.9 4.8% 39.1% 14.3% 58 416 7.2 5.2% 288 1540 5.3
Carlos Hyde 240 938 3.9 2.5% 36.3% 26.3% 59 350 5.9 0.0% 299 1288 4.3
Ezekiel Elliott 242 983 4.1 2.1% 45.5% 13.6% 26 269 10.3 15.4% 268 1252 4.7
Leonard Fournette 268 1040 3.9 1.9% 34.3% 20.1% 7 44 6.3 28.6% 275 1084 3.9

Le’Veon Bell 2016 Stats

PLAYER RU YDS YPR 20% SUC% NOG% REC YDS YPR 20% TT TYDS YPT
Le’Veon Bell 268 1268 4.9 1.5% 46.0% 12.6% 75 616 8.2 5.3% 336 1884 5.6
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