NFL 2016: Importance of the Ground Game
NFL 2016: Importance of the Ground Game

A tough, reliable running game allows an offense to command a game's pace. In the majority of games, it can also control the outcome.

Last season, NFL teams with a 100-yard rusher in a game posted a 73-23 record for a .760 winning percentage. That rated higher than clubs with a 100-yard receiver (120-96, .556) or a 300-yard passer (69-63, .522).

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson led the NFL in rushing (1,485 yards) for the third time in his career. The Vikings were 7-0 last year in games when Peterson rushed for more than 100 yards. In 2016, Peterson will look to continue to be the focal point of the Minnesota attack.

"I appreciate everything he does for us," says Vikings head coach MIKE ZIMMER about Peterson. "His leadership, the way he comes out to practice and the way he prepares. Everything. I'm impressed with him and the way he does things all the time."

Adrian Peterson Overview

Over the past five years, teams have compiled a 381-152-5 record (.713) when a player has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. By comparison, clubs with a 100-yard receiver have a .553 winning percentage (508-410-2), while offenses with a 300-yard passer have won 52.7 percent of their games (528-290-1).

The winning percentage of teams with a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver or 300-yard passer over the past five seasons:

Team Winning Percentage, Past Five Seasons

100-Yard Rushers 100-Yard Receivers 300-Yard Passers
Season W-L Pct. Season W-L Pct. Season W-L Pct.
Source: NFL


NFL Running Back Rankings

Rank Player Team
Source: NFL Fantasy Football Rankings
1David JohnsonCardinals
2Todd GurleyRams
3Lamar MillerTexans
4Adrian PetersonVikings
5Ezekiel ElliottCowboys
6Jamaal CharlesChiefs
7Mark IngramSaints
8Eddie LacyPackers
9Devonta FreemanFalcons
10LeSean McCoyBills


The NFL's Top 20 Rushing Leaders


The NFL's Top Big Play Ball Carriers

NFL Football: "NFL 2016: Importance of the Ground Game"