clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PFF Breaks Down Isaiah Crowell

Pro Football Focus is doing an in-depth series of articles breaking down running backs' "success and usage from a statistical standpoint." Here, we look at what their studies had to say about Browns running back Isaiah Crowell.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Hit in the backfield most often:

Hit in the backfield most often

  • Crowell was hit in the backfield 27.7% of the time, 5th most among running backs with 70 or more carries.
  • In these situations, he averaged 1.1 yards after contact.
  • Interestingly, Ben Tate was 9th on this list, being hit in the backfield 25.8% of the time.
  • Seeing that two of the Browns' backs showed a similar trend, this suggests that the Browns offense -- specifically the offensive line -- likely had a significant part in this.

Most often hit 3+ yards behind the line of scrimmage:

Most Often Hit 3+ Yards Behind the Line of Scrimmage

  • Isaiah was hit 3+ yards behind the line of scrimmage on 9.5% of his rushing attempts, again at a 5th-highest mark.
  • Crow picked up 0.6 yards after contact on these plays.
  • Again, we see Ben Tate at 9th on this list as well (at 8.9%), implicating the Browns offense as a whole to some degree.

Highest percentage of runs for no gain or loss:

Highest Percentage of Runs for No Gain or Loss

  • 25.0% of Crowell's runs were for no gain or a loss. That was 4th most often in the NFL.
  • Ben Tate was 6th most often, with 24.2% of his runs failing to yield positive yardage.

Highest percentage of 10+ yard runs:

Highest Percentage of 10+ Yard Runs

  • Crow had a 10+ yard run on 13.5% of his carries.
  • 54.5% of his total yards came on these 10+ yard plays.
  • PFF's Sam Monson had this to say: "Interestingly, Isaiah Crowell ranked ninth in the highest percentage of 10-plus yard runs, but also was stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage on one-quarter of his carries."

Highest attempts per missed tackle forced:

Highest Attempts Per Missed Tackle Forced

  • Isaiah Crowell only made a defender miss their tackle once every 16.4 rushing attempts, the 4th worst rate in the NFL.
  • Despite his reputation among some fans, Crow is not a tackle-breaking power back.
  • Avoiding tacklers with vision and by making the right cut are not factored in here.

Most pre-contact rushing yards:

Most Pre-Contact Rushing Yards

  • On average, Crowell picked up 2.2 yards before contact on each rushing attempt. That was the 10th highest rate in the NFL last year.
  • He then picked up an average 1.9 yards after contact to bring his total to 4.1 yards per carry.


  • The offensive line had major consistency issues last year and Crow's stats show it with him getting hit behind the line on 27.7% of his rush attempts.
  • Isaiah didn't prove to be a tackle-breaker, making defenders miss their tackles only once every 16.4 rushes and averaging only 1.1 yards after contact when hit in the backfield.
  • He still ripped off 10+ yard runs on 13.5% of his rush attempts.
  • The Browns need improved line play to reduce the frequency of Browns running backs getting hit behind the line.
  • The return of Alex Mack and additions of Cameron Erving and Michael Bowie should both boost line play significantly and improve the depth.
  • Clearly Crow has some big play potential, the key is to get him to the line untouched.