Brian suggested that Spiller should get between 10-15 carries a game and 3 to 5 receptions a game. I wanted to play out this idea of getting Spiller more involved and see what it would look like.
So I compiled the offensive plays for all four games up to this point. I utilized the existing statistics from those games and plugged in this ideal usage of Spiller and subsequently subtracted out Marshawn Lynch altogether.
So far our running backs have a total of 72 rushing attempts through 4 games. This number does not include runs by Trent or Fitz. That averages out to 18 carries a game. That is a sad number considering your backfield is supposedly your position with the most talent. If Spiller were to take 13 of those carries each game he would be shouldering 72% of the running back load. That would leave Freddy with the remaining 5 carries a game. I think most would agree that is too low a number for Freddy.
In the passing game we have a total of 61 completions and 107 passing attempts. That averages out to a paltry 15 receptions a game. If spiller were to have taken 4 of those receptions a game he would be accounting for 26% of our passing game as well. That would leave 11 receptions to be split amongst every other possible pass catcher. Again I think most would agree that splitting 11 receptions among everyone else wouldn’t be ideal.
Brian’s idea of getting Spiller more involved would certainly happen in this scenario. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think those previous numbers articulate what he envisioned. So I played out another scenario. This time an ideal one, in hopes to better understand what would have to happen on offense to better involve C.J. while still utilizing Freddy, Evans and the receivers, as well as our seemingly non-existent tight ends. Here is what I came up with.
I averaged the NFL statistics for both rush attempts and pass completions. The average number of pass completions a game is 20. The average number of rushes a game is 26. I gave Spiller the same numbers: 13 rush attempts and 4 receptions. That left 13 rush attempts. 3 go to Fitz because we know he’s going to run, and the remaining 10 go to Freddy. I could live with those numbers as an average.
Out of the 20 receptions to be had a game, Spiller gets 4. That leaves 16 receptions to be had by everyone else. I would love to see Evans average 6 receptions a game leaving 10 receptions to be split among the rest. That would also be a number I could live with.
If this were to play out in reality we could be a top 10 rushing team this year if our average yards per rush increased from 4.7 yards a carry to 5 yards a carry and a top 5 rushing team with an average of 5.5 yards per carry. In the passing game, if we were to increase our yards per completion (not attempt) from 8.64 yards to 11 yards per completion we could be a top 15 passing team.
Are we a bad team right now? Definitely. But with a little better execution and a few more plays made each game, statistically speaking, we could be respectable and show the improvement we all are looking for in what is obviously a rebuilding year.