The Cleveland Browns are struggling mightily to run the ball in 2011. Taking a look at last year’s numbers through game 6 of the season, you can see the Brown’s # 1 back, and Madden 12 cover Peyton Hillis’s numbers are down across the board. Madden Curse? I doubt it.
Last year, this is what most teams dealt with on a week in, week out basis:
Peyton Hillis by the numbers 2010:
Now, a look at this rough start to the 2011 campaign.
But running back stats don’t tell the full story. How has the line performed this year vs last? I took a look at the game film, and visited some of the best sites out there that gauge, and score offensive lineman and here is what I found:.
According to FootballOutsiders.Com, the Browns offensive line rated 17th in 2010, but rated 4th in Power success (Percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer.) This year, the Brown’s have dropped from 17th to 26th overall, and the stat that blows you away is their drop from 4th in power success, to 30th… Let that one marinate.
This seems to be a team issue, not just a Hillis issue. According to profootballfocus.com, LT Joe Thomas, and RT Tony Pashos are both having solid years, but the guards are another story. LG Jason Pinkston is having an awful season in both running and pass blocking, and RG Shawn Lauvao isn’t much better. Even the solid center Alex Mack is having a down year.
This is great news for the Seahawks. The Seahawks strength on defense, just happens to be stopping the run. The Brown’s may have to wait another week to get this running game back on track.