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A Crash Course In NFL Rushing Stats
Hot Takedown

Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Nov. 24, 2015), we bring you the latest edition of “Stat School,” just in time for you to enjoy alongside Thursday’s Thanksgiving football feast. Last time, Statman, aka Neil Paine, talked to us about NFL quarterback stats. This week, it’s the art of rushing. Neil takes us through three rushing-centric statistics: raw yardage, yards per carry and expected points added.

Stat one: Raw yardage

The number of yards a player runs for in a game.

Stat two: Yards per carry

The average number of yards a player gains per rushing attempt. Yards per carry is calculated by dividing the number of yards by the number of attempts.

Stat three: Expected points added

An estimate of the scoring margin generated by a player’s performance, based on a model predicting how many more points his team was expected to score after each play than before the play began.

Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Listen closely and you can school your football-obsessed uncles while chowing down on turkey and stuffing.


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Chadwick Matlin is a senior editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Kate Fagan is a writer for espnW and a regular panelist on the FiveThirtyEight sports podcast Hot Takedown.

Neil Paine is a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.

Joe Sykes produces our weekly sports podcast Hot Takedown.

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