Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keep giving the ball to Ryan Torain

What's the best way to keep the pressure off of Donovan McNabb? Continuing to run the ball with Ryan Torain.

In Week 6 against the Colts, the 24-year-old Torain had his first career 100-yard game in the NFL. He rushed 20 times for 100 yards, averaging five yards per rush. He broke plenty of tackles, and he also added two touchdowns for good measure. And last Sunday against the Bears, Torain arguably had an even better game, getting the ball 21 times and gaining 125 yards (six yards per rush). He failed to score a touchdown and also fumbled twice (losing one of them), but he ran extremely hard and again ran through several tackles.

Torain's performance against the Colts could be viewed as not so impressive simply because the Colts allow a ton of yards on the ground. They're currently ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (137.3). The Bears, on the other hand, do a solid job of stopping the run. Right now, after Torain's impressive game, the Bears are ranked fifth in rushing yards allowed (89.3). The only other running back this season to rush for over 100 yards against the Bears is the Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw (23 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD) in Week 5. Like Torain, Bradshaw also lost a fumble.

The Redskins seem committed to the run -- Torain has received at least 20 carries in each of the last two games -- and they're actually more efficient at running the ball right now than passing. As long as Torain holds onto the ball, which hopefully doesn't develop into a weekly worry, he should be due for another huge game against a Lions run defense that is allowing 138.8 yards per game on the ground (ranked 27th).

And in case you're curious about how Torain stacks up to the rest of the league, his 381 rushing yards rank 19th in the NFL, and his 4.6 yards-per-carry average of 4.6 is tied for 12th. Not bad for a guy who wasn't even activated until Week 3.

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