Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ball Hogs—NFL Quarterbacks Running for More TDs Since the Common Draft

 By John Turney
Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Cam Newton, all are weapons in the run game, some of them especially are good in goal line situations. 

So far this season quarterbacks have score about a quarter of all rushing touchdowns, the most since the merger, and we suspect the most since the days when the single-wing tailbacks were the passers and the key runners, though we didn't go that far back.

Here is the chart with 1967-70, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, then 2000-2020.
We included 1972 because we knew that there would be a spike that year due to Greg Landry and Bobby Douglass's years we remember off the top of our head. From 1967-69 Roman Gabriel was THE Rams short-yardage and goal line game scoring 15 on the ground, the most of any quarterback in the pro leagues.  

As can be seen, there was a jump in 2011 with the arrival to the NFL of Cam Newton and it has trended up, in general since then, with a dip in 2014.
Josh Allen has 25 the last three seasons, Cam Newton has 69 in his ten seasons in the league, Lamar Jackson has 19 in the last three years. Kyler Murray is not a power guy, but his quickness makes him a scoring threat from any distance. 

Certainly, quarterbacks being multi-dimensional is not new, but it seems to have hit critical mass this year. 


  1. Its going to be interesting seeing which pocket passing QB goes to the Patriots next year. I doubt they will keep Newton unless he is willing to be a backup.

    Allen is getting better on his accuracy but its hard to believe an MVP like Jackson didnt make the PB the following year. Without injury of course, has that ever happened ?

    I hope Andrew Luck comes out of retirement and resumes his career.
    If the Patriots dont entice him, hopefully someone else will, though they would have to obtain the rights from Indy. I could be wrong but just dont think he wants to play for Irsay.

    Will Matt Ryan, Stafford, Rivers, Brees, Brady, or Big Ben retire ?
    With most of these QBs in the postseason, its unlikely but the Patriots could be very attractive for Ryan, Stafford, Carr and other veterans.

    Nick Foles could be done as well unless the Bears move on from Trubiskey.

    I hope Minshew can go in for Jax and win a ballgame these last two. He doesnt want to lose out to Lawrence and can audition for a new team.

  2. I would be interested to see the 'average distance' of QB rushing TDs over the years. It seems like all the rules to protect running QBs have made zone read plays more enticing, and the QBs now are scoring from further out. No offense to Roman Gabriel, but 24 of his 30 rushing TDs were for 3 or fewer yards (12 of 15 from 1967-1969). That doesn't really move the needle for me.