Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sims Leads NFL RBs in Yards Per Touch

Stat Shots presented by Air Force Reserve: Bucs second-year RB Charles Sims averaged more yards when he touched the football in 2015 than any other back in the NFL, nearly breaking a team record in that category.

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There were 54 running backs in the NFL in 2015 who logged at least 100 scrimmage touches – that is, carries and receptions. None of them did more per touch with those opportunities than Charles Sims of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In his first full NFL season after missing much of his 2014 rookie campaign with an ankle injury, Sims ran 107 times and caught 51 passes for a total of 1,090 yards. That's an average of 6.9 yards per touch, the highest in the NFL among running backs in 2015. Detroit's Theo Riddick was the only other back to top 6.5 yards per touch.

Most Yards Per Touch, NFL Running Backs, 2015

Player

Team

Rush

Yds.

Rec.

Yds.

Touch

Yds.

Avg.

Charles Sims

TB

107

529

51

561

158

1090

6.9

Theo Riddick

DET

43

133

80

697

123

830

6.7

David Johnson

AZ

125

581

36

457

161

1038

6.4

Shane Vereen

NYG

61

260

59

495

120

755

6.3

Danny Woodhead

SD

98

336

80

755

178

1091

6.1

In terms of total yards from scrimmage, the Buccaneers had the most prolific duo of running backs in the NFL by a significant margin, with Sims (1,090) and Martin (1,673) combining for 2,763 yards. Martin pursued the NFL's rushing title right up until the final day of the season, eventually finishing 83 yards behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. That means the Bucs have still not had a rushing champion in team history, but Sims did give the team another rare category lead. He is just the second player in franchise history to lead the league's running backs in yards per touch. Here are the leaders from the last 20 years which include the other Buccaneer on the list, Michael Pittman.

Annual Yards Per Touch RB Leaders, 1996-2015

Player

Year

Team

Touch

Yds.

Avg.

Charles Sims

2015

TB

158

1090

6.9

Le'Veon Bell

2014

PIT

373

2215

5.9

Darren Sproles

2013

NO

124

824

6.6

Darren Sproles

2012

NO

123

911

7.4

Rashad Jennings

2012

JAX

120

413

3.4

Darren Sproles

2011

NO

173

1313

7.6

Darren Sproles

2010

SD

109

787

7.2

Justin Forsett

2009

SEA

155

969

6.3

Kevin Faulk

2008

NE

141

993

7.0

Jerious Norwood

2007

ATL

131

890

6.8

Jerious Norwood

2006

ATL

111

735

6.6

Michael Pittman

2005

TB

106

736

6.9

Brian Westbrook

2004

PHI

250

1515

6.1

Duce Staley

2003

PHI

132

845

6.4

Charlie Garner

2002

OAK

273

1903

7.0

Larry Centers

2001

BUF

114

780

6.8

Richie Anderson

2000

NYJ

115

916

8.0

Marshall Faulk

1999

STL

340

2429

7.1

Amp Lee

1998

STL

108

842

7.8

Barry Sanders

1997

DET

368

2358

6.4

Kimble Anders

1996

KC

114

730

6.4

You'll note that both Sims and Pittman are listed with averages of 6.9 yards per touch. Take it to another decimal point and you find that Pittman narrowly held on to the team record he set in that category in 2005. Pittman averaged 6.94 yards per touch; Sims comes in at 6.90 a decade later. What's interesting is how thoroughly those two seasons outpaced all the other contenders in franchise history.

Most Yards Per Touch, Buccaneers Running Backs, Single Season

Player

Year

Rush

Yds.

Rec.

Yds.

Touch

Yds.

Avg.

M. Pittman

2005

70

436

36

300

106

736

6.94

Charles Sims

2015

107

529

51

561

158

1090

6.90

James Wilder

1982

83

324

53

466

136

790

5.81

Mike Alstott

1996

96

377

65

557

161

934

5.80

Bobby Rainey

2014

94

406

33

315

127

721

5.68

James Wilder

1981

107

370

48

507

155

877

5.66

James Wilder

1987

106

488

40

328

146

816

5.59

Warrick Dunn

1997

224

978

39

462

263

1440

5.48

James Wilder

1989

70

244

36

335

106

579

5.46

Gary Anderson

1990

166

646

38

464

204

1110

5.44

Sims's mark wasn't just the best of 2015, it was the top average by a running back in the last three seasons. It's the best yards-per-touch figure for an NFL running back since Darren Sproles went for 7.4 per touch with the New Orleans Saints in 2012. Sims's 2015 average is one of the 15 best of the NFL's last 20 years.

Most Yards Per Touch, NFL Running Backs, Single Seasons, 1996-2015

Player

Year

Rush

Yds.

Rec.

Yds.

Touch

Yds.

Avg.

Richie Anderson, NYJ

2000

27

63

88

853

115

916

8.0

Amp Lee, STL

1998

44

175

64

667

108

842

7.8

Darren Sproles, NO

2011

87

603

86

710

173

1313

7.6

Darren Sproles, NO

2012

48

244

75

667

123

911

7.4

Darren Sproles, SD

2010

50

267

59

520

109

787

7.2

Marshall Faulk, STL

1999

253

1381

87

1048

340

2429

7.1

Danny Woodhead, NE

2010

97

547

34

379

131

926

7.1

Kevin Faulk, NE

2008

83

507

58

486

141

993

7.0

Jamaal Charles, KC

2010

230

1467

45

468

275

1935

7.0

Larry Centers, WAS

2000

19

103

81

600

100

703

7.0

Charlie Garner, OAK

2002

182

962

91

941

273

1903

7.0

Michael Pittman, TB

2005

70

436

36

300

106

736

6.9

Marcel Reece, OAK

2012

59

271

52

496

111

767

6.9

Charles Sims, TB

2015

107

529

51

561

158

1090

6.9

Larry Centers, BUF

2001

34

160

80

620

114

780

6.8

By running for 529 yards and gaining another 561 on receptions, Sims became just the fourth running back in Buccaneer history to surpass 500 yards in both manners in the same season. James Wilder first did it in 1984 (1,544 rush, 685 rec.), followed by Warrick Dunn in 1999 (616, 589) and Michael Pittman in 2003 (751, 597). Sims is the first to do so while averaging at least 4.5 yards per carry and at least 10 yards per reception. In fact, that's not a terribly common feat league-wide. Sims's 2015 season is just the 30th to qualify since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and just the 12th in the last 20 years.

NFL RBs, 500 Rush Yards, 4.5 YPC, 500 Rec. Yards, 10.0 YPR, Single Season, 1996-2015

Player

Team

Year

Rush Yds.

Avg.

Rec. Yds.

Avg.

Charles Sims

TB

2015

529

4.9

561

11.0

Le'Veon Bell

PIT

2014

1361

4.7

854

10.3

LeSean McCoy

PHI

2013

1607

5.1

539

10.4

Matt Forte

CHI

2010

1069

4.5

547

10.7

Darren McFadden

OAK

2010

1157

5.2

507

10.8

Chris Johnson

TEN

2009

2006

5.6

503

10.1

Tiki Barber

NYG

2004

1518

4.7

578

11.1

Charlie Garner

OAK

2002

962

5.3

941

10.3

Tiki Barber

NYG

2000

1006

4.7

719

10.3

Marshall Faulk*

STL

2000

1359

5.4

830

10.3

Marshall Faulk*

STL

1999

1381

5.5

1048

12.1

Garrison Hearst

SF

1998

1570

5.1

535

13.7

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers uncovered an explosive new option in their offense in 2015. Given his per-touch results this past fall, Sims could be one of the league's best backfield dual threats for years to come.

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