Pro Football Focus: Jordan Howard had less help from Bears offensive line in 2018


Jordan Howard has been under the microscope since the Bears hired Matt Nagy, and his lack of production in 2018 didn’t help to quiet the murmurs.

He had a career-low 3.7 yards per carry and 58.4 yards per game in his somewhat disappointing third season, but it may not have been all his fault.

The Pro Football Focus data says Howard got less help from his offensive line than ever before.

He averaged just 1.0 yards before contact per carry in 2018, down from 1.55 in 2017 and 2.23 in his breakout rookie season.

Howard’s yards after contact average remained steady across his three years in the NFL, signaling that he wasn’t doing too much differently even while his final production fluctuated.

He did, however, force fewer missed tackles this season, making only 23 defenders miss. Last year he avoided 34 tackles, and as a rookie, he was in the top 10 among running backs with 40 missed tackles forced.

The PFF data doesn’t totally absolve Howard of blame for his least productive season, but it does indicate there were other factors limiting his success outside of his control.

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