Because most rookies don’t get enough credit, we’ll be highlighting some top performances by the NFL’s next generation.
Offense Week 7
Kerryon Johnson, RB. Detroit Lions
Mention rookie running backs in the NFL this season and you’re likely to hear people blurt out Saquon Barkley. Savvy folks might point out Phillip Lindsay in Denver, who’s splitting the carries for the Broncos and still sits just outside the top ten rushers. Quietly among them is Kerryon Johnson, a second round pick out of Auburn, who’s been gaining steam in Detroit. The rookie back has seen more attempts in recent weeks, culminating in a 158-yard showing in week seven, leading the Lions to a win over Miami. Slowly, but surely, Johnson is taking over the rushing responsibilities and providing some much-needed balance to Detroit’s offense. And why not. The rookie is averaging 6.4 yards per carry. That’s a lot. Among the league’s best rushers, only San Francisco’s Matt Breida and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb are out-pacing Johnson on a per carry basis. The Lions are back at 3-3 after this weekend’s win and are fully in the mix for the NFC North if they can continue to win games like they did on Sunday, controlling the ball for seven more minutes than their opponent and staying on the field by keeping ahead of the sticks. Starting out at second and four is a great way to accomplish exactly that.
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