This story on Buccaneers.com on Wednesday pointed out that the team had received a whopping 73.3% of their scrimmage yards in 2012 from players who were new to the team. That’s the highest such percentage for any team in franchise history, by a wide margin.
Well, it turns out that it also a significant figure in terms of the league at large. Here are the top three teams in 2012 who got the highest percentage of scrimmage yards (rushing plus receiving) from newcomers:
1. Tampa Bay…73.3%
The Colts had a rookie lead the team in rushing (Vick Ballard) and big rookie contributors in the passing game in WR T.Y. Hilton and TE Dwayne Allen. They also had a rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck, and while his passing yards don’t figure into this equation, he did add 255 rushing yards to the mix.
The Redskins got the vast majority of their rushing yards from RB Alfred Morris and QB Robert Griffin III, both rookies. The percentages were lower on the receiving side, although Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan were new contributors. Washington would surely have been higher on the list had Garcon not missed six games.
It’s not terribly surprising to see those three teams at the top of the list, given where many of the league’s top-producing offensive rookies landed in 2012. Still, the Bucs’ percentage is noteworthy even beyond this past season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official stat-keepers from the NFL, the Bucs’ mark of 73.3% of scrimmage yards from newcomers in 2012 was the highest percentage for any team since the 1989 Detroit Lions. That team, stunningly, got 95.1% of their yards from newcomers. That’s a little easier to understand when one realizes that ’89 was the rookie season for a certain running back by the name of Barry Sanders.