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Kyren Williams moves past Christian McCaffrey for top spot in 2 key stats

Rams running back Kyren Williams is one of the most productive players in NFL when healthy

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Though the Los Angeles Rams are 5-6 and knocking on the door to the playoffs this season, you could argue that Sean McVay’s team is downright good when Kyren Williams is healthy and getting the football. Not only are the Rams 4-3 when Williams has been active this season, they’ve also enjoyed three NFC West blowouts (63-23 margin in wins over Cardinals, 30-13 over Seahawks) and he’s rushed for over 100 yards in three of his past four games.

With 36 carries for 301 yards in his last two starts, Kyren Williams moved past Christian McCaffrey for rushing yards pre game and now leads the NFL at 85.6. Even though McCaffrey has played in four more games than Williams, the Rams running back’s numbers are legitimate and still far better than most of his counterparts in the league other than McCaffrey.

He’s top-3 in more category than one and many of the league’s top backs have missed games.

Rushing yards per game

In the top-10 for rushing yards per game, Williams, McCaffrey, and David Montgomery are the only ones higher than 78 yards per game. Half of the top-10 backs have played in nine or fewer games, so Williams at seven games isn’t far behind anyone else.

Of the 10 players in this list, Williams is first in yards per attempt, first in success rate, and has as many touchdowns as five others despite playing in the fewest games.

Williams has another three touchdowns as a receiver, giving him nine on the year, putting him in a tie for the sixth-most touchdowns in the NFL and the fourth-most among running backs.

Touchdowns

McCaffrey leads the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 11 games, followed by Raheem Mostert with 15 in 11 games. Jalen Hurts has rushed for 11 touchdowns, Tyreek Hill and Gus Edwards have 10 each, then Williams, Montgomery, Mike Evans, and Josh Allen have nine. (Passing touchdowns are not included.)

At his pace of nine touchdowns in seven games, Williams could be up there with McCaffrey and Mostert if he had a full plate of opportunities. Williams and McCaffrey are the only players in the NFL with at least six rushing and at least three receiving touchdowns.

Yards per Carry

Kyren Williams is averaging 5.3 yards per carry, which ranks second in the NFL among running backs behind Jaylen Warren of the Steelers, who is at 5.8.

Players who have fewer attempts will of course increase their odds of a high yards per carry average, which is partly why Warren and Williams are the only players above 5.2. (Josh Dobbs is averaging 5.6 yards per carry on a respectable 70 attempts.)

The other running backs over 5.0 yards per carry are Mostert, Jahmyr Gibbs, James Conner, and Bijan Robinson. McCaffrey is at 4.9 and he has 193 rushing attempts, most in the NFL.

But Williams is at 113 attempts, which is not nothing and is 20 more carries than Warren.

It is also more carries than Gibbs, Conner, and even Lamar Jackson, who has 112 and averages 5.1 YPC. Williams is helped by the fact that in his last two games alone, both against Arizona, he has 36 attempts for 301 yards, which is almost 9 yards per attempt.

He has not averaged more than 4.1 YPC in any other game this season. But also to his favor: Williams only has one fumble this year and didn’t fumble as a rookie in 2022.

Success Rate

Kyren Williams leads the NFL with a 61.9% success rate, beating out Hurts, Montgomery, Latavius Murray, and Edwards in the top-5. And Williams doesn’t even have “the tush push” like Hurts, which significantly raises his success rate for third and fourth down attempts.

Last season’s rushing leader on the Rams, Cam Akers, had a 52.7% success rate and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. He scored seven rushing touchdowns, no receiving, only had 117 receiving yards in 15 games, and fumbled twice. Williams was dealing with injury from the outset of the season, so that’s one reason he couldn’t take over duties any sooner than this.

Now that he’s healthy—Williams called himself “200%” on Monday—he could be here to stay. And he could be very successful if he runs on everyone like he did on the Cardinals.