The 29 carries running back Rashard Mendenhall had on Sunday night against the Chargers, put him over the 50 carry mark finally. I have compiled a list of most of the current starting running backs in the league and compiled their stats of each ones first 50 carries for a quick comparison of where Mendenhall ranks. Of the 28 backs I have listed, Mendenhall ranks #10. Surprisingly he is ahead of the pace of superstars LaDanian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson at the same point in their careers.
This numbers still do not take in situational football like down and distance and short yardage like goal line carries. A running back could have had a 1 yard touchdown run and that would mean he had a 1 yard YPC for that run. Regardless most are pretty much on the same playing field albeit a small cross section of numbers. Also to be considered is that Mendenhall has only started 2 games. One against a top notch Ravens defense and one against a struggling and injured Chargers defense.
In closing, it is still too early to tell if Mendenhall is indeed a star in the making, but his performance against the Chargers showed he does have vision and runs down hill very good. He also showed signs of running violent between the tackles. I will revisit these numbers at the 150 carry mark as it should give a little clearer picture stats wise.
Running backs first 50 carries