When the Cincinnati Bengals signed running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis last week, they waved a sincere goodbye to Cedric Benson, who walked through a terminal at CVG singing John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane." It was bittersweet. Sure his production steadily declined during the previous two seasons, compounded by 12 fumbles and a mediocre 3.7 yard/rush average, but he was a rock in 2009; a significant reason that the Bengals qualified for the postseason, sweeping the division comprised of Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Pro Football Focus established a statistical formula called the Elusive Rating Signature Stat which isolates the "performance of a runner from his blockers by looking at what he does on each play", applying values such as missed tackles and yards after contact. Jonathan Stewart (81.2) and Fred Jackson (80.7) ranked as the top backs whereas only Thomas Jones ranked worse than the departing Cedric Benson (15.8).
Additionally, according to their information, Benson generated an average 2.06 yards/rush after contact and a total of 21 missed tackles while rushing with the football.
Green-Ellis? From PFF:
Interestingly for Cincinnati, they appear to be trading one player from the Bottom 5 for another, with both Cedric Benson and BenJarvus Green-Ellis posting identical figures in average yards after contact
Green-Ellis, Cincinnati's newest running back, generated an identical 2.06 yards/rush after contract average as Benson last season. Now Green-Ellis did put together a better missed tackle rate than Benson, but both running backs appeared in the bottom 20 of their elusive rating.