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Javonte Williams continuing to thunder and roll through defenses

As the Denver offense has begun to click, so too has rookie running back Javonte Williams.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Javonte Williams started off the season a little slow, but he’s been an instrumental cog in the machine of the Broncos’ offense for the last few weeks and his metrics have started to match his ability.

He posted an outstanding game against Dallas this past weekend, and it made PFF take notice.

Also per PFF’s charting, Javonte Williams is now tied with Nick Chubb for the most forced tackles in the NFL at 35 (!).

The NFL’s biggest trend in recent years has been Next Gen Stats tracking, enabled by Zebra Technologies’ on-field tracking. They release all sorts of interesting analytical data that measure player performance.

This week, they released their statistics and tracking data across the league through Week 9. They dropped a rather fascinating nugget of information about Javonte Williams.

Javonte Williams gained +36 RYOE (career-high), as he eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. He now has +90 RYOE on the season, good for 4th most. Williams ran for 101 yards on 12 attempts when rushing outside the tackles.

RYOE, or Rush Yards over Expectation, is exactly what it says. Put simply, it is the difference between actual rushing yards and expected rushing yards on an individual play or series of plays. The expected yards is calculated using down, distance, yard line, offensive line performance, and defensive alignment/box counts. These factors are used to find this “expected value” on a probability basis.

In English, Javonte Williams gained 36 more yards than he was expected to on Sunday given the surrounding situation. This season, he’s gained 90 more yards than expected, 4th-most in the NFL!

His other metrics are starting to back it up. On Football Outsiders, Javonte Williams has increased to 25th in DYAR and 25th in DVOA. While that might seem like a low ranking, keep in mind he now ranks ahead of some notable backs in both categories like Alvin Kamara, D’Andre Swift, Christian McCaffrey, Josh Jacobs, and the recently resurgent Cordarrelle Patterson.

As he gains more and more experience, I’m enthused and almost giddy to see how good Javonte Williams can become.

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