We talked a little while back about how proficient the Minnesota Vikings' defense was at tackling opposing ball carriers. It turns out that the folks from Football Outsiders have figured out that the Vikings are pretty good at breaking tackles, too.
According to Football Outsiders, out of the 983 offensive plays that the Minnesota Vikings ran in 2010, 59 of them involved a broken tackle, meaning that it happened on around six percent of the Vikings' plays. That gives them the highest such mark in the NFC North.
There are two reasons that the Vikings rank so high in the category of broken tackles. . .running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin, two of the NFL's best open-field runners. Peterson ranked eighth in the entire National Football League in broken tackles in 2010, according to FO. In 320 touches last year, Peterson was credited with 35 broken tackles, giving him a broken tackle on nearly 11% of his runs. Yeah, I know, it seemed like a lot more, but it was apparently only 10.9% of the time.
Harvin, on the other hand, led all NFL wide receivers in broken tackles with 13 broken tackles in 89 touches. His 14.6% broken tackle percentage wasn't the highest in the league, but he did have the highest number of broken tackles.
Those two guys account for 48 of the Vikings' 65 recorded broken tackles during the 2010 season. Every offense needs a couple of guys that can keep fighting and keep the chains moving, and Minnesota is lucky enough to have two of the very best in the league in that department. Hopefully they can help the Vikings' offense start their way down a more prominent path in 2011.