Getty Images

2015 Carry Total For Bengals' Jeremy Hill A Sign Of The Times

NFL's downtrend in carries seen in the Bengals' rushing leader's numbers.

The Bengals' Jeremy Hill finished 10th in the NFL with 223 carries this season.

Why is that significant?

In 2014, the NFL's 10th-leading carrier had 235 rushes. In 2013, the league's 10th-leading carrier had 259.

In 2012, the 10th-place carry total in the NFL was 276. Going further back, to 2011, it was 260. It was 276 in 2010, 247 in 2009, 268 in '08 and 278 carries for the 10th-place back in '07.

It's a case of ever-shrinking carry totals for lead backs, in the wake of the NFL's passing fancy -- the current passing craze.

There's more evidence from where we've come, compared to where we are now with running back carries, exemplified by the league's annual 10th-leading carrier. Some of the comparative numbers are shocking.

In 2006, Minnesota running back Chester Taylor was 10th in the league with 303 carries. The 10th-leading total was 309 carries in 2005.

It was a whopping 318 carries for the 10th-place man in 2003. The Bengals' Hill, with his 223 carries in 2015, would have been 21st in the league in carries in 2003, 95 totes behind 10th place.

In 2006, there were 10 players in the NFL with at least 300 carries. By comparison, from 2013-2015, three whole seasons, there were five players with at least 300.

By further comparison, there have been 10 300-carry rushers since the beginning of  2011.

There was a single ball-carrier with at least 300 rushes this season, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (327).

Bengals Insider Top Stories