Walking out of Pittsburgh’s disastrous game against the Cleveland Browns where the team lost 13-10 in a dismal effort by the offense, it was clear to see that RB Jaylen Warren was the offense’s lone bright spot on the afternoon. After all, Warren recorded 12 touches for 145 total yards, including a 74-yard touchdown run to open up the second half and give Pittsburgh an actual shot in the contest.
Warren was graded as Pro Football Focus’ best overall running back in Week 11, being as efficient as you could ask for by averaging 14.3 yards per carry and 12.1 yards per touch on the game. According to Ryan Heath of Fantasy Points, Warren has been the NFL’s most efficient running back in the league this season… and it isn’t even close.
As you can see in the chart above, Warren is in the top right corner of the graph away from the rest of the competition, which is exactly where you want to be. The chart compares yards from scrimmage per touch to missed tackles forced per touch, meaning that Warren is the leader in the clubhouse in both statistics. For comparison’s sake, teammate Najee Harris sits near the bottom right in the same graph, representing himself alright in missed tackles forced per touch, but is one of the worst backs in the study when it comes to yards from scrimmage per touch.
Warren currently has 80 carries for 493 yards and three touchdowns on the season along with 34 receptions for 234 yards. He currently leads the Steelers with 727 scrimmage yards and ranks first in the NFL in yards per carry according to Statmuse at 6.2 YPC with a minimum of 6.25 rush attempts per game. Yards per carry isn’t a sticky stat as it can be inflated by big runs like the one Warren had on Sunday, but it goes to show how the second-year runner brings more juice to the table compared to his counterpart in the backfield, ranking ahead of the likes of Raheem Mostert, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Christian McCaffrey.
According to Pro Football Reference, Warren is also breaking tackles at a high rate, having 11 broken tackles on the year, equating to 7.3 rush attempts per broken tackle. He currently has 154 rush yards after contact, being much more than just a speed back who can run between the tackles and finish runs hard like a bowling ball with his compact frame.
Warren has been a bright spot on offense where there really hasn’t been any for the Steelers in recent weeks, spearheading a rushing attack that has dominated on the ground in three straight games. The Steelers will need Warren to remain hyper-efficient with the ball in his hands as the rest of the offense tries to figure things out, leaning on him, even more, to make big plays as a runner and receiver down the stretch.