Collectively, NFL rushing attacks lacking a little punch relative to 2012

AP

It’s very early in the season, but according to one standard metric, NFL offenses are collectively rushing the ball a little less effectively in 2013 than they did in the 2012 regular season.

Through 33 games, teams are gaining 3.91 yards per carry, according to NFL data. By comparison, NFL teams collectively averaged anywhere between 4.21-4.29 yards per carry in the last five seasons.

The last time the NFL collectively averaged 3.9 yards per carry over a full season was 1999.

Overall, teams are running a little less than they did in 2012. Games are featuring 52.2 carries this season; by contrast, games averaged 54.4 rushing attempts a season ago.

The league is also collectively on pace for fewer rushes of 20 yards or more compared to 2012. Entering Sunday’s games, the league is on track to see about 303 rushes of 20 yards or more in 2013 — 52 less than in 2012 and 75 less than 2011, according to NFL.com figures.

If this post precedes a host of big-play rushes on Sunday, fantasy-football owners of the world know who to thank.