Phillip Lindsay’s case for Rookie of the Year

Phillip Lindsay has made a strong case for Rookie of the Year and deserves your vote. But the media probably doesn’t see it that way.

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a big fan of the Denver Broncos. I don’t have much claim to the fandom, other than the fact that I was born in Colorado, and they were the first team I chose to be a fan of for that very reason. Part of why I like the Denver Broncos so much is that they have a lot of history with low-drafted or undrafted players finding great success. They’re constantly underrated, and some of their greatest players are snubbed for Hall of Fame consideration year after year.

The Orange Crush defense of the 80s. Rod Smith. Terrell Davis. Shannon Sharpe. Chris Harris Jr. Now running back Philip Lindsay is just yet another snub waiting to happen.

With Terrell Davis’s blessing, the former CU Buff wears #30 as he currently leads the NFL in yardage per carry at 6.1 yards despite running behind a banged up offensive line. He’s established the Broncos as a potent rushing team and posted 8 touchdowns to help the Broncos to an even 6-6 record. Lindsay has helped put points on the board for a team without a consistently elite passing attack. Not only is his 154 carries for 937 yards good for #4 in the league, he’s doing it with almost 40 fewer touches than New York Giants rookie, Saquon Barkley. And its happening because Lindsay is consistently breaking off huge plays that lead to scores.

https://twitter.com/Broncos/status/1069325312431808512

Yet, the league favorite remains the 2018 second overall draft  pick, Saquon Barkley, who is in the middle of an impressive debut season himself.

Barkley is obviously a very talented football player, but there is question for his value to the franchise this year. He was drafted high, expected to do well, and pretty much meets the expectations of a running back taken with the second overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft by the Giants. He’s an athletic beast.

But at 4-8, I’m asking: where is the rest of his team? Is Barkley the reason that they are winning the games they do? How absolutely valuable has Saquon Barkley been to the Giants 2018-2019 NFL campaign thus far? The numbers don’t exactly favor Barkley. In my head, the Giants could be 4-8 right now with almost any other RB in their backfield.

To put it another way: Saquon Barkley has not picked up the slack of others to help the Giants win more, despite his statistical success.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Phillip Lindsay (#30) running past Michael Johnson #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The numbers support Phillip Lindsay; the Denver Broncos are winning BECAUSE of Lindsay. If the Rookie of the Year award weren’t a popularity contest driven by the narrative the NFL wants to push, Phillip Lindsay would be winning this award 9/10 times. He is picking up that slack for an injured offensive line, a journeyman quarterback in Case Keenum, and a beleaguered defense also struggling with injuries. First down after first down, #30 and co. have been draining clocks and single-handedly changing the perception of the Denver Broncos as a ground-and-pound team ready to slug it out for 4 quarters.

In that vein, #30 Phillip Lindsay deserves your vote for NFL Rookie of the Year.

matt doesn’t have all the numbers because he honestly cannot be bothered to look that deep into the stats. But by the eye test, Saquon Barkley probably actually contributed meaningful yardage and touchdowns during like, 1 win. Against the Bucs.

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