Player Points - Jerome Harrison
By Chase Stuart
May 4th, 2010

Jerome Harrison ended the 2009 season with a bang: in week 15, he rushed for 286 yards. The next week he gained 148 yards on the ground. In the season finale, he rushed for 127 yards. Harrison rushed for 862 yards in 2009, but 65% of those yards came in the last three games of the season. Not surprisingly, no RB has ever rushed for such a high percentage of his season total* in games 14, 15 and 16 of a season. The table below shows the biggest late season surprises during the history of the 16-game schedule, but before the '09 season. The "N+1rk" and "N+1gms" column shows the player's fantasy rank and the number of games in which he played in the following season.

Player
Team
Year
Early
Late
%
N+1rk
N+1gms
Onterrio Smith
MIN
2003
257
322
56
31
11
Johnny Johnson
PHO
1992
341
393
54
6
15
Natrone Means
JAX
1996
238
269
53
23
14
Lee Suggs
CLE
2004
365
379
51
130
8
Barry Word
KAN
1991
351
333
49
38
12
Cedric Benson
CIN
2008
392
355
48
19
13
Larry Johnson
KAN
2004
305
276
48
2
16
Ricky Williams
MIA
2005
393
350
47
--
--
Richard Huntley
CAR
2001
361
304
46
150
3
Mario Bates
NOR
1996
318
266
46
50
12
Terry Allen
BAL
2001
360
298
45
--
--
Greg Pruitt
CLE
1978
527
433
45
89
6
Billy Taylor
NYG
1980
320
260
45
105
8
Tiki Barber
NYG
1997
283
228
45
41
16
Thomas Jones
TAM
2003
352
275
44
16
14
Terrell Fletcher
SDG
1998
309
234
43
50
15
Maurice Morris
SEA
2008
327
247
43
49
14
Joe Morris
NYG
1984
291
219
43
4
16
Adrian Peterson
CHI
2007
291
219
43
100
15
Pete Johnson
CIN
1978
442
320
42
18
16
Frank Gore
SFO
2005
353
255
42
4
16
Fred Lane
CAR
1997
474
335
41
29
14
George Rogers
WAS
1985
642
451
41
7
15
Mosi Tatupu
NWE
1983
341
237
41
40
16
Edgar Bennett
GNB
1994
371
252
40
8
16
Ron Dayne
HOU
2006
365
247
40
31
13
Mike Rozier
2TM
1990
429
288
40
85
11

Here's what Harrison's line would look like:

Player
Team
Year
Early
Late
%
N+1rk
N+1gms
Jerome Harrison
CLE
2009
301
561
65
??
??

There are a few success stories on the list -- Johnny Johnson, Larry Johnson, Joe Morris, Frank Gore, George Rogers and Edgar Bennett turned great finishes into strong seasons the next year. But none of the players really resemble Harrison, as his 65% of late-season numbers tops the list and his 561 yards in the last three games is significantly more than what any other player did.

In fact, very few players have ever had the sort of stretch that Harrison did. O.J. Simpson rushed for 647 yards in the last three games of the 1976 season. Walter Payton rushed for 604 yards over three games in the next year. Ricky Williams rushed for 587 yards over three games in '02, Earl Campbell rushed for 583 yards in three games in the middle of the '80 season, and Mike Anderson rushed for 577 yards in a three-game stretch during the 2000 season for the Broncos. And that's it -- those are the only other guys to rush for 560 or more yards over a three game stretch since 1960.

Cleveland already had running back James Davis on the roster; Davis tore his labrum in 2009 and was a nonfactor, but could be a threat to steal touches this season. But then the Browns traded for Broncos running back Peyton Hillis and drafted Tennessee star Montario Hardesty. Most doubt Harrison's ability to hold up as an every-down player for a long stretch, and it looks like the Browns are among the doubters. But I'll always remember Harrison's stretch last December for as dominant as it was surprising.

*Minimum 500 rushing yards

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.