Breece Hall, NY Jets, Broncos
Breece Hall, New York Jets, Getty Images

Breece Hall is on a historic pace for the New York Jets

The New York Jets don’t just have a star in Breece Hall – they might have an all-time great.

At least, that’s the pace Hall is on through the first 12 games of his career. Hall is enjoying one of the best starts to a career in NFL history for a running back – even with an ACL tear occurring in the middle of it.

With his 177-yard outburst against the Denver Broncos, Hall has now recorded 850 rushing yards on 134 carries in his career, giving him an average of 6.34 yards per carry. That is the best yards-per-carry average posted by a running back through his first 12 career games (with a minimum of 100 carries) since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, according to Pro Football Reference.

Yeah, he’s been that good.

Here is a look at the top of the list:

  1. Breece Hall: 6.34 (850 yards on 134 carries)
  2. Franco Harris: 6.32 (960 on 152)
  3. Phillip Lindsay: 6.08 (937 on 154)
  4. Adrian Peterson: 5.86 (1,278 on 218)
  5. Bo Jackson: 5.79 (898 on 155)

That’s some tremendous company for Hall, who broke a record that was previously held by Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris. Phillip Lindsay is an outlier, but Harris is in the Hall of Fame, Adrian Peterson will be there soon, and Bo Jackson played like a Hall of Famer during his short career.

Breece Hall affirmed his game-changer status against Denver

Less than one year removed from an ACL injury that had everyone wondering how long it would take for him to return to peak form – or if he ever would – Hall is playing even better than he did as a rookie. Hall is now averaging 7.2 yards per carry in 2023, topping his already-dazzling 5.8 yards per carry in 2022.

Among running backs with at least 30 carries, Hall ranks second in YPC this season behind only De’Von Achane (12.1 on 38 carries), and among those with at least 50 carries, Hall is first.

As Robert Saleh promised, the Jets took Hall off the pitch count in Denver, fully unleashing him for the first time this season. After averaging 8.0 carries per game over the first four games, Hall received a career-high 22 carries, and he made the most of them. Hall ran for a career-best 177 yards (8.0 yards per carry).

The Jets’ offensive line did a great job in the run game against Denver, but what made Hall’s performance truly special is the fact that he still created plenty of his own yardage on top of the strong blocking.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hall ran for 75 RYOE (Rushing Yards Over Expectation) against Denver, which is an average of 3.4 RYOE per carry. The player tracking system of Next Gen Stats estimated that Hall should have been expected to average 4.6 yards per carry based on the quality of the blocking on each of his plays, but he actually averaged 8.0 yards per carry, suggesting he vastly exceeded expectations.

On the year, Hall’s total of 179 RYOE ranks second behind Achane, as does his average of 3.3 RYOE per carry. The two AFC East stars are in their own stratosphere. Behind Hall, the second-best RB in RYOE per carry among those with at least 30 carries is Bijan Robinson at 1.6 – less than half of Hall’s mark.

Here are the leaders among RBs in RYOE per carry this season (min. 30 carries), per Next Gen Stats:

  1. De’Von Achane: 6.7 (38 carries)
  2. Breece Hall: 3.3 (54)
  3. Bijan Robinson: 1.6 (67)
  4. Zack Moss: 1.3 (89)
  5. Raheem Mostert: 1.3 (58)
  6. Christian McCaffrey: 1.1 (99)
  7. Khalil Herbert: 1.0 (51)
  8. James Cook: 0.9 (61)
  9. James Conner: 0.8 (68)
  10. Kenneth Walker: 0.7 (63)

Simply put: Hall is playing like a Hall of Famer. Whether he keeps it up remains to be seen, but right now, that is the level he is playing at.

Against Denver, Hall displayed the complete package. Breakaway speed, explosiveness, elusiveness, vision, and patience were all featured in a masterclass performance.

It would be stunning enough if Hall had this performance as a perfectly healthy player. Doing it less than one year after an ACL tear – especially on the same exact field where it happened – makes it nothing short of legendary.

The Jets have a megastar on their hands.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at] - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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