<
>

Ward, Shiancoe join select company

12/23/2008 - NFL

It's not often that Giants running back Derrick Ward and Hall of Famer Barry Sanders are mentioned in the same sentence. That changed Sunday night, equally because of what Ward did and didn't do.

Ward ran for 215 yards on 15 carries against the Panthers, the fewest carries needed to accrue 200 yards or more in a game in NFL history. That's impressive, but what makes Ward's day even weirder is that he didn't score a touchdown.

That's the second-most rushing yards in a game in NFL history for a player who didn't score a touchdown. The guy who scored the most rushing yards in one game without scoring a touchdown? Sanders, who ran for 237 yards against the Buccaneers in Week 11 of the 1994 season.

Ward ended up with 21 fantasy points on the day, one of the best performances for a running back without scoring a touchdown since 1995. Ricky Watters, who had 22.9 points in Week 6 of 1995, owns the best.

Ward wasn't the only one who had a historic week. Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe has achieved notoriety this year through somewhat unsavory means, but his performance against the Falcons on Sunday was nothing short of extraordinary. Shiancoe ripped apart Atlanta for 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns, catching all seven passes thrown to him.

According to our numbers, that's the second-best performance of any tight end since 1995. His 81 DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) were second only to the 87 DYAR garnered by Shannon Sharpe in Week 6 of the 1996 season against the Chargers. Sharpe caught all 13 of the passes sent his way, picking up 153 yards and three touchdowns along the way. (You can read about the best and worst tight end games since 1995 in this article.)

Here are the rest of the best and worst players of Week 16, according to the Football Outsiders DYAR statistics.





Bill Barnwell is an analyst for FootballOutsiders.com.