I have been getting Twitter and Facebook comments all week lauding the performance of Ryan Torain against the Rams. Some are saying that Tim Hightower and even Roy Helu should get used to sitting on the bench as the “All-Torain Vehicle” is warmed up and ready to go.
To which I say, not so fast.
Yes, Torain did look great in racking up 135 yards in his season debut in St. Louis. He ran hard and showed some speed and elusiveness that we haven’t seen very often in the past.
However, Torain has not been one to consistently follow up one good performance with another. Let’s look at his top five rushing games last year and see what he did the following week.
Week 15, 65 yards vs. Jaguars—Rushed for 61 yards on 18 carries against the Giants, average of 3.4 yards a carry.
Week 4, 70 yards vs. Eagles—Rushed for 40 yards on 16 carries against the Packers, average of 2.5 yards per carry.
Week 6, 100 yards vs. Colts—Rushed for 125 yards on 21 carries against the Bears, average of 5.9 yards per carry.
Week 7, 125 yards vs. Bears—Rushed for 10 yards on nine carries against the Lions, average of 1.1 per carry. Note: Played only first half, sustained hamstring pull just before halftime.
Week 13, 172 yards vs. Bucs—Rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries against the Cowboys, average of 4.3 yards per carry.
So Torain did follow up the first 100-yard game of his career with another one. But the week after that he was struggling even before he got hurt the following week against Detroit.
His monster game, the 172-yard effort against the Bucs, was follow up with an OK performance in Dallas, although one could argue that Torain getting 11 carries while Rex Grossman dropped back to pass 48 times was not the most brilliant playcalling of Kyle Shanahan’s career.
Torain’s breakout game for the Redskins came in that game in Philadelphia where he mowed over Eagles left and right on the way to 70 solid yards on the ground. He followed that up with a so-so game against the Packers.
It is likely that Shanahan will call Torain’s number early and often on Sunday, given the state of the Eagles’ run defense. We will see how Torain responds.