Wildcard Weekend's Fun NextGen Stats

By Rhys Knott

With the wind chill factor the temperature in Kansas City was below the temperature at the north pole on Saturday. So it’s no surprise nobody was moving too quickly in that game. Even indoors at Ford Field and AT&T Stadium nobody really clocked the sort of speeds they were hitting in September. But there are still some fun NextGen stats from the Wildcard round. And maybe even some clues about who will win this week. 

NextGen Fastest Carries

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7 of the fastest 10 carries this week came from wide receivers. No surprises there, the surprises come from the fact that there’s a tight end and a linebacker in the top 10. And THE fastest carry of the week came from a safety. 

The Packers Darnell Savage clocked the fastest carry this week. He hit 20.82 as he intercepted Dak Prescott. Savage’s interception extended the Packers’ lead to 27 points with under 2 minutes left in the first half! 

The rest of the top 5 are all receivers, a bit predictable then? Well, not really. Unless you predicted a rookie would be in second place. And if you did then you were probably thinking it would be Puka Nacua. But it isn’t, it’s a Buccaneer. Trey Palmer scored his 4th touchdown of his career with a 56-yard reception that seemed to surprise the Eagles defenders. It shouldn’t have, he did run the fastest 40-yard dash of any receiver at the combine. 

The third fastest speed came in that same game, but on the other side of the field this time. DeVonta Smith hit 20.45 mph on a 55-yard reception of his own. Smith racked up 148 receiving yards on 8 catches. Try to remember that the next time someone tells you the Eagles missed AJ Brown. What Philly missed was a run game, they ended the game with 42 rushing yards people. That’s the problem right there (well that and they can’t tackle). T.J Edwards, Kyzir White, Marcus Epps and Javon Hargrave all left in free agency, and they were the Eagles’ top tacklers in 2022. 

KaVontae Turpin seems to be in theses top 5’s most weeks yet the Cowboys only gave him 23 touches with the offense. They’ve mostly used him on special teams. His top speed this week of 20.43 mph came on a 47-yard kickoff return. 

Tyreek Hill recorded the fifth fastest time this week. Even though he was playing in a polar vortex that looked cold watching on TV 4,363 miles away he still clocked 20.29 mph. He was also seventh on the list! 

NextGen Remarkable Rushes

The two most remarkable rushes this week were both made by quarterbacks. And they’ll meet each other this weekend! Unsurprisingly Josh Allen is first with his 52-yard touchdown run that effectively buried the Steelers. That run should have gone for just 10 yards. Allen sure chose a good time to break out his longest run of the season.   

Second in the list is a bit more of a surprise, Patrick Mahomes isn’t technically a running quarterback. And with his history of ankle injuries Andy Reid’s heart must skip a beat when he takes off. But Mahomes turned what should have been a 5-yard gain into a 28-yard run. 

Normal service resumes for the rest of the top 5, it’s all running backs from here in. Aaron Jones picked up 27 yards on a carry that was expected to go for just 7 yards! 

The Texans have been conspicuous by their absence so far, but here’s Devin Singletary. The veteran running back only averaged 4.4 yards per touch against a tough Browns offense, but he did break off a 29-yard run that should have only gone for 9. 

Isiah Pacheco didn’t play in 3 of the Chiefs last 5 games, but he’s back and he’s making an impact. And he’s going to have to have a big game in Buffalo. Against a Dolphins team who didn’t really look too happy in the arctic temperatures in Kansas City Pacheco turned a 7 probable yard gain into a 23-yard run. 

Fastest Sacks

When “defense wins championships” this is the important bit. The NextGen stats fastest sacks weren’t actually that fast this week. And that’s not surprising given the weather and the arduous season than has come before the playoffs.

De’Vondre Campbell hadn’t made a sack in the playoffs since 2017, but the veteran got back on the horse this week. It took him 2.88 seconds to get Dak Prescott on the ground. 

Aidan Hutchinson is more than 7 years younger than Campbell, but he wasn’t that far behind him when it came to making a sack this week. Hutchinson needed 3.11 seconds to deck Matt Stafford as the Rams pass protection had a few “whoopsies” in Detroit. 

From a second-year lineman back to a veteran lineman, Chris Jones. But Jones had some help from George Karlaftis the Chiefs second year defensive end. The pair of them were credited with half a sack each as they made the 3rd fastest sack of the wildcard round. It took just 3.4 seconds for them to get to Tua. 

Rams’ linebacker Ernest Jones is the 5th name on the list this week. He sacked former Ram Jared Goff in 3.63 seconds. Los Angeles sacked Goff 3 times, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. 



Rhys has been watching the NFL for 30 something years and still hasn’t managed to pick a team to support. When he’s not fixatED on pass rushers you can find him blithering on about most sports on Twitter @wrhys_writes