RB Darren Sproles - Philadelphia Eagles
|5-7, 180||Born: 6-20-1983||College: Kansas State||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2005|
2019 Week 1 vs WAS (9 / 47 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Sproles saw plenty of early snaps and touches against Washington as the Eagles formed a three-back rotation in Week 1. Sproles ceded snaps to both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders (more Sanders than Howard) as the game progressed. Sproles exhibited his jitterbug qualities and phone booth quickness on several occasions, including a highlight spin move for a two-point conversion. Sproles' snap rate was a distant second to Sanders, but Sproles was clearly the most productive back for the Eagles to open the season.
2019 Week 2 vs ATL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
Sproles barely played against Atlanta, a stark drop from his active role in Week 1. Sproles converted a third down in the closing minutes as his notable contribution but also dropped a pass. With Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard clearly ahead of Sproles in the backfield pecking order, Sproles is relying on optimal targets to log a decent game going forward.
2019 Week 3 vs DET (2 / 4 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles led the Eagles running backs in snaps against Detroit as they were in comeback mode for most of the game. However, Sproles was sparsely involved with a mere two touches. Sproles made a critical back-shoulder reception down the sideline on fourth down of Philadelphia's last-gasp drive to save the game but was called for offensive pass interference on the play. Sproles was also stuffed on a red zone rushing attempt in his non-descript game.
2018 Week 1 vs ATL (5 / 10 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 22 / 0 rec)
Sproles' season debut at 35 years old was an impressive one with a strong share of the snaps in the first half. Jay Ajayi shifted to prominence in the second half, but Sproles saw primary snaps, plus the two-minute drill over the opening 30 minutes. Sproles had a touchdown opportunity with a goal line toss, but was tackled at the one-yard-line. Sproles also broke a tackle on a third down reception for a key conversion in the closing minutes. The Eagles ultimately scored the game-winning touchdown on the drive. Sproles was an uncharacteristic disappointment in the passing game with a drop and being covered easily on multiple short routes.
2018 Week 13 vs WAS (4 / 22 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles made this season debut against Washington, playing select snaps, including in the red zone. Sproles broke his notable carry for a red zone touchdown, bursting through a well-blocked hole and breaking tackle for the score. Sproles has been a receiving maven in his career but did not see a target in his first game back as Corey Clement was the primary pass-catcher of the backfield.
2018 Week 14 vs DAL (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 34 / 1 rec)
Sproles saw four touches for the second week in a row since his return from injury. Sproles saw the most snaps of Eagles running backs and Corey Clement's in-game knee injury only fueled Sproles' opportunity as Philadelphia trailed much of the game. Sproles was stuffed on two of his touches, but flashed balance, burst, and agility on his two highlight contributions. Sproles converted a fourth down swing route reception into field goal range, beating the stingy linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Later, Sproles ran through a tackle attempt on a goal line receiving touchdown. Sproles already has two touchdowns on eight touchdowns since his return from injury and a poised to be a critical piece to the Eagles offense if they are to earn a playoff spot in the coming weeks.
2018 Week 15 vs LAR (3 / 30 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Sproles continued his progression into the Eagles' offense with high efficiency on his six touches, totaling nearly 50 yards. Sproles as effective on delay rushing attempts, exploiting a Rams defense lurching upfield in the red zone as Sproles zipped past them. Sproles topped the running backs in targets against the Rams and looks to have his same top-end foot frequency dating back to before his injury.
2018 Week 16 vs HOU (9 / 32 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 76 / 1 rec)
Sproles surged forward in his offensive role for the Eagles against the Texans with a season-high 12 touches and more than 100 total yards. Sproles broke a tackle on a fourth-down swing pass for a long touchdown. Sproles corralled another sideline reception for a chunk gain. Sproles was held relatively in check as a runner but had his best run on the game-winning drive for 15 yards on a draw play into field goal range.
2018 Week 17 vs WAS (7 / 24 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Sproles had a non-descript performance against Washington, gaining most of his yardage on two standout plays. Sproles was wide open for yards-after-the-catch on a reception and later turned a well-timed red zone draw play into more than 10 yards. Sproles' passing game involvement was tempered as Josh Adams was used more than usual through the air with three catches. Sproles' foot frequency remains his best attribute despite being in his mid-30s.
2018 Week 18 vs CHI (13 / 21 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
Sproles emerged as the feature back, especially in the second half, against the Bears. Josh Adams barely played and Wendell Smallwood's snaps were minimal after a promising first quarter. Sproles had tough sledding on the ground, routinely being stuffed outside of a well-blocked third-down draw play to convert. Sproles flashed for 10 yards on a wide receiver screen, exhibiting quality timing with his downfield blocks.
2018 Week 19 vs NO (3 / 4 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Sproles played a prominent role for the Eagles down the stretch, but was held in check by the Saints in the Eagles' road playoff loss. Sproles' lone quality play was a perfect screen pass, showing strong foot frequency and agility for 14 yards, more than half of his yardage in the game overall. Sproles enters free agency in the offseason in his mid-30s but still some life left in his legs.
2017 Week 1 vs WAS (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 43 / 0 rec)
Sproles continues to have a role on this team out of the backfield as he was tied for the team high in targets with eight in this game. Sproles led the running backs in snaps as he was on the field for 49% of the plays while Blount was at 34% and Smallwood as at 22%. Sproles is going to continue to have a role in this offense and with the departure of Jordan Matthews it opens up targets for him to be more utilized than he was last season.
2017 Week 2 vs KC (10 / 48 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 30 / 0 rec)
Sproles led this team in snaps and carries as it appears he is the running back going forward as the Eagles go to a more pure passing spread offense. LeGarrette Blount did not see a carry and Wendell Smallwood only had three carries. Sproles only saw four targets out of the passing game this week after seeing eight targets in the first week.
2017 Week 3 vs NYG (3 / 11 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles left this game after just three carries as he tore his ACL and broke his arm on the exact same play and will miss the remainder of the season.
2016 Week 1 vs CLE (5 / 12 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)
Sproles was disappointing today as he just had two targets in this game, however he did have a great punt return for forty yards which setup a nice Eagles drive. This game script didn't setup well for Sproles as he is going to perform better in games where the Eagles get down early and are forced to throw for most of the game. The versatile running back is still returning kicks and punts which is where he is going to drive a lot of his value, but from a running back standpoint he was unable to find any running room when he was in the game which seemed to be a trend throughout the day that the Eagles struggled to run the ball. He did add in two receptions out of the backfield which should be his role going forward on passing downs as Ryan Mathews did not receive a target in this game.
2016 Week 2 vs CHI (12 / 40 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles led the team in carries in this game, as they utilized him on carries off tackle to try to utilize his speed on the edge. This was largely unsuccessful except for a 14 yard run in the fourth quarter where he was able to carry the ball off the right tackle. Sproles was not utilized in the passing game as much as we would like to see, but the game script came into play here as he was not needed in passing downs late in the game.
2016 Week 3 vs PIT (2 / -1 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 128 / 1 rec)
Sproles was non-existent in the running game today as he carried the ball two times for negative one yards. He did show up in the passing game however as he reeled in six passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. The big strike coming on a 73-yard connection from Wentz resulting in a touchdown, Sproles is going to make a few of these plays per year as when he gets into open space he is almost impossible to tackle. He is not going to out touch Matthews in the running game, but he is a dangerous returner and on clear passing downs.
2016 Week 5 vs DET (5 / 45 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 23 / 0 rec)
Sproles carried the ball 5 times for 45 yards and outgained all other Eagles' rushers this week. He was out-touched by Ryan Mathews but was able to make the most out of those opportunities. Sproles also pulled in all 4 of his targets for 23 yards. Interestingly enough, Matthews was targeted more than Sproles this week, but do not expect that trend to continue. Again the Redskins rank 31st in rush defense and Sproles should be able to find some holes in that defense next week.
2016 Week 6 vs WAS (4 / 20 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
The run game was almost non-existent for the Eagles today, and Sproles was no exceptions. He touched the ball a total of 5 times with 4 rush for 20 yards and 1 catch for 4 yards. These are the kind of numbers we would expect if Mathews was having a big game, but today was all because the offense was not clicking. Sproles could be a sneaky value play against the Vikings next week if the Eagles get down early and are in clear passing situations. Otherwise, do not expect to see a big increase in his workload as Mathews is the clear number one back.
2016 Week 7 vs MIN (3 / 26 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
It is starting to appear that this role that Sproles is in is just going to be the role that is going to continue for the rest of the year. Earlier in the year, we saw an uptick in touches, but it has gone back down as he just had three targets this week and only carried the ball three times. For the aging running back, he is hard to trust just because the volume is not there that we would typically look for in a potential running back.
2016 Week 8 vs DAL (15 / 86 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 17 / 0 rec)
Sproles out-touched every other back on the Eagles today and was one of the most effective players all night. With his 103 all-purpose yards, Sproles passed LaDanian Tomlinson for 8th all-time in NFL history. Sproles ripped off a 19 yard run off the left end to help set up the Eagles first touchdown of the game. Sproles continues to be the ageless wonder contributing all over the field. He even managed to make the tackle on the Cowboys' fake punt, but in the end, it was not enough as the Eagles fell to their division rival in the Cowboys. With Ryan Mathews continuing to be ineffective, look for Sproles to get more touches again next week.
2016 Week 9 vs NYG (13 / 57 / 0 rush, 9 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Sproles once again got more touches than any other Eagles running back today, and continues to show how dangerous he can be as a punt returner. Sproles returned a kick 66 yards to set the Eagles on the Giants 15-yard line but was then stopped on 4th and 1 from the 6-yard line to stall a prime scoring opportunity. Sproles was also targeted 9 times but only managed 3 catches as Wentz could not find the mark. The Eagles continue to feature Sproles, and despite the touchdowns going to Mathews and Barner, Sproles will get the majority of the work next week out of the backfield.
2016 Week 10 vs ATL (2 / 19 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 57 / 0 rec)
Sproles took a backseat to Ryan Mathews today and only had 10 total touches. With the success of Ryan Mathews, Sproles was only used in clear passing situations. This also marks the first game he did not have a punt return. After Sproles had been trending into the lead back duties, he was relegated to more of an afterthought in this one. Sproles should see his role expand again next week as they will need a good change of pace back against a stout Seattle rush defense.
2016 Week 11 vs SEA (2 / 15 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Sproles was relegated to the second back in this one and temporarily looked to take back over after the injury to Ryan Mathews. However, Sproles injured his ribs on a second quarter punt return and did not come back out of the locker room after halftime. Aside from the punt return, Sproles had only touched the ball 3 times before his exit. It is not known how serious the injury is, but the Eagles are preparing for life without their top 2 running backs.
2016 Week 12 vs GB (3 / 6 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 48 / 0 rec)
Sproles was questionable all week leading up to this one with his broken rib but did manage to play. The veteran running back only had 3 carries and did not return any punts as the Eagles played him with caution. The majority of his damage came in the passing game where he pulled in 5 of his 7 targets. The only real play of note came on a 17-yard reception early in the fourth quarter down the left side. It will be interesting to see how his health is next week going into Cincinnati and if his role will increase.
2016 Week 13 vs CIN (7 / 14 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 35 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles did not have a successful game in the rushing attack as he only averaged two yards per carry, but most of his damage was done through the passing game as he continues to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Sproles also was used for the second straight week as the goal line and short yardage back which is surprising for someone as small as Sproles, but he was able to punch in a two yard touchdown in this game. Sproles is the running back you want to own going forward in this Eagles offense.
2016 Week 14 vs WAS (5 / 27 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 13 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles had a very up and down day in this one. The versatile running back caught a 4-yard touchdown from Carson Wentz in the back of the end zone at the end of the first half, he had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown brought back after an illegal block above the waist by Zach Ertz, and he was forced out of the game on an illegal hit to the head on a punt return later in the game. Sproles had been dealing with a rib injury and all of the hard hits he took today did not help. Sproles did not play a major role in the offense with his 7 touches but played a huge role in the punt return game. The Eagles have dealt with several injuries this season, but seem committed to using Sproles in the return game and as a third down change of pace back. He will not have a heavy workload but as his 72-yard punt return showed he is always dangerous to take it to the house on any play.
2016 Week 16 vs NYG (7 / 40 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
The Eagles went primarily with Ryan Mathews in this one until the 4th quarter. Sproles has never really been given a full workload but has made the most of every touch he has gotten. The big play today came on a 25-yard rush where Sproles took a pitch and followed his blockers off the right side into the end zone. Ryan Mathews had done a lot of the work to get the Eagles down the field, but it was Sproles who capped it off with the touchdown. Sproles also added his customary catches on third down out of the backfield. IT is going to be the Daren Sproles show next week with Mathews done for the season.
2016 Week 17 vs DAL (9 / 32 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 4 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was the only regular running back that the Eagles had that was healthy in this game, and he was not able to take advantage of this as he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. Sproles was pulled in the second half as the Eagles looked to give Byron Marshall and Terrell Watson a look with this being the last game of the season.
2015 Week 1 vs ATL (5 / 50 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 76 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles is going to remain bookmarked in Kelly's offensive packages. Running backs of his senior aren't supposed to have his burst and quickness. He finished as Bradford's second favorite target and led the team in rushing. The unfortunate part of his game comes down to where he ends up on the field. More often than not, he's trotting down the sideline - every team's best defender - just inches from out of bounds. He just missed a few long touchdowns by being nudged out of play. But if this game is any indication of what his usage will be throughout this season, he'll be the envy of everyone that passed on his ultra-friendly ADP.
2015 Week 2 vs DAL (1 / -4 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 23 / 0 rec)
Despite the Eagles playing from behind for the entire contest, Darren Sproles was unable to take advantage of the game script. He turned in a standard performance of a few screen plays, one of which was called back thanks to an Ertz penalty, but was otherwise held to limited gains. When the offense is on the field for only a third of the game, role players like Sproles have no shot at valuable returns.
2015 Week 3 vs NYJ (11 / 17 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
The highlight of the game, and what ultimately set the Eagles offense up for success, was Darren Sproles' 89-yard punt return for a touchdown. These are the kinds of things age is supposed to prevent, but Sproles' light frame keeps him spry, and he displayed his cut-and-juke scat back skills on that touchdown. He then played small on a carry from the one-yard line, following the center into the end zone. Without those pair of touchdowns, his fantasy box score is forgettable. He dropped a screen pass in the second half that might have gone for a chunk of yards and a touchdown. He returned six targets for four receptions and just 19 yards. For a running back that requires yards via the pass, Sunday was disappointing, but he still proved to be viable play regardless of game script. Make no mistake about it, the Eagles are a ground team.
2015 Week 4 vs WAS (4 / 17 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
For the first time since Week 14 of last year, Darren Sproles didn't catch a pass. He had an opportunity to convert a third down midway through the fourth quarter, but wasn't able to rein in a catchable, albeit slightly behind, target. Similar to Murray, Sproles had a great run for 11 yards on his first carry, but his next three went for only six total yards. He was also an afterthought in the passing game, despite playing nearly 40 percent of snaps (to Murray's 45 percent and Ryan Mathews 23 percent). He did setup the Eagles in scoring position at the end of the first half with a 45-yard punt return, but that was his only highlight.
2015 Week 5 vs NO (5 / 27 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles wasn't utilized as much in this game, despite playing more snaps than Mathews. He was targeted only twice and carried the ball only five times. With Murray and Mathews success, and with the Eagles holding a lead for most of the game, Sproles services weren't required.
2015 Week 7 vs CAR (3 / 9 / 0 rush, 10 / 5 / 31 / 0 rec)
With Nelson Agholor out, Darren Sproles played more of receiver role and led the offense in targets with 10, but converted only five of them. The Panthers were well prepared for his predictable screen passes and dump-offs. The majority of his stat line (25 yards on three catches) came late in the fourth with the Eagles down 11 and the Panthers in prevent.
2015 Week 9 vs DAL (5 / 23 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 3 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles logged 28 snaps and ended up with seven touches. He flashed his usual slingshot style of running by blasting from the mesh point into solid gains. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry and came up about an inch short of a touchdown (Murray pounded it in a few plays later). Oddly, despite it being one of his best assets, Sproles was used sparingly in the passing game. Bradford targeted him only three times: the results of which were one pass deflection, one screen the Cowboys were all over for a four yard loss, and one nice catch-and-run for seven yards.
2015 Week 10 vs MIA (3 / 0 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 34 / 0 rec)
With Ryan Mathews sidelined, Darren Sproles became the default change of pace back. Five of his six targets came after Mathews' injury. Should that injury keep him benched, Sproles will be in line for an increased workload. If not, his box score, just as it was this week, will be forgettable from a fantasy standpoint.
2015 Week 11 vs TB (6 / 21 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 38 / 1 rec)
With Ryan Mathews unavailable, Darren Sproles became the default No. 2 running back. He wasn't effective as a runner and was bottled up for most of the day, but he did his damage as a receiver. His seven targets ranked second on the team. Even if he was able to come up with only three receptions, one of them was turned into a 35-yard touchdown on a beautiful screen pass over the middle. The blocking was setup perfectly and he closed the deal by hitting high gear from about 15 yards out. He would manage only 14 yards on three touches for the rest of the game, however, thanks in part to being overthrown a couple of times. Had his quarterback been more accurate, Sproles would have had a much nicer box score.
2015 Week 12 vs DET (2 / 4 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 21 / 0 rec)
Despite the Eagles trailing from the start, Darren Sproles played only 19 snaps. He was targeted more than any other player but wasn't able to get much going after the catch. He logged only two carries but, like his running back teammates, he hit a brick wall of defenders. Sixteen of his 21 receiving yards came on one catch late in the fourth quarter.
2015 Week 13 vs NE (15 / 66 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was the clear star of the day. He was a monster out of the backfield as both a runner and a receiver, and blew the game wide-open with an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown. His 100 offensive yards were the most by any Eagles player as he routinely showed burst and patience as a runner, and slipped his way through questionable linebacker play as a receiver. He led the team in receptions and carries, and dominated snap counts among Eagles' running backs.
2015 Week 14 vs BUF (7 / 41 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was named the starter against the Bills and he immediately delivered. On his first carry deep in Bills' territory, Sproles blasted ahead for a 15 yard gain and came up just short of the goal line. He punched in the score from one yard out on his next carry. Even though he had fewer carries than both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews, Sproles was easily the most effective. His short distance acceleration and burst fits perfectly within Kelly's scheme. He also had a great punt return midway through the second half that set the Eagles up on the Bills' side of the 50. He didn't contribute much as a receiver, but ultimately played the most snaps among running backs (albeit by a thin margin).
2015 Week 15 vs ARI (6 / 9 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles didn't get much going against the speed of the Cardinals linebackers. He had a chance to break a big gain but couldn't wiggle free of a defender who just barely tripped him up on the sideline. The Cardinals special teams also proved overpowering and limited any chance of big pun returns--something we know Sproles is capable of providing. He did end up playing the most snaps of all running backs for the third straight week.
2015 Week 16 vs WAS (5 / 9 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 56 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was the most effective Eagles' running back. His seven receptions and nine targets both ranked second on the team, and his 31 snaps were the most among the backfield. Per usual, he wasn't all that efficient carrying the ball, contributing most of his production as receiver. But 34 of his 56 receiving yards came in the fourth quarter with the Eagles down by multiple scores. Garbage time aside, Sproles displayed his usual electricity and burst, often popping through the defensive line with chunks of yards. His rushing total would look a lot better as well had he not gotten swallowed in the backfield for a loss of six on the Eagles second series of the game.
2015 Week 17 vs NYG (3 / 24 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles managed only six touches but made every one of them count. His day started with a five-yard reception on a 3rd-and-3, and was highlighted by a cut-and-run six-yard touchdown in which he weaved past the first defender before accelerating to the end zone. He continued to be one of the most efficient players of the Eagles' offense by gaining chunks of yards both out of the backfield and as a receiver. His only low-light came in the form of one-yard carry blown up by poor blocking. Otherwise, he continued his age-defying ways by exploding from the mesh point and will finish his season just below four yards per carry.
2014 Week 1 vs JAX (11 / 71 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 14 / 0 rec)
On his first action of the game he was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for a run of no gain. He later had a screen pass that he picked up a few yards on. Sproles had back to back touches with a -1 yard run and then a quick 5 yard reception that was well short on a 3rd and 11 and did very little to help the Eagles pick up the first down. Sproles had an 8 yard reception and then followed that up with a burst up the middle on a 4th and 1 that he raced straight forward for a 49 yard touchdown. On the next Jaguars punt Sproles fielded the ball and made some nice moves on the left side of the field and set the Eagles up nicely with a 22 yard punt return and gave the Eagles possession at the Jaguars 40 yard line. On the very next Jaguars punt, Sproles once again had a big 22 yard punt return and his two big special teams plays to go along with his electric run up the middle for a touchdown really turned the game around in the Eagles favor. He showed what he can add to this team with his game changing ability every time he touches the ball. Sproles used his quickness on back to back runs of 10 and 5 yards and went right up the middle.
2014 Week 2 vs IND (4 / 26 / 1 rush, 7 / 7 / 152 / 0 rec)
Sproles made his first touch of the game count as he burst up the middle and took a quick pass from Foles and just flat out raced down the field for 57 yards. The next play he took a handoff for a 3 yard gain straight up the middle. Sproles took another quick pass from Foles and did more work with his quickness and picked up an easy 9 yard gain as he flew past defenders. Sproles came in fresh on a 3rd down and quickly raced to the left and picked up 4 yards and a first down. Sproles continued to see plenty of action and had a screen pass for 8 yards to the left side and then took another 2 yard pass for a first down. Sproles had a 8 yard screen pass from Foles where he used his speed to just go forward and get as many yards as he could. Sproles had one of the best touchdowns of the season as he cut back to the right side of the field and bounced his way into the endzone. It looked as if he was stopped short of the goal but just kept moving his legs and forced his way in for the game tying touchdown. Sproles showed his game changing speed once again on a screen pass from Foles and raced for a 51 yard gain and set the Eagles up for their third touchdown of the game. This is the second week in a row where Sproles has ignited this offense and made plays where he got his team in a position to turn things around and win the game. Sproles finished things off with a huge 17 yard gain on a short pass from Foles which but the ball on the Colts 19 yard line and set up the game winning field goal.
2014 Week 3 vs WAS (2 / 20 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Sproles touched the ball for the first time at the start of the 2nd quarter and had runs of 2 yards and then another for 18 where he was stripped of the ball. Sproles biggest play of the game came on a third down as he took a quick pass from Foles for a 22 yard catch and run.
2014 Week 4 vs SF (1 / 4 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Sproles first touch on the game was a 4 yard rush right up the middle. Sproles did his damage on a 82 punt return for a touchdown where he made a nice initial move near the right sideline and then just took off using his speed and found the endzone to put the Eagles up 21 - 10. On the next offensive possession Sproles had a nice 7 yard gain just showing his quickness going up the middle. Sproles then took a pass from Foles for a 6 yard gain as he was looking for room to break the play open.
2014 Week 5 vs STL (7 / 51 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
With McCoy struggling to gain yards to the outside, Sproles actually took his first touch of the game to the left sideline and raced for a 10 yard gain showing off his pure speed and quickness. Sproles once again gave the Eagles an additional spark in the Punt Return game as he had an explosive 23 yard return to help give the Eagles good field position. Sproles next touch didn't come until near the end of the first half but he made it count with a shifty run on 3rd down that he turned into an Eagles first down on a 10 yard gain. On 3rd down Sproles made a huge play and ran for a 25 yard gain and helped the Eagles continue to run the clock down.
2014 Week 6 vs NYG (7 / 39 / 1 rush, 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles first action on the night was a quick 2 yard gain out to the left side of field and hobbled off after the run. Sproles once again showed his valuable play in the punt return game with a 43 yard return that helped set the Eagles up in great field position to in the end kick a field goal and put some more points on the board. Sproles had a 5 yard run to the left and go tthe Eagles into a very make able field goal try. Just before halftime Sproles had a 7 yard run straight up the middle. Sproles took a handoff from Foles and raced to the left side and followed blocks and used his speed to get into the endzone for a 15 yard touchdown run and help put the Giants away for good. Sproles looked to get a little banged up late in the 3rd quarter and came out of the game the rest of the way.
2014 Week 9 vs HOU (3 / 17 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 46 / 0 rec)
Sproles first action on offense saw him pick up a first down on a 5 yard pass which he caught right at the first down marker. Sproles caught a 6 yard screen from Sanchez. Sproles had back to back runs of 5 and 7 yards to help set the Eagles up in a 1st down situation from the Texans 35 yard line. Sproles had an explosive catch and run of 24 yards to start out the Eagles in the 2nd half. He showed off his speed and quickness eluding defenders. He added another 11 yard reception for a first down and showed that he has been a missed weapon in this offense last week as the Eagles lost to the Cardinals.
2014 Week 10 vs CAR (1 / 8 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
On 2nd and goal from the Panthers 8 yard, Sproles took the ball to the left and just raced into the endzone untouched showing a nice burst of speed to get the first touchdown of the game. Sproles dropped a pass on third down as Sanchez delivered a bullet of a pass that just bounced off his hand incomplete. Sproles delivered another electric punt return for a touchdown of 65 yards as he burst straight up the middle following a couple of blocks and just used his speed to avoid the tackle and race into the endzone. Sproles took a screen pass on a quick cut to his left and grabbed a first down on a 13 yard catch.
2014 Week 11 vs GB (2 / 21 / 0 rush, 6 / 2 / 23 / 0 rec)
Sproles had his first look on a quick catch and run for 16 yards as he showed a quick burst after the catch. Sproles two more catches on the first drive and delivered with gains of 16 and 7 yard gains. Sproles showed great quickness after the catch and used his low to the ground ability to just go forward and pick up as many yards as possible before he is tackled. Sproles made a couple of nice moves on his 13 yard run helping to pick up a first down for the Eagles. Sproles had a good gain on his second run of the game picking up 8 yards.
2014 Week 12 vs TEN (6 / 25 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Sproles' first touch on offense went for a touchdown. He took the ball on an outside stretch play at the goal line and broke a tackle to fall into the end zone for a four yard score. His next involvement after that play was to see the ball thrown his way on a screen pass. The ball came in too high and too fast, so Sproles was unable to catch it. Save for one 10 yard reception late in the second quarter when Sproles broke a tackle in the flat, the running back/receiver was largely bottled up by a Titans defense that swarmed to him. Unsurprisingly, the Eagles left Sproles on the sideline late in the game when the score was insurmountable.
2014 Week 13 vs DAL (1 / 13 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)
Sproles saw his only carry of the game on the third play of the game and he made the best of it as he cut his way to a 13 yard gain and an Eagles first down. Sproles had another first down play on the opening drive as he caught a screen pass from Sanchez for a 4 yard gain and raced his way to the first down marker. Sproles had a 9 yard screen pass that he fell short of a first down on and the Eagles were forced to punt. Sproles once again was a money on a third and 5 and caught a pass near the sidelines for a 6 yard gain and a first down.
2014 Week 14 vs SEA (4 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles first carry of the game resulted in a 2 yard carry on third down that left the Eagles 1 yard short of a first down. Initially Sproles looked like he had some room to wiggle his way for the first down but the defense collapsed very quickly and he was tackled 1 yard short. Sproles got bottled up and hit immediately in the backfield and ended up losing 8 yards and followed that up with a 6 yard gain as he shifted himself for the yardage on a softer defense on a 3rd and 18.
2014 Week 15 vs DAL (3 / 5 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 8 / 0 rec)
Sproles had a big first down catch as he took an 11 yard pass from Sanchez and turned it up field and was chased out of bounds on the right sideline. Sproles had a 1 yard touchdown where he showed a great deal of patience in following his blocks out to the right side and eventually ran into the endzone for the touchdown.
2014 Week 16 vs WAS (4 / 24 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 43 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles had an active but relatively subdued game for Philadelphia, garnering six receptions but failing to do much damage with them as the Washington defense did a good job of staying in position and wrapping up Sproles in the open field. Sproles, as usual, was the primary passing down back, but also spelled McCoy for extended stretches of the game. Sproles didn't get any opportunities at the goal line as Kelly attacked the middle of the field with his TE in short yardage situations.
2014 Week 17 vs NYG (1 / 5 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles had only one carry for the Eagles but managed a few catches to help his small production. Sproles got 5 yards on a basic handoff up the middle but lost the rest of the carries to teammates McCoy and Polk. Sproles almost scored a touchdown on a pass play to the outside but the pass was off the mark and he could not haul it in. Sanchez missed Sproles again on third down open in the flat. Sproles was used as a checkdown option for Sanchez in times of pressure and was effective at running after the catch. The volume of production was very small however and Sproles did not have enough to work with to have been worthwhile from a fantasy perspective.
2013 Week 1 vs ATL (8 / 22 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 88 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was the most effective Saints running back as he once again made excellent runs after the catch. Surprisingly, Sproles ran the ball eight times and gained 22 yards rushing. It was interesting that he had two of his carries running out the clock to close the first half. He was targeted six time, catching each for a team leading 88 yards. He displayed quickness and elusiveness on several of his receptions making defenders miss to gain extra yards.
2013 Week 2 vs TB (7 / 26 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 36 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was his usual efficient self, but couldn't break out any explosive plays against a tenacious Bucs defense. Sproles was again active in the passing game, catching six passes, but he failed to accumulate many YAC in the first half, as the Bucs D closed quickly whenever he was open underneath. He showed great burst on some inside runs and finished the game with just one fewer carry than Mark Ingram, who led the team in that category. Sproles again served as the Saints primary return man, but he had few opportunities to show off his talent.
2013 Week 3 vs ARI (3 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 39 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles made an exceptional catch on a quick release out of the backfield as the pass was on him exactly when he turned around, but he managed to make the catch for a nine yard gain. On Sproles first rush of the game, early in the third quarter they finally gained yardage as Sproles rambled for 15 yards. Following a rare Brees scramble for four yards, Sproles converted a third and short opportunity with a hard earned three yard gain. Sproles exhibited some great hands as he absorbed a huge hit by J. Bell and hung for the reception to convert a third down and nine opportunity. He totaled four receptions on six targets for 39 yards.
2013 Week 4 vs MIA (4 / 28 / 1 rush, 8 / 7 / 114 / 1 rec)
Sproles showed outstanding burst by blasting by Rashad Jones on a swing route. He continued his sprint running down the sideline after the catch for a 48-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage. He caught another short swing route on the next play. He later got his first rush on a draw delay which went for an easy 5-yard TD right up the gut of the Dolphins' defense. In what seems to be an effective pattern against the Dolphins, Sproles caught two quick patterns, one to the left and the next to the right for a combined 16 yards. He continued his first half domination by catching two more passes for 33 yards, the first an amazing play where Sproles again displayed his burst for a 21-yard gain converting the 3rd down and 20 to go. Sproles closed his awesome first half by escaping coverage again and catching his eighth pass for his second TD. Sproles did make one mistake on the night, losing a fumble after an 18-yard rush took the ball to the Dolphins three-yard line.
2013 Week 5 vs CHI (3 / 10 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 31 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles had a carry up the middle on the first drive, but slipped after a gain of only three yards. He also caught a pass over the middle for a gain of nine yards setting up the field goal. Sproles got a red-zone rush, but gained only a yard. He was much less involved in the game plan today, but caught all three passes that came his way for 31 yards.
2013 Week 6 vs NE (5 / 15 / 0 rush, 12 / 6 / 58 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was very active in the first half, but had minimal production. He started the game and rushed for a one-yard gain on the first play. In the first quarter, he carried the ball four times, with three of the rushes into the interior of the line. His longest gain was for six yards and he totaled 11 yards rushing that quarter and did not have another rush in the first half. Sproles was targeted often in the first half and made three catches for 27 yards. He had a nice run after the catch on the nine yard gainer and displayed his quickness on the 14-yard gain the last drive of the first half. Sproles gained 19 yards on a reception where he had an awesome stutter step to extend the play. He only had one carry in the second half for 4 yards. He added three catches in the second half for 31 yards.
2013 Week 8 vs BUF (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 0 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles caught his first target, but was swamped in the backfield and lost 6 yards. He was targeted four times on the game and caught all four, but with minimal gains, he totaled 0 yards receiving. Sproles did not have a carry in the running game.
2013 Week 9 vs NYJ (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles started the game and gained two yards on his first reception, which was the Saints third offensive play. Shortly after making the catch, he was met hard, head-on by the Jets defender. Shortly thereafter, he left the field. It was reported that he may have suffered a concussion and he did not return to the game.
2013 Week 10 vs DAL (5 / 12 / 1 rush, 7 / 7 / 76 / 1 rec)
Sproles had a reception on a swing pass on the first possession, but only gained 2 yards. He had one carry on the Saints second possession and gained 6 yards on a quick hitter. Sproles had a run up the middle for a gain of 2 yards on the Saints second scoring possession and also had two catches for 18 yards and a double reverse that gained 5 yards. Sproles caught a swing pass for 3 yards and scored the Saints 3rd TD with a 3 yard run up the middle. He had a starring role as the Saints again drove 75 yards for their 4th TD of the first half as the clock wound down. He caught three passes on the drive, all short tosses that with his quickness were turned into long gainers of 11, 11, and 28 yards. The final reception that went for 28 yards and a TD was a swing pass that he caught and weaved through defenders and displayed excellent speed to get into the end zone. He was not used much in the second half, possibly bothered some by a horse collar tackle that bent his knees back beneath him.
2013 Week 11 vs SF (3 / 16 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles caught a pass in the backfield on the first possession and despite running 5 yards after the catch lost a yard on the play. Sproles caught a pass on the scoring drive for a gain of 8 yards and was injured on the play. He was able to return to action on the next series. Sproles had another reception early in the 3rd quarter for a gain of 8 yards. Sproles made an excellent catch in traffic in the 3rd quarter, but only gained 4 yards. Sproles had another carry in the early 4th quarter gaining 7 yards and showing excellent burst. He began the game winning drive with a 6 yard run.
2013 Week 13 vs SEA (3 / 11 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 32 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was active in the passing game and caught an underneath throw by Brees and made an awesome jump step to avoid the defender to gain 10 yards to allow the Saints punt team a little more comfort, moving the ball out to the 14-yard line. Sproles finally got the call in the running game with three consecutive carries for 11 yards and a first down. He, like Thomas and Ingram ran hard, but had to fight for every yard he made. Sproles was targeted more often late in the game and totaled 7 receptions, but for only 32 yards.
2013 Week 14 vs CAR (1 / 38 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles made the team's first huge play on a sweep that he cut back and dodged a couple of tacklers taking the ball for 38 yards all the way to the Panther 20-yard line. That one carry was more than half of the Saints rushing yardage on the game. Sproles looked very quick avoiding a couple of tackle attempts. He later gave the Saints a first and goal to go as he drew a pass interference call inside the 5-yard line. Sproles caught a screen pass on the Saints third TD drive and again showed his speed with a gain of 20 yards, taking the team into the red zone. He worked the middle twice more on the Saints third scoring drive, with each giving them a first down. Sproles was by far the most successful running back on the night, but he totaled only 61 yards on three catches and the one huge run that got it all started.
2013 Week 15 vs STL (7 / 24 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 38 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles ran wide on a sweep on his first carry and made a nice cut back to escape the pursuit and gained 11 yards and a first down. Sproles was featured often in the first half catching 4 passes for 18 yards. On one reception, he used his quickness to avoid several tacklers to gain 9 yards. He displayed quickness on each reception, but was mostly stifled when running the ball, gaining only 16 yards on four carries and 11 came on that nice sweep on his first carry. Sproles dropped a short pass to end the Saints second drive of the second half, but the play likely would have gained minimal yardage anyway. Sproles caught two passes in the final TD drive and had two carries, but the gains were mostly for short yardage. He made one catch that was pushed forward by Brees and Sproles used his quickness to pick up 13 yards and a first down. He displayed explosiveness often, but the Rams tackled well in the open field and even with 8 catches and 7 carries, he could muster only 62 total yards. He was the Saints leading rusher on the day, but with only 24 yards.
2013 Week 16 vs CAR (1 / 2 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)
Sproles caught a quick in on the Saints first drive for a gain of 8 yards and later caught a screen pass for a gain of 6 yards, but the play fell short of a first down and forced a punt. Sproles had a couple of rushes in the first half, but had little room and only gained 6 yards. He saw little playing time in the 2nd half, possibly because of the weather. There was heavy rain for most of the 3rd quarter and the field remained wet for the rest of the game.
2013 Week 17 vs TB (3 / -1 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 30 / 0 rec)
Sproles didn't play a ton of snaps for the Saints on Sunday. Instead, they opted for multiple WR sets instead of multiple RB sets. Sproles only saw four targets, hauling in a nice 24 yard reception. But he was not used as much as one would have hoped in this game. His three carries netted negative yards. Sproles usually sees more of a role when the Saints are trailing and passing on every down. The early blowout kept Sproles off the field and limited his effectiveness.
2013 Week 18 vs PHI (4 / 29 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 31 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was used for all kick-off returns, but his role in the offensive game plan was minimal. The game announcers stated early that the Eagles might regret the fact that Thomas was missing the game as it might force them to deal with Darren Sproles more than they would want, but that was not the case. Sproles did play quite a bit, but he only had 60 total yards. The Eagles defense never allowed Sproles to remain uncovered and in fact three passes thrown Sproles direction fell incomplete. One of the passes was tipped and one was more or less a throw away as Brees realized the coverage was there. Sproles did get open deep on the Saints initial drive for what could have been a long TD completion, but the pass was underthrown and fell incomplete. Sproles made good yardage with every touch and showed some of his strength, which is often overlooked early in the 2nd half as he ran through tacklers for 9 yards, putting the Saints inside the ten yard line.
2013 Week 19 vs SEA (3 / 2 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 32 / 0 rec)
Sproles had very little room to run, whether rushing the ball or after making the catch. He ran a sweep on the second play of the game, but gained nothing. On the Saints next possession he had two targets and made two catches, but only gained 6 yards. His last touch in the first half was a delayed hand-off, but again gained no yards. When the Saints got the ball with only 2:40 remaining in the game, Sproles had a total of only 14 yards from scrimmage. He caught two more passes on that drive and added 20 yards to his production. The Seahawks played excellent defense on the Saints' screen game all day long.
2012 Week 1 vs WAS (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 35 / 1 rec)
Listed as a running back, Sproles registered only one carry, a successful two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Sproles caught five passes for thirty-five yards - on eight targets - including a garbage-time touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The teacup back proved once again to be an invaluable cog in the New Orleans offensive machine, lining up in the slot and on the outside in addition to lining up in the backfield and providing pass protection for Drew Brees. Primarily, however, Sproles acted as a checkdown receiver out of the backfield for Brees.
2012 Week 2 vs CAR (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 14 / 13 / 128 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles looks every bit the terror in the open field that he was last year for New Orleans. On the first Saints possession, he was fed the ball on nearly every play. He lined up all over the formation and ran pivot and stutter routes to get open against soft Panthers coverage. For the remainder of the game, Sproles was a factor on kick returns and in the short passing game. It was an excellent display from the back that Deion Sanders has affectionately nicknamed 'Shetland Pony'.
2012 Week 3 vs KC (7 / 62 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles got his first carry of the 2012 season on the Saints first drive and took it 47 yards around the left edge. The play was exceptionally well blocked with Sproles not seeing a Chiefs defender in his path until he was 30 yards downfield. At that point he made a great juke move to finish the run. Shockingly, Sproles was held without a catch as the Chiefs had someone spying him whenever he left the backfield. Three times the Saints attempted a screen pass Sproles and each time the Chiefs blew the play up before it had a chance.
2012 Week 4 vs GB (5 / 20 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 44 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles had the long run of the day for the Saints with a whopping 9 yarder. He only had 5 totes, but between his carries and receptions, he did display his typical elusiveness when he had some space to work with. As usual, his receiving stats salvaged his day with 5 receptions, 44 yards and 1 touchdown in the air. Sproles had a couple really nice plays in particular. On a bubble screen, he eluded a couple defenders to turn what looked like a loss of 5 into a gain of 5. His touchdown reception was a great fingertip catch where he completely burned the covering linebacker on an out type route from the shotgun. For the record, he's going to burn any linebacker covering him on pass routes. However, with the good came the bad for Sproles today. He fumbled a kickoff return that the officials inexplicably called 'down by contact'. The Packers were out of challenges, but the ball was out well before he hit the ground. He also dropped a critical third down pass on the Packers final drive that essentially allowed the Packers to ice the game. From a fantasy perspective, however, operate as normal: solid PPR asset.
2012 Week 5 vs SD (5 / 9 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 28 / 0 rec)
Much like all of the Saints' backs, Darren Sproles couldn't get going in the running game as his offensive line was swallowed by the Chargers' front seven. Instead, Sproles did his damage as a receiver on one of his quieter days. His first reception came on a blown up screen, but his second was a quick out that he turned into a 14 yard gain by beating a defender down the sideline. He followed that up with another screen pass with blockers leading the way for 10 yards. Sproles was doing all of his work underneath as he caught a quick pass in the flat before sprinting upfield behind good blocking for 10 yards and a first down.
2012 Week 7 vs TB (5 / 27 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 32 / 1 rec)
It's really difficult to still list Darren Sproles as a running back. He does 90 percent of his best work as a receiver. He was repeatedly used in screens, quick passes underneath and as well as the odd carry from the shotgun formation. Sproles' first carry went for nine yards on first and 10. Sproles was lined up in the backfield with Brees before receiving the handoff and running through a gap in the defense up the middle. Sproles' second carry came from the shotgun formation again when he knifed through the Buccaneers' defense for another nine yard gain. His most important play came when he caught a checkdown from Brees in the redzone that he turned into an easy touchdown with his speed and agility. He skipped past one defender at the one yard line who was diving at his feet. This was a typical Sproles performance, he continues to contribute to the ambiguity of the running back position in New Orleans.
2012 Week 8 vs DEN (4 / -1 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 56 / 1 rec)
On a play that he has almost patented at this point, Sproles' first carry came running a toss to the right. Unlike last week, when he had plenty of success against the Buccaneers, Von Miller met Sproles behind the line of scrimmage before taking him down for a loss. Sproles may have been stopped with his first carry, but his first reception went all the way. Sproles caught a slant between two defenders in zone coverage before beating another defender in space and accelerating into the endzone for the 29 yard touchdown reception. Sproles followed it up with a seven yard reception, before being crowded in the backfield on his next carry for another loss. Sproles wasn't able to impact the game as he normally does whether it be as a receiver or a runner. This was largely due to the lack of consistency of those around him and the tempo of the offense.
2012 Week 12 vs SF (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 65 / 0 rec)
New Orleans used Sproles in the passing game exclusively, throwing quick screens to him early. On the first screen, Sproles had space and solid blocking, but stumbled making the catch and was never able to regain balance. New Orleans ran another screen for him on the next play, but Donte Whitner grabbed Sproles' foot and the play was ended at the line. Sproles demonstrated his power in the second quarter, catching the ball in the flat and upending an oncoming Aldon Smith, but the contact stopped Sproles long enough for the rest of the San Francisco defense to swarm him. Not until the second half was Sproles really able to break long gains in the passing game, and his longest catch and run came on the final drive as San Francisco was playing prevent defense. Catching the pass at the line, Sproles was able to sprint for 36 yards before any of the deep positioned defenders could tackle him. Though all the speed was apparent on the play, it resulted in naught for New Orleans, as Drew Brees took a knee on the next play.
2012 Week 13 vs ATL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 9 / 5 / 47 / 0 rec)
Sproles somewhat gave way for his teammates in the first half, but got his first reception within the final two minutes when Brees dumped the ball off to him in single coverage over the middle. Sproles sprinted away from the defense for a first down. Brees went straight back to Sproles on a screen play that went for a touchdown, but the play was negated for an interference call on Jimmy Graham. It was very difficult to tell if Sproles would have scored with or without the block. Brees went back to Sproles for the third play in a row. He looked for him in the flat initially to the right, but that was covered. Sproles stayed alive however and ran back infield to make the reception for 13 yards. Brees checked down to Sproles on the very next play, but he was stopped by two defenders after only two yards and the first half came to a close without even a field goal attempt from the redzone. Lined up as a receiver on the first drive of the third quarter, Sproles caught a quick out against the blitz on third and eight before converting for a first down by the sideline. After hitting Jimmy Graham for a big gain, Brees threw the ball to Sproles in the flat on a quick screen, which he turned into 9 yards.
2012 Week 14 vs NYG (5 / 56 / 1 rush, 7 / 4 / 28 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles is usually a better option in the passing game where he can better utilize his quickness but ran very impressively against the Giants in his limited carries. Sproles frequently was able to break chunks of yards against the Giants on the ground. Sproles liked to run to the left side of his offensive line and burst down the sideline, enjoying great blocks from his WR's also. Sproles busted a big gain this way in the second half as he had a lot of room to work with thanks to his blocking and exploded down the sideline to punish the Giants for not sealing the edge on defense. Sproles' first touchdown came on a short pass to the right in the redzone. QB Brees swung the pass in the flat short to Sproles and he simply outran every defender to the pylon for the score. Sproles had another similar touchdown run except he ran to the left and made a defender miss before bursting over the goal line for his second TD. Sproles went down easy when tackled at/behind the line of scrimmage but was electric in the open field as always. He was also an excellent receiving option for Brees as always as NYG defenders found it difficult to stick close to him.
2012 Week 15 vs TB (5 / 22 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 21 / 1 rec)
Sproles received ten touches, with an even split in carries and catches and caught one TD from two yards out. Most definitely not a between the tackles runner, Sproles longest run came on the 3rd play of the game on a toss. More solid blocking than flashy running, Sproles' quickness accelerated the play allowing for the big gain. Sproles' longest catch was a mere seven yards as Tampa Bay (and specifically Lavonte David) did a nice job limiting anything longer. Outside of the short TD, Sproles' biggest play was actually a missed opportunity. Matched up in single coverage with David, Sproles was correctly targeted as he was beyond the coverage, but couldn't bring the pass in as it bounced off his hands. A big opportunity missed for the Saints' offense, but as the score would suggest, not one that would hurt them in the end.
2012 Week 16 vs DAL (9 / 48 / 0 rush, 10 / 7 / 104 / 0 rec)
Much like Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles did most of his damage through the air with over 100 yards receiving. However, unlike Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram, Sproles did have success running the ball, and his combined efforts netted him over 150 yards receiving and rushing in total. Sproles displayed his trademark quickness and elusiveness, dodging tacklers and running sweeps and outside plays to success. Sproles also had a huge conversion on 3rd and 14 with a screen pass that was well executed by both him and his blockers. Sproles' big gain of the day was a 44 yard reception on a post route in 1 on 1 coverage against a backup defensive back. Sproles simply juked the DB on his route and kept running full steam ahead until he was brought down by deep safeties.
2012 Week 17 vs CAR (3 / 1 / 0 rush, 9 / 8 / 79 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles' 79 yards comprised mostly of a 33-yard screen pass that he scored a touchdown on late on, tiptoeing up the left sideline with the assistance of some good seal blocks. However, Sproles was also a reliable check-down option as the Panthers' two-deep coverage took away everything over the top for Brees. Sproles still looks every bit the weapon he was in 2011.
2011 Week 1 vs GB (2 / 7 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 75 / 0 rec)
If Mark Ingram is the hammer and Pierre Thomas is the finesse in this backfield, Darren Sproles is the road runner. The first thing that stood out in watching this game was how much trust he has engendered from Brees in his time so far with the team. Sproles provided the perfect outlet for Brees on many third down plays, none more so than a perfectly executed Texas route out of the backfield on a key third down. Sproles, lined up beside Brees in the shotgun, ran outside to commit LB A.J. Hawk. Having gotten Hawk to open his hips, the running back gave the LB a juke move that left him in the dust and darted up the seam. Brees knew where his RB would be and he offloaded it just before a probable sack. Sproles was used often as a pass catcher, like Thomas, but unlike Thomas he showed explosiveness in and out of his cuts and a tremendous ability to make men miss. Sproles showed his immense value in the kicking game also, as he took a punt back for a score on one of the most electric plays of the game. Expect Sproles - if this game is anything to go by - to assume a crucial role in this offense.
2011 Week 2 vs CHI (4 / 17 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 43 / 1 rec)
Started slowly but came on in the 2nd half. Many of his hand offs came via the shotgun. His TD was controversial as it appears he may have stepped out but the reality is he scored and it counts for owners. He caught a lot of check downs and were it not for the TD it would have been relatively quiet He is firmly the 3rd down back but if New Orleans wants to pass they want Sproles in the game as he adds another dimension to their passing attack.
2011 Week 3 vs HOU (2 / 35 / 1 rush, 9 / 6 / 50 / 0 rec)
Sproles was a big part of the Saints game plan as they worked to get him the ball in space by clearing out underneath routes for him. He was by far the most effective of the Saints running backs. Sproles saw many of the snaps in the fourth quarter when the Saints had multiple drives to take the lead, and was often split out as a receiver in empty back formations. The Texans sometimes tried unsuccessfully to cover him with linebackers in the passing game.
2011 Week 4 vs JAX (7 / 75 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 56 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles is worth every $ he is paid from the Saints and QB Brees loves his new target. Sproles turns any kind of play where he has open space into a big gain. He can surprise people with his burst between the tackles but his value as a third down back is incredible. On numerous occasions, Brees simply patted the ball and waited for Sproles to uncover before hitting his RB and letting him do the work for the first down. Sproles finds the hole fast and bursts through it. He is lethal in space but goes go down easy with contact as you would expect.
2011 Week 5 vs CAR (11 / 51 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 40 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles continues to be a pivotal part of this offense. Sean Payton uses him in a number of ways to outfox the opponent and force them to account for him as a runner and receiver. Sproles is especially dangerous as an option in the screen game, an aspect of his game the Saints tried to exploit in this game. Sproles' extra low centre of gravity allowed him to escape the grasp of tacklers on more than one occasion. He is difficult to locate in the pile of bodies. Sproles did not break any big plays per se in this game, but credit has to go to the Panthers defense who did an excellent job overall. Sproles has been and will continue to be a vital part of this Saints offense going forward.
2011 Week 6 vs TB (1 / 16 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 46 / 0 rec)
Had a terrific 16 yard scamper up the left sideline early on but the rest of the day he was involved in the passing game. He wasn't given any more hand offs and that seemed like an area he could have done more damage to the Bucs. He's still a great flex starter and sometimes an RB2 but only watching him receive 1 carry for the entire game is disappointing. The Bucs were waiting for him on most of his screens and passes.
2011 Week 7 vs IND (12 / 88 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 19 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles does everything Reggie Bush was expected to do when the Saints drafted Bush #2 overall in the 2006 draft, but Sproles does it better and he does even more. Sproles put every weapon in his arsenal in this game, running with power, quickness, breakaway speed, and providing a reliable option in the passing game. The way Sproles has performed for the Saints this year makes one wonder why he wasn't used more in San Diego last season when rookie Ryan Mathews was injured early in the year. Because of the varied ways Sproles makes plays, he remains one of the most explosive weapons in the high-octane New Orleans offense.
2011 Week 8 vs STL (6 / 16 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 60 / 0 rec)
Sproles looked great after the catch as usual, but had few opportunities until late in the game. His bread and butter is as a receiver out of the backfield, but for most of the day Brees was intent on getting the ball downfield.
2011 Week 9 vs TB (4 / 42 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 57 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles is one of the best players the Saints have ever signed. Sproles is perfect in this offense. Sean Payton continually finds ways to use him to exploit mismatches against linebackers in the open field. Sproles was a consistent target of Brees against the Bucs, catching a number of passes out of the backfield. His only touchdown of the game came on a screen pass as the Bucs sent a blitz. Sproles danced into the end zone thanks to some terrific blocks by his teammates which essentially cut the field in half. Sproles had a fantastic run inside the tackles for 35 yards, showing a terrific blend of burst, vision, elusiveness, balance and cutback ability. Sproles had a late touchdown run called back by a questionable holding penalty as well, so his already superlative day could have been even better.
2011 Week 10 vs ATL (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 2 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles has been on a hot steak as of late but the Falcons did a great job limiting his effectiveness and took him completely out of the game. Sproles had very few carries as he shared time with his teammates but he also had very few catches. QB Brees was looking downfield far more often than normal and Sproles was not needed as much as a result as a check down option. Sproles also had a pass that hit the ground and a screen pass that really went nowhere, resulting in a subpar game for the RB.
2011 Week 12 vs NYG (8 / 54 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles was kept somewhat in check by NYG but still made his impact in this game and picked up many first downs for his team. Sproles was given many outside runs that cater to his speed and agility. Sproles got a toss play near the redzone for his team and was able to stay in bounds while running down the sideline for a big play. Sproles managed to run between the tackles with decent success when the offensive line was giving him a good push up front. The NYG defense was very poor in gap control and assignments and Saints players were beating them in every phase of the game, from blocking to tackling. Sproles was also given the ball on a misdirection play. Sproles was able to find himself with a lot of run to work with and made the NYG defense pay for over pursuing one direction. Sproles did not make his presence felt in the passing game but QB Brees was having a lot of success down the field and did not need to check down the ball to his RB's often.
2011 Week 13 vs DET (4 / 28 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 46 / 1 rec)
Sproles made a couple big plays in this one. He showed great change of pace, by burning 20 yards of the left sideline on a sweep. He also made a few big plays at the end of the first half, getting two receptions and turning on the jets to get upfield and get in position for a score. Sproles finished things off with a 6 yard td reception across the middle. His rushes have been declining in recent weeks, but you wonder if Payton is starting to control his touches in preparation for the playoffs. His usage isn't what it was a few weeks back, which could be of concern as we head to the fantasy playoffs.
2011 Week 14 vs TEN (5 / 33 / 0 rush, 8 / 7 / 58 / 0 rec)
Sproles quietly added 91 rushing and receiving yards for the Saints in a game that largely featured Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas carrying the rushing load. Sproles is remarkably quick in the open field and seems to gain positive yardage on every play, even when he appears to be bottled up in the backfield. Sproles was used primarily in hurry-up packages and on clear pass plays. His best play came on a 20 yard reception. On the play, Sproles took a quick pass to the right side of the field, weaved between two Titans defenders, and gained 20 yards.
2011 Week 15 vs MIN (8 / 33 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 79 / 1 rec)
Sproles dropped an easy reception in the left flat that could have gone for decent yardage after the catch, but later made the catch on a similar play to the right that went for 39 yards. Sproles took the pass and showed good patience allowing his blocks to develop in front of him, taking it the rest of the way down the right sideline before he was hit out of bounds, resulting in a 15-yard late hit penalty. Sproles, as usual, provided the explosive triple threat as a runner, receiver, and return man who has the ability to score from anywhere on the field. He was effective as a runner, but did most of his damage as a receiver and return man, breaking off a couple of huge punt returns that set up the Saints in great field position. Sproles nearly had a second TD early in the first half, but was tripped up at the 2. He was later denied a TD when a 4th quarter score was overturned by video review.
2011 Week 16 vs ATL (5 / 67 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 22 / 1 rec)
Sproles puts so much pressure on defenses with his ability to catch the ball out the back field to running the ball between the tackles and always able to take the ball to the house on any opportunity. Sproles vision and agility mixed with pure acceleration was no more evident on his long carry of the night for 36 yard gain, the lightning quick back was able to start and stop and hit full speed again forcing the defense to over pursue and make the lanes needed to gain the yardage. Sproles also caught Drew Brees record-breaking pass for a 9-yard touchdown, able to catch the ball and simultaneously turn up field for the touchdown. Sproles also added a 92-yard kick off return in the special teams department.
2011 Week 17 vs CAR (6 / 40 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 29 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles set the all-time record for all-purpose yards in a single season during the course of the game, as he continued to electrify the stadium with jukes, spins and cuts that are almost unfair to defenders. Sproles caught a touchdown pass on a quick out route in the red zone, losing the linebacker in coverage on him. He dove for the end zone and managed to break the plane.
2011 Week 18 vs DET (10 / 51 / 2 rush, 5 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)
Darren Sproles did something on Saturday that Reggie Bush almost never did in New Orleans: run between the tackles and run well. Sproles was in the usual do-it-all RB role too however. He was given carries up the middle of the defense, on runs to the outside where he could use his speed and quickness to turn the corner. Sproles also caught screens, check downs and any turned any short pass into a "punt return" with blockers in front and used his special elusiveness to run around defenders. Sproles had good success running up the middle, thanks to some terrific blocking up front by Guards Nicks and Evans. They sprung Sproles's touchdown running, simply bursting through a huge hole in the middle of the defense and outrunning everyone to the goal line. Sproles used his speed to burst through the hole in the defense time and time again and defenders could not get a grasp on him. Sproles scored again on the goal line as he bounced off a would-be tackler and scored on his second effort across the goal line. The Lions found it difficult to bring Sproles down early and he even managed to convert a 4th and 2 call with an outside run called. The X factor he brings with option routes in the passing game and explosive play any way he touches the ball will prove very valuable in the playoffs and beyond.
2011 Week 19 vs SF (3 / 3 / 0 rush, 19 / 15 / 119 / 1 rec)
A lot of receptions to the point he was almost a slot receiver exclusively against the Niners. New Orleans fell behind early, lost Thomas and then had to turn to the short passing game. Sproles was bottled up pretty well until late in the 4th quarter as he took a short dump off from Brees and turned it up field making Golston miss en route to a 44 yard TD scamper that vaulted the Saints into the lead 24-23 at the time. Sproles caught so many balls, he more than made up for the lack of running attack by the Saints. Many were dump offs, check downs, a few screens, many of them were just 4-5 yards but then he busted the touchdown and that really padded his numbers on the day.
2010 Week 1 vs KC (5 / 3 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
The dynamic Darren Sproles was held in check during week 1 by the KC Chiefs. Aside from his normal special team duties he was almost unseen throughout the 1st 3 quarters. During the 4th quarter with the Chargers playing from behind Sproles was leaned on more though to provide a spark. He finished the game with 7 touches and 5 yards. More productive days are ahead for the speedster but don't expect him to get too many carries with Mathews around, this is not a timeshare.
2010 Week 2 vs JAX (5 / 37 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 63 / 0 rec)
Like his fellow backfield mate Ryan Mathews, Sproles looked noticeably quicker on the dry turf of San Diego than on the wet track last week in Kansas City. Sproles had an off year in 2009, with a lot of his trademark big plays and long gains missing from his stat line. In this game, those big plays were back. He had a 34 yard run and a 43 yard reception, and looked extremely quick on each of them. Those who expected Sproles to see a bigger workload with Ryan Mathews injured and out of the game were disappointed, however, when Mike Tolbert saw the majority of the rushing load with the starter out of the game. Based on this game, it would appear that if Mathews were to miss any time, Sproles' role would remain largely unchanged from where it is now and that Tolbert would slide into more of the featured role.
2010 Week 3 vs SEA (1 / 16 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Despite the absence of starting halfback Ryan Mathews, Sproles didn't see any increase in activity in this game. In fact, he saw even fewer touches than he normally does. He caught just one pass and just one carry on the afternoon. That one carry was on the first run of the game for San Diego and it went for 16 yards, so it was a bit curious why he didn't see any more action in the running game. Sproles had a major gaffe in the return game, fumbling a kick return with about a minute left in the first half. He was tripped on the play, which may have helped lead to the fumble, but no penalty call was made. Sproles had a chance for a very big gain late in the first half on a screen pass. The ball was tipped at the line and knocked down incomplete, but had it gone through there was nothing in front of Sproles except blockers and daylight.
2010 Week 4 vs ARI (6 / 17 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
One has to wonder why the Chargers are paying Sproles all the money they are. He had just six total touches from scrimmage in this game, with one of those turning disastrous. Sproles fumbled along the sideline early in the second quarter, and the ball was scooped up by S Kerry Rhodes and returned the other way for an easy touchdown. There was never a good replay angle that showed whether Sproles had actually fumbled or not, but the play was never challenged by San Diego. Sproles didn't see another carry until the third quarter, and just four more for the game.
2010 Week 5 vs OAK (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)
Sproles will often get lost in this offense as there are too many running backs, and he is somewhat of a one trick pony. He is lethal in the open field and had a few nice catches out of the backfield for first downs, but does not get any crucial goal line carries due to his lack of punch at the line of scrimmage.
2010 Week 6 vs STL (1 / 9 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 48 / 0 rec)
For the first time really all season, Sproles looked very quick with the ball in his hands. He made a quick catch over the middle for eleven yards, and later caught a pass perfectly in stride that he took down to the two yard line. He looked fast and elusive on that play, and even worked in a first down run off a third down draw play (something Charger fans can tell you historically has not been a very successful play with Sproles).
2010 Week 7 vs NE (2 / 7 / 0 rush, 9 / 9 / 70 / 0 rec)
Sproles was the most effective player in the San Diego backfield, with a game-high nine receptions and 70 yards receiving. The Chargers were making a conscious effort to get the ball in space, something they haven't been able to do much of this season. He showed nice strength in knocking over a couple of defenders who came up to hit him on a screen, and later made a terrific move out in the flat. He squared up the defender before simply running away from him, showing that great burst that we've seen from him so often but that has been missing for the better part of the last two seasons.
2010 Week 8 vs TEN (4 / 41 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 36 / 1 rec)
Sproles has finally begun to look like himself in recent weeks, busting out a couple of big gains in this game that showed some of that incredible burst we're accustomed to seeing from him. He did almost nothing in the first half, taking a huge loss on a delayed handoff and also dropping an easy pass out in the flat for what should have been a simple first down. But in the second half, he took a handoff up the right side, put an incredible shake off a defender to gain separation, and was taken down 32 yards later. Soon after, he made a great individual effort to find the end zone off a simple short pass. He was met at the one yard line by several defenders, but he fought his way through the tacklers to get in for the score. He may have actually been out of bounds on the play, but no call was made to rule him out.
2010 Week 9 vs HOU (1 / 3 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Despite the absence of the big-name receiving options for San Diego as well as the absence of Ryan Mathews for an entire half, Sproles never really got himself involved in the flow of the game. He had just two total touches, and wasn't thrown to a lot in the passing game. His biggest contribution was making a nice pass back to Philip Rivers on a flea-flicker pass that ended up going for 37 yards to TE Kris Wilson.
2010 Week 11 vs DEN (5 / 14 / 0 rush, 9 / 5 / 60 / 1 rec)
Sproles didn't see his first carry of the game until the second half, but he was mostly bottled up when he did finally see some looks. Of course, he did have one play in particular on which nobody caught him. He came out of the backfield and circled over the middle as Rivers fired a perfect strike to him in stride. Sproles did the rest, racing downfield and using his downfield blockers to shoot into the end zone for a 57 yard score. It was the perfect call, with Denver's defenders guarding against the deep ball all game long, and that enabled Sproles a ton of room to operate with on the underneath shorter routes. Aside from the score, Sproles's nine other offensive touches went for a total of seventeen yards.
2010 Week 12 vs IND (4 / 17 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
Sproles had a very limited role in the San Diego offense, as Mike Tolbert's rushing dominance never needed to be deviated from. And the passing game stayed fairly conservative as the Chargers jumped out to a large early lead and never really looked back.
2010 Week 13 vs OAK (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Sproles' afternoon wasn't going well to begin with when he muffed a punt away to the Raiders to rekindle San Diego's special teams demons. His day got considerably worse after a short reception over the middle. He was hit in the helmet by the defender's helmet on a vicious collision and immediately knocked to the ground. Soon after, he was diagnosed with a concussion and ruled out for the game.
2010 Week 14 vs KC (6 / 53 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 51 / 0 rec)
Sproles, who was knocked from last week's game with a concussion, showed no ill effects this time around. In fact, he caught a short pass over the middle that very much resembled the play on which he was injured last week early in the first quarter. But rather than shying from contact, Sproles showed no fear in attacking the defense. He very much looked like his old self today - getting the ball in space, setting up one on one situations, and then simply running past defenders. Sproles was benefitting by the great push being delivered by the Charger offensive line, which opened up nice holes that he took advantage of by hitting them hard. His shifty running style allowed him to pick up many yards before a defender even knew where he was, and it resulted in season highs of 53 yards rushing and 104 yards from scrimmage.
2010 Week 15 vs SF (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 30 / 0 rec)
The San Diego downfield passing game and powerful inside rushing game were the focal points of their offensive game plan, and neither of those really fits what Sproles does best. He did have a nice eleven yard gain on a screen pass up the right side, but he wasn't a primary option in the offense.
2010 Week 16 vs CIN (3 / 8 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 55 / 0 rec)
Sproles got a ton of garbage time dumpoffs, and even a few carries after Mike Tolbert left, but he had no appreciable effect on the outcome of the game. To his credit, he ran hard and even won a collision.
2010 Week 17 vs DEN (4 / 43 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
Sproles got a few carries between the tackles, including one on first and goal, and his speed looked lethal on a long carry out of the shadows of his own goalposts. The Chargers used him a lot more as a receiver with their injuries in the passing game, and he may be a late bloomer if his next team uses him that way. He is unlikely to remain a Charger unless the new CBA makes it reasonable to franchise a player for a third straight year.
2009 Week 1 vs OAK (9 / 23 / 1 rush, 7 / 5 / 43 / 0 rec)
When the Chargers needed plays down the stretch, Sproles obliged. He was a force in the passing game, turning short outlet passes into key late first rounds, and the team called his number on the game-winning TD. Sproles was also a major factor in the return game, and generally looked as fast, shifty, and tough as ever. He's looking like a great bargain at his ADP, and he should be in your lineup as a flex, or even an RB2 in PPR leagues.
2009 Week 2 vs BAL (10 / 26 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 124 / 1 rec)
Diminutive Darren Sproles got things going very early on, with an 81 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. He broke down the sideline wide open, then outraced two Baltimore defenders to the end zone. He later added another screen for big yardage and a long kick return for the all-around terrific performance. Sproles was even given some short yardage work, but predictably he wasn't as successful doing that. He was stuffed on a run from the two yard line in the second quarter, then was chased down by Ray Lewis on a screen to the right. It wasn't the last time Lewis would disrupt a Sproles run. Late in the fourth quarter, the Chargers faced a fourth down situation with the game on the line. They tried to get Sproles loose up the middle for the first down, but Lewis blasted through the line to come up with the huge game-saving stop.
2009 Week 3 vs MIA (18 / 41 / 0 rush, 5 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
The Chargers appeared to mis-use Sproles in this one, treating him almost as if he was LaDainian Tomlinson. SProles needs to get out and into open space to be effective, but the team was committed to pounding the run up the middle. The absence of Pro Bowl C Nick Hardwick, coupled with the fact that Sproles is about 150 pounds lighter than the average Miami defensive lineman, made that a recipe for disaster. There was never much room for him to run, and he often was taken down on first contact. In the passing game, most of San Diego's work was done down the field. He was targeted on a red zone pass that bounced dangerously off his hands, and was annihilated off of a spin move later in the game after moving to the middle of the field following a spin move. Still, he bounced back after each hit. He also did a nice job of throwing back across his body to Philip Rivers on a flea flicker that went for a modest gain to TE Antonio Gates, so maybe that will open him up for even more options in the offense.
2009 Week 4 vs PIT (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Sproles was essentially a non-factor in week 4 since LT was back in the lineup. Sproles finished the game without a rushing attempt and was only targeted once in the passing game, turning it into a nice 16 yard gain during a 2 minute drill late in the 2nd quarter. In the 2nd half Sproles was used mostly as a check-down option and even had a Very nice block in a 3rd down situation on Lawrence Timmons. Sproles needs to be used in space more often if San Diego is to take advantage of his dynamic talent.
2009 Week 6 vs DEN (1 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Sproles first and only carry came in the first quarter after LaDainian Tomlinson had carried the ball three times in a row to get to the Broncos 2-yard line. Tomlinson was replaced by Sproles, and on the sideline he didn't seem too happy about that. The Chargers tried to run an inside trap to the right side, but it was stopped by the Broncos and San Diego had to go for a field goal. Sproles biggest impact of the day came on special teams. After two returns for touchdowns by Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal, Sproles showed what he could do as a returner. He fielded the punt and found the seam quickly. Sproles then turned on the jets and scampered 77-yards for the touchdown.
2009 Week 7 vs KC (5 / 41 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 58 / 1 rec)
Sproles once again didn't see a lot of action in the game, but he made the most of the touches he did see. The Chargers are starting to realize that he's not a very strong inside runner, and his touches there have dwindled to almost none. But he did pick up nice yardage on an outside run (on which he lost his shoe yet kept on going), and also scored on a 58 yard swing pass that he caught with nobody within twenty yards of him. Once he gets into that space, almost no defender in the league can match his speed. He also lost big yardage on a phantom holding call earlier in the first half.
2009 Week 8 vs OAK (5 / 38 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Sproles really demonstrated just how quickly he is able to get to top speed on several runs, and every time he got to the second level of the defense the defenders were almost back on their heels waiting for him to make his move first. He got close to breaking scores on two separate occasions, once being tripped up by the last man and once at the six yard line as he was pinned between tacklers (Tomlinson scored on the next play). He once again displayed excellent vision, cutting back against the grain in traffic on one occasion to pick up a first down. He did lose a fumble when he was hit from behind on a run up the middle, but the Charger offense was able to overcome it.
2009 Week 9 vs NYG (1 / 1 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 22 / 0 rec)
Sproles was targeted a lot as a receiver out of the backfield in the hurry-up offense, but he only got free for a good gain once. That play did set up the game-winning TD, but otherwise Sproles never got loose for one of his electrifying long runs and took some crushing hits along the way.
2009 Week 10 vs PHI (2 / 14 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 31 / 0 rec)
Curiously, Sproles was given the handoff on two separate short yardage situations on third down, and he failed to convert each time. It still seems like at times, the team is searching for ways to best utilize him in the offensive game plan. He totaled 45 yards on his six touches in this game, with 25 of those yards coming on two plays.
2009 Week 11 vs DEN (9 / 26 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
On several occasions, Sproles looked to be about a move or two away from breaking a long gain. However, Denver's last line of defense never did allow that one big breakout run that Sproles typically needs in order to have fantasy relevance. He did have a strong run up the middle late in the game, fighting all the way towards the end zone but eventually getting stopped at the two yard line.
2009 Week 12 vs KC (9 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)
His afternoon began inauspiciously as he tried running one out of the end zone on the opening kick and ended up pinning his own team inside their own five yard line to begin. In addition, he had a rough afternoon running the ball (nine carries for 17 yards, including a handful of short yardage carries that he continues to get despite almost no success in that formation). But he did make a nice impact in the passing game, with 66 yards on five receptions. His first grab was a screen in the open field that featured a sea of blockers and looked to be going for a huge gain, but S Mike Brown saved it with a terrific open-field tackle. The next time Sproles got a screen pass, he did not wait for blockers and instead tried out-running the defense on his own. He used some of his typical shiftiness late in the game to beef up his yardage totals, but never did manage to get into the end zone despite getting carries down near the goal line.
2009 Week 13 vs CLE (7 / 27 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 56 / 1 rec)
With 83 yards and a touchdown, it appears that Darren Sproles had a solid afternoon. But as usual, his stat line was largely dependent on being able to make a big play. When Sproles gets that one big burst into the open field for a score, his stats look good. If he doesn't get that big play, he doesn't do enough on a play by play basis to contribute much fantasy-wise. In this game, he had a 31 yard touchdown reception, and aside from that he had just 52 total yards. He did come close to another score, but QB Philip Rivers' pass was thrown to the wrong shoulder at the four yard line and fell incomplete. The scoring play was a simple screen, and Sproles took off like he was shot out of a cannon for the end zone, diving in at the end. He did make a mental error in fielding a kickoff on the sideline rather than allowing it to bounce out of bounds, but that didn't make a significant impact on the game.
2009 Week 14 vs DAL (7 / 22 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Sproles didn't see any regular work in this one, with just seven rushes to LaDainian Tomlinson's 21. Sproles only significance was a nice run through the defense on a rare successful short yardage run in the second half.
2009 Week 15 vs CIN (3 / 11 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
Sproles had a 45 yard kick return to open the game, which was more yardage than he had combined from scrimmage for the rest of the afternoon. The closest he came to scoring was when he had a quick burst off right tackle and was taken down at the four, but he never came close to breaking a long gain. He did show some unknown power in running over CB Leon Hall on the sideline in order to pick up a key first down late in the first half.
2009 Week 16 vs TEN (5 / 38 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 23 / 1 rec)
Darren Sproles scored three times for the Chargers against the Titans, showing good quickness and speed with just a handful of touches on Christmas night. Sproles scored on a short three-yard "arrow" route (slant out, then in) out of the backfield down near the goal line in the second quarter and then followed it up with two rushing scores in the third and fourth quarter. Sproles' final score came on the first play of the final period which marked the last time most of the starters saw the field for San Diego. Look for Sproles to be the starting tailback in Week 17 as San Diego will rest LaDainian Tomlinson for the playoffs.
2009 Week 17 vs WAS (2 / 18 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles had a nice gain and saw some third-down snaps, but his involvement in game plan was limited despite Tomlinson leaving early.
2009 Week 19 vs NYJ (3 / 33 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Sproles didn't get a ton of work, but he was outstanding in limited action. He compiled 63 yards on just six touches, looking explosive on more than one occasion. He picked up 22 on a run up the middle late in the first half that helped set up a field goal attempt, and added 19 on a short pass late in the fourth quarter to help set up a Rivers touchdown run. For some reason, the Chargers gave LaDainian Tomlinson fifteen touches to just six for Sproles, despite the fact that Sproles totaled nearly three times the yardage. Something was very wrong with the game plan there.
2008 Week 1 vs CAR (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles' role in this game confirms what everyone has suspected for the last few weeks, and that's that he is the clear cut backup running back to LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson didn't leave the game for very long stretches at all, but Sproles saw two carries out of the backfield, neither of which gained any significant yardage.
2008 Week 2 vs DEN (7 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 72 / 1 rec)
There aren't enough superlatives to adequately describe how good Darren Sproles looked with the ball in his hands. As if a 103 yard kick return touchdown to tie a team record wasn't enough, he provided more than adequate relief in place of injured LaDainian Tomlinson. Sproles picked up 125 yards from scrimmage on just nine offensive touches, most of the yardage coming in spectacular fashion. He stole back the momentum with the return touchdown, which really provided the spark to get San Diego back in the game. And he consistently looked to have a better burst off the line than Tomlinson. At no time was that more evident than on his 66 yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter. Sproles took a simple screen and turned upfield like he was shot from a cannon. The Denver defenders appeared to badly underestimate his acceleration, as several players appeared to have an angle on a tackle only to watch him fly right by them. His afternoon could have been even more spectacular had he not lost a long gain due to a penalty. He sprinted upfield for nearly fifty yards, but a holding penalty downfield by WR Chris Chambers wiped out much of the run and Sproles had to settle for a 15 yard gain. With the news on Tomlinson so up in the air, Sproles is clearly a player to keep an eye on. During the preseason, most were unsure who would receive the lion's share of the work between Sproles and Jacob Hester if Tomlinson were to get hurt. Sproles saw twelve touches in this game to Hester's zero, so that question has been answered rather emphatically.
2008 Week 3 vs NYJ (5 / 38 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 39 / 0 rec)
Sproles only relieved RB LaDainian Tomlinson to give him a breather through out the game as he only had five carries to Tomlinson's 26. But Sproles looked a little more explosive as he averaged over seven yards a carry. He had a nice 21 yard run early in the third quarter and got close to getting into the end zone, but was tackled near the two yard line.
2008 Week 4 vs OAK (6 / 12 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
With starter LaDainian Tomlinson's toe feeling a lot better, Sproles didn't see much action on offense. He spelled Tomlinson at times to give him a breather, but didn't fill a specific role in the game. However, he did make his presence felt on two occasions. He gave a great effort in breaking a tackle on a two point conversion reception to put San Diego up 18-15, and his 67 yard kick return helped set up the eventual game-winning field goal.
2008 Week 5 vs MIA (6 / 24 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 23 / 0 rec)
For another game, Sproles looked outstanding. While LaDainian Tomlinson looked improved over recent weeks, Sproles simply looks like he's running in another gear. He took a simple screen pass for a 23 yard gain late in the third quarter to help set up a potential fourth down touchdown run for Tomlinson, but Tomlinson was stuffed at the goal line. Additionally, Tomlinson had left the game earlier after suffering some sort of injury - that's why Sproles was in there in the first place. But he wasn't only playing because of Tomlinson's injury; Sproles got a carry on the second play of the game, and saw regular work throughout the contest in tandem with Tomlinson.
2008 Week 6 vs NE (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Sproles saw very little work as the team leaned heavily on LaDainian Tomlinson. Even with San Diego up 30-10, Sproles remained on the sideline as Tomlinson ran out the last few offensive plays for San Diego.
2008 Week 7 vs BUF (1 / 1 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Despite the continued struggles of LaDainian Tomlinson, Sproles saw just two touches from scrimmage. He has been bothered by his own injury recently, a sprained ankle. But since he's healthy enough to return punts and kicks, one has to assume that the lack of offensive touches are a strategic coaching decision and nothing to do with injury risk.
2008 Week 8 vs NO (1 / 6 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 45 / 0 rec)
With LaDainian Tomlinson looking as close to 100% as he has all season long, it was no surprise that Sproles saw just one carry in the game. He did record three receptions in the passing game on dump-offs over the middle, but his role is clearly that of backup and not complement, going forward. He also had an extremely costly fumble during a kick return, though that won't affect his role in that capacity going forward.
2008 Week 10 vs KC (3 / 15 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Sproles wasn't heavily involved in the offensive game plan, but he got a bit more action than he's seen in recent weeks. He had a nice ten yard burst up the middle in the red zone where he showed great explosiveness in hitting the hole. His value lies mostly in his special teams work, but he was utilized as a receiver out of the backfield on several occasions.
2008 Week 11 vs PIT (1 / 0 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
Sproles, whose game is predicated on speed and quick cuts, was ill-suited to do much damage in a game with these field conditions. The surface was very slick, with several players losing their footing at times. And with just three offensive touches for nine yards, it appears the Chargers' staff felt the same way.
2008 Week 12 vs IND (2 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Sproles' long gain of the game came when he picked up 20 yards on a third quarter run. In addition to his touches on offense, he averaged 20 yards on five kick returns and returned one punt for four yards.
2008 Week 13 vs ATL (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
For the first time all season, Sproles did not receive an offensive touch in the game. Until this week, he had had at least one rush in every game and at least one reception in every game except Week 1. Meanwhile, the team's other backup RB Jacob Hester, had four touches.
2008 Week 14 vs OAK (9 / 30 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 34 / 2 rec)
Sproles had a huge game, and had it not been for an overzealous official it could have been even bigger. For starters, he caught two touchdown passes, both of them coming on screens and both of them featuring Sproles appearing to be shot out of a cannon immediately after making the catch. The Raiders had all kinds of trouble even getting a hand on Sproles, let alone actually tackling him. He made a hard cut back early in the game that announcer Cris Collinsworth said looked like, "The LT of old" (a reference to LaDainian Tomlinson in his younger years). The one that got away for Sproles was a punt return touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He burst up the left sideline for what appeared to be an 86 yard punt return touchdown. The play was called back due to an illegal block in the back penalty, though Antoine Cason (the offending party) made very little contact with the would be tackler and didn't appear to disrupt his route any.
2008 Week 15 vs KC (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)
For a brief time in the first half, Sproles was the only player doing much of anything to move the football for the Chargers. It wasn't in the offensive gameplan, but rather in the kick return game. He had returns of 40 and 38 yards in the first half, but was uninvolved in the offense save for a short reception. He was a bit more involved in the second half, seeing three more receptions but still no touches on the ground. His last catch of the day ended up costing the team eight yards. He caught a pass for -2 yards, and then fumbled it out of bounds behind him after a big hit.
2008 Week 16 vs TB (2 / 3 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 46 / 1 rec)
Sproles had just one offensive touch from scrimmage through the first three quarters, but did a lot of damage in the return game. He had a 44 yard kick return and a 43 yard punt return before getting involved late in the offense. He caught a short screen late in the fourth quarter and soon darted up the right sideline for a 32 yard score that put San Diego up by ten.
2008 Week 17 vs DEN (14 / 115 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 1 rec)
Sproles got a big chunk of playing time when the Chargers were up and Tomlinson went down with a minor injury. He looked quick against a poor defense and had a huge game. He was able to move the chains in the fourth quarter to prevent any huge comeback from the Broncos.
2008 Week 18 vs IND (22 / 105 / 2 rush, 10 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)
Starting RB LaDainian Tomlinson tried to give it a go in the game, and he lasted for five carries before his groin injury became too painful to continue running on. So Sproles took over the majority of the rushing duties and sure made the most of the opportunity. The diminutive runner was involved in most of the most crucial plays of the game, including the obvious one - a game-winning 22 yard touchdown run in overtime that sent the Chargers to the second round of the playoffs. Sproles, who will be a free agent after the season, likely saw his stock rise considerably with this performance. He carried the ball 23 times, caught five passes, and returned all of the kicks and punts. When all was said and done, he had finished with the third-best total of all-purpose yards in NFL postseason history, with 328. He picked up yards every way imaginable. He took a third and nine draw up the middle for a first down near the end of the first quarter. He fought his way into the end zone on an inside run late in the first half for his first touchdown. Sproles also made two huge plays late in the contest that didn't go for big yardage but were key to victory all the same. Facing a third down and ten, he took a draw up the middle and very nearly picked up the first down. He was a bit short, but he helped turn what would have been a 34 yard field goal attempt into a 26 yard chip shot. And in the overtime session, San Diego faced a third down and eleven situation from their own 24 yard line. QB Philip Rivers found Sproles for a dumpoff in the flat, and the back did the rest of the work, surging ahead for a 13 yard gain to extend the drive. That drive would eventually lead to the game-winning touchdown run by Sproles. He took a handoff to the left side, cut back against the defense, and raced to the end zone. The only thing between Sproles and a San Diego victory was DB Antoine Bethea, but Sproles made quick work of him with a lightning fast cutback at the five yard line. The only negative part of his evening was a fumble that he coughed up right at the doorstep of the goal line as San Diego was driving to take the lead late in the third quarter. But the overtime touchdown more than made up for that, and certainly helped make Sproles a very attractive commodity on this spring's upcoming free agent market.
2008 Week 19 vs PIT (11 / 15 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 91 / 1 rec)
Sproles looked set up to have a huge game early on. He turned the corner with precision on his first reception of the game, showing good footing and a quick burst despite the wintry conditions. He looked shifty inside and seemed able to get out of the way of the defenders that were coming to meet him in the backfield. That was perhaps the biggest issue for San Diego's rushing attack. It wasn't that Sproles was bad, despite what the numbers look like. What actually happened is that the Pittsburgh defenders were living in the San Diego backfield. Sproles actually did well to get back to the line of scrimmage more often than not. And despite the frustrations of an 11 carry, 15 yard game, all was not lost. He broke a 63 yard kick return early in the third quarter that temporarily restored momentum to San Diego, and he later ran a straight burst down the seam for a 62 yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It was a fairly meaningless touchdown that made the score 35-24, but it still showed off the outstanding speed for the free agent-to-be.
2007 Week 10 vs IND (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Though Darren Sproles did not play an offensive down, he certainly made his mark on this game. Sproles took the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. Later in the 1st quarter on a short Hunter Smith punt from deep in the Colts zone, Sproles returned the ball 45 yards for another touchdown, putting the Chargers up 17-0 with six minutes still remaining. He went virtually untouched on both long runs.
2007 Week 12 vs BAL (2 / 1 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles got a few carries at the end of the game, but was predominantly used as a returner.
2007 Week 15 vs DET (25 / 122 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
Sproles got the biggest opportunity of his career to make an impact, and he was simply outstanding. Granted, it was against a porous Detroit defense, but Sproles did everything the Chargers could have hoped for. He converted short yardage runs, he ran with speed and power, and he ran right through and around tacklers despite the Lions knowing he was coming on just about every play. Perhaps most importantly, Sproles showed the Chargers that he can carry the load. With Michael Turner nursing a shoulder injury, Sproles carried the ball an astounding 24 times in the second half. The diminutive backup essentially proved that he can be a capable backup to LaDainian Tomlinson in his own right. That may not mean much for the remainder of 2007, but if Turner leaves the team as a free agent as expected, Sproles is poised to move into a very crucial position fantasy-wise - as the top backup to the top running back in football, Tomlinson. As if Sproles' numbers weren't impressive enough, they could have been even better. Shane Olivea was whistled for being illegally downfield on a 56 yard touchdown pass to Sproles off a screen. The amazing part of it was that Olivea wasn't even a part of the play, as Sproles had already flown right past him on his way to the end zone. He showed a terrific ability to shake defenders in open space, and a surprising ability to shed tacklers who had a hand on him. He was also very receptive to being hit, and didn't shy away from contact - instead, running up the middle head first almost every time, almost to a fault.
2007 Week 16 vs DEN (6 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 7 / 0 rec)
Despite Tomlinson and Turner's combined workload (29 touches between them), Sproles managed to secure a role of his own, with ten offensive touches. While he wasn't nearly as productive as he was a week ago against the Lions, it let us know that Norv Turner isn't going to hesitate to use him in certain situations going forward.
2007 Week 17 vs OAK (2 / 20 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / -3 / 0 rec)
Sproles has seen an increase in workload over the past couple of weeks, but Michael Turner looked extremely effective running the football in this game and has likely fully reclaimed his role as the top backup to LaDainian Tomlinson. On the plus side, Sproles did once again demonstrate his big-play capabilities by returning the opening kickoff to start the second half 61 yards before being forced out of bounds by PK Sebastian Janikowski.
2007 Week 19 vs IND (1 / 1 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 56 / 1 rec)
Despite just two offensive touches, Sproles managed to turn in one of the biggest plays of the entire afternoon. With the Chargers trailing 17-14 late in the third quarter and LaDainian Tomlinson on the bench for the entire second half, Sproles took a screen from Philip Rivers up the left side for a seemingly innocuous gain. But after getting to the edge, Sproles took off like a missile on a straight line for the end zone and scored a 56 yard touchdown. The play seemed to mean as much to the San Diego psyche as it did on the scoreboard. Despite their star being out of commission, San Diego had once again found a way to get back into the game.
2007 Week 20 vs NE (3 / 34 / 0 rush, 0 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
Despite the absence of starter LaDainian Tomlinson, Sproles didn't see a greatly increased workload. He had just five offensive touches, though one of those touches resulted in a nice 26 yard burst up the middle for San Diego's longest offensive play of the game. While no one knows what is in store for the off-season, it is highly likely that primary backup Michael Turner has played his last game as a Charger. He'll likely receive a contract offer to compete for the starting tailback job for someone this off-season, likely making Sproles the new primary backup to Tomlinson. This is important for purposes of handcuffing the two next season, as Tomlinson showed in these playoffs that he's not superhuman after all and may need more extended rests in 2008.
2005 Week 2 vs DEN (1 / 12 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Sproles had one carry in the game, gaining 12 yards. He was targeted once in the passing game and had a five yard reception. Sproles was used on special teams, returning three kickoffs and a punt.
2005 Week 3 vs NYG (1 / 21 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles saw most of his action returning kickoffs and punts, although he made the most of his one carry in relief of Tomlinson. His 21 yard scoot showed off the quickness and speed that makes him effective, despite being undersized.
2005 Week 4 vs NE (2 / 8 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -1 / 0 rec)
Sproles' involvement in the game was limited to a few early touches, but the big story with him is that he left the game with an injury suffered in the fourth quarter. He walked off under his own power, but was later seen being carted from the sidelines into the locker room.
2005 Week 5 vs PIT (0 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Sproles did not register a carry, but he showed no lingering effects from an ankle injury that forced him to leave early last week. He did well on kick returns with 157 yards on five attempts and added 11 punt return yards on two tries.