There was a point last season where it seemed as if Percy Harvin would be near the top of the NFL in yards after the catch. Harvin regularly seemed to pick up big chunks of yards after securing a Brett Favre pass.
Somewhat surprisingly, Harvin never did seem to be among the league leaders in this area when I checked. It turns out Harvin's production with the football was displayed through another stat: broken tackles.
In his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King writes the soon-to-be-published Football Outsiders Almanac reports that the rookie led all receivers in 2009 with 25 broken tackles. New England's Wes Welker was next with 16.
As for NFL running backs, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson was third with 56 broken tackles. Tennessee's Chris Johnson led running backs with 61 broken tackles and Baltimore's Ray Rice was second with 57.
King writes that Football Outsiders definition of a broken tackle is either a play in which the defender has the ballcarrier wrapped up -- or a play in which the ballcarrier fakes a defender and gets away.
One other thing about King's column. Give him credit for how he handles a Brett Favre item that appears.
An NFL player recently told King that Favre said to him following the season, "I'm 100 percent positive I'll never put on pads again in my life."
This bit of information was three graphs and is on the final page of MMQB's four pages. Why? Because King realizes he (and no one else) has any idea what Favre is going to do and thus isn't going to make a big deal out of something that might have been true at one point but very well isn't true right now.
It doesn't mean any of us can ignore Favre reports but it does help when the national media accepts the fact that when it comes to Favre what seems like news is often really just speculation.