AFC West Runners
The AFC West was down and out last year, but the running backs still made their mark.
There are quite a few notable runners in the West and defenses will be tasked with keeping these horses in the stable.
There are veterans like LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, and Justin Fargas. There are young guns like Knowshon Moreno, Darren Sproles, and Darren McFadden.
The great running, combined with the revitalized defense should make the AFC West a great division again within the next couple of seasons.
The Denver Broncos snatched Knowshon Moreno before the rival San Diego Chargers ever had a chance at him.
Moreno blasted through the college ranks with LaDainian Tomlinson like cutting ability averaging over 5.49 yards per carry during his short college career.
He doesn't have ideal size weighing in at just 207 pounds, but he does have some power to rumble through a typical weak AFC West arm tackle.
The Broncos may have finally found their replacement for Clinton Portis.
The tall, rangy Darren McFadden has the blinding speed that Al Davis loves.
McFadden flashed amazing ability earlier in the year and is worthy, without a doubt, of the high draft choice the Raiders used to snag his services.
With his height and speed, he becomes a huge threat coming out of the backfield averaging 9.8 yards per catch on 29 grabs.
In just two seasons, Darren Sproles went from possible cut to franchise player for the Chargers.
The man John Madden calls "the most dangerous screen runner in the league," has cat-quick feet and change of direction ability that is not equaled in the NFL.
Sproles has had a big hand in winning games for San Diego with his big plays, especially against the Colts in the playoffs.
Being the smallest player in the NFL, however, prevents him from replacing LaDainian Tomlinson as the Chargers primary running back.
Larry Johnson is the forgotten man when it comes to discussing elite running backs. Blame that on Herman Edwards.
Johnson has been totally underused or injured for the better part of the last two seasons.
Johnson is a big man that can move, he can run you over, easily break tackles.
On the downside, he seems to have never recovered from the dominate performance of the Indianapolis Colts' sudden dominance against the run in the 2006 playoffs.
Every time I see Fargas run, he looks amazingly fluid.
Having size and speed similar to former Viking running back Robert Smith, both Al Davis and I can not see why this guy isn't an even bigger threat that he has become.
Fargas seems destined to be completely replaced by his near clone, Darren McFadden.
Media and fans not in the know swear LaDainian Tomlinson has lost a step. Not at all.
Averaging close to five yards per carry in the three games he was healthy last season, Tomlinson looks to get some help from an upgraded offensive line and running mate Darren Sproles.
Tomlinson inability to stay healthy in 2007 may have caused the Chargers a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl title and another chance at Eli Manning and the Giants.
The Chargers worked a trade for Michael Bush who was all ready to go, until the Raiders pulled the rug out from under Charger GM AJ Smith's feet.
The Raiders wisely decided not to trade Bush, which would have been yet another theft for the Bolts.
At 6'2" 243 pounds, this guy is a freight train, but don't think he doesn't have speed. He gives the Raiders a thunderous compliment to Darren McFadden.
In the future, he will be a total headache for the AFC West, giving the Raiders another, possibly better, Tyrone Wheatley.