1st Team: Chris Johnson(TEN) & Steven Jackson(STL)
It is obvious that Chris Johnson was the halfback in the National Football League this year. When you are being slated to make a run at 2,000 yards and the yards from scrimmage record at the week 10 mark you know that you are doing something right.
Johnson got it done this year primarily with speed but he wasn’t easy to bring down like most speed backs. The only flaw, and it was very minor, that Johnson had this season was that his abilities diminished over games with his later carries.
Meanwhile Steven Jackson battled through injuries to prove to his pundits that he is not living solely on his 2006 season. Jackson returned to play every game he possibly could this season and did so with a marginal offensive line and a carousel of quarterbacks throwing to underrated, but average at the moment, receivers. In short, Jackson was the only viable threat on his entire offense which is why I can forgive the career low four touchdowns.
2nd Team: Ray Rice(BAL) & Adrian Peterson(MIN)
With all due respect to Chris Johnson, Ray Rice was the most exciting halfback to watch in the league this year in my opinion. Sure the numbers do not support that in that Johnson’s yards from scrimmage and long rushes blow Rice’s out of the way but Ray Rice was the only viable offensive option in Baltimore. Rice would single-handedly keep plays and drives alive and keep Baltimore in games they had no business being in. I literally found myself saying “holy crap, how did he do that?” about eight times this year.
The best back in the league didn’t play like so this year. Though it was obviously because Brett Favre took over the team, Peterson still managed to be one of the two best scoring threats in the league.
Peterson’s fumbling issues definitely kept him from making the first team, but it’s good to see that with the right quarterback he can become more than a pure running halfback but can contribute via the passing game as well.
3rd Team: Maurices Jones-Drew(JAX) & Frank Gore(SNF)
Jones-Drew could have been placed on the second team but there was just something that made me feel Peterson was the better choice. That said, Maurices Jones-Drew is the entire Jaguars offense and is the main reason they were in post-season contention throughout the later half of the season.
He is the definition of a complete halfback and demonstrated this constantly this year in his first year starting. Mike Sims-Walker can attribute some of his success this season to teams gameplanning for MJD.
Frank Gore is a halfback that is consistently underrated but he just continues to put up amazing seasons. Once again Gore managed to average over 100 yards from scrimmage per game for an entire seasons; a most difficult task. This was despite the fact that the 49ers offense tremendously underutilized him by going to a spread offense. I might be the only person who will give Gore any sort of notice as an All-Pro candidate this year, though admittedly I am the only person who does two halfbacks per team.
Honorable Mentions: DeAngelo Williams(CAR), Jonathan Stewart(CAR)
Williams, had he played the entire season easily would’ve made the second or third team but unfortunately for him teammate Jonathan Stewart stepped up after he injured himself and arguably outplayed him.