Top 10 NFL Running Backs
Many people have been very critical of Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte. I think that they deserve a little more credit than they have been receiving lately.
There are many running backs in the NFL, and most of them won't be on this list (of course).
This list will be for next season. NO ROOKIES ALLOWED!
You may love my picks, and you may hate them, and quite frankly, the only reason why I put this much trivial stuff at the start of my article...is because I need to have 300 characters! : ]
By the way, this required the most research of any other article I have done before.
The grading criteria are as follows: age, potential, how they did this past season, running skill, catching skill, and teammate support.
I thank you all for helping me decide to make my career sports writing. Thank you.
10. DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart aka The Panthers
Yeah, yeah, I know I said "Top 10", but I say you aren't allowed to have two players on the list! Those are the rules!
Enjoy these crazy stats. Between Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, they had 437 rushes for 2,250 yards rushing and 47 catches for 392 yards. All of that for a grand total of 18 touchdowns.
That's more touchdowns than the two QB's had! If they didn't have to share time, and were on different teams, these two could each be in the top 5.
Williams Rushing: 1,246 yards and 9 TD's.
Receiving: 26 catches 214 yards 1 TD
Stewart Rushing: 1,178 yards and 11 TD's
Receiving:28 catches 245 yards 0 TD's
9. Jamaal Charles
He had more than 1,100 yards, even though he only started from Week 9 on. He also had 40 catches for nearly 280 yards.
This guy, being the multitasker that he is, also returned 36 kicks for 925 yards and a touchdown.
He is young, exciting, and I think he could have a nice future in the NFL. Also, let's not forget that he has two "A"s in his name.
Rushing predictions: 1,548 yards and 11 TDs
Receiving predictions: 53 Catches for 612 yards and 3 TDs
8. Michael Turner
Wait, that's the wrong football. How dare he be the first person to show up in the images search!
Oh well, I am talking about the NFL team the Atlanta Falcons running back. He had 871 yards despite missing 6 weeks and the last 5 (I don't count the game with 1 attempt). Also, he had 10 touchdowns.
He averaged more yards per carry, and was well on his way to scoring just as many touchdowns. That is fairly hard to do, as you can imagine.
But, to add insult to injury (at least I laughed) he only had five catches, and has never been a receiving threat. Luckily for him, he runs right into the countdown without using his stone hands.
Rushing prediction: 1,696 yards and 14 TD's
Receiving prediction: -14 catches for -118 yards : ]
7. Rashard Mendenhall
Oh yeah! Here's where the Steelers fan in me comes in! He had 7 touchdowns and 1100 yards with 13 starts.
I think he could have been second in the league if he had been used properly and started every game.
He didn't have many catches, with 25, but I see that number going up next season considering he was a good pass catcher in college. I predict him having at least 11 total touchdowns and 1,700 total yards.
Rushing prediction: 1,374 yards and 11 TD's.
Receiving prediction: 34 catches for 368 yards and 2 TD's
6. Frank Gore
He is one of the most versatile RB's in the league. He is consistently one of the most successful running backs in the NFL.
He is very strong, yet fast. He is so quick, but he can also run most players over. He has been a surprisingly good pass catcher of the years.
His overall stats last year were 229 rushes for 1,120 yards, and a career high 10 touchdowns.
He also had 52 catches for 460 yards, and another career high 3 TD's.
That brings him to a grand total of 13 TD's. I forgot to mention he did this while either having limited action or missing 5 games. I think he will be a great player for years to come.
Rushing prediction: 348 rushes for 1,712 yards and 12 TD's
Receiving predictions: 53 catches for 457 yards and 2 TD's
Sidenote: He will be in the MVP talks since he will be a very important factor to the 49ers winning the division..which I think they will.
5. Ray Rice
Why is his number 27? Those are the 27 ways he can kill your defense....with just his legs. It kills me to think of him as a great top 5 player, but it is necessary.
He was just crazy all year. He was the only RB to torch the Steelers for more than 100 yards in what was it? 42 games or something like that.
He is a very powerful runner who's legs are like small trees...they even have branches. His overall stats were 254 rushes for 1,339 yards and 7 TD's. His receiving totals were outstanding as well with 78 catches for 702 yards, and 1 TD.
He was second behind Chris Johnson in total yards from scrimmage, and he was in the Pro Bowl. I predict his numbers will drop slightly next year but he could be a force for a very long time.
Rushing prediction: 1,148 yards and 10 TD's
Receiving prediction: 58 catches for 649 yards and 2 TD's
I think a large part of his numbers dropping will be due to the Ravens finding Flacco some help at receiver in the draft and free agency.
4. Maurice Jones-Drew
His back is extremely straight. He has become a great back in the NFL and I see him leading the league in TD's at least one year.
He is EXTREMELY powerful...as some have called him "The Cannonball". He runs with authority, and can truck a guy or two, but he also has the quickness to take you out of your cleats.
His overall stats were 312 Attempts for 1391 yards. He had a healthy 4.5 YPC, and that is very positive.
His receiving stats went down, but when your stats go down to 53 receptions, you had a nice year.
He had 374 yards off of those, but I guess 7.1 is really all you need. He really showed this year that he can take all the carries of a feature starting back.
Rushing prediction: 319 carries for 1,492 yards and 16 TD's
Receiving prediction: 48 receptions for 452 yards and 4 TD's
3. Steven Jackson
He's a big powerful man. Of course I'm talking about Kyle Boller (of course I'm so not).
He is one of the strongest and most frightening men in the NFL to tackle head on. He WILL crush you.
To go along with his rushing skills, he has surprisingly soft hands. Very impressive.
His overall stats were as follows: 324 rushes for 1,416 yards and 4 TD's, 51 catches for 322 yards and no TD's.
His scoring statistics may not be impressive, but then again, no one on the Rams team scored much. This will most definitely change next season.
Rushing prediction: 347 carries for 1,634 yards 12 TD's.
Receiving prediction: 62 catches for 547 yards and 2 TD's.
I think the Rams will take a QB. They were one of the worst teams in the NFL on both sides of the ball, but they are going to continue building around Steven Jackson.
2. Chris Johnson
Here's where the controversy sets in. MANY people (putting it lightly) think that Chris Johnson deserves to be in first. I still beg to differ, and I will get to that in the next section.
Chris Johnson is the fastest person in the NFL. He runs so fast that DeSean Jackson really just won't be able to keep up.
He can run fairly hard, between the tackles, but he is at his best on pitches or outside handoffs where he would have some space. He had nearly double the second place finishers total 20+ yard runs.
He was also the Titans' only offense, but I guess I can forgive. His overall stats were a record-setting 358 attempts for 2,006 yards and 14 TD's, with 50 catches for 503 yards and 2 TD's.
I think this dude has one hell of a future.
Rushing prediction: 312 rushes for 1,528 yards and 9 TD's.
Receiving prediction: 57 catches for 609 yards and 3 TD's.
Of course his numbers will drop! You can't set a new record for YFS (yards from scrimmage) every year!
1. Adrian Peterson
Adrian flipping Peterson! He is so super awesome! He is one of the strongest fastest RB's in the NFL. He runs with so much violence that it's ridiculous.
He is like one of the balls of energy from Dragon Ball Z (either you or your kids, or possibly your kids' kids should know it). He runs with so much AUTHORITAH (South Park never gets old)!
While painful for me, the way he ran over William Gay was just crazy horrified. AP's overall stats were 314 rushes for 1,383 yards and 18 TD's.
First of all, those are ridiculous numbers despite popular belief. He had a fairly unhelpful line for most of the season.
He was forced to break tackles before he even made it to the LOS. His receiving stats were 43 catches for 436 yards and no TD's.
He will have a wicked season next year when they fix up some of the line. The ONLY thing anyone could be angry at him for is fumbles. He fixes that up next year, and I think he could break 20 TD's.
Rushing prediction: 347 carries for 1,714 carries and 21 TD's.
Receiving prediction: 41 catches for 452 yards and 1 TD.
I make my prediction here and now...if the Vikings win 11 games next season, AP will win the MVP. If not him, then Roethlisberger will!
In conclusion, I think I was right! Whew, now that I got that off my chest I think we can mention players who probably could have gotten in.
The L.T. of the modern generation: he is in my opinion the best RB in NFL history, and I think he can start somewhere else and rebound very nicely.
Cedric Benson: Dude, seriously? He didn't have many TD's or catches. He just didn't stand out in any way to me.
Ricky Williams: You should be ashamed of yourself. This guy is like 32 next season if not older, and he isn't even starting.
Ronnie Brown: He may be starting next season, but I just don't see him having that great of a season. Not overly excited with him.
Matt Forte: He didn't have much of an amazing rookie season to me. As for this past year, he had a very bad line in front of him. He won't be amazing, but I think he will do all right.
I thank you all for the help and support. It is because of all of you guys, Nick Signorelli, and Timothy Kessler that I have decided to make writing a career.
If not for the success of my first article, I may never have stuck to it. I thank you all so much, from the bottom of my heart.