State Of Cleveland Browns Running Game: Peyton Hillis In Pro Bowl Contention?

Matthew WilderContributor IOctober 5, 2010

Peyton Hillis may be headed to Hawaii.
Peyton Hillis may be headed to Hawaii.Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Cleveland has been through some rough times in all things sports, especially as of late. The city went through "The Decision", a failing Cleveland Indians franchise that needs a new and rich owner, and the rough start endured by the Cleveland Browns. However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel because one Browns player has become a real beacon of light.

That player is Browns running back Peyton Hillis. After two huge performances against Baltimore and Cincinnatti, it may be time for Hillis to be on the Pro Bowl Ballot if he isn't already. If he continues to post Adrian Peterson like numbers, than NFL fans in general have only one excuse to ignore his production. That is if Hillis is not on the ballot in the first place.

Some may claim that defenses will clamp down on him at some point. However, the man just torched Baltimore two weeks ago and ask any running back just how impressive that is. Seriously, who runs for 144 yards on the Ravens defense? Maybe a select few. Running for 144 yards on Baltimore is like successfully joining the Marines or even winning the lottery. Maybe a running back has a better chance of being struck by lightning twice on a sunny day.

Hillis stats so far are 66 attempts for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. He rushed for 144 yards against the Ravens and 102 against the Bengals. Obviously, he will need more of these performances and it can happen.

Of course, there is slight chance that Hillis will see a huge decline in production. However, there is little or no reason to think that will ever happen. Hillis has speed and strength. He proved he can take on any defense as it was proved in Baltimore. It will be very interesting to see if he can continue performing at this incredible level.

Now it's still early and anything can happen. It's just worth keeping an eye on. If nothing else, he can be a viable backup.

Of course, some of you will ask for a measuring stick to know if Hillis actually has any shot at the Pro Bowl. Alright, Chris Johnson rushed for 2006 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Adrian Peterson had 1,383 yards and 18 touchdowns. Maurice Jones-Drew had a great performance, rushing for 1,391 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Ray Rice rushed for 1,339 yards and 7 touchdowns. Frank Gore was also outstanding with 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rashard Mendenhall was also on fire with 1,108 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Obviously, the idea is Hillis needs to rush for over 1,000 yards and score 12 or more touchdowns to warrant serious consideration. He is on his way to posting such numbers.