It's usually December that brings out the best in running backs.
It's cold in most places for one thing, so teams tend to run a bit more.
Plus, the stakes are higher.
The rivalries are bigger (like this week for example).
The expectations are huge: everyone wants their team to win.
And further more, what's the old adage? Run the ball and stop the run?
This is going to be a good month for running backs.
Unlike Best, Ivory didn't get replaced, but he did get less carries than Julius Jones.
But he got the last laugh with two touchdowns in their close victory over the 'Boys.
Still, from week to week, your guess is good as mine as to who will get the carries next week for the Saints.
Anyone else all for the Pats finally giving this guy the full workload?
Sure, the Law Firm may be a bit inconsistent, but he may be the most consistent since Antoine Smith in Foxboro.
But, in my mind, even though he scored twice, he's not as important (as of right now) in the New England offense than Danny Woodhead.
That could change in the cold months of December and January though.
It's easy to run on Oakland isn't it?
Ricky thought so.
Run, Ricky. Run.
Stewart finally makes his way into the rankings with a great showing against Cleveland Sunday.
Unfortunately it wasn't enough for the Cats, who couldn't finish the deal against the Browns.
Still, Stewart should be the featured back for the last part of the season with DeAngelo on the mend.
How about Woodhead for story of the year?
Taken off the Jets practice squad and into the rotation for the Patriots.
Of course, it's a testament to the Pats organization as much as anything else.
And while Woodhead may not get 100 yards this year while splitting carries with the Law Firm, he has meant a lot to New England's great start.
Not the best week in all for the Colts, who simply couldn't run against an underrated Chargers front seven.
And it didn't help that Peyton Manning had his worst game since like, oh I don't know, high school.
Quite frankly when you get outrushed by a quarterback (unless his name is Vick or Cunningham) and have less carries than him, that's sad.
Jackson really has to do better.
Just not Benson's year.
Slowly better for Jones and company. His receiving skills are very impressive.
I foresee him being the featured back going into the offseason.
On another note, I'm really wondering why more teams haven't asked about Tashard Choice's availability. He's probably one the best third string backs in football...
It's amazing that Ricky Williams outrushed him.
Brown seems to have lost a step (his long was eight on the day), but he's definitely a tough runner.
I don't know how much longer he'll be the Miami featured back though.
Wow. Did we jump back five years?
Or is Arizona's defense just that bad?
Either way, it was nice to see Westbrook show us why he was so good for the Eagles for many years.
Of course, that may have been his most impressive game on the ground ever.
Another impressive week for Tolbert, but then again this was the Colts.
Still, this has to be one of the feel good stories of the year that this backup fullback (he literally looks like a big bowling ball) from Coastal Carolina is leading the Chargers in rushing, not the first round draft pick, Ryan Matthews.
On another note, I wouldn't want to see the extremely fast Sproles and the tough to tackle Tolbert coming at me in cold weather...
Tomlinson continues to lose carries to Shonn Greene.
Boy this seems like it's happened before...only with another running back. Hmmm....
The aforemetioned Greene has become the "late-season" running back for the Jets.
It will be interesting to see if the Jets stick with LT or go get another old running back in the offseason and do it all again next year.
Tough matchup this week for Blount, who had the Ravens sold defense. Despite that, he did average over four yards a carry.
You've got to be impressed with what the Bucs have done this year.
His stock continues to rise, as he scored again last game.
It will be interesting to watch what kind of role he plays in the offense as the Broncos try to play the role of spoiler.
Ol Freddie has run with a vengeance lately.
His 65 yard run and catch will be one of the few plays that Bills fans will hold on to from this year.
Steve Johnson, on the other hand...
A nice bounceback game for the vet on Sunday.
Of course, playing against anyone from the NFC West seems to have that effect.
Another ugly game for McFadden on Sunday, this time against a so-so defense in the Dolphins.
It will be interesting to see if teams continue to key in on McFadden to shut him down, forcing Jason Campbell or Bruce Gradkowski to beat them.
If it does, McFadden may have a few more of this type of game.
Bradshaw gets bumped down because, even though he's still getting goal-line carries, he is losing a lot of carries to Brandon Jacobs.
That may continue with Jacobs being well rested.
Averaging under three yards a carry is difficult to do against the Broncos, even if they know you're going to run.
Slowly but surely, Sam Bradford is taking over this offense.
Despite only 14 carries, it was an impressive game for Forte, who helped the Bears beat the Eagles in a big NFC Showdown.
Forte will be key should the Bears hold off the Pack in the fight for the NFC North crown.
Solid game for Rice on Sunday against a surprisingly much improved rush defense for Tampa Bay.
Rice will need to step up big this Sunday, though, for the Ravens to beat their hated rival.
Another solid game for McCoy, who's slowly turning into the Ray Rice of the NFC.
Awesome game for Mendenhall, who was the main reason that Pittsburgh beat Buffalo.
Still, it was Buffalo. Mendenhall better bring his lunch against the Ravens this week.
Is there a hotter back in the NFL than Mike Alst...er, Peyton Hillis?
Seriously, if this guy can play that well with Delhomme at QB, he's got my vote for MVP.
A huge drop for Johnson, who may be in the worst situation in the league if Kerry Collins can't come back soon.
I never thought I'd say that.
I've resisted putting him here because he shares carries.
But that's why I'm putting him here, because he shares carries and still did what he did to the 'Hawks.
Everyone collectively gasped when Peterson was injured on Sunday.
I'm sure he'll want to be back for Sunday's game.
After all, he does play the Bills.
Foster had yet another impressive game, and against another impressive team too.
If only his team would follow suit, they would be in first right now.
The Burner did his thing when Atlanta needed him most, against the Packers at home.
Watch out for him come playoff time.
Jones-Drew has been on a serious tear lately, and he didn't let the formidible Giants defense stand in his way, ripping them for 123 yards.
The Jags could make the playoffs on the back off the diminutive MJD.