NFL Power Rankings: The 10 Biggest RB Disappointments This Season

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IJanuary 11, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: The 10 Biggest RB Disappointments This Season

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    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Eric Foster #68 of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  the Colts won 23-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    NFL power rankings are an interesting creature to feed and maintain. You can power rank anything, and so today we'll be looking at running backs

    There are a handful of running backs who just didn't perform as well as expected. Some of these running backs still put up decent numbers, but when you look at it in the bigger picture and compare it to expectations, these guys just didn't perform.

    Injuries are taken into account here, but even with injuries, you have to look at how the running back performed while he was on the field.

    So here are the running backs who just didn't perform as expected.

10. Ryan Torain

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 26:   Ryan Torain #46 of the Washington Redskins is tackled by Derrick Harvey #91 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on December 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Image
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Ryan Torain played in only 10 games this season, but with Clinton Portis gone for much of the season, Torain didn't have overwhelming numbers.

    Torain averaged 4.5 yards per carry, which isn't bad, but he had trouble finding the end zone, only four touchdowns and 742 yards over 10 games shows the Redskins weren't focusing on the running game.

    Given all of the Redskins problems on offense, Torain admittedly isn't the big one. Torain played well enough that he could be the lead running back for the team next year, but when Portis was gone, you need your backup to be able to be just as good.

9. Marshawn Lynch

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 26: Defensive tackle Frank Okam #98 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Marshawn Lynch? After last week?

    Well, yes. We're not talking about the playoffs here, we're talking about the regular season.

    Prior to Lynch's beautiful performance against the Saints on Wild Card Weekend, he had been a bit of disappointment for Seattle.

    On the season, Lynch had 202 carries for only 737 yards. That averaged out to only 3.6 yards per carry, and he only had six touchdowns.

    Lynch lost three fumbles on the year, and combined with the other offensive woes, Lynch wasn't living up to the high hopes Seattle had for him when they traded for him.

    That all changed in the playoffs, though, so we'll see where Lynch stands after next season.

8. Ronnie Brown

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 02:  Ronnie Brown #23 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball in the first half against the New England Patriots on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Dolphins thought they were going to have this great two-headed running attack with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams coming out of the backfield.

    As the backup, Williams pretty much lived up to his designated role with 673 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry.

    But Brown failed to break the 1,000 yard mark, running for only 734 yards, averaging less than four yards per carry and only scoring five touchdowns on the year.

    Now 29 years old, the Dolphins have to question whether he's worth keeping going into the 2011 season.

7. Jerome Harrison

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    DETROIT - AUGUST 28:  Jerome Harrison #35 of the Cleveland Browns tries to escape the tackle of Chris Houston #23 of the Detroit Lions during preseason game on August 28, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Jerome Harrison finished out the 2009 season in style, running for 561 yards in the last three games of the season and giving Browns fans hope they had a real running back going into the 2010 season.

    It turns out the Browns did have a real running back for the 2010 season, but his name was Peyton Hillis. Harrison barely appeared in the first few games of the season, and not doing much when he was on the field, before being traded to Philadelphia.

    Harrison had two good games with the Eagles, but spent most of the season watching LeSean McCoy do his thing.

6. Joseph Addai

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    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Joseph Addai  #29 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Joseph Addai missed half the season with injuries, but his last two games at the end of the season really weren't that impressive, and even his playoff performance was forgettable.

    But we're just looking at the regular season, and in his eight games, Addai only ran for 497 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry, which is good, but it's obvious with only 23 touches in the last two games that the Colts just didn't trust Addai to be "Joseph Addai."

6. Jonathan Stewart

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 23:  Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    While Stewart averaged 4.3 yards per carry, he only had 178 touches for 770 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Panthers were disappointing in just about every aspect of the game, and the running game was just one of the many things that didn't go right in 2010.

4. Jahvid Best

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    DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 02:  Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions tries to get around the tackle of Frank Walker #41 of the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Jahvid Best may be a rookie, but with Matthew Stafford going down due to injury, Best had some real opportunity to make a significant impact on the team.

    In 16 games though, Best only ran for 555 yards, averaged 3.2 yards per carry, and only scored four touchdowns.

    Not bad for a rookie backup running back, but you want to see more out of a starting running back no matter what his experience is.

3. The New Orleans Saints

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    SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 08:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the 2011 NFC wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field on January 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan F
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Reggie Bush is the poster child for the Saints running game, so he gets the picture.

    Overall, there's nothing in the Saints running game this year anyone would be overly happy about. Between injuries and bad scheming, the Saints just didn't really ever get their ground game going.

    You can't blame this on one guy, it was a total failure of the entire backfield. The Saints ranked 28th in the league in rushing, and they were a playoff team.

2. Knowshon Moreno

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos hands the ball off to running back Knowshon Moreno #27 against the San Diego Chargers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Get
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    In 13 games, Knowshon Moreno failed to run for even 800 yards and he only saw the end zone five times.

    The Broncos running game was famously non-existant for most of the season, and Moreno's lack of production is one of the big reasons why.

1. Chris Johnson

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    INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 02:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Jacob Lacey #27 of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  the Colts won 23-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Chris Johnson ran for more than 2,000 yards last year.

    This year, he ran for 1,364 yards, which isn't bad, but that's a huge dropoff from last season.

    In the last two weeks of the season, Johnson ran for 58 and 39 yards, respectively. He was held to 34 yards in Week 2, 53 yards in Week 4 and a whopping five yards in Week 12.

    F-I-V-E yards. And those weren't the only bad weeks Johnson had.

    While Vince Young's meltdown, injuries and some bad play on defense contributed to the Titans missing the playoffs, Johnson's failure to launch in several weeks of the season certainly didn't help.