NFL Power Rankings: 8 Running Backs You'd Least Like to Tackle in the Open Field
In the NFL, there are eight running backs defenders would not want to tackle in the open field.
Backs like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' LeGarrette Blount and the Houston Texans' Arian Foster get those extra yards for their teams with their speed, awareness, tackle-breaking abilities and nifty moves.
Often, these stars make opposing defenders look horrible, transforming them into ESPN highlight fodder.
The following slides rank these impressive backs using 2010 video highlight montages played to some killer music.
LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets
Even though LaDainian Tomlinson is not as dominant as he once was, he can still burn defenders in the open field.
Tomlinson, who is 5'10" and 215 pounds, does not break too many tackles (only 10 in 2010). However, he can juke and run past defenders like no other. Last year, he had 1,282 total yards and six touchdowns.
LT is third all time with 160 career touchdowns (144 rushing), and sixth with 13,476 yards rushing.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount is one of the new kids on the block.
An Oregon product, the second-year player had 1,007 rushing yards as a rookie on just 201 carries. He had 10 runs of 20 or more yards, with three going 40 or longer.
Blount is six-feet tall and a brutish 247 pounds. He broke 33 tackles in 2010, which was 16 percent of his touches. He has a good mixture of speed and power.
After five games this year, Blount has 328 yards and three touchdowns.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills is hard to bring down.
The sixth-year back out of Division III Coe College broke 34 tackles in 2010, amounting to 13.4 percent of his touches.
Jackson is a strong 215 pounds and stands at 6'1".
Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons is simply a beast.
The 5'10", 247-pound Turner the Burner is not the fastest guy out there, but he is a brute to bring down in the open field.
He broke 38 tackles in 2010, for 11 percent of his touches.
This year, Turner is continuing his solid performance with 360 yards and four scores.
In the attached video, notice how often Turner was simply pushed out of bounds because defenders could not tackle him.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
9The Oakland Raiders' Darren McFadden is taking the league by storm.
The fourth-year back out of Arkansas leads the NFL with 519 rushing yards and averaging 5.7 yards a carry.
He didn't just get those stats without making defenders miss and breaking some tackles.
In 2010, the speedy McFadden broke an impressive 37 tackles (13.7 percent of his touches).
The 6'2", 215-pound McFadden stands a good chance to be the NFL's leading rusher at season's end.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Chris Johnson has been struggling mightily this year, but the Tennessee Titans' star back is someone opposing teams don't want past the defensive line.
CJ2K is barely in his fourth season, but the 5'11", 191-pound back has almost 6,000 yards of total offense and 39 touchdowns in his young career.
He was second in the league with 41 broken tackles (11.4 percent of his touches) while having 13 rushes of 20 or more yards.
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans' Arian Foster dominated the league in 2010.
His sophomore season, Foster exploded for 1,616 rushing yards and 2,220 total yards for 18 touchdowns. He had 18 plays for 20 or more yards last year.
The 6'1", 229-pound Tennessee product can break tackles and ankles, or just streak right by you. Foster is struggling a bit in 2011, but expect him to bounce back.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings has arguably been the league's top back since 2007.
He has 6,280 yards rushing (7,499 total yards) and 60 touchdowns (58 rushing).
The 6'1", 217-pound Peterson gets first billing on this list not only for his elusive running abilities and amazing speed, but also for his toughness.