6 Best Running Back Tandems in the NFL

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIINovember 10, 2011

6 Best Running Back Tandems in the NFL

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    The life of an NFL running back is extremely short due to physical play and a deep pool of running backs available.

    Some teams are graced with the luxury of having one superstar back, while others are blessed with two quality running backs that maintain production while the other is on the sideline.  A successful running back tandem usually translates into wins, because it takes a ton of pressure off an offensive coordinator and the team's quarterback. 

    In order to be on this list, a team had to have two running back with a minimum of 40 carries each. 

    With the number of quality backs on the rise, here's a look at the Top Five running back tandems in the NFL today. 

6. Carolina Panthers

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    Tandem: Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams 

    "Double Trouble" is what this running back tandem calls themselves. 

    Both running backs are averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry which translates into 690 yards between them. Neither player has been dominate by any means, but quarterback Cam Newton has also contributed a great deal to this team's success on the ground with his 319 rushing yards.   

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    DeAngelo Williams 75 363 4.8 69 1
    Jonathan Stewart 71 327 4.6 29 2

5. New Orleans Saints

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    Tandem: Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas 

    The Saints have three running backs that have produced at a high level. 

    Newly acquired Darren Sproles leads the team in rushing despite receiving the fewest amount of carries between the three, while Mark Ingram is the team's touchdown leader on the ground with three. 

    The Saints are ninth in the league in terms of rushing yards per game with 126 after only averaging 94 yards a game in 2010. 

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    Mark Ingram 85 329 3.9 20 3
    Pierre Thomas 66 311 4.7 33 2
    Darren Sproles 49 347 7.1 35 2

4. Dallas Cowboys

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    Tandem: DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones 

    Rookie running back DeMarco Murry has been a pleasant surprise for the Dallas Cowboys since Felix Jones went down with an injury.

    Murray has been the featured back over the team's last three games, and has averaged an amazing 155 yards per game. 

    Felix Jones expects to be back for the team's Week 11 contest against Washington, which will provide this offense with a deadly one-two punch.

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    DeMarco Murray 80 539 6.7 91 1
    Felix Jones 63 253 4.0 40 1

3. San Francisco 49ers

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    Tandem: Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter 

    Frank Gore has been unstoppable over the past five weeks of the NFL season. The superstar back is averaging 127 yards per game on the ground with an astounding 6.8 yards per carry. 

    His sidekick Kendall Hunter has been impressive as well. The backup running back is sixth among rookies in terms of rushing yards as he has averaged 4.5 yards per carry on the season. 

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    Frank Gore 159 782 4.9 55 5
    Kendall Hunter 48 217 4.5 44 1

2. Oakland Raiders

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    Tandem: Darren McFadden and Michael Bush  

    Darren McFadden was off to a start that could have warranted MVP consideration to be thrown his way, but the superstar back has been limited to a walking boot after a mid-foot sprain during Week 7.  

    Michael Bush has filled in since McFadden's injury, and he has yet to disappoint. The running back has had games of 99 and 96 yards rushing while averaging more than five yards a carry during both games.

    This tandem should be back in action for Week 11 when the team takes on the Minnesota Vikings. 

    Stats: 

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    Darren McFadden 113 614 5.4 70 4
    Michael Bush 79 333 4.2 35 3

1. Houston Texans

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    Tandem: Arian Foster and Ben Tate

    These two are easily the top running back tandem in the league so far this season. 

    Ben Tate has been spectacular as he has rushed for over 100 yards in two of the Texans' last three games despite being Arian Foster's backup. The second-year pro rushed for 100 yards in the first two games of season which allowed time for Arian Foster to nurse his hamstring injury.  

    Foster on the other hand, picked up right where he left of last season. He is averaging 94 yards per game on the ground and he is looking for his fourth consecutive 100-yard game during Sunday's contest against Tampa Bay. 

    Stats: 

    Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
    Arian Foster 154 656 4.3 42 5
    Ben Tate 109 623 5.7 27 2