With the way the NFL is today, the one running back system is fading quickly. These days most teams have two solid running backs and sometimes even a third down back a la Kevin Faulk. The following is a list of my top ten running backs for 2010-2011 NFL season.
1. Arian Foster (Houston Texans) – Leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns, this former Vol has really come on this season. The Texans zone blocking scheme that Foster was introduced to at Tennessee has also been proven to help Foster plant and go. He has limited his fumbles to only two, and has lost the nickname of “Fumbles Foster.”
2. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) – It doesn’t seem like the Falcons get enough credit considering their record, but one of the reasons they have been so successful is the running of Michael Turner. He only has one fumble on the year and has over 1300 yards rushing. Not to mention he may have the biggest lower body in the league next to Terrell Suggs.
3. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars) – Even when defenses know the Jaguars are running the ball and putting eight and even nine in the box Jones-Drew still piles up the yardage. Since the Jags occasionally use the two back system Jones-Drew hasn’t piled up the touchdowns like other one back systems, but he has still been a workhorse all year, for the league’s most boring offense.
4. Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – If the Vikings gave him the ball more often and Brett Favre wasn’t old, washed up, and busy texting Jenn (with two n’s Sterger) their record would probably be better, and if Peterson didn’t get hurt as much as he did this year he would be higher on this list. Still a threat to break a long run every play. Peterson has only one fumble this year, compared to the twenty from last year.
5. Chris Johnson (Titans) – Not having the year he had last year, and with the Titans lack of success Johnson has been pretty irrelevent this season. Gaining over 1300 yards for the season and tied for third in the NFL with 11 touchdowns, Johnson has had a pretty good year numbers wise.
6. Darren McFadden (Raiders) – Beating out Michael Bush to be the number one back in Oakland proving that he wasn’t just another Reggie Bush. Very impressive speed and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I’m sure the partially dead Al Davis likes his speed as well.
7. Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers) – More times than not the Steelers are being looked on as a defensive team but their offense is prolific as well. Aside from Ben Roethlisberger getting all the attention for not being able to ride a motorcycle and shoving underage girls in bathroom stalls, Rashard Mendenhall has become one of the premier backs in the NFL with his hard running style. He fits the mold of a “steelers running back.”
8. Peyton Hillis (Browns) – Towards the end of the season Hillis has fallen off a bit, but he may be the surprise back of the year behind Arian Foster. I’m sure the Broncos regret trading Hillis to the Browns and hiring Josh McDaniels.
9. Jamaal Charles (Chiefs) – See my last blog entry and you’ll see Charles is winning the Super Bowl this year. He is second in the league in rushing yards, but his touchdown total is low since he is apart of a running back by committee backfield.
10. Steven Jackson (Rams) – It’s tough to be a running back with a rookie quarterback (just ask the Carolina Panthers) But with Sam Bradford’s success and #10 on my quarterback list, that has opened up things for Jackson to be more successful.
Brady Quinn loves to party, no wonder he’s in the Arena League