Rankings the Divisions by Runningback: Can Anyone Top the NFC East


So far in the first two ranking the teams by divisions the N.F.C. East has been the best because of talented they are at the top and how much depth is throughout the division. Let’s see if anyone is better than the N.F.C. East runningbacks.

#8 AFC North

Ray Rice

Rashard Mendnhall

Peyton Hillis

This low rankings is probably because I don’t truly believe in Peyton Hillis and Cedric Benson might be leaving the division this year and he also had somewhat of a down year last year. Mendenhall is a very nice running back. Willis McGahee and La’Ron McClain are the two best running backs for depth here.

#7  NFC North

Seems really low for the N.F.C. North and I can dig that, but the division needs to see a lot more this year outside of Adrian Peterson. Matt Forte is prolific catching the ball out of the backfield, but I wouldn’t say he strikes fear in the hearts of the other teams.  The Lions could have a huge year from their running backs. Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure seem like great complements, but that still remains to be seen. Ryan Grant is coming off a bad injury and James Starks has to show more than just a nice playoff run.

#6 NFC East

Ahmad Bradshaw

LeSean McCoy

Felix Jones

I haven’t made it a secret that I’m a fan of an N.F.C. East team, but I still think that the running backs in this division are some of the most overrated running backs in the league. McCoy is good at what he does, but he’s not a great running back. He’s a great fit for the Eagles offensive system, I don’t think his success would be as great on another team, but you can’t really knock him for that. Bradshaw had a great season last year and between him and Brandon Jacbos they racked up a ton of touchdowns, but after week 8 he averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry in nearly every game (2 for 9 were over 4.0 yards per carry). He may never be able to truly carry the load.  The Cowboys have a nice running back group, but they are not great. Some people might consider this group higher, but I think this is a good slotting for them.

#5  NFC West

Steven Jackson

Frank Gore

Marshawn Lynch

This division lacks great depth which holds it back. Frank Gore also seems to always have nagging injuries as well. Jackson is one of the most underappreciated running backs in the league because he’s been playing on a losing team recently. How good is that guy though? Very fun to watch and a great running back. Marshawn Lynch was most known for his off the field behavior before his epic run vs the Saints in the playoffs. Still has fun as he is to watch on the field he hasn’t been as productive as his talented indicates he could be. The depth here isn’t great. The Cardinals need a big season from the talented Beanie Wells (they also have rookie Ryan Williams).

#4 AFC East

Ronnie Brown

Fred Jackson

Shonn Greene

This division doesn’t have the great running back, but it has depth throughout the whole division. The Patriots use their running backs effectively. The Law-Firm and Danny Woodhead accomplish what they need to for the Patriots. Greene has to take a bit step forward this year for the Jets. C.J. Spiller as well. Fred Jackson is one of the best running backs no one talks about who can contributes in all three facets in the Bills backfield. Ladainian Tomlinson was truly great at one time, but he wore down a lot has the season progressed.

#3  AFC West

Jamaal Charles

Darren McFadden

Ryan Matthews

The depth here isn’t bad either. This division is all about speed, speed, speed. Charles and McFadden have tremendous speed. Charles, last year, averaged a ridiculous 6.4 yards per carry, while McFadden also had a high YPC with 5.2. They only had a 12 combined touchdowns which is a big of a draw back. Ryan Matthews wasn’t great last year, but could emerge this year. Darren Sproles, Thomas Jones, KnowshonMoreno add quality depth. Matthews had 7 touchdowns last year in 12 games which isn’t too shabby.

#2 NFC South

Michael Turner

Reggie Bush

DeAngelo Williams

The depth here is tremendous. LeGarette Blount, Jonathan Stewart, whoever is running with the Saints (Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory. The top three is not as dynamic as the A.F.C. South with Johnson, MJD, and Foster, but the depth is unbeatable. This ranking wouldn’t even change if Reggie Bush leaves N.F.C. South. If Bush, and Williams leave the N.F.C. South it could. The nice thing about this collection or running backs is the way they complement each other. Turner is the bruiser, Bush is the flash, and Williams has a little bit of both.

#1 AFC South

Running back Trio:

Chris Johnson

Maurice Jones-Drew

Arian Foster

How talented would this running back group be if the third best running back in the division was the league leader in rushing yards last season. The depth isn’t too shabby either, especially if Joseph Addai stays in the division. Addai is one of the best all around running backs in the league who doesn’t have to come off the field if he’s healthy. He can catch the football, block well, and also has had a productive career running the ball even though he’s not running behind a great line.

Chris Johnson is one of the best running backs in the league and MJD is a touchdown machine. Can’t beat that.

What are your thoughts?

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