Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will tell you that the NFL rushing title is not important as long as his team is losing games, but it would be a fitting result for the great season he is having.
Through 13 games, Jones-Drew has run for 1,222 yards and holds a 50 yard lead over Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy for the rushing title. His 1,570 total yards from scrimmage trails only Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the most in the league.
However, Jones-Drew’s name never gets mentioned when NFL analysts talk about the best running backs in the NFL. The sad truth is that if he played in a bigger market and on a better team, Jones-Drew would probably get the respect he deserves.
However, this season is the perfect example for why Jones-Drew has become the best running back in the NFL.
While the other rushing leaders have the benefit of playing on a competent offense, Jones-Drew has gained his yards on the worst offense in the NFL. Jones-Drew has accounted for 46.4% of the Jaguars total offensive output this season.
What makes his rushing totals even more impressive is the fact that opposing defenses have consistently focused all of their efforts on stopping him. Despite the extra attention, Jones-Drew has still been able to pile up the stats.
A lot of people questioned whether or not Jones-Drew would be able to maintain his physical style of play after having off-season knee surgery back in January, but he has showed no lingering effects as he continues to lower his shoulder and run over opposing defenders.
It is unfortunate that Jones-Drew’s excellent season continues to go unnoticed outside of Jacksonville as he continues to carry the Jaguars offense on his back, but regardless of the amount of attention he gets he continues to produce.
That’s why Maurice Jones-Drew is currently the best running back in the NFL.