Does Having A Top-5 Running Back Mean Success?
Does Having A Top 5 Running Back Mean Success?
Ray Rice has been a dynamic runner for the Baltimore Ravens since becoming a starter in 2009. Since the 2009 season, Rice has had 7,506 yards from scrimmage, which leads the NFL, with 5,066 of them on the ground.
But when you look at players like Adrian Peterson, is there any question that he is the best right now? Sure, Peterson is not a better receiving threat out of the backfield the way Rice is, but Peterson's running game is far and beyond what any other player in the league can produce.
There are other talented players like LeSean McCoy, but he has only had one season where he rushed for over 1,300 yards.
There are many more talented backs in this league ironically dominated by the passing game. When you look at the top backs in the game, how many of them can you say won a Super Bowl? Only Rice can claim that feat right now.
Generally speaking, some think that if you have one of the best backs in the league, that means your offense is more run-oriented and that the quarterback is not the focus on offense. That isn't true, which is why the Joe Flacco debate has been so rage-inducing for Raven fans. Just because a quarterback does not throw for 4,000 yards or more does not mean he isn't capable of doing it, or that he isn't good enough. There is balance in the Ravens' offense in terms of passing and running, so Flacco won't win public opinions in stats.
All in all, there's no doubt that the running backs shown in the top five are the best in the game right now. So we will rank them.
Wola Odeniran is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter at WolaOdeniran52.
No.5 LeSean McCoy
McCoy is a terrific back for the Philadelphia Eagles that is one of the rare backs in this league that can catch and run, but has had inconsistencies mainly due to his offensive line. Despite that, his cut backs, and the genuine ability to change directions at a blink of an eye is too much to ignore.
No 4. Jamaal Charles
Talk about speed and acceleration. Charles brings strength that is somewhat overlooked when looking on tape as some players have suggested in the past. But like McCoy, Charles can change any direction in at any moment. The Kansas City Chiefs were 2-14 last season, but rest assured, Charles was among the least of their problems. People say backs are a dime a dozen in the NFL — go find two other players in this league that play like Charles. You can't.
No 3. Arian Foster
When you look at a player like Foster who didn't get drafted in the league, you begin to question the drafting process. Foster is currently the best cutter in the NFL. No team in the league zone blocks better than the Houston Texans, and nobody executes them better than Foster. The size and speed as a runner and the ability to catch makes him a franchise player and a top-three back.
No 2. Ray Rice
Mr. Do It All. That is what Rice is. His low center of gravity behind the Ravens' groupings of massive offensive lines has created many issues for defenses around the league, no matter how elite they are. If Rice continues his pace, he may be in the discussion for Canton Ohio very soon.
No 1. Adrian Peterson
This selection is obvious to many. No back in this league can take this spot away from Peterson, especially after rushing for over 2,000 yards last season. Even though Peterson may not be as good as Rice, McCoy and Foster in the passing game, his running qualities pretty much seal the deal for any discussion. Very rarely do you see running backs strike fear into opposing defenses the way Peterson does.