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View Full Version : Chiefs NFL's top 10 RB combos -Insider-


Shogun
08-22-2012, 11:57 PM
ROFL

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8291064/nfl-nfl-top-10-running-back-combinations

Maurice Jones-Drew last year seemed to define what an NFL workhorse running back should look like. In a season when the Jacksonville playbook was essentially just a picture book with MJD's face on every page, he ran the ball 343 times for 1,606 yards. No other NFL runner was within 40 carries of MJD (two games' worth). No other Jacksonville runner topped 130 yards.



Yet, if you took every running back from the past 25 years, put them together in a group and ranked them based on most carries in a season, not one runner the past five years in the NFL would even crack the top 25. MJD's quintessential workhorse season, the one that has him waiting for a new contract? It ranks No. 50.



In reality, the traditional "bell cow" back by the old standards doesn't exist. Larry Johnson might have been the last of its kind. He carried the ball 416 times in 2006 at his physical peak and, in a good lesson of what 416 carries in 16 games can mean, rushed the ball a little more than 500 times the next five years … the rest of his career. Whether NFL teams learned the lesson from Johnson's example or the life teachings of "Varsity Blues" ("It's not worth it"), the don't-take-him-out approach to running backs is hard to find in the modern game.



Most teams diversify by design or necessity, so instead of ranking running backs, let's rank the manner in which groups are deployed, the best backfields in terms of overall efficiency and productivity entering 2012. (So don't cite an incredible 2010 for one guy, or forget about injuries for another.) For this exercise, I've excluded the running quarterback as a part of the mix, mainly because in large part, the "running QB" isn't by design.


Top five



1. Carolina Panthers
(Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert)



Last year, Carolina ranked No. 1 in the NFL in overall rushing efficiency. And while Cam Newton's 706 yards helped the cause, the Panthers' backfield is loaded because there's high productivity, and no drop-off. Both Stewart and Williams averaged 5.4 yards per carry, fumbled one time combined and were Nos. 2 and 3 in the NFL in DVOA, meaning both were far better than the average runner in producing yards in any given play.



Then they went and added Tolbert, who combines the appeal of trying to tackle a 245-pound armadillo with a vastly underrated ability to catch the ball -- only Darren Sproles (86), Ray Rice (76) and Chris Johnson (57) had more catches among RBs than Tolbert (54) in 2011. This running game could be extremely effective in 2012; the backfield is loaded and diverse -- and that's not even counting Newton.



2. New Orleans Saints
(Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram)



Surprised? That's fair, because teams were constantly surprised by this unit in 2011. Consider that while Drew Brees was breaking Super Tecmo Bowl passing records, not just mere NFL ones, New Orleans mixed in the NFL's second-most efficient running attack. Start with Thomas, who led the NFL in rushing Success Rate -- in layman's terms, he was the best at keeping you "on schedule" by picking up solid chunks on every down and distance -- and is a rare RB above average as a runner, pass-catcher and blocker. Then there's Sproles, who may have had the greatest "all-purpose RB" season in NFL history. Consider that Sproles caught more passes than Larry Fitzgerald, Victor Cruz and Steve Smith, and averaged 6.93 yards per rush attempt. Did I mention Tecmo Bowl stats? Sproles essentially turned "We need a Sproles-type" into a front-office cliché. Ingram wasn't even healthy, and still racked up almost 500 yards rushing. This is the perfect example of a modern, complementary, devastating backfield.



3. Buffalo Bills
(Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller) I was surprised this group came out ahead of Houston's very good pair, but give credit to Jackson who, with lesser blocking, averaged more yards per carry (5.4) and was exceptional by most advanced metrics in 2011. He and Spiller caught a combined 78 passes, and created a ton of big plays, with a combined 17 runs of 20-plus yards. On superficial numbers, Buffalo trailed only Carolina, Minnesota and Philadelphia in yards per rush last year, with 4.9 as a team, and it starts with how coach Chan Gailey mixes these two.



4. Houston Texans
(Arian Foster, Ben Tate)



Texans fans probably would think these two belong higher based on raw production. Houston trailed only a gimmicky Denver "attack" in rushing yards per game, with 153.7, but there are drawbacks. Although Foster and Tate are both above-average runners, they also take serious knocks by combining for eight fumbles and -- particularly in Foster's case -- for not being more dangerous behind one of the league's best offensive lines. Foster was just 24th in DVOA in 2011. Where Foster makes up for that is as a great screen-game RB. He caught 53 passes a year after catching 66 in 2010.

5. Minnesota Vikings
(Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart)



Maybe the only knock on Peterson is his Success Rate dropped as he looked for the big play. Think Barry Sanders, where the 80-yard run was always a possibility, but you might see too many second-and-12s as he went looking for it. Good for NFL primetime, but not for a young QB who needs more manageable down-and-distance situations. Gerhart was pretty productive after a lackluster rookie season, and is quietly one of the better blocking RBs you can find. Yes, we know -- he's cerebral.


Next five



6. Chicago Bears
(Matt Forte, Michael Bush)



Forte's superficial numbers were exceptional last year given the rusted-out screen door that was the offensive line. Bush provides a nice complement, and the two rarely fumble.



7. Pittsburgh Steelers
(Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman)



Both rate only slightly better than average in terms of taking what's available, but the explosiveness is lacking. Just six runs of 20-plus yards in 338 attempts, and against defenses far more concerned about the pass than in years past. What they do accomplish is they truly complement each other.



8. Philadelphia Eagles
(LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis)



Mendenhall and Redman have those six runs of 20-plus yards. McCoy had 14 by himself last year. No NFL RB has a great claim to having more total value than McCoy in 2011, which means, congratulations Dion Lewis! You're on this list!



9. Dallas Cowboys
(Demarco Murray, Felix Jones)



The odd thing here is that Murray is cast as the workhorse complement to the explosive Jones, but in what's been true of Jones throughout his career, he's often the less-explosive option. Murray had a high Success Rate (No. 2 in the NFL), a penchant for big plays and a nice per-rush average of 5.5 yards. Jones likely won't be a Cowboy in 2013, so this is a big year for him to prove there's some value remaining.



10. Baltimore Ravens
(Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce)



The Ravens edge the Giants here, because while David Wilson is a superior prospect to Pierce, Rice is head and shoulders ahead of Ahmad Bradshaw in terms of reliable production. Rice is really just a slightly above-average runner of the football, but he's an exceptional pass-catcher (76 catches in 2011) and hasn't missed a game in three years.


Not quite



These backfields don't make the grade for a variety of reasons. Some don't measure up statistically, while other combos simply don't complement each other.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LeGarrette Blount has a Christian Okoye highlight, but Tampa drafted Doug Martin because running over people is Blount's one true skill.



New England Patriots: Like New Orleans, vastly underrated as a rushing team, but The Law Firm is in Cincinnati, and he takes with him a ton of reliability (and ball security).



St. Louis Rams: Could jump if Isaiah Pead explodes.



Jacksonville Jaguars: MJD needs a friend. Currently, Montell Owens, Rashad Jennings and their combined 137 NFL carries are the help.



San Francisco 49ers: Surprised? Well, Frank Gore was bad last year, even with decent blocking; like, well below an average running back bad in terms of DVOA (not just superficial totals like rushing yards.) No way around it. Kendall Hunter was slightly better. Same with Brandon Jacobs. More name value than real value. LaMichael James could help.



New York Giants: If Wilson emerges (he should), he and Bradshaw should crack the list.

Yep, really.

Ceej
08-23-2012, 12:00 AM
And people pay to read that bullshit?

RustShack
08-23-2012, 12:01 AM
Are you fist fucking me?

-King-
08-23-2012, 12:02 AM
Who the fuck is Bernard Pierce? The list fell apart at #5.
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milkman
08-23-2012, 12:03 AM
Don't get your panties in a bunch people.

They didn't rate Charles/Hillis because they haven't actually played a down as a RB duo in a real game yet.

KcMizzou
08-23-2012, 12:04 AM
Good. Let 'em sleep.

pr_capone
08-23-2012, 12:04 AM
That is just awful. Not even an honorable mention?

They are gonna put clown shoes on ESPN.

Shogun
08-23-2012, 12:04 AM
The writers response in the comments

csprow
Hillis really hasn't had one very good NFL season, actually. Even 2010 just so-so by tape or metrics, even before you get into disastrous run of fumbling. Charles is exceptional, but looking for combos, not merely one great runner coming back from an injury

Ceej
08-23-2012, 12:07 AM
Don't get your panties in a bunch people.

They didn't rate Charles/Hillis because they haven't actually played a down as a RB duo in a real game yet.

And Forte and Bush have?

Baconeater
08-23-2012, 12:07 AM
(So don't cite an incredible 2010 for one guy, or forget about injuries for another.)
I suspect this is in reference to the Chiefs.

KCtotheSB
08-23-2012, 12:12 AM
You would have gotten more bang for your buck by putting your wallet through a shredder.

DonTellMeShowMe
08-23-2012, 12:13 AM
The fact the 49ers weren't top ten makes that list a joke. Frank
Gore was bad last year? He was playing pretty hurt at the end of last year. Chiefs and 49ers should have damn good back fields this year

BossChief
08-23-2012, 12:21 AM
In 2010, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis had a total combined offensive yard total of:

3589 yards
21 tds

These jerkoffs should be embarrassed.

Seriously, 3589 yards and 21 tds.

KCtotheSB
08-23-2012, 12:28 AM
Kind of shocked Tim Tebow and Shonn Greene weren't listed on there.

Chiefs=Good
08-23-2012, 12:28 AM
Panthers? LMAO

You dont count charles and hillis because they had down years yet you do them??

Bump
08-23-2012, 12:30 AM
you gotta be an insider to get that type of info. ROFL

xztop12
08-23-2012, 12:35 AM
LOL @ yes we know hes cerebral

whos toby gherhart and whats cerebral mean in this context. great writing

Ace Gunner
08-23-2012, 01:00 AM
In 2010, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis had a total combined offensive yard total of:

3589 yards
21 tds

These jerkoffs should be embarrassed.

Seriously, 3589 yards and 21 tds.

I'd like to believe Jamaal Charles is the fury we know from before the injury, but so far, I ain't seein' it. But, it's early pre season.

I like Hillis, noticed him when he trampled DJ and the Chiefs defense when he was a Donko before he became a Brown. But he's been up and down during his career. Hillis looks the better runner of the bunch right now.

It could take a month or so for Jamaal to get those fast cuts back.

If the rest of these backs can carry the load for that first qtr that would help this team. I ain't feelin' it though. Jamaal has made this OL look so much better than it is, I don't see any other lighting in the bottle with these other guys.

-King-
08-23-2012, 01:14 AM
I'd like to believe Jamaal Charles is the fury we know from before the injury, but so far, I ain't seein' it. But, it's early pre season.



Are you some type of retard?

saphojunkie
08-23-2012, 01:15 AM
Panthers? LMAO

You dont count charles and hillis because they had down years yet you do them??

I would put the Panthers' running backs at the top of the food chain. The addition of Tolbert takes them over the Chiefs, in my opinion.

But KC should be a CLOSE #2. Not "left off the list." The writer is just a jackass who didn't do enough actual research, and began pathetically defending his error in the comments section.

Fear not, faithful...Chiefs fans fucking shredded this dude when the list came up.

KChiefer
08-23-2012, 01:20 AM
And people pay to read that bullshit?

I found a hacked pass for insider and still don't read it.

I may be showing my ignorance in college players but who are Dion Lewis and Bernard Pierce???

Cornstock
08-23-2012, 01:24 AM
We ought to put all of this great Premium info in some type of Premium thread only for Premium CP members...

KChiefer
08-23-2012, 01:27 AM
That is just awful. Not even an honorable mention?

They are gonna put clown shoes on ESPN.

You mean these?

http://ugc.nikeid.com/is/image/nike/ugc/FTWR_AMP_M/Nike-Dunk-High-NFL-Kansas-City-Chiefs-iD-Shoe-_-4893239.tif

BigMeatballDave
08-23-2012, 01:30 AM
Don't get your panties in a bunch people.

They didn't rate Charles/Hillis because they haven't actually played a down as a RB duo in a real game yet.

Neither has Forte and Bush.

This list is a fucking joke.

BigMeatballDave
08-23-2012, 01:31 AM
JC/Hillis should be at least #5.

Jackson and Spiller #3? LMAO

KChiefer
08-23-2012, 01:45 AM
JC/Hillis should be at least #5.

Jackson and Spiller #3? LMAO

Jackson was a steal last year in FF for me. Even with that bias, I agree that's a BS rank.

BigMeatballDave
08-23-2012, 01:48 AM
Jackson was a steal last year in FF for me. Even with that bias, I agree that's a BS rank.

Rice at #10.

Chris Sprow is on Crack.

WhiteWhale
08-23-2012, 07:02 AM
Good.

Who cares what ESPN says about anything? They should just stick to what they know: Celebrating Tim Tebow's birthday and telling us how bad the Jets will suck this year.

bevischief
08-23-2012, 07:16 AM
ESPN = MTV.

Deberg_1990
08-23-2012, 07:21 AM
Good list!

WhiteWhale
08-23-2012, 07:22 AM
ESPN = MTV.

Yup.

Both have been telling stupid people what to think for around 30 years.

Caseyguyrr
08-23-2012, 07:53 AM
thats complete bullshit. i bet that shitbag hasnt even heard of kansas city

Deberg_1990
08-23-2012, 08:09 AM
thats complete bullshit. i bet that shitbag hasnt even heard of kansas city

Not really.....Hillis and Charles havent even played 1 down together in a real game.

Hillis is coming off a disappointing year and Charles was hurt.


Whats exactly is wrong with this list?

Caseyguyrr
08-23-2012, 08:27 AM
Not really.....Hillis and Charles havent even played 1 down together in a real game.

Hillis is coming off a disappointing year and Charles was hurt.


Whats exactly is wrong with this list?

even if hillis and charles haven't played a down together, they should of at least been considered

Micjones
08-23-2012, 08:42 AM
Hopefully Crennel prints this and posts it in the locker room the week of the Falcons game.

Sofa King
08-23-2012, 08:59 AM
Wow.

Pasta Giant Meatball
08-23-2012, 04:14 PM
Looked like he took a dump, threw it against the wall, and this list came out.

Dicky McElephant
08-23-2012, 04:18 PM
Mendenhall? You mean the guy that tore his ACL last season and might not be ready in week 1? ROFL

Rooster
08-23-2012, 04:22 PM
Kind of shocked Tim Tebow and Shonn Greene weren't listed on there.

No shit..

Pasta Giant Meatball
08-23-2012, 04:28 PM
Hillis has done nothing, but Isaac Redman is some kind of unstoppable force eh?

Count Alex's Losses
08-23-2012, 04:29 PM
People aren't gonna give Charles the benefit of the doubt until he proves he's back, and Hillis did nothing last year.

Superturtle
08-23-2012, 04:29 PM
They should be paying us to read that hot garbage, not the other way around

jd1020
08-23-2012, 04:32 PM
Charles coming off of an ACL tear and Hillis was so good last year that the Browns let him walk.

CoMoChief
08-23-2012, 04:33 PM
People aren't gonna give Charles the benefit of the doubt until he proves he's back, and Hillis did nothing last year.

If that's the case then AP shouldn't be on the list w/ Toby Gerhart.

CoMoChief
08-23-2012, 04:35 PM
This team almost had two 1,000 backs with Thomas fucking Jones.

Pasta Giant Meatball
08-23-2012, 04:35 PM
No Ronnie Hillman?

Count Alex's Losses
08-23-2012, 04:35 PM
Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson, though. He's the best RB in the NFL for the last 5 years.

-King-
08-23-2012, 04:40 PM
Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson, though. He's the best RB in the NFL for the last 5 years.

Adrian Peterson tore his ACL in week 15. Charles has had 3 and a half more months than Adrian to recover from his injury. Charles has a much better chance of being his old self than Adrian does.
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TEX
08-23-2012, 04:43 PM
I think Foster and Tate should be # 2.

SNR
08-23-2012, 04:43 PM
AP also has a ton of miles on him. He's not just going to bounce back from this injury the same way Charles did. It will take more time for him to make a full recovery.

For the most part, Charles is already there in terms of recovery. You can't say the same at all of Adrian Peterson until you evaluate him in a game situation. We could be looking at the Toby Gerhart and Shitfart Rapedick show in Minnesota for as much as half of the season.

L.A. Chieffan
08-23-2012, 04:44 PM
I'd try and troll this thread but even I think that's retarded.

Mr. Laz
08-23-2012, 04:45 PM
https://twitter.com/SprowESPN

SNR
08-23-2012, 04:47 PM
I'd try and troll this thread but even I think that's retarded.

I don't know why you would. Charles is a RB who greatly benefits from playing in the same system as Cassel, but there is still a clearly defined tier between Jamaal Charles/Peyton Hillis and Dexter McCluster/Thomas Jones/Julian Battle

ChiefsandO'sfan
08-23-2012, 04:47 PM
https://twitter.com/SprowESPN Just look at the clown

L.A. Chieffan
08-23-2012, 04:54 PM
I don't know why you would. Charles is a RB who greatly benefits from playing in the same system as Cassel, but there is still a clearly defined tier between Jamaal Charles/Peyton Hillis and Dexter McCluster/Thomas Jones/Julian Battle

I'm stealing that.

BigMeatballDave
08-23-2012, 05:01 PM
Not really.....Hillis and Charles havent even played 1 down together in a real game.

Hillis is coming off a disappointing year and Charles was hurt.


Whats exactly is wrong with this list?

Mendenhall, Peterson, and Forte are coming off knee injuries, also.

I'm not saying JC and Hillis should be #1, but the fact that they're not on the list AT ALL is a fucking travesty.

BigMeatballDave
08-23-2012, 05:10 PM
Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson, though. He's the best RB in the NFL for the last 5 years.

No one is arguing this point.

Doesn't change the fact that he IS coming off a knee injury. So is Mendenhall.

Its a retarded list.

Hell, the simple fact that Rice is so low on it makes it shitty.