This is going to be much like my previous post about Quarterbacks and Tight Ends. I will give you some people you may be surprised to see on this list. Again, this is all my opinion and if I leave off your guy I’m sorry he should of played better.
5) C.J. Spiller-
C.J. spent most of the year sharing carries with fellow running back Fred Jackson. Jackson missed a total of six games this year due to injury and in those absences Spiller took over as the lead back. With his limited workload this year he accumulated over 1700 yards from scrimmage, 8 total touchdowns and unfortunately lost 3 fumbles. He has electric speed, elusiveness and good hands. He is the perfect mixture of dual threat talent. The one question i have is can he his build last as a every down back, Though 2012 wasn’t a good year for the Bills, Spiller seemed to be the best and at times only offensive weapon. He managed to gain over 1200 yards on the ground with a measly 207 rush attempts. I will be watching closely next year to see if he can repeat this success.
4) Alfred Morris-
Alfred Morris was a sixth round pick acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in the Donovan McNabb trade, talk about a steal of a trade. He has managed to be one of the best Quarterback/Running Back duos in the NFL, with his franchise record breaking 1613 rushing yards. He managed to compile a very respectable rookie campaign, with 1690 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns. He unfortunately had a little bit of a fumbling problem with 4 fumbles and 3 fumbles lost. He was the definition of a workhorse, as a rookie he had a ridiculous 335 carries. Morris burst on the scene against the Saints, rushing for nearly 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s a power back with some speed and will hit you square in the mouth. He is Terrell Davis to John Elway (RG3), with Mike Shanahan leading this team they are very similar to each other. I am not 100% sold on Morris long term because of his workload as a rookie, but for this season he was a top 5 back.
3) Marshawn Lynch-
With nick names such as, Beast mode, you have to be an unstoppable force on the football field and in my mind the hardest player to take down in the NFL. He has been the main offensive weapon for the Seahawks since his arrival in early 2010. Lynch is as old school as you can be in today’s game, with his hard hitting smash mouth running style. He consistently gets his team into good field position, which sets up the rookie Russell Wilson to use the play action effectively. Lynch has had a career year gaining 1786 yards from scrimmage. He reached pay dirt 12 times while having another career year in fumbles with 4, but only losing 2 of them. Lynch may be one of the best in the game, but he is a tad bit old for a running back. He should be able to continue this workload for at least 2 more years.
2) Doug Martin-
The Muscle Hamster as people like to call him, just don’t say it in front of him. He has had the most impressive rookie season that i can remember for a running back.. He nearly eclipsed 2000 all scrimmage yards with 1926 yards and had 12 total touchdowns. He has great hands only fumbling one time all year, which was recovered by the defense. As a rookie, Martin was the heart and sole of the Tampa Bay Bucs offense. His rookie season started off slow, with his carries restricted, stat wise. His ability to block and catch the ball got him more opportunities, which showcased his skills against the Raiders. He had franchise record for rushing yards (251) and rushing tds in a half (4). He is potentially the best dual threat running back in the league today. As a rookie he had the second best statistical season this year right behind number 1 on my list.
1) Adrian Peterson-
He just had the best season for a running back that I’ve ever witnessed. He was 9 yards shy of breaking the all time single season rushing record of 2105. AP is the most dominate and best running back and the records show it he holds or is sharing 22 rushing records. 12 Vikings records, 9 NFL records and 1 Pro Bowl record. AP has accounted for 2314 yards from scrimmage which ranks 8th all time. He is 1 year since he went down with a torn acl and mcl. He came back early to start week 1 of the season and just took off since then. I have him as this years MVP over Peyton because of the way he took over this year and that he is legitly the Vikings only weapon on offense. I feel that he will continue to be the best running back in the league for at least 3-4 more years.