Top 5 NFL Running Backs Entering 2016

Note: This list is who is the best wide receiver right now.  Past accolades and accomplishments alone will not move you higher on the list.  This list is based on skill, talent, age, and the ability to perform.

Honorable Mentions: 

Doug Martin (Buccaneers) David Johnson (Cardinals), LeSean McCoy (Bills)

5) Matt Forte, Jets


Forte is one the most complete running backs in the NFL. From day one he’s showed his elite ball carrying vision.  He has excellent hands and exceptional speed in the open field. He should adjust well in New York’s run heavy offense. 

4) Todd Gurley, Rams


This phenom has the rare combination of strength and speed. He missed the first 3 games last season due to recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in college. However, once he was fully recovered he made and immediate impact for the Rams Organization.   

3) Jamaal Charles, Chiefs


When healthy, he’s the fastest running back in the league. Once he sees a hole, it’s “curtains” for the opposing defense. You add his ball carrying vision, agility, and above average hands, you have yourself an elite threat out the backfield. 

2) Le’Veon Bell, Steelers


When I think of Le’Veon Bell, I see a younger, stronger Matt Forte.  Bell is the most complete running back in the NFL.  He can run and catch effectively.  His pass blocking is exceptional for his position. The torn MCL injury that he suffered last season and the 4-game suspension to begin this season are  the only reasons why he’s number 2 at the moment.

1) Adrian Peterson, Vikings


This specimen is the LeBron James of the NFL.  He’s strong, fast, elusive, and has a high motor. Similar to recently retired Marshawn Lynch, it usually takes more than one defender to take him down. One such hi light, Peterson threw a Cleveland Browns corner out of bounds as he kept running down the sideline for a touchdown.  Another time he ran through a Pittsburgh Steelers corner as if he wasn’t there to pick up 13 more yards.  He is the elite of running backs and tops my list. 


Week 5: What Did We Learn?

Another week has concluded in the NFL and the season has been amazing so far. 6 undefeated teams still remaining after week 5!?!? The finish to the Chargers/Steelers game was unbelievable! Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons is proving that he isn’t a fantasy football fluke. What else did we learn?


Cutler In The Clutch
Personally, entering this game I felt my Chicago Bears had a slim chance of winning this game. Not because of the swiss cheese defense or the insufficient weapons on offense but for the simple fact the game was at Arrowhead, a place where it’s tough to beat Kansas City. The way the flow of the game was going, the Chiefs was one big play away from icing the game early and you could feel it coming. But then the unthinkable happened… Jamaal Charles went down (I’m a big fan of his. I have him in 4 fantasy football leagues but I’m more concerned with his help. I pray he will have a speedy recovery). Once that happened, the Bears started to believe they could win the game. The defense started to play solid and their offense responded. Jay Cutler hit Marques Wilson with a 22 yard touchdown with 3:05 left in the game. Cutler then finds Matt Forte with the game winning score with 18 seconds left after dropping the snap. The Bears have won 2 consecutive games off of game winning drives. The Bears travel to Detroit next Sunday to play a struggling Lions team.


Ugly In Motown
Speaking of the Lions, its looking gloomy. Their winless start is surprising and unsurprising at the same time. They have so much talent on the offense to be winless, BUT at the same time we’re talking about the Lions. Their defense lost it’s “mojo” from last year, the running game is obsolete, and Matthew Stafford has turned into Casper the friendly ghost. I don’t understand how you are winless through 5 games when you have Megatron on your team. He can win you a few games by himself. Cam Newton has far less weapons to use and his team can score points, and they’re undefeated (granted their defense is amazing but he team still has to play offense). The Lions have other weapon as well but if you can’t utilize your best player then what’s the point of mentioning them?


San Diego Equals Mediocre
When T.I. made that song “No Mediocre”, he was referring to women and the San Diego Chargers. Ever since LaDainian Tomlinson left San Diego for the New York Jets, the Chargers have been stuck in a state of mediocrity. They have a legitimate quarterback in Philip Rivers with his best receiving option being an aging tight end Antonio Gates for all of his career. Their defense has been average at best over the years. They are not bad enough to get a high draft pick, but they are not good enough to make a playoff run if they make the playoffs. A roadblock was put up when Peyton Manning entered the AFC West. As long as number 18 is the quarterback in Denver, Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers will always be grounded. And as long as they keep making conservative offseason moves, they will always be mediocre.


Who’s The Real MVP?
I know a couple of weeks ago I suggested that Julio Jones was the early favorite as MVP but since then his production has decreased courtesy of Matt Ryan. Honestly, the award is a free for all thus far. Tom Brady has been almost flawless this year his team is undefeated. Well, the same could be said about Andy Dalton. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton is making a dollar out of 15 cents. Then you can’t over look Carson Palmer and Matt Forte quietly leads the league in rushing. It’s too early to tell but who do you think is the MVP so far?


Darkhorses Are Looming
The known threats (Green Bay, New England, Denver, and Seattle will get it together) every year is around again. There are a couple of teams they has flown under the radar or not have been taking seriously. The Arizona Cardinals are a legitimate threat to come out the NFC as long as Carson Palmer doesn’t go down. The Cincinnati Bengals are another team but probably won’t get the respect because Andy Dalton has been a disappearing act the postseason. The jury is still out on them and rightfully so. The same can be said about Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Some other teams have potential but let’s see how it plays out.


NFL Sunday: What Did We Learn?

Finally… the NFL season has come back to a television set near you! There is nothing like the atmosphere of opening week in the NFL. I’m pretty sure Roger Goodell is the happiest person that the regular season has started (everybody’s attention is focused on football and not legal issues). We saw rookies making their NFL debuts. We witnessed incredible finishes. We even had a Johnny Manziel sighting! Even though we have a double-header for Monday Night Football tonight (I wished they did a couple more of those a year), we learned quite a bit on Sunday.

Romo Still Magical

If you watched the primetime Sunday Night Football game, you’ve witnessed something special. Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) was going the Giants way. How does Tony Romo and the Cowboys respond to unfortunate interceptions, unexplainable penalties, and their best player going down (Dez Bryant out 4 to 6 weeks, possibly longer, with broken bone in foot)? They took advantage of every opportunity in the final few minutes of the game. The Giants have played a great game until their final drive. Poor clock management was their downfall. Here’ a clip or the Cowboy’s Game Winning Drive.

Tyrod Taylor Might Be The Answer

Coming into this game we knew that Buffalo’s defense was borderline elite (Adding Rex Ryan to an already respectable defense just pushed them into that category), but there were still question marks on offense. Granted, they did trade for a top-tier RB in LeSean McCoy, there was uncertainty wish the quarterback position. Taylor completed 14 of 19 passes for 195 yards and a TD. He also ran for 41 yards on 9 carries. The most impressive play came at end of the first quarter; 51 yard TD bomb to Percy Harvin.

Tennessee’s Future Is Bright

The Number One and Two overall picks squared off yesterday featuring Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. The Titans routed the Bucs 42-14, led by a 4 TD performance by Mariota. The Bucs defense was supposed to help out Winston, but… they were nonexistent. Winston struggled going 16 of 33 for 210 yards, including 2 TD’s and 2 interceptions. I believe Jameis Winston will be fine eventually (He was missing his number one target Mike Evans). Titans fans should be excited from what they saw from their newly franchise quarterback.

Chicago Looked Respectable

A lot of people expected Green Bay to run away with this game just like they have done in the past. Yeah… that didn’t happen. Chicago converted their 3rd downs, Matt Forte was an animal running the ball, and Jay Cutler actually played a decent game. Even though he threw one interception in a crucial point of the game, he made the right read (Clay Matthew’s defense was perfect on that play). Green Bay’s talent catapulted them ahead in the second half, and they never looked back. Bringing back James Jones was huge, but you did see moments where they missed Jordy Nelson and will continue to do so.

Baltimore Needs Help

It’s bad enough that I feel like Joe Flacco is the most inconsistent quarterback in the NFL, and the bad side showed yesterday (117 yards passing, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions). Denver’s defense doesn’t get enough credit. They are a borderline, top-tier defense in league, in my opinion. Baltimore NEEDS a number 2 receiver in the most desperate way. Maybe their rookie Breshad Perriman will be the answer whenever he gets healthy. Until then, their offense is going to struggle. OH…. just one more important detail: Terrell Suggs was carted off the field in the 4th quarter with an Achilles injury (Out for season).

Seattle Misses Kam Chancellor

Seattle’s hardball approach of not paying Kam Chancellor is starting to backfire. The “Legion Of Boom” didn’t look spectacular by any means allowing 297 passing yards and 2 TD’s to a mediocre quarterback by league’s standards. The Rams defense looked more dominant throughout the game than the Chancellor-less secondary of the Seahawks. Most importantly, Seattle is currently last in their division after Sunday’s loss. If Chancellor doesn’t come back, this division could have a new champion in December. I know it’s only the first week of the season but divisional games matter the most in the regular season. Their next opponent is Green Bay.


NFL’s Oldest Rivalry

Tomorrow (September 13, 2015), the Chicago Bears will host the Green Bay Packers in the 191st meeting, including the postseason, between the two teams. Chicago leads the all-time series 93-91-6 which dates all the way back to 1921. The two teams have combined for 22 NFL Champions, 5 Super bowls, and 57 members of the hall of fame. Check out the history of their rivalry below:

NFL’s Oldest Rivalry

As a Bears fan growing up, the two things my father kept mentioning was the ’85 Bears team and beating Green Bay. He had the Super bowl recorded on VHS (Throwback!) so I’ve seen the game dozens of times. What I haven’t seen dozens of times, however, is the Packers losing to the “Monsters of the Midway”.

Chicago was dominating the series until the past 2 decades. Green Bay has featured two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers). Chicago’s defense has dramatically declined from its signature style over the past few seasons, and Aaron Rodgers has taken advantage of it. Last season against Chicago, Rodgers completed 40 of 55 attempts for 617 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, with a quarterback rating 149.0. In the last meeting, Green Bay demolished Chicago 55-14 at Lambeau Field.

As a Bears fan, I think John Fox has the perfect opportunity to set the bar high by beating the rivals on opening day. I’m not saying it’s going to be. We all know what Aaron Rodgers is capable of even without Jordy Nelson. If the Bears can convert on 3rd downs and not turn the ball over then they have a chance. Both defenses aren’t elite by any means so I expect at least one team to run up the scoreboard.

In order to stop Green Bay, you have to stop the run and you have to put pressure on the quarterback. Eddie Lacy can’t average 4 to 5 yards a carry, and he can’t have multiple big plays. You HAVE to pressure Aaron Rodgers. If you give him time, the game is over. If you force pressure, he’ll get sacked or rush passes and that may lead to a costly mistake. Also, you have to make them settle for field goals in the red zone. The Bears are losing this game if they turn the ball over, and if they don’t establish the running game.

All in all, I’m looking forward to every meeting between the two teams. I hope my Bears win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers come out on top. We only get to see this match-up 2 times a year (3 times if we’re lucky). Get your popcorn ready!! (Anybody catch that T.O. reference?).

Bears Vs Packers Preview

Bear Down!