In an era dominated by QB-WR duos, Running Back tandems have often been overlooked. We are no longer in the age of Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen or Roger Craig and Tom Rathman. Having a solid running game is essential to becoming a dominant force (even in a pass-heavy offense). We can just look at the reigning Superbowl champs as an example. Last year, Eli Manning found his groove as a clutch passer but also had a solid/respectable running attack. One could argue that without Brandon Jacobs and Ahmed Bradshaw, Eli may have struggled to dominate through the air as he did.
After a few notable Running Back acquisitions this off-season, let’s take a look at who now has a formidable backfield. Here are the top Running back duos based off of their current rosters:
5) 49ers – Frank Gore & Kendall Hunter
Their role is important in this offense even though the pass game gets way more attention. This season will be 1 of the more controversial for Frank Gore because he’s going to have to share the ball with more than just Kendall Hunter, he now has Randy Moss, who has been known to ask for his share of the ball in a very abrasive manner. In years past it has been the Frank Gore-Vernon Davis show, these new pieces may decrease numbers.
4) Jets – Shonn Greene & Tim Tebow (Tomlinson?)
This new wildcat system that will be implemented in New York will either be a tremendous success or an epic failure. Rex Ryan has established that he will be committed to the run and passing the ball is an after-thought. The addition of Tim Tebow only adds to this notion. Most analysts have been discussing the controversy between Tebow and Sanchez but it’ll be interesting to see how effects Shonn Greene as well.
3) Chiefs – Jamaal Charles & Peyton Hillis (Thomas Jones?)
Decent move by the Chiefs to grab what has the potential to be a great running back in Peyton Hillis. Charles suffered a nasty injury last season so Hillis can be expected to carry some of the load until Jamaal is back in full form.
2) Houston – Arian Foster & Ben Tate
Statistically, this is 1 of the more underrated tandems in the NFL. Houston had the 2nd ranked rushing offense being led by their star Arian Foster, but let’s not forget Ben Tate who was 58 yards shorts of a 1000yd season. Once they have their starting QB back I expect them to have another dominant rushing season.
1) Bears – Matt Forte & Michael Bush
Great pickup by the bears. It will be interesting to see how this works out since Michael Bush left Oakland because he didn’t want to play 2nd fiddle to Run DMC (Darren McFadden). If all goes well, they will be virtually unstoppable and eerily reminiscent of Larry Johnson & Priest Holmes of the good ole Chiefs.
Washington Redskins – Roy Helu, Ryan Torrain and hopefully Tim Hightower.
The Redskins have plenty of young talent at the Running Back position but I do hope they bring back Tim Hightower (on a reasonable contract) because his impact was definitely felt prior to his injury. He thrived in the zone blocking offense and could provide veteran leadership in what will become a very young offense with the predicted addition of the new young Quarterback.
Additionally, stay tuned for my playoff picks once the regular season approaches. A few teams listed here have a strong chance of making a playoff run (pun intended).
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Post By ~Kareem Shakoor