Sep 26, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower (25) runs with the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Redskins, among other teams, can run right into the playoffs this season

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:

 

Jan 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) rushes up field against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. San Francisco defeated New Orleans 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

 

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.

 

Mar 26; Florham Park, NJ, USA; Newly acquired New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow addresses the media at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

 

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.

 

July 29, 2011; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) walks off the field after training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

 

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.

 

Jan 15, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) attempts to elude Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) in the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at M

 

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.

 

Dec 4, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs onto the field prior to a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field. The Chiefs defeated the Bears 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

 

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.

 

 

Sleeper:

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

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Tags: Chicago Bears Evan Royster New York Jets NFL Roy Helu Jr. Shonn Greene TIm Hightower Tim Tebow Washington Redskins

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