In the grand scheme of things stats don’t matter, wins do. We would all be lying if we said we didn’t care about stats however. In this series we will be looking at the statistical leaders of each division in the NFL. For the second article of this series we’ll take a look at running backs. Rushing leaders in the NFL must be extremely talented themselves, and they must have an extremely talented line in front of him. Without further adieu, let’s get into it.
AFC North: RB Nick Chubb- Cleveland Browns
The Browns are looking to go deep into the playoffs this year and despite an explosive passing attack, their bread and butter is their smash mouth rushing offense. Nick Chubb is an extremely talented player with elite vision, burst, and power. Up front is arguably the best offensive line in the NFL and that is a recipe for big numbers.
Nick Chubb Rushing Projection: 1,388 Yards
AFC South: RB Derrick Henry- Tennessee Titans
King Henry will likely be back on top in the AFC South and possibly even in the NFL. He is one of the most talented rushers of our generation and we may never see another player like him. He is still the focal point of the Titans offense and the Titans have some real people movers up front which is a recipe for disaster for opposing defenses.
Derrick Henry Rushing Projection: 2,083 Yards
AFC East: RB Damien Harris- New England Patriots
This is a particularly weak division as far as running backs go but I have been a big Damien Harris believer since his days at Bama. Harris averaged a crisp 5.0 YPC last year and now that he is in the spotlight as the Patriots premier rusher, he should put up some good numbers. I expect the Patriots to try and pound the rock a bit more with this uncertainty at quarterback.
Damien Harris Rushing Projection: 939 Yards
AFC West: RB Javonte Williams- Denver Broncos
This should be a surprise as I have him edging out Austin Ekeler, CEH, and Josh Jacobs. Javonte Williams to me, has what it takes to be one of the best running backs in the league. He is very reminiscent of Nick Chubb. He is short, stocky, powerful, quick, and has elite vision. I think this Broncos offensive line is getting better and better each year and I expect Williams to have a big rookie season especially with the questions at QB.
Javonte Williams Rushing Projection: 1,079 Yards
NFC North: RB Dalvin Cook- Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook is one of the only players in the NFL that could challenge King Henry for the crown as the rushing leader. Dalvin Cook is incredibly gifted and has everything you want in a running back. Up front, the Vikings spent 2 picks in the first two days of the draft to nab tackle Christian Darrisaw and guard Wyatt Davis. I think Dalvin Cook’s numbers get even better.
Dalvin Cook Rushing Projection: 1,885 Yards
NFC South: RB Alvin Kamara- New Orleans Saints
Maybe this is an upset over CMC but I love Kamara’s chances to win the rushing cup in the south this season. Kamara has elite vision, shiftiness, power, and has the best balance in the game. With a new QB in town, NOLA will heavily rely on Kamara. The Saints have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and some of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL. I expect Kamara to finally crack the 1,000 yard threshold.
Alvin Kamara Rushing Projection: 1,193 Yards
NFC East: RB Saquon Barkley- New York Giants
There are tons of questions surrounding Barkley in this upcoming season but there is no denying how talented Saquon is. Barkley is arguably the most talented football player in the league and all he has to do is stay healthy. In a year where the Giants expectations are playoffs, they are going to need a lot of production for Saquon Barkley. I think that if he can stay healthy, we are in for a treat.
Saquon Barkley Rushing Projection: 1,318 Yards
NFC West: RB Chris Carson- Seattle Seahawks
The NFC West is a little weak in the running back department but Chris Carson isn’t too shabby. Carson is a powerful runner who is capable of running through defenders at each level of the field. There is a new and improved offensive line in Seattle and this line is hand made for pass blocking and interior rushing. If Chris Carson can hold onto the ball and stays healthy, I think he could play a huge role in Seattle.
Chris Carson Rushing Projection: 1,173 Yards