Authored by Rodney Southern in American Football
Published on 09-09-2009
The NFC has long been the place where you line up your team and try to run the ball down the throat of the other team. It has been said that the only way to make it to the Super Bowl is to have a team that can run the football. Last season, the Arizona Cardinals did everything possible to disprove that notion. They largely reached the Super Bowl based on a fantastic passing game. In spite of this, the running game is an important part of any successful NFL football team. Who among the NFC teams has the best running game going into the 2009 season? Here are the contenders:
The Panthers have to be considered front runners for the best running game not only in the NFC, but in the NFL overall. DeAngelo Williams has become the breakout star of the last couple of seasons. Not only that, but the Panthers have Jonathan Stewart as well. Stewart rushed for over 800 yards and scored 10 touchdowns last year….as a backup. Add to all this that the Panthers also have an outstanding rookie in Mike Goodson, and they are primed to take over the mantle of the best running team in the NFC.
The Cowboys have the distinction of having three running backs that are capable of starting on most any NFL ball club. This can be a great thing if they are able to share the carries. Felix Jones looks as though he will be the starter, with Marion Barber moving back to the third down and short and goal line option. Tashard Choice will be worked in when possible, but he is so good they might find another way to use him too. The Cowboys are loaded at running back and should be about as good as anyone.
The Vikings make this list primarily because of the best running back in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. This guy is simply a monster on the football field. What many people do not realize is that Chester Taylor is pretty darn good too. Taylor has backed up Peterson with no problem the last couple of years, and he gets more than his share of touches. Both are top shelf runners with a great supporting cast around them.
The Giants are entering a season where the running back position is a bit more tenuous. The powerful Brandon Jacobs is back, but they will be missing Derrick Ward. Some Giant fans feel that Ward was actually the best running back in New York. While that is up for question, the fact that the Giants are still strong is not. Bradshaw is a powerful runner that will give the other team fits, particularly around the goal line. Rookie Andre Brown may actually end up taking Ward’s old place, and Danny Ware will also be in the running. Ahmad Bradshaw should see plenty of carries as well.
Each of these teams are set to run the football this year. Injuries and changes on the offensive line could change these scenarios easily, and should be one of the things to keep an eye on in 2009.