TOP NFL RUNNING BACKS – 2012 Regular Season Halfway Mark
All NFL teams have played at least 8 games this season which marks the halfway point for the regular season. Here we take a quick look at the top performing running backs of the season after the first nine weeks into the 2012 NFL season.
ADRIAN PETERSON – Minnesota Vikings
Peterson leads the league in rushing yards with 957, leads the league among 20+ yard runs accomplishing it 11 times, ranks third among rushing touchdowns with 6, and is second among rushing first downs with 42. The amazement comes from the fact that he is coming off reconstructive knee surgery for a torn ACL and MCL on December 30th of last season. It is now only ten months after the injury (typical recovery time for the surgery) that Peterson is having one of his best seasons as a professional. He led the Minnesota Vikings to a 5-2 start but the Vikings have slid among the standings as Peterson tries to carry his team to a playoff-birth when he’s not even 100% healthy.
DOUG MARTIN – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In Week 9, Doug Martin ran for 251 yards and scored 4 touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders becoming only the second player in the Super Bowl era to accomplish this task in a single game. Martin is third in total rushing yards with 794, second in total rushing touchdowns with 7, and he has never lost a fumble in his career partly because he is a rookie in the league and has only played in nine regular season games! Martin is keeping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers among the playoff hopefuls in the NFC. Going into this season, analysts and fans alike would have predicted that one of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, or fellow running back Trent Richardson would have been the rookie of the year contenders but Doug Martin is running away with that award too.
ARIAN FOSTER – Houston Texans
It’s not a great surprise that Arian Foster is on this list as he has consistently been a top running back for the last couple of seasons. Foster currently leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 10, is fifth among total rushing yards with 770, he is tied for second place among rushing first downs with 42, and he has not lost a fumble this season. Arian Foster has been the anchor to the Houston Texans’ offense leading the Texans to a current record of 7-1, best record in the AFC. Foster was the consensus number one fantasy football pick before the season began and has not disappointed his fantasy owners. Although Arian Foster is having another consistent season, producing a high volume of numbers and probably will be selected to the Pro Bowl once again, Foster’s focus is winning the Super Bowl in New Orleans come this February.
MARSHAWN LYNCH – Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch epitomizes a “power running back” with highlight plays of him running through multiple defenders each week. Lynch is currently second in total rushing yards with 881, and is second among rushing attempts with 185 attempts. There is no doubt that the Seattle Seahawks ride on the broad shoulders of Marshawn Lynch and rightfully so as Lynch is the definition of a “work horse” running back. The Seahawks are currently in second place among their division with a record of 5-4 and trying to catch the San Francisco 49ers. If Seattle has any chance of making the playoffs, they will need to keep Lynch healthy.
ALFRED MORRIS – Washington Redskins
Every knows Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, and Andrew Luck but no one knew who Alfred Morris was until Mike Shanahan decided to start the sixth round draft pick. Morris started the season as the number one running back in the Redskins’ high rushing offensive attack and has not let go of the opportunity yet. Morris is currently fourth in total rushing yards with 793, and is third among rushing first downs with 41 conversions. The question with Morris is whether or not he can be a “featured” running back for years to come or if he is benefiting from Mike Shanahan’s run heavy offense that made players like Clinton Portis, Mike Anderson, and Tatum Bell seem like a better player than were when moved to a different team. Alfred Morris and the Washington Redskins currently have a record of 3-6 and are looking up among the standings. This means that the playoffs are virtually out of the question for the Redskins but Morris should continue to be one of the main offensive weapons the remainder of the season.