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zombieslayer  
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 3:48:31 AM(UTC)
From the highly controversial author who has previously pointed out that rushing success is irrelevant in today's NFL, I'm going to go on record stating that Elite Running Backs are a waste of money.

2010

Let's take our top 5 fantasy RBs for example. In order, it was Arian Foster, Peyton Hillis, AP, Jamaal Charles, and Chris Johnson. All-Pro Foster led the Houston Texans to a mighty 6-10 record. Peyton Hillis led the Browns to an unstoppable 5-11 record. The untackleable AP led the mighty mighty Vikings to a 6-10 record.

All Pro Jamaal Charles helped the Chiefs to a 10-6 record and the Playoffs, getting eliminated in the first round because some genius had the smart idea that they had to run more than pass and so they only scored 7 points. Now note, of these teams, Charles is the only one with a winning record but that's because guess what? They got a Pro Bowl QB in Matt Cassel (27 TDs vs 7 INTs, pretty good year I'd say).

And lastly Chris Johnson of the Titans. Nobody can stop Chris Johnson. Nobody. That's why their record was 6-10. How can anyone stop the run?

There you have it. Top 5 RBs and the only one not on a sucky team is the one with the Pro Bowl QB.

Out of curiosity, let's see who the top fantasy QB is? Hey, it's Aaron Rodgers, Super Bowl MVP.

So like I said, rushing success is irrelevant. Throw the damn ball (and let the pass open up the run).

2009

This year, we got Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, and Frank Gore as our top fantasy RBs.

Chris Johnson has an absolutely amazing year, rushing for over 2000 yards and causing a big argument - who's better, Johnson or Adrian Peterson? That's a lot of yards. Did the Titans a lot of good. 8-8. Playoffs? Well...

AP is #2. Yes, the Vikings made it to the NFC Championship Game. But guess what? It wasn't because of Adrian Peterson. It was because of Brett Lorenzo Favre throwing for 33 TDs vs 7 INTs. Peterson's best year was the year before when he led the NFL in rushing yardage and the Vikings went one and out in the Playoffs because they couldn't throw the ball.

MJD is #3 and took the Jaguars all the way to a 7-9 record.

4th is Ray Rice who took the 9-7 Ravens all the way to the AFC Championship Game where they only scored 3 points because Flacco sucked and you know what? Rushing really doesn't score points. (Points win ball games). But we already know that.

Frank Gore's #5 and watched the Playoffs on TV at home with the rest of the 8-8 49ers. Is there anyone here who still wants to pay big money for a Running Back? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Oh, guess who the top 2 Fantasy QBs were in that year? Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, respectively. Rodgers went one and out but Brees famously hoisted the SB trophy.

2008

DeAngelo Williams, Michael Turner, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, and Thomas Jones were your top 5 for 2008.

Wlliams took the 12-4 Panthers all the way to the Playoffs where they got their asses handed to them by the Arizona Cardinals 33-13. Ouch! Why did they lose so badly? Well, their QB (the most important guy on the Offense) sucked. The top RB in the NFL just couldn't do shit because as I've already stated, you win games by scoring more points than your opponent. Rushing leads to punts. Passing is how points are scored.

Michael Turner led the 11-5 Falcons to the Wild Card game where they got beaten by those same Cardinals. What happened? Well, Michael Turner only got 42 rushing yards while Kurt Warner on the other team threw a 42 yard TD to Larry Fitzgerald and a 71 yard TD to Boldin. Passing, folks. That's how you score points. Oh, I've already said that.

This is weird. In 2008, the top 3 RBs were in the Playoffs. Very different from '10 and '09. But that's how it goes. Adrian Peterson took the 10-6 Vikings to the Wild Card game where they put the game in AP's hands. Great hands, no doubt, and 2 TD runs. But passing > rushing and even though the Vikings held Brian Westbrook to only 38 yards on 20 carries, they lost 26-14 because the Eagles coach knows that to win games, you throw the damn ball. McNabb lit them up. One and done.

da Bears. Missed the Playoffs with a 9-7 record. Poor Matt Forte. What a wasted year.

And lastly, we all know the story of the 2008 Jets. Favre did well and the Jets won. Favre sucked and the Jets lost. Rushing? Well, that doesn't have much bearing on the game. Oh, Thomas Jones was the RB just in case you were wondering.

So there you have it. The past 3 years. I could go further but I'm heading out to see a play in a few minutes. Who won the SB? Well, the team with the #1 D.

Like I've been saying - the most important thing is an elite D. Then an elite QB. RB? Well, you don't want to spend too much money on them as with a salary cap, spend it on defenders instead. It really doesn't matter who's back there. Rushing success is irrelevant to the success of your team.
jdlax  
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 3:54:47 AM(UTC)
Just for accuracy's sake, Williams led the 12-4 Panthers to the playoffs in 2008.
zombieslayer  
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 3:58:57 AM(UTC)
Oops!

(Shouldn't have fired my proofreader).
jdlax  
#4 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 4:02:46 AM(UTC)
Good thing, then, that I work like real cheap. :)
Greg C.  
#5 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 4:26:19 AM(UTC)
Very funny post, and I agree with you about elite RBs. A good one is nice, but when your RB is racking up massive yardage totals, usually something is wrong with your offense.
Zero2Cool  
#6 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 6:14:55 AM(UTC)
What are you calling an Elite running back? I can't think of any in the NFL currently.

I do agree, having a good, even great running back serves less importance than a good to great quarterback.
Greg C.  
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:24:24 AM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What are you calling an Elite running back?


He named a whole bunch of them. If you don't like the term "elite RBs," you can substitute another term of your choice, like "top ranking RBs" or whatever.
Rockmolder  
#8 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:34:06 AM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What are you calling an Elite running back? I can't think of any in the NFL currently.

I do agree, having a good, even great running back serves less importance than a good to great quarterback.


So you're saying that AP isn't an elite running back?
jdlax  
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:59:28 AM(UTC)
There has never before been, and never in the future will be, an elite running back besides Barry James Sanders.

Better aks someone, bitch.
Packers_Finland  
#10 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 12:24:04 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
There has never before been, and never in the future will be, an elite running back besides Barry James Sanders.

Better aks someone, bitch.


There was no correlation between having Barry Sanders, and winning, so no, he is also not an elite running back.
Nonstopdrivel  
#11 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 1:25:18 PM(UTC)
I think we can all agree that O.J. Simpson qualified as an "elite running back." Out of curiosity, I looked up the season records for the teams on which he played. The results were eye opening.

Code:
BUFFALO BILLS
-------------

Season  Record  Yrds    YScm
 1969   4-10-0   697    1040
 1970   3-10-1   488     647
 1971   1-13-0   742     904
 1972   4-09-1  1251*   1449
 1973   9-05-0  2003*   2073*
 1974   9-05-0  1125    1314
 1975   8-06-0  1817*   2243*
 1976   2-12-0  1503*   1762*
 1977   3-11-0   557     695
 
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
-------------------
Season  Record  Yrds   YScm
 1978   2-14-0   593    765
 1979   2-14-1   460    506
 
* Denotes lead league.
zombieslayer  
#12 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 6:39:02 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post


There was no correlation between having Barry Sanders, and winning, so no, he is also not an elite running back.


If we want to go best of best, I'd say Barry Sanders was #1 since 1976 when I started watching football. Wallie was #2. #3 a tough call between LT and Emmitt Smith. Wallie won a SB. E Smith won 3. The others didn't win anything. OJ Simpson was before my time. When I got to see him, he was already worn down.

As a Packers fan, the only elite RB we had was Ahman Green. He was only elite for a few years and in that time, we made the Playoffs and lost. The 2 SBs we won, we didn't have a 1000 yard rusher.

So like I said, waste of money. With money limited, spend it on elite defenders. You'll have a much better team. You need to run the ball, but put anyone back there. It doesn't matter. He just needs to run with the football and not fumble. Starks is fine. Grant is fine. Heck, we could have won the Super Bowl with Dmitri Nance or that one guy we cut before the season started. It doesn't matter.

If a RB wants more money, trade him for draft picks. Use the money you saved on a LB or a CB or a S or a DE or a NT. Those guys are more important anyways.
Packers_Finland  
#13 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 6:42:15 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post


There was no correlation between having Barry Sanders, and winning, so no, he is also not an elite running back.


If we want to go best of best, I'd say Barry Sanders was #1 since 1976 when I started watching football. Wallie was #2. #3 a tough call between LT and Emmitt Smith. Wallie won a SB. E Smith won 3. The others didn't win anything. OJ Simpson was before my time. When I got to see him, he was already worn down.

As a Packers fan, the only elite RB we had was Ahman Green. He was only elite for a few years and in that time, we made the Playoffs and lost. The 2 SBs we won, we didn't have a 1000 yard rusher.

So like I said, waste of money. With money limited, spend it on elite defenders. You'll have a much better team. You need to run the ball, but put anyone back there. It doesn't matter. He just needs to run with the football and not fumble. Starks is fine. Grant is fine. Heck, we could have won the Super Bowl with Dmitri Nance or that one guy we cut before the season started. It doesn't matter.

If a RB wants more money, trade him for draft picks. Use the money you saved on a LB or a CB or a S or a DE or a NT. Those guys are more important anyways.


I don't actually think Sanders wasn't elite, it was only an attempt to bait Zero.
zombieslayer  
#14 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:12:03 PM(UTC)
I knew you were being sarcastic and saw that you're trying to bait Zero. I saw that he was on earlier so I'm assuming he's ignoring you.
Dexter_Sinister  
#15 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:14:21 PM(UTC)
I am aghast. No Jim Brown? That is just wrong.

Emmitt was not elite, or even good. He was passable. He was a guy who ran into the line and fell down. It was just that his line gave him +3 and he fell for 2. Barry was handed -2 and fell forward for 7.

In '09 those top 5 backs had over 20 years of experience between them. Do you know how many super bowl rings? None.
Zero2Cool  
#16 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:22:08 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
" said: Go to Quoted Post
What are you calling an Elite running back?


He named a whole bunch of them. If you don't like the term "elite RBs," you can substitute another term of your choice, like "top ranking RBs" or whatever.


I thought he named fantasy Running Backs, not what was making them an Elite RB.


The only one that I feel comes close to being elite would be Adrian Peterson. Because year in year out he's getting his yards and scores.
zombieslayer  
#17 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:23:13 PM(UTC)
Dexter - I'm too young. I've never seen Jim Brown other than videos of him. When I say "best" I always make a point that it's 1976 on.

Yes, I think Smith is overrated but you do have to admit, the guy has a nose for the end zone. That's why I like him. He gets TDs by any means necessary. Thus I put him with LT. How would he be behind an average OL? Well, debatable.
macbob  
#18 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:26:01 PM(UTC)
Zombie-

Irrelevant. To borrow a line: You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.

The stats you are presenting support an argument that an elite QB is more important than an elite RB to winning. I dont think anyone here disagrees with that statement/argument.

The problem comes when you leap from that argument to an elite RB (or the running game in general) is irrelevant.

elite QB > elite RB

and

elite RB = 0

are not the same thing.

Paul Hornung & Jim Taylor were not irrelevant.

More recently, Terrell Davis wasnt irrelevantJohn Elway and the Broncos lost 3 SBs before they gained a running game. 2 of those 3 years they had an elite defense (ranked first and seventh in scoring) and their passing game/D wasnt enough, by themselves, to win the SB.

Do I think we need to go out and trade/spend to acquire AP? No. I think our RBs (Grant/Starks) will provide us enough of a running game to keep the defenses honest.

Do I think Packers should become primarily a running team? No. A running game will get you about 1500-2000 yards AT MOST a year, where a passing game will get you in the realm of 4000 yds.

What I would like to see is us drop the ZBS and to draft a couple of OL (OT & LG being the biggest needs). Get some help for both our running and passing games (I don't think it's either or--I think an improved OL can improve both). Can we clone Sitton & Bulaga???
macbob  
#19 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:31:00 PM(UTC)
" said: Go to Quoted Post
I think we can all agree that O.J. Simpson qualified as an "elite running back." Out of curiosity, I looked up the season records for the teams on which he played. The results were eye opening.

Code:
BUFFALO BILLS
-------------

Season  Record  Yrds    YScm
 1969   4-10-0   697    1040
 1970   3-10-1   488     647
 1971   1-13-0   742     904
 1972   4-09-1  1251*   1449
 1973   9-05-0  2003*   2073*
 1974   9-05-0  1125    1314
 1975   8-06-0  1817*   2243*
 1976   2-12-0  1503*   1762*
 1977   3-11-0   557     695
 
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
-------------------
Season  Record  Yrds   YScm
 1978   2-14-0   593    765
 1979   2-14-1   460    506
 
* Denotes lead league.


Yeah, but you can't just take that straight up. For example, in 1973 when the Bills were 9-5 OJ rushed for over 2000 yards but their passing game was putrescent--997 yards for the entire year, last in the league. 71 passing yards/game. By himself, OJ was more than 2/3rds of the Bills total offense.
zombieslayer  
#20 Posted : Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:34:27 PM(UTC)
The game changed since the 60s. Passing was harder back then as you can smack the receivers all the way down the field up until they were about to catch a ball. Also, you can bury a QB into the turf and not worry about a 15-yard penalty.

The 2 year SB span with the Broncos, see what RP said in another thread. They cheated, plain and simple. I was referring to the salary cap and they broke the rules.
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