Power Ranking the NFL's Rushing Attacks

Jordan Cohn
June 24, 2020 - 10:14 am

For some, running the football is a lost art. The multitude of recent 5,000-yard passing seasons work as solid evidence of that statement. The Chiefs' Super Bowl win behind quarterback extraordinaire Patrick Mahomes can help to support that thought.

But the record-breaking performance of the 2019 Ravens, the mind-blowing numbers of Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry, and the emergence of studs like Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs suggest that the ground game is still alive and well.

For this list, I'm not only looking at the talent in the running back corps. I'm looking at the depth and quality of a team's running backs, the ability of a team's quarterback to make something happen on the ground, versatile wide receivers who can do damage on end-arounds, the run blocking prowess of that team's offensive line and fullbacks/tight ends, the coach's scheme, recent production and every other facet of an NFL rushing attack.

And before the inevitable attacks begin: no, I don't mean general impact players in the "other impact players" section of each team. I know Julio Jones and Michael Thomas and Tom Brady are impact players. I'm well aware. But, when I say impact players, I mean those who directly impact the ground game with their legs or with their blocking abilities. Now that that's out of the way, let's begin.

2019 statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference. 2019 offensive line run-blocking rankings courtesy of Football Outsiders.

Cordarrelle Patterson may have been the Bears' most exciting rushing weapon in 2019. Photo credit (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Instead of facing off against Arthur Blank's Falcons, Todd Gurley will lead their rushing attack in 2020. Photo credit (Harry How/Getty Images)
Tyrod Taylor's mobility provides an additional dimension to the Chargers' offense. Photo credit (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
There are few QBs who have as large an impact on the ground game as the Texans' Deshaun Watson does. Photo credit (Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will be joined by rookie A.J. Dillon in the backfield in 2020. Photo credit (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Saints' offensive line was the best run-blocking unit in the NFL in 2019, according to Football Outsiders. Photo credit (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Based purely on talent, there may not be a better backfield duo than Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Photo credit (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram figure to once again be dominant on the ground in 2020. Photo credit (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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