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The Resurgence of the Running Game

Many of you already know about the recent decline in the production of the running back position. However, this season that trend seems to be reversed. We all have heard the saying that the team that have the best running game in the cold months of November and December will most likely become successful during playoff time and possibly the Super Bowl. Teams that have high powered offenses, and neglect their running game seems to struggle in the postseason, because of their lack of commitment to run the football.

Take for example the Denver Broncos, after last season’s 43-8 beat down by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVlll, the Broncos have gotten wiser this season, by relying heavily on their running game. Peyton Manning could throw 5,000 yards season after season, but in order to go far this year, their running game must be a contributing factor to their success in the following months. Especially if the Broncos have to take a trip down to Foxborough in the playoffs. This year the running back position has been the back bone of a lot of teams this season.

Where would the Seattle Seahawks be without Marshawn Lynch this season? After cutting ties with wide receiver Percy Harvin, the Seahawks got back to what made them successful in past seasons, which are putting an opposing defense to sleep by letting Lynch impose his will both physically and mentally. Another team that is having success this season due to their running game is the Dallas Cowboys.

Fans including myself, have always stated that if the Cowboys would have given DeMarco Murray the ball last year, in the second half of games to secure the lead, they would have made the playoffs. This season the Cowboys may have finally listen to us, and hand Murray the ball. They have handed Murray the ball to the extent that analyst are wondering if he could be possibly worn down by the end of the season. However, I think Murray will be okay as the Cowboys are in pursuit of their first division title since the 2009 season.

The majority of you already know that Murray is on pace to become the eight player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. With so much attention given to the monstrous stats that are put up by quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning, we should not take Murray’s accomplishment lightly.

This year’s MVP Award will most likely go to another quarterback once again but I think that there should be some consideration for tailbacks Le’Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch to be nominated for Most Valuable Player of 2014. None of those ball clubs would be where they are right now if it was not for the contributions of the running game. They may never get the big contracts like they used to get back in the day, but the running back positon will always play an significant role in the success of an Super Bowl contender.

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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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