NFL's six most important running backs down the stretch
Ezekiel Elliott's production has dropped off over the last six games, with the sixth-year pro averaging 12.5 carries and 44.7 rush yards per outing in that span. Some of his struggles are undoubtedly health-related. After Zeke was held to 25 yards on nine carries in a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Raiders, head coach Mike McCarthy voiced his concern about Elliott's lingering knee injury.
"It's that time of year," McCarthy said. "Zeke's running style is ferocious. He gives a pounding and he takes some hits. We need to evaluate that, and this week, we'll see what the preparation looks like for him."
no indication that Zeke actually will receive a lighter load against the Saints on Thursday night and beyond, but Pollard will be ready whenever called upon. Not widely viewed as an every-down back, Pollard has the ability to thrive in that role, at least in my estimation. He's been an explosive running back with 13 runs of 10 yards or more this season, including three of 20 yards or more. The Cowboys' run game has taken a back seat to the passing attack but it's evident that Dallas needs a strong run game if it wants to succeed. McCarthy and Co. will especially need it in the postseason. You May Like Also Week 13 NFL game picks: Bills edge Pats to retake control of AFC East; Chiefs stay hot against Broncos NFL Offensive Player Rankings, Week 13: Teams that should be in the market for Jimmy Garoppolo After hitting rough patch, Los Angeles Rams aiming to get season back on track NFL QB Index, Week 13: Lamar Jackson vexes; Russell Wilson tumbles NFL Power Rankings, Week 13: Bengals rocket into top 10, while Cowboys tumble out of top five 2022 NFL Draft order: Jets holding two of top five picks confident, young quarterback Week 6 win over the Texans against the Colts' defense back in practice this week Monday's tilt with the Bills the Jags come to SoFi Stadium a big win over a divisional opponent news RB Index, Week 12: Why a running back has the best shot to win NFL MVP in years Maurice Jones-Drew explains why Colts second-year pro Jonathan Taylor has a legitimate chance to become the first running back to win the NFL MVP award since 2012. news RB Index, Week 11: Vintage Panthers boast NFL's scariest rushing attack Maurice Jones-Drew breaks down a vintage Panthers offense that's turned into the NFL's scariest rushing attack overnight. Plus, a new rookie enters his top 15 RB rankings ahead of Week 11. news RB Index, Week 10: Four NFL running backs poised for second-half breakout Maurice Jones-Drew identifies four running backs who are poised for a second-half breakout. Plus, with Derrick Henry on IR, there's a new No. 1 in his ranking of the top 15 players at the position. news RB Index, Week 9: Bears must lean equally on Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery Filling in for the injured David Montgomery, rookie Khalil Herbert has been exceptional for the Bears. Maurice Jones-Drew weighs in on how Chicago should handle the situation when the latter returns from IR. Plus, MJD updates his RB rankings. news RB Index, Week 8: To help Lamar Jackson, Ravens MUST get more from the run game Baltimore's running backs haven't been much help to Lamar Jackson and the rushing attack in the last four weeks. Maurice Jones-Drew offers up a solution for Greg Roman and updates his top 15 RB rankings. news RB Index, Week 7: Which NFL teams should trade for a running back before the Nov. 2 deadline? After a spate of injuries in backfields across the league, Maurice Jones-Drew spotlights teams that should -- and shouldn't -- trade for a rusher before the Nov. 2 deadline. Plus, an updated ranking of the top 15 running backs in the NFL right now. news RB Index, Week 6: Browns, Cowboys lead NFL's top five rushing duos Maurice Jones-Drew reveals his top five rushing duos in the NFL right now. Will the Browns or Cowboys tandem earn his top honor? Plus, four new players enter his RB rankings. news RB Index, Week 5: Three running backs who are pressing too much Maurice Jones-Drew identifies three running backs who are pressing too much -- something he dealt with during his own career -- a quarter of the way through the 2021 NFL season. Plus, three new players enter his top 15 RB rankings. news RB Index, Week 4: Three potential trade partners for Colts' Marlon Mack With the Colts and Marlon Mack mutually agreeing to seek a trade, Maurice Jones-Drew reveals three potential trade partners for the fifth-year back. Plus, Saquon Barkley enters the top 15 rankings for the first time this season. news RB Index, Week 3: How Derrick Henry -- the Titans' scariest weapon -- just got scarier Maurice Jones-Drew reveals how the Titans' scariest offensive weapon -- Derrick Henry -- just got scarier. Plus, how far did Aaron Jones climb in the top 15 RB rankings after a four-TD day? news RB Index, Week 2: Three running backs poised to bounce back After an underwhelming opening effort from running backs across the NFL, Maurice Jones-Drew spotlights three rushers poised to bounce back in Week 2. And for the first time this season, MJD ranks the top 15 RBs in the league. NFL Extra Points Credit Card