NFL rushing title likely to go down to the wire

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The race to lead the league in rushing appears set to go down to the wire this season, with the NFL’s top four running backs all projected to finish the season within 30 yards of each other.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook leads the league with 823 rushing yards, followed by Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette at 715, Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey at 618 and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb at 607. But the rushing race is a lot closer than those numbers suggest.

The Vikings have played eight games this season, the Jaguars seven, and the Panthers and Browns six each. On a per-game basis, the four top runners have had virtually identical seasons: The difference between first and fourth is less than two yards per game.

Here’s where the Top 4 runners would end up this season, if they all continue their current paces for 16 games:

1,648 yards: Christian McCaffrey
1,646 yards: Dalvin Cook
1,634 yards: Leonard Fournette
1,619 yards: Nick Chubb

Fournette, McCaffrey and Cook were the first three running backs drafted in 2017, while Chubb went in the second round in 2018. The four young runners appear poised to have a close race to the finish line this season, with the league rushing title at the end of it.

22 responses to “NFL rushing title likely to go down to the wire

  1. Funny….I don’t see Melvin Gordon’s name in that list….or Lev’Veon Bell.

  2. Don’t forget about Indianapolis Colt Marlin Mack, who is at 568 yards and who has only played seven games. He’s about 50-70 yards back of this group, but a couple of big games puts him in the mix or in the lead.

  3. Wow! Go McCaffrey! Do you know when was the last time a white guy won the NFL rushing title? Rick Casares – 1956.

  4. Dont forget Zeke who it it wasn’t for the suspension would have led the leaue in rushing 3 straight years. Not far behind with 602 he’s poised to have a big game and be in the mix.

  5. Even as a cowboys fan… Zeke just isn’t on their level. When you watch Saquan, when you watch McCaffery – they POP off the screen and make you go “wow.” Perhaps his rookie season Zeke had some of those same flashes – but it’s JUST not there anymore.

    They’ll hang onto him at least through next year I suppose, but ultimately I foresee (and would like to see) him being cut/renegotiated after next season.


  6. Josh Jacob’s running behind the best oline in the league. Hell be at the top in a week or 2.

  7. Chubb is as good as anyone here, but his carries will be coming down when Kareem Hunt returns after game eight. But, what a backfield that will be.

  8. Great guys for sure, but a team needs a running GAME not a particular running back. The next Gurley, Bell, Elliot bust contract is probably among them.

  9. The next overpaid RB will most surely be one of them… The RB dilemma in the league today surely has plenty to do with age and depreciation, but I feel JUST as much to do with comfort and complacency.

    McCaffery strikes me as someone who would and likely will, avoid the short-comings associated with that. I feel like he’ll be the next 10-year talent to bring it to that level every season. I’d add Saquan to that list as well, but not quite as confident as I am with Christian.

  10. Chubb might take a dip when Hunt can play too. This is a 2 man race between Cook and Mccaffrey barring injuries. If Fournette can maintain the same volume he will probably be right there too.

  11. Anyone that watched Dalvin Cook vs. a very bad Redskins defense knows that McCaffrey is a better overall talent.

    23 rushes for 98 unimpressive yards. I am not saying Cook sucks, but I for sure would put my money on McCaffrey for the rushing title over Cook.

    Minnesota is basically running Dalvin into the ground. I don’t see a spectacular last 8 games when the Vikings schedule gets more difficult.

  12. I like this. In an age of inflated passing numbers, the fact that these guys (and more) are still carving up defenses in the ground game is a good thing for the sport as a whole.

  13. chitowncolt says:
    October 25, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Don’t forget about Indianapolis Colt Marlin Mack, who is at 568 yards and who has only played seven games. He’s about 50-70 yards back of this group, but a couple of big games puts him in the mix or in the lead.


    By these standards everyone is in the mix.

  14. I like old school football and the steady rule changes that have turned the NFL into a passing league haven’t done anything to increase my affection for the game.

    Very nice to see a proper featured running back race for the rushing title this year.

  15. Goofball Packer fan, try posting something real. Cook gets quite a few plays off since rookie Mattison is looking so good. Cook is the real deal and is absolutely one of the best backs in the league. Everybody knows that.

  16. It all depends upon health and usage. If McCaffrey stays healthy, he will likely prevail since the Panthers offense is more dependent upon him than most others. As to the uninformed opinion that Cook is being over-used (well it is from a cheeser, so no surprise),he actually has fewer rushes per game than the other rushing leaders, he alternates every third series with Mattson, and the Vikes also have a pretty decent passing game — in other words, Cook’s usage is just fine. Maybe that cheeser should go back to worrying about the Vikings WR depth.

  17. Chubb has those numbers while currently sharing the load with Dontrell Hilliard. His numbers will not change once Hunt comes in since his yards per carry is what is giving him those numbers not the number of times he’s carrying the ball. Part of Cleveland’s issue on offense is they give up on the run when they get into the red zone so it’s arguable this is him being held back right now.

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