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2005 RBs


godtomsatan
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For what it's worth, I compiled a list of the top 10 finishers in the following categories for the last 10 seasons: Rushing Attempts, Rushing Yards, and Rushing TDs. This was done out of curiosity to note what kind of turnover there is.

 

Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, there is a lot of turnover from season to season.

 

If the trends over the last 10 years hold form for RBs:

 

5 of these names won't finish in the top 10 in Rushing Attempts for 2005:

 

Curtis Martin, Rudi Johnson, Shaun Alexander, Corey Dillon, Clinton Portis, LaDanian Tomlinson, Edgerrin James, Tiki Barber, Dominick Davis, and Willis McGahee.

 

5 of these names won't finish in the top 10 in Rushing Yards for 2005:

 

Curtis Martin, Shaun Alexander, Corey Dillon, Edgerrin James, Tiki Barber, Rudi Johnson, LaDanian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns, and Fred Taylor.

 

6 of these names won't finish in the top 10 in Rushing TDs for 2005:

 

LaDanian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes, Dominick Davis, Tiki Barber, Willis McGahee, Jerome Bettis, Rudi Johnson, Curtis Martin, and Corey Dillon.

 

Thoughts on who those might be?

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5 of these names won't finish in the top 10 in Rushing Yards for 2005:

 

Curtis Martin, Shaun Alexander, Corey Dillon, Edgerrin James, Tiki Barber, Rudi Johnson, LaDanian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns, and Fred Taylor.

 

6 of these names won't finish in the top 10 in Rushing TDs for 2005:

 

LaDanian Tomlinson, Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes, Dominick Davis, Tiki Barber, Willis McGahee, Jerome Bettis, Rudi Johnson, Curtis Martin, and Corey Dillon.

 

Thoughts on who those might be?

 

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If I had to pick 5 out of that group who won't finish in the top 10 in rushing yards, they'd be:

 

1. Reuben Droughns - he isn't likely to hold a feature role as a tailback anywhere in the NFL next season.

2. Fred Taylor - his role in Jacksonville seems to be decreasing, and I can't help but get the feeling he is well overdue for another injury.

3. Curtis Martin - coming off career highs in carries and yards at the age of 31...he's a workhorse and I'd expect another 1,000 yard season out of him, but top 10 rushing is probably a reach...most guys coming off a season with that many carries (371) have a subpar season the following year.

4. Rudi Johnson - for some reason I'm not quite sold on him yet. Also, he is coming off a career high 361 carries (see Curtis Martin).

5. Corey Dillon - he'll be 31 next year, is also coming off a career high in carries (345 in the regular season), and he isn't using to playing those extra playoff games. He looked fine down the stretch, but I'm betting he pays the price some next season.

 

Honorable Mention: Shaun Alexander - my bold prediction. I doubt he'll be pushed out of the top 10, but he is also coming off a high workload season, won't be playing for a contract, and he very well could end up in Miami. :D

 

As far as TDs, as I'm sure you noticed doing your research, they are by far the most unpredictable stats from year to year...Curtis Martin and Corey Dillon and Tiki Barber all had only 2 in 2003, yet this year they ended up with 12, 12, and 13 respectively. Jerome Bettis had only 7 in 2003, and ended up with 13 in 2004. If I had to pick 6 from that list, I'd go with:

 

1. Jerome Bettis - coming off a career high 13 at the age of 32...it was only the second time in his entire career that he broke double digit rushing TDs. Staley missed a large portion of last year, and the Steelers also look like they have several decent young options at RB...to top it off Bettis isn't even sure he wants to play in 2005...all these things make him an easy pick.

2. Priest Holmes - I know he's been a TD machine for several seasons, but I think Larry Johnson is going to end up stealing a lot of the running load in KC (I can't believe I just said that). Priest is getting old and coming off 2 major injuries in the last 3 seasons. He's a much better receiver than LJ, I could see him being a change of pace/3rd down back next year...not exclusively mind you, I'm sure he'll get some work and put up decent numbers, but most of his damage I bet comes via the passing game.

3. Tiki Barber - the Giants have always tried to replace Tiki at the goalline...although I think they figured out once and for all that Ron Dayne isn't that guy, I don't think they'll stop looking for this season and there is no shortage of available talent...I like Tiki, but no way he ever scores 13 rushing TDs again.

4. Corey Dillon - same reasons I listed above for why I think his yardage will decrease, plus he's never really been a consistently high TD threat in his career (yes I know, part of that is due to playing with the Bengals). Another thing to think about though, Branch should be healthy next season and Givens should further progress...they could easily swipe a few of his TDs from this year.

5. Willis McGahee - he got an awful lot of carries last season for a young kid coming off a very serious knee injury. Couple that with high expectations and the fact that he is going to be playing with a first-year QB, and I think things could easily get very ugly for him this year.

6. Curtis Martin - his TD production has been very erratic, he is getting older, and he has a ton of mileage on him. As I said before, I'm not completely sold on Rudi, but he should get at least 8+ TDs, and that should be enough to put him in the top 10, so it's Curtis by default.

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Player movement will have an impact on which ones taper off, including changes on the offensive line as well as of course, the injury bug. Other changes also will have an impact, such as coaching changes.

 

The Jets, for instance, have a new offensive coordinator. Will they run the ball less? Do they sign Jordan, and if not, does Martin actually end up with MORE touches? Does Martin come in this year in the shape and health he had last year?

 

The statistical analysis should hold up, but picking which ones fall off is more difficult, naturally. For the same reason I dont prepare my draft lists until rosters are close to finalised and the first preseason snap hits a QB's hands, it's even harder to project now. The one name that jumps out at me early though, is Taylor.

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Nice breakdown there, well thought out.

 

Another not on McGahee: A Buff homer can correct me, I might be way wrong, but didn't he get a few scores after Henry (when healthy) had carried the team down field? I seem to remember him being handed the ball once they reached the red zone.

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