In the current NFL climate it's uncommon to see a team with a single workhorse running back and an increasing number of teams giving plenty of touches to two, or even three RB's every week. In light of this, I've decided to rank my top 10 running back duos for the upcoming season. One thing to note is that these rankings are based on the talent and production of the top two runners on each team's depth chart, so that's why you won't be seeing top running backs such as David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliot at the top of this list.
10. Dalvin Cook and Latvius Murray (Minnesota Vikings)
9. Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory (Jacksonville Jaguars)
8. C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles (Denver Broncos)
7. Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden (Dallas Cowboys)
6. David Johnson and Andre Ellington (Arizona Cardinals)
5. Le'Veon Bell and James Conner (Pittsburgh Steelers)
4. Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati Bengals)
3. Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson (New Orleans Saints)
If I was writing this article a couple of years ago, there's no doubt in my mind that the RB pair of Ingram and Peterson would be a strong bet for the number one spot on this list and, despite their combined age being a ripe old 59, the two veterans still make the Top 3 in my eyes.
Believe it or not, it was less than 18 months ago that Adrian Peterson finished the 2015 season as the leading rusher and on top of that, Mark Ingram is coming off an 1,000 yard season in 2016. However, despite the unquestionable talent of the Saints' duo, AP's age and injury history prevents them for challenging for the top spot on the list this year. Peterson is 32 years old and it's not often you see a 30+ year old running back put up top numbers, but the former Viking has a habit of defying the odds. In addition to this, Peterson missed 13 games last year due to a knee injury so how well he will bounce back from this injury is still yet to be seen.
Taking everything into account, I think that both Ingram and Peterson will have productive seasons and think they have a chance for combining for 1,500 yards in 2017.
2. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans)
In the 2016 offseason the Tennessee Titans made it clear that their intention was to run the ball hard by trading for 2014 rushing leader DeMarco Murray from the Eagles and drafting 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, and run the ball hard was exactly what they did. Murray rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2016 while Henry rushed for 490 yards, boasting an impressive 4.5 yards per carry as the Titans narrowly missed out on the AFC South title.
Few backs have been as impressive as Murray over the last few years with the 29 year old finding himself in the top 10 for rushing yards three times in the last four seasons and in the top 3 twice.
Henry however, showed great promise despite his limited carries and proved he had a nose for finding the end zone as he scored 5 rushing touchdowns in 2016.
With Derrick Henry still improving and DeMarco Murray showing no signs of declining, I wouldn't be surprised if the Titans duo had 2,000 rushing yards between them come the end of the 2017 season.
1. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman (Atlanta Falcons)
Despite the Falcons' dynamic running back duo having 178 rushing yards less than there counterparts in Tennessee, Freeman and Coleman had 369 more receiving yards than Murray and Henry in 2016 and it's their ability in the passing game that gives them the edge and, in this instance, the top spot on my list. This past season the Atlanta offence was electrifying as they played their way to the NFC title and the running backs had a large part to play in the team's success.
Freeman posted over 1,000 rushing yards for the second consecutive season in 2016 as well as having over 3,000 combined yards over the last two years, cementing himself as one of the league's elite RB's.
Coleman also had an impressive year in 2016 as he rushed for 520 yards and 8 touchdowns from only 118 carries as well as having 421 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns from just 31 catches, an average of 13.6 yards per reception.
Despite Kyle Shanahan leaving the Falcons for the 49ers this summer, I see Freeman and Coleman continuing to thrive in Atlanta and becoming the most feared running back duo in football.
Mowlem is a young sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).