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The NFL has become a pass-oriented league, with quarterbacks and receivers rewriting the record books weekly. However, running backs are still valuable in both the running and passing attacks. Whether they are running the ball, making a reception, or pass blocking – the top running backs are an integral part of their team’s offensive strategy.
Here are the five best running backs heading into Week 11 of the 2022 season:
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders’ decision not to pick up the fifth-year option on Jacobs’ contract looks like a costly blunder. The 24-year-old is Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded running back through ten weeks and will hit the free agent market in the 2023 offseason. Jacobs has posted two outings in which he had 20-plus carries while averaging more than seven yards per rush.
The Alabama product is also top-five in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, yards after contact, missed tackles forced, and 10-plus-yard runs. He has tallied 821 yards and seven touchdowns on 159 carries and has caught 31 of 37 targets for 200 yards and a score.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Barkley has proven this season he remains an elite runner when healthy. The 25-year-old has rushed for 931 yards and six touchdowns on 198 carries and has racked up 145-plus yards on the ground in three games this season.
Barkley needs 69 yards to become the fourth running back in franchise history with at least three 1,000-yard seasons. A leading contender for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, Barkley has a league-high 227 scrimmage touches (198 rushing yards and 29 receptions).
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Jones has been ultra-effective when rushing the ball at least 15 times a game. He has gained 523 yards while averaging 6.9 yards per carry in four games when the Packers have fed him the ball.
The UTEP product is fifth with 778 rushing yards and has caught four-plus passes in seven of 11 games. The 27-year-old averages 5.4 yards per rush on 143 carries and has five total touchdowns (three receiving and two rushing).
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
The two-time rushing champion leads the league with 1,010 yards and has scored ten times through the first ten weeks of the season. King Henry reeled off five consecutive 100-yard games and scored seven touchdowns from Week 4 to 8.
The 250-pound power back led the NFL in carries, rushing yards, and touchdowns in 2019 and 2020 and was on pace to do the same last season before he was limited to eight games due to a foot injury. However, Henry still finished with 937 yards and ten touchdowns.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Chubb has averaged 1,273 yards over the last three seasons and is currently third in the NFL with 904 yards and league-high 11 touchdowns. He is just 106 yards behind frontrunner Derrick Henry despite 70 fewer carries.
The 26-year-old has five 100-yard games and has scored a touchdown in seven of his past eight games. The former Georgia standout has also averaged more than five yards per rush in six games this season.