Even with the devaluation of the running back position across the league, having a good running game still means something. It’s how teams can keep drives alive and the threat of it sets up the pass as well.
So, who runs the AFC West on the ground? Let’s take a look.
Josh Jacobs, Zamir White
For all intents and purposes, you can just pick a name to go after Jacobs here. Cuz it’s all about Josh Jacobs. The reigning NFL rushing title holder carries the load for the Raiders and carried the offense to most of their six wins last season. White was drafted to be the heir apparent, but has not yet shown he is ready for that.
Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley
Once again, it’s all about the workhorse. Ekeler has averaged over 1400 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns over the past four seasons, and nearly 1600 yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He does this while averaging 4.6 yards per carry over his career.
Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Pacheco burst onto the scene as an undrafted rookie last season to run for 830 yards while averaging nearly five yards per carry. That’s YPC average was matched only by Josh Jacobs. CEH was the team’s first round pick in the 2020 draft. It was an ankle injury he suffered midway through last season that really opened the door for Pacheco to shine.
Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine
Williams was the team’s pick in the second round of the 2021 draft. He ran for over 900 yards with four touchdowns as a rookie. His sophomore season was cut short after four starts.
Perine signed with the Broncos this offseason. He enters his 7th NFL season after stops in Washington, Miami, and Cincinnati. He has only once run for over 400 yards in a season, has averaged four yards per carry in his career with just 7 career touchdowns.