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GumboBC 07-07-2004 04:48 PM

Best runningbacks in NFL
Hail Green Bay! Packers backs are the NFL's best

Adrian Hasenmayer /

For you football cliché lovers out there, I bet you have heard this beauty more times than J-Lo's gotten hitched:

"If you want to win football games, you must be able to run the ball."

The lack of creative expression aside, an effective running game accomplishes an array of critical team-building goals for any offense.

Which team is most stacked when it comes to loading up their backfields? Check out our rankings and tell us which RB group you'd want for 2004.

Confidence on offense: Any time an offensive line can string 4-5 straight running plays and get some licks on opposing D-linemen, you can feel that momentum building.

Save that defense: When the running game's clicking, a huge not-so-fringe benefit is the D getting a blow while also keeping other potent offenses helpless on the sidelines picking their teeth.

Clock killing: Most importantly, great running games are like great closers in baseball. Coming back all the time is not a recipe for success in any sport. The ability to finish a game with ease gives the offense a load of confidence, while the defense can relax knowing game preservation isn't solely on their shoulders.

So which teams own the best RB groups for 2004? For the purposes of our rankings, the goal for every team is to find two, hopefully three, backs with plenty of game experience. A great starting RB alone is most important, but a lack of solid backups can mean a big drop. Big game production definitely helps, since it's all about winning. Also, this list is for the 2004 season. Future potential means next to nothing.

And one more thing, fullbacks are not included.

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