NFL Power Rankings: 30 Best Running Backs of All-Time

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Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) breaks away from Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (59) during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) breaks away from Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (59) during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A ranking of the 30 Best Running Backs of All-Time

Over the course of NFL history, one of the most important positions on the field is the running back. In fact, I would even go as far to say running back is the second-most important position on the football field behind quarterback.

Having a solid running game opens up the passing game. It allows the offense to control the clock and run time off the clock in the closing seconds to run out the game. The key to winning football throughout the history of the league has been a good running game.

Depending on the type of scheme, the running back is going to touch the ball the most other than the quarterback. While a quarterback can shred defenses, usually, with his arm, a running back has the ability to do much more damage than the quarterback by physically overpowering defenses and controlling tempo.

I think we all understand the significance of the running game in football, but these 30 players I’m about to name transcend the running game. They are more than an aspect of the offensive attack. All 30 of these running backs WERE the offensive attack for their teams for almost their entire careers.

Obviously, it’s very hard to compare different eras. The players are so much faster and stronger than they were in, say, the 1960s. Plus, offenses have changed and developed as the game has grown more popular, and the rules have changed to encourage scoring rather than defense.

It was difficult to sort through all of that, but I’m confident I made the right selections! If you think I didn’t get the list right, please feel free to leave a comment, so we can debate. We love feedback at FanSided because we’re all about the fans!

Without further ado, let’s get to the 30 Best Running backs of All-Time!

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