When you put together a list of the best running back groups in the NFL, generally you'd expect the most productive running back group from the previous year to show up. They don't necessarily have to be at the top, but like, the top five would be nice, right?
Well, not according to Heath Evans, who completely failed to mention the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his top five running back groups over at NFL Network. Instead he mentions, in order, the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Minnesota Vikings. Seriously.
This is, of course, absurd. Doug Martin and Charles Sims combined for 2,763 yards from scrimmage last year, or nearly half of the team's production on offense. Martin was the second-leading rusher in the league, and somehow Sims still managed to put up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. The two are perfectly matched as well: the tough, every-down runner and the explosive change-of-pace back who's excellent as a receiver.
In fact, the Bucs backs put up more production than any of the other groups. The Bills got 2,184 yards out of their top four backs. The chiefs didn't even get 2,000 yards out of all their running backs combined, though they did have to miss Jamaal Charles for eleven games. The Steelers got to 2,008 yards, though that was without Le'Veon Bell for ten games. Rhe Rams had the offensive rookie of the year, but couldn't crack 2,000 with all of their backs. The only team to come close to Sims and Martin was the Vikings, who got to 2,395 yards.
How this pair never made it onto a list of the top five running back groups in the NFL I will never know, but they'd better be on the list after this season. That is: as long as they actually keep up their level of play.