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NFL 2016: Best Running Back Pairs
What's better than having one great running back on your team? Having two. Here's the NFL teams blessed with the best set of running backs
"When you have two or three different guys involved running the football over the course of a game, I think the benefits are many," says Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "There's a freshness that each of those guys has. Maybe they have different styles. They can attack defenses in different ways and they're just more versatile than one guy might be."
Last season, 13 NFL teams boasted two running backs with at least 400 rushing yards each, including eight of the 12 playoff teams -- Arizona, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Washington.
Despite the proliferation of the passing game, teams have continued to rely on different options in the backfield to gain an advantage.
The Cardinals led the NFL in total offense in 2015 with 408.3 yards per game, including 119.8 rushing yards per game. Led by veteran running back Chris Johnson (814 rushing yards) and rookie running back David Johnson (581), Arizona (13-3) won nine of its last 10 regular-season games and reached the NFC Championship Game.
"We've been doing this for three years to form a two-back package," says Cardinals head coach BRUCE ARIANS. "We're going to continue with the package because they all bring such dynamic passing game stuff, and obviously they can run." The teams that employed two running backs with at least 400 rushing yards each in 2015:
NFL teams with two running backs 400+ rushing yards
|Team||Running Back||Yards||Running Back||Yards|
|Source: NFL *Rookie|
|Arizona||Chris Johnson||814||David Johnson*||581|
|Baltimore||Justin Forsett||641||Javorius Allen*||514|
|Buffalo||LeSean McCoy||895||Karlos Williams*||517|
|Chicago||Matt Forté||898||Jeremy Langford*||537|
|Cincinnati||Jeremy Hill||794||Giovani Bernard||730|
|Denver||Ronnie Hillman||863||C.J. Anderson||720|
|Green Bay||Eddie Lacy||758||James Starks||601|
|Kansas City||Charcandrick West||634||Spencer Ware||403|
|Philadelphia||DeMarco Murray||702||Ryan Mathews||539|
|Pittsburgh||DeAngelo Williams||907||Le'Veon Bell||556|
|Seattle||Thomas Rawls*||830||Marshawn Lynch||417|
|Tampa Bay||Doug Martin||1,402||Charles Sims||529|
|Washington||Alfred Morris||751||Matt Jones*||490|
Buffalo's tandem of Pro Bowl running back LE SEAN MC COY (895) (left) and rookie running back KARLOS WILLIAMS (517) (far left) helped the Bills lead the NFL in rushing last season with 152.0 rushing yards per game.
"I think that was one of the main reasons we led the league in rushing," says Buffalo head coach REX RYAN about the Bills' running backs. "It was the talent that we had at running back. When you look at the positives, this is a real positive thing. We were able to lead the league in rushing and rushing average with a stable of backs we feel really good about moving forward."
Most Rushing Yards Per Game
Four of the top six teams -- Buffalo, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Kansas City -- in rushing yards per game had two running backs with at least 400 rushing yards last season.
NFL Football: "NFL 2016: Best Running Back Pairs"