The 2022 NFL regular season gets under way on September 8, with the Buffalo Bills heading to the SoFi Stadium to take on the current Super Bowl champions, the LA Rams. As always, fans can be sure of drama and excitement in that fashion so characteristic of the NFL.
Take the drama of the 2021 season. Who can forget frustrated members of the Washington Redskins coming to blows on the side line during the team’s 56-14 mauling by the Dallas Cowboys? What about the craziest touchdown of the season, by Robert Hunt of the Miami Dolphins, which was ruled out? And that dramatic field goal by Justin Tucker in the last few seconds of the game, which pulled the Baltimore Ravens from one pointed and clinched the encounter with the Detroit Lions?
Fans should get ready for some epic moments when the regular season begins. They may even fancy putting on a parlay bet to introduce some extra excitement into the following of the season. Running backs will play an important role for their teams, so here is a look at some of the best ones as the regular season approaches.
Derrick Henry is a formidable force for the Tennessee Titans and led the league in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns, both in 2019 and 2020. Before injury stopped him, he was on his way to repeat this feat in 2021. Even then he still finished sixth in touchdowns and ninth in yards.
Henry will be ready to go to war in 2022. He’s unusually strong and physical and can run through second-level defenders and over them. His field vision is excellent, as is his immense level of patience, and he’s a major asset at the goal line. Blocking is one of his fortes too.
Jonathan Taylor is somewhat living his best life at the Indianapolis Colts as he enters his prime. As Derrick Henry was injured, Taylor picked up the baton in the 2021 season and led the league in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns. In fact, he played so well that some fancied him for the MVP award.
Those expectations may well be placed on him again. Taylor is a former high-school track star but also smashed through records on the grid in his college days. He’s lightning fast, naturally, and combines his speed with endurance, vision and instinct, which makes him a menace for opposing teams as he powers up the field. Fans will be hoping he can improve his receiving skills so he can take his game to the next level.
Both club and fans will be expecting Christian McCaffrey to step onto the grid more for the Carolina Panthers this season, as he’s been off the field more than on it in the last couple of years. If McCaffrey is in good health, he’s going to be a major threat to opponents, however. He’s a gifted player who can perform different functions on the grid and is explosive as a running back, returner and receiver. He’s ultra-fast, can change direction easily and dodges tackles effortlessly. His speed really allows him to eat up the field in front of him.
For five seasons, Alvin Kamara, running back for the New Orleans Saints, has been proving draft pick experts wrong. He’s the type of player who will never be satisfied with his performance, even if he doesn’t put a foot wrong all night, because he’s constantly striving to improve.
Kamara has proven he’s an ideal fit for the Saints and has the strength, speed and size to have become a tremendously important player for the team. Then there’s his endless versatility. When the Saints need a running back, pass blocker, slot receiver, decoy or run blocker, they have it all in one player. He’s a good receiver for his position, and he’s also an explosive leaper. If he gets the chance, he’ll get into the end zone regularly for the team.
Minnesota Viking Dalvin Cook boasts all the key abilities it takes to be a super running back: vision, anticipation, elusiveness, cutback ability and blistering acceleration. Early in his runs, he’ll show patience, and when a space opens up, he’ll dash for it. Tacklers don’t faze him, and he’ll show physicality and perseverance when he comes up against them. On top of all this, he catches the ball well out of the backfield. One to watch in 2022.
As the regular approaches, anticipation is building, and the NFL will generate its usual mix of excitement, drama and action. The running backs above will play a major role in the performance of their teams and are likely to have fans leaping out of their seats with their electrifying pace and play.