Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every positions – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with a position that some think is dying in the NFL – running back. But one look at the best teams in the league a year ago suggests otherwise; a workhorse runner still leads to success in 2014.
Let the debate begin!
10. Frank Gore
Heading into his 10th season, all with San Francisco, some people believe Gore is starting to show some wear and tear. Given the average lifespan of an NFL running back, which is about one-third of the time Gore has been a Niner, that makes sense. But the numbers suggest otherwise. In the past three seasons, playing in Jim Harbaugh’s system that focuses on running, the veteran has averaged 1,184 yards and 8.3 touchdowns per year; that’s not slowing down.
9. Zac Stacy
In his rookie season, this Rams running back showed some great promise. Despite starting only 12 games, he rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns, while also hauling in passes for another 141 and a score. And that’s in an offense without a big-time threat at quarterback. As Stacy gets more playing time, especially behind a capable signal-caller, he’ll only be more effective. The 23-year-old running back is a star on the rise.