Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation continues his team positional grading series by moving onto the running backs. The obvious teams are at the top, consisting of the Texans and the Panthers triple threat, but some teams are seemingly misplaced.
One of those teams is the Arizona Cardinals. Van Bibber continues his assault on this group by inking them as the 29th best running back corps in the league. Once again, I have some disagreements with his reasoning.
Here is what he had to say about the Cards:
The Cardinals should be higher on this list, but Beanie Wells' has yet to live up to the talent he has. Injuries have not helped that, and Wells is coming off knee surgery. Ryan Williams had knee surgery of his own recently, which will limit his role as a motivational tactic for Wells. With their top two running backs dealing with recent knee problems, it presents a significant concern for the Cardinals.
Sure, Beanie really hasn't lived up to his potential yet, but he had a pretty dang good season in 2011 if you ask me. He broke the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time in his career and he broke the Cardinals' single game rushing record. Playing through his wounds showed fans -- and coaches-- a lot about Beanie's character. This is proof that he wants to be great and he should continue to improve.
Ryan Williams' injury was something nobody saw coming. To grade against him for that just really isn't fair. If that's the case, then the Bears shouldn't be as high as #4 given Matt Forte's injury issues last season. If we are grading off of last season's performances, he actually had a worse statistical year than Beanie even if he played less games.
Not only is the grading system flawed, but the dismissal of LaRod Stephens-Howling is a mistake as well. The Saints were ranked as the third best team on the list because of the versatility they have at the RB position. Do the Cardinals not offer a similar group? LSH provides a nice change of pace and a good receiver out of the backfield as well.
Again, it's not just about the running backs. A lot of it has to do with the offensive line. When they can't get the necessary push required, the backs aren't going to rush for 100 yards a game. It's that simple.
What do you think of this ranking? Should the Cardinals be higher up the list? Lower? Tell us in the comments section.
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