Redskins RB Adrian Peterson explains why running backs are still valuable
It is no secret that running backs are considered to be somewhat expendable in today’s pass-heavy NFL. Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is among those hoping to dispel this notion.
The value of running backs on the market has taken a significant hit in recent years. Peterson feels that at the end of the day his position serves as a deciding factor when it comes to playoff football via Patrik Walker of 247 Sports:
“Oh man, when you get down to championship football, that right there really shows the value of the running back,” he said. “When you think about this past season, the team that ran the ball won in the playoffs. You can kinda get away with it during the regular season, but half of the teams go through their running game. It’s always been that way, and it’s always going to continue to be that way.
“The defenses are so good, you can’t just throw the ball like that — unless you have a quarterback like Drew Brees or Tom Brady. You have to be more balanced. You have to rely on both the pass game and the run game. …If you just do your research and look at the playoff teams, and see which team won — it was the team that ran the ball well.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Peterson’s comments. More often than not, the team with the better run game tend to enjoy more postseason success because this allows them to control the clock and keep the opposing offense off the field. To his point, only teams like the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots can accommodate not having a strong rushing attack because they can rely on their star quarterbacks to carry the offense.
Unfortunately, it is clear that there are very few teams willing to fully commit to paying a heavy price tag for their running backs. Not only is it one of the more grueling positions in the NFL, but the surplus of talent at the position provides teams with many contingencies in case of an injury. Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is currently in the midst of attempting to get a long-term deal done and has announced his intention to sit out as long as he needs to.
For now, it seems Peterson will continue to advocate for running backs looking for a lucrative payday by providing Washington with plenty of bang for their buck moving forward.