While the NFL has become known for its pass-happy nature, the importance of having a solid running game cannot be underestimated. Throughout the season, this space will monitor the league’s rushing leaders.
Here is how things shake out after Week 1.
Who Leads the NFL in Rushing Yards This Year?
Melvin Gordon III
One of the great stories in Week 1 was the performance of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. After dealing with several injuries the past few seasons, Barkley looked like his old self, breaking off several explosive runs en route to a 164-yard afternoon (18 carries). The 25-year-old’s longest run went for 68 yards on the first play of the third quarter, one of four rushes of 10+ yards for the former Penn State standout. Health permitting, Barkley’s name should continue to rank near or at the top of the NFL’s rushing leaderboard.
Right behind Barkley is 2021’s rushing leader in the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor, who picked up exactly where he left off, racking up 161 yards on 31 carries in Indy’s 20-20 tie against the Houston Texans. With preseason reports of a lighter workload appearing to be exaggerated, Taylor is as good a bet as anyone to win his second consecutive rushing crown.
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