Here are the Lester’s Legends running back rankings for the AFC and NFC Championship Games of the 2013-14 NFL Playoffs.
1. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch averaged 98.3 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns during the regular season and ripped off 140 yards and a pair of scores last week against the Carolina Panthers.
He has a tough draw against the San Francisco 49ers this week, but he averaged 103.5 total yards and a pair of touchdowns in two earlier meetings with them.
2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Knowhon Moreno averaged 99.1 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game during the regular season. He held to form with 94 total yards and a score last week against the San Diego Chargers.
He takes aim at the New England Patriots this week, a team he ran 37 times against for 224 yards and a score in the first meeting.
3. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots
LeGarrette Blount ran for 166 yards and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. In Week 17 he ran for 189 yards and two scores. Blount has eight touchdowns in his past three games. He is a load to bring down, plus he has a burst to run away from defenders when he gets into space.
I expect Denver to do a better job against Blount, but he is going to be tough to stop if they get in a goal-line situation.
4. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
Frank Gore averaged 79.3 yards and 0.6 touchdowns on the year but less than 70 yards per game without a score in two meetings with the Seahawks. He’s averaging 84.5 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in two playoff wins.
Gore has five touchdowns in his past five playoff games. Of the starters, I like him the least, but he should still turn in a solid game.
5. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley added 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week. He has double-digit carries in the past three games, signifying that he is out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse.
Unfortunately Blount took over the lead job. Ridley should still get a decent amount of carries.
6. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
Shane Vereen is averaging just five touches for 27.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in his past four games. He had 18 touches for 91 yards in the first meeting with Denver.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Vereen played an important part of this week’s game plan just to keep the Broncos guessing.
7. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Montee Ball had 10 carries last week for 52 yards. He had 10 touches in the first meeting with the Patriots for 57 total yards. He should see some chances in this one as well.
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