The offensive fire power around the NFL is loaded at nearly every position including the running back position. While Derrick Henry carried the load for the Tennessee Titans and finished the season as the leading rusher with 1,540 yards on the ground, the expectations are uncertain for the Titans star in 2020. While we wait to see what Henry does on the ground, the running back position is loaded with talent including Christian McCaffrey who finished the season with 1,387 yards rushing and 1,005 yards receiving.
While we expect to see McCaffrey competing for the top spot at the running back position in 2020 along with Henry and guys like Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, we also expect to see a few guys drop off on their production while others take a big step forward. Here are two running backs who expect to take a big step forward in 2020 and two running backs who could see their success diminish in 2020.
Running Backs with High Expectations in 2020
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals running back slowly became the workhorse on a Bengals team that battled injuries as well as quarterback struggles in 2019. Despite the struggles, Mixon rushed for 1,137 yards to go along with five touchdowns. With the high expectations of Joe Burrow and the return of AJ Green, Mixon has a shot to rush for 1,300-1,400 yards on the ground to go along with 10-12 rushing touchdowns.
Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
Here is one player who could look to turn in a huge season in 2020 as he starts his season in a fresh new jersey in Atlanta. After a solid start to his career with the Los Angeles Rams, Gurley now will look to carry the load on a very talented Falcons team that features Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Look for Gurley to top the 1,000 yard mark while also seeing his receiving numbers increase.
Running Backs who Could Take a Step Back in 2020
Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
Carson might have been one of the biggest surprises among the running back group in 2019 after finishing the season with 1,230 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. While he has the skills to produce, the past history of how the Seahawks have bounced around with running backs could open the door for other opportunities for the hot hand to take touches away. Carson could see his production drop to below 1,000 yards in 2020 if the Seahawks offense slows down.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
While we expect to see the Browns running back to put together another solid season, it will be hard for him to top the 1,494 yards and eight rushing touchdowns he had in 2019. Chubb could see his touches drop with Kareem Hunt in the lineup from the start of the season while many experts also expect to see the team lean on the pass more with a bounce back season from Baker Mayfield.