The Detroit Lions will look to gain momentum in their 2022 campaign. Head coach Dan Campbell is starving to see improvement in his rebuild with Detroit during year two. The running backs will be one unit that the Lions will look to lean on this season.
There is a lot of talk from Lions' coaches and national media that the running back unit should see a big jump this upcoming season. The rest of the NFC North doesn't look too shabby in the backfield either. Let's take a closer look at each team's running back units and rank them from worst to first.
Ranking The Running Back Units Of The NFC North. Where will the Detroit Lions land as a group?
4. Detroit Lions
I think the one word that would describe the Lions' backfield would be potential. Fans have heard the term since the team selected D'Andre Swift. Swift has dealt with unfortunate health issues during his short tenure in Detroit.
However, the time to produce is now. Running backs coach Duce Staley has already stated he could see Swift being the top back in the league. It is now up to Swift to show the entire league he is the guy many people believe him to be. Jamaal Williams is the perfect number two in the Lions' arsenal.
Williams finished as the 28th best RB in the Pro Football Focus (PFF) rankings last season. The word potential needs to be put to bed this season for the team to take it to the next level.
3. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have a solid three-down back with David Montgomery. Montgomery cracked the NFL Network's Top 100 players list coming in at #98. Montgomery will be a mainstay in the lineup this season as the team looks for him to help carry the load for second-year QB Justin Fields.
The biggest question for the Bears running game will be the stability of a depleted offensive line. Montgomery finished last season with 849 yards on 225 attempts. Second-year man Khalil Herbert should see a few snaps each game as well. Herbert tallied 433 yards on 103 attempts last season, with a 4.2-yard average per carry.
2. Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook is without question the best running back in the entire NFC North. The only back in the division to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark last season with 1,159 yards. Cook will be a top pick in every fantasy league across the country, and Minnesota Vikings fans should expect the sixth-year man to be the workhorse of the backfield.
This list grades each team's entire running back unit, which is why the Vikings land second on this list. Alexander Mattison will be option two in Minnesota, which isn't necessarily bad. Mattison nearly grabbed 500 yards on the ground last season, finishing with 491 yards and three touchdowns.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers once again land at the top of a list involving a skilled position in the NFC North. A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones are arguably the best one-two punch in the NFL. Dillon rushed for 803 yards last season, with Jones not far behind at 799 yards.
Both backs average over four yards per carry and combined for nine touchdowns last season. With a depleted wide receiver unit this season, look for the Packers to try and bruise defenses with a heavy run game.