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NFL Network's top 5 running backs

Earlier we talked about the NFL Network's top Tight Ends.We've had quite a lengthy and entertaining discussion about it. Again the NFL Network aired a segment examining the best in the biz, only this time it was the running backs.

Here's Jamie Duke's list of the five best running backs in the league. (Here's the video for those who want to watch it. Thnks madmatt for posting it.)

5. Maurice Jones-Drew/Michael Turner
4. Frank Gore
3. Steven Jackson
2. Adrian Peterson
1. Chris Johnson

Join me after the jump as I examine each player's 2009 stats and propose my own list.

Player Games Played Games Started Attempts Total Yards Yards per attempt Long Number of TDs
Michael Turner 11 11 178 871 4.9 58 10
Maurice Jones-Drew 16 16 312 1391 4.2 15 80
Frank Gore 14 14 229 1120 4.9 10 80
Steven Jackson 15 15 324 1416 4.4 58 4
Adrian Peterson 16 15 314 1383 4.4 64 18
Chris Johnson 16 16 358 2006 5.6 91 14

This isn't a bad list. It's hard to argue with the top 3, or even the top 4. The big questions come in at number 5 spot.

Here's my list of top 5.

1. Chris Johnson. You can't argue with a 2000 yard season
2. Adrian Peterson. Easily the second best back in the league. He fixes his fumbling issues and he could push CJ2K for #1
3. Steven Jackson. Week in and week out he shows up and does a great job with a lousy offense behind him.
4. Frank Gore. You could say the same about Gore. Four seasons of 1000k yards, with no reason to doubt his ability to do that again.
5. Ray Rice. I can't rank a running back in the top 5 who didn't gain at least 1000 yards on the season. Ray Rice did that and then some with a 5.3 yard per attempt average. I'd also be happy putting Maurice Jones-Drew here, though I think he has a pretty good offensive line to work with.