Many words have been written about the death of the running back and how halfbacks are a dime a dozen. I disagree with this sentiment; a great running back can tilt the field like a great receiver does. It's one thing to hit the open hole, but a genuinely great running back will be a threat to take it to the house every time they touch the ball.
These are running back duos prove the position is alive and well and strike fear into the defense every time they step onto the field.
The creme of the crop. The Cleveland Browns were tied for first in Yards Per Carry at 5.1 for the entire team. You could argue they have three running backs who could start for most teams in Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D'Ernest Johnson. With Kareem Hunt injured most of the season, Johnson had a breakout campaign averaging 5.3 YPC.
Even with Baker Mayfield hobbled and defenses stacking the box, Chubb still ripped off a monster 5.5 YPC. That's ridiculous. That was more efficient than Ben Roethlisberger, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Andy Dalton, Sam Darnold, and Justin Fields. Running backs aren't supposed to get more net yards per attempt than any quarterback.
While the Browns have excellent run blocking, Chubb wasn't exactly Ron Dayne at Wisconsin or Trent Richardson at Alabama either; he was tied for 4th in the league in broken tackles. No matter who's taking snaps in Cleveland next season, they'll still be a threat to make the playoffs on the backs of their rugged backfield.
Green Bay Packers
When teams assemble their backfield, they look for guys who can do it all. The Green Bay Packers have a couple of swiss army knives. Both AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones are incredible blockers and good pass catchers. In addition, Jones is one of the best receiving backs in the league. This is an area he improved significantly after his rookie season.
As for Dillon, he's a battering ram. Owner of the thickest thighs in the league, trying to tackle Quadzilla is like trying to take down an elephant. When defensive backs attempt to grab hold of him, it looks like a dad playing with his kid; they just get swept aside, it's a joy to watch.
This Packers duo doesn't have the eye-popping yards per carry the Browns trio does, but their competence in all facets of the game makes them game-changers. Neither guy has to come off the field for any situation, and that's invaluable for an offense.
New England Patriots
I love the New England Patriots backfield. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are the most underappreciated duo in the league. Mac Jones couldn't have stepped into a better situation with these two lining up behind him. Look at the Patriot's receiving group, they're not great. But with Harris and Stevenson keeping the defense honest, Jones could cook a little.
Look no further than the Patriot's win over the Bills; in a game so windy that Mac Jones only attempted three passes, Harris and Stevenson put the team on their backs and ran for 222 yards. If the Patriots sniff the playoffs this season with their shaky roster and new offensive coordinator, it'll have a lot to do with these two.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This will be controversial cause I'm projecting, but I love Rachaad White. He's the perfect backfield pairing with Leonard Fournette. Fournette has come a long way in the passing game and quickly developed into one of the most prolific pass-catching backs last season. But White is on another level, man. When Rachaad White has the ball in his hands and nothing but open field ahead of him, he's fucking lethal.
Rachaad's athletic profile is on another level; every team that drafted another running back before White will regret it, including the New York Jets and Breece Hall. White and Fournette will form the classic thunder and lightning duo that teams love. If Rachaad White can figure out pass protection in a timely matter, it'll be interesting to see if he becomes a favorite target of Tom Brady.