Top 10 running backs, ranking

Although technology has progressed well over the last few decades, there are still moments when gamers can tell the difference between the real game on the field and the action in a video game. Nowhere is it more blatant than in the comparison Madden NFL 23 to the actual NFL.

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While the real game of football is geared more towards quarterbacks, Madden NFL 23 it’s all about the running backs. The pro players win tournaments with special team players at quarterback but invest in great running talent. If this equation doesn’t change, it means these players will be the most important pieces to winning in the video game.


10 Ezekiel Elliott – 88 OVR

Last year was just a disappointment for fans expecting too much as Ezekiel Elliott still broke 1,000 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. But the Dallas Cowboys were used to Elliott vying for Pro Bowl numbers. Turns out, Elliott tore his PCL in week four and still finished the season.

It’s scary to think that last year’s great performance came about despite open and undisclosed injuries. If he’s healthy, there’s little doubt Elliott can once again compete against the best in his position.

9 Austin Ekeler – 88 OW

How many of the league’s most used running backs can say they never fiddled with the ball last year? That would be just one, Austin Ekeler keeping the ball safe and continuing to provide a great support to Justin Herbert and the receivers.

Ekeler is not the hottest player. Last year he was no threat to cruise the length of the field. However, something speaks for consistency in the running game and Ekeler plays his part perfectly.

8th Aaron Jones – 89 OVR

Over the past two seasons, Green Bay has gone from being a passing-dominant team to an almost exclusively passing team. That makes sense given Aaron Rodgers is collecting MVP awards. But they haven’t forgotten that their Pro Bowl runs back midway.

Jones caught more touchdowns than he ran last season. Between his rushing and passing, Jones is reliable for massive amounts of mileage.

7 Alvin Kamara – 90 OVR

It’s easy to look at Alvin Kamara’s 2021 rushing stats and be confused as to why he made the list. Statisticians will have to scroll down a page or two before they find it. If his fast numbers are good and not great, why is he ranked so highly?

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Kamara has always been an equal or greater threat to catch the ball alongside running. He led in receptions for the New Orleans Saints last year despite missing a few games. When both rushing and receiving are factored in, it becomes clear why Kamara always makes the Pro Bowl.

6 Joe Mixon – 93 OW

Every football season, the rumor mill simmers about who the next big thing will be. There has been far too little gossip about Joe Mixon. Yes, Joe Burrow and the Air Targets will see an improvement with a brand new offensive line.

But what about her running back stud, who put up huge numbers even when the line was atrocious? Mixon, third in yards and fourth in touchdowns, is poised to get even better somehow.

5 Dalvin Cook – 94 OVR

For the last few seasons there has been talk of when the passing game will explode in Minnesota. The Vikings spent money making their quarterbacks and wide receivers as flashy as the box art. Somehow, running back Dalvin Cook stole the show.

Cook has been consistently in the top 5 running back and this year is no different. The Vikings have had their ups and downs in recent seasons, but Cook has been a huge asset even when the team has struggled.

4 Jonathan Taylor – 95 OVR

The fact that Jonathan Taylor wasn’t counted as a top three running back is frankly insulting. Taylor not only led the league in every metric for running backs last year, he also dominated most categories. Someone fell asleep in the ratings department, he single-handedly carried a mediocre Indianapolis Colts team.

Look no further than Rushing Yards, where he led the league for a staggering 552 yards. If players are hoping to improve their franchise experience, they should start by making Taylor their featured running back.

3 Nick Chubb – 96 OVR

The Cleveland Browns were something of a train wreck last year. Their record wasn’t the worst, but considering they went into the season as the best bet on winning the Super Bowl, their underperforming season feels almost abysmal.

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This made the bright spots, which were few, all the brighter. Second in the league for rushing yards, Nick Chubb proved he could be the single back for the Browns. Now that the Browns are rebuilding, Chubb could see his role expand even further.

2 Christian McCaffrey – 96 OW

When players try to predict how players will be rated, those struggling with injuries are the hardest to pin down. Will the rating adjusters pull them down because they’ve never been on the field? Or will they slack off a bit and hope the player gets back in shape?

In the case of Christian McCaffrey, even though he’s missed almost two full seasons at this point, the rating adjusters still seem to think he’s one of the best. Those with great memories will see how this young star has elements of Marshall Faulk. The Carolina Panthers deserve to get a few healthy years off him.

1 Derrick Henry – 97 OVR

If you compare last year’s rate to this year’s Driving me crazy game, it should be clear that the rating adjusters are big on Derrick Henry. They’ve had him as a top dog for a while, and the Tennessee Titans know his importance.

The real key to the upcoming season is keeping the running back healthy. The Titans lean on him heavily and he runs at a speed that has broken Hall of Famer runners. Injuries kept him from his usual dominance last season but when he’s healthy few are better.

Madden NFL 23 will be released on August 15, 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

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