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Game-changing rushers are once again proving the value of a productive – and protective – ground attack

Reports of the running game’s death have been greatly exaggerated, as game-changing rushers continue to prove the value of a productive – and protective – ground attack. Through 11 weeks, the NFL’s top five in rushing attempts – Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Adrian Peterson and Stevan Ridley – have slowed the tide of body-slamming pass rushers and provided valuable protection for their quarterbacks. Peter King, Alan Shipnuck and Jim Trotter take a closer look at the way three of those running backs are reviving the run game.

  • Marshawn Lynch – Joyous, humble and committed to his community—that’s Marshawn Lynch off the field. On it? Alan Shipnuck says you better strap in or get out of the way. With four straight 100-yard games, he’s averaged even better stats in the second half of games than in the first (page 37).
  • Adrian Peterson – Peterson’s ridiculously speedy recovery from ACL surgery is almost as hard to believe as his stats this year, says Ben Reiter (page 41).
  • Doug Martin – The Bucs’ rookie, whose nickname is the Muscle Hamster, is on a wild run straight into the record books writes Jim Trotter. With a franchise-best 251 yards on 25 carries against the Raiders, he is on pace for 2,110 total yards, third most ever for a rookie (page 43).

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