Proving Every One Wrong

By Zack Cimini

Who do you think of when you think of the best running backs over the last five years? Names like Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, and Emmitt Smith will all pop into your head, but there is one name that people always leave out. His name is Stephen Davis and he continues to run the football incredibly well.

Unlike other veteran players this season, Davis is adding to a great career. He has single handedly carried the Carolina Panthers, and is the only reason that they are undefeated. In fact you could argue that he is the best running back in football right now.

Just look at what he has done. He changed a horrible team into a contender, and only great players can do that. You might as well give Stephen Davis the comeback player of the year award, because no one else is going to touch him.

Last year in Washington he struggled with injuries, and everyone counted him out. Instead of folding he signed with Carolina and looked forward to this season. Steve Spurrier didn?t want to give him another chance, and who could blame him? Davis had struggled with his knee injuries for a couple of years, and it was time for the Redskins to move into another direction.

What Spurrier forgot is that it usually takes two seasons for a running back to fully recover from bad knees. So now Davis is at 100 percent, and is on pace to have a career year. He has only played three games, and already has over 400 yards rushing. If he could get into the end zone a little more his fantasy football impact would be even greater. But with the way star running backs have started this season, you can?t argue with his yardage total.

It is funny looking at how solid Davis is compared to other veterans. In New York the Jets can?t get anything established with Curtis Martin. After many years of success, all of the sudden Martin can?t get it done. The same thing is happening with Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, and Jerome Bettis.

It?s amazing how fast careers in the NFL go. I think what we?re seeing from the running back position is a changing of the guard. Just like when we saw it three or four years ago at the quarterback position. The ageless veteran quarterbacks in Dan Marino, Warren Moon, John Elway, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, and Randall Cunningham all declined at the same time. That is exactly what is happening to the great running backs that we are use to seeing over the last six to ten years. It is a cycle process in the NFL that will never go away. When the old veteran quarterbacks faded, young quarterbacks were able to fill in quickly. The same thing will happen now at the running back position, so get ready to hear some new great young players at running back.


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