NFC North Round-Up: Ranking the RB Rooms for All 4 Teams

January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) celebrates after a two point conversion against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter in a 2024 NFC divisional round game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC North is looking as if it could be one of the more competitive divisions in the entire NFL this season.

While the majority of that reasoning comes from either established or potential talent at the quarterback position, all four teams look like they could have very dangerous rushing attacks as well with their RB rooms. Today, we will be ranking all four running back groups within the division.

1. Detroit Lions

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26) runs the ball as Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) defends during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have the best 1-2 punch amongst the group with second-year player Jahmyr Gibbs and veteran David Montgomery. Of course, Montgomery missed three games of the 2023 season because of injury, but that period also allowed fans to see exactly how dominant Gibbs can be out of the backfield.

The duo combined for 1960 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground while Gibbs is plenty capable of being a weapon in the passing game as well. The Lions finished fifth in the NFL in total rushing yards and led the league in rushing touchdowns last season. Expect a similar result in 2024.

2. Green Bay Packers

NFC North
Jan 7, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If Josh Jacobs replicates his 2023 campaign rather than his 2022 season in Green Bay, the Packers could fall down a lot further on this ranking. For now, though, we’ll continue to give the former rushing champion his flowers.

At his best, Jacobs has his name in the hat for best running back in the NFL. If he is even 80% of himself, the former Raider is a very talented player. Add in the bruising running style of A.J. Dillon, and the Packers have a very balanced offense.

3. Minnesota Vikings

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 31, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler (32) runs with the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, the Vikings added former Packer, Aaron Jones, this offseason to join their backfield following the release of Alexander Mattison. Jones is turning 30 years old in December, and he missed a good chunk of the 2023 campaign with injuries.

However, when Jones was fully healthy down the stretch of the year, he played a major role in Green Bay’s surge towards the playoffs. With a young Ty Chandler able to take on a good portion of the snaps, hopefully Jones finds a way to stay healthy in Minnesota this year and improve a rushing attack that was near the bottom of the league in 2023.

4. Chicago Bears

Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) runs off the field after win against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

One has to wonder how the departure of Justin Fields will impact Chicago’s rushing attack. They brought in D’Andre Swift to solidify their backfield this year alongside Khalil Herbert and second-year player Roschon Johnson.

Swift turned in a strong season for the Philadelphia Eagles last year, but he faded a bit down the stretch of the campaign. Over his final eight games (sat out Week 18 before the playoffs), the running back totaled 112 carries for 478 yards and two touchdowns. We’ll see how he fares behind a less daunting offensive line.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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