The power running back is a dying breed in football. With teams shifting more to the passing game, these old-school running backs are becoming obsolete. The days of Jim Brown or John Riggins getting 40 carries a game are gone.
But the phrase "power back" just screams football, and they’re what the NFL was built upon. In the early days of the league, teams rarely threw the ball so they would feed multiple backs in order to gain yardage. These power backs were known as between-the-tackles runners who excelled at getting tough, gritty yards. Speed for them was a luxury.
As the game evolved, being powerful and fast became almost mandatory for the position and created a new breed. The best power runners in league history used their God-given abilities to administer punishment to defenders. No longer was the defense the only ones delivering a blow. Would-be tacklers often feared trying to bring down players of that ilk.
While the NFL has changed, the reputation of powerful running backs hasn’t. These are the best to ever do it.