It's Friday. If you're a veteran in this little corner of the Internet, you know that today is traditionally the day where we interview SB Nation's AFC East bloggers about their respective teams in an effort to better know the Buffalo Bills' biggest rivals.
Forgive me for saying so, but those posts have gotten a bit dreary over the past few weeks. I get it - it's June, and y'all have some difficulty drumming up football-related vitriol for the enemy when the sport is on the backburner for the better part of two months. But that doesn't mean we can't try to spice things up a bit. We'll do that this morning.
We, along with our friends at The Phinsider, Pats Pulpit and Gang Green Nation, have decided that rather than just do the typical question and answer format, we'd ramp up the energy a bit. Today, the four SB Nation AFC East blogs will be talking divisional running backs; more specifically, we're ranking them. There's going to be controversy. There will most definitely be disagreements, and a bit of homerism. So forget that it's June. Let's talk football, and let's do it with a bit of Bills team pride.
My rankings of the AFC East's running backs are after the jump. Be sure to check out the rest of the blogs for their rankings as well. Then leave your thoughts on the rankings in the comments section - no holds barred.
1. New York Jets
Yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be a homer. But I'm trying to be fair, here, and I truly believe that the Jets have the best stable of running backs in the division.
Why? Simple - the Jets have the only home run threat at the position in the entire division. Leon Washington is a completely unique talent at this position in the AFC East. He's not a workhorse, but he's got a dash of Brian Westbrook in him. Add in Thomas Jones - as dependable a veteran as you can find in this league - and a physical, talented rookie in Shonn Greene, and the Jets are simply loaded at this position. They have an excellent mix of veteran and youth, size and speed, and different skill sets. They're the best.
2. Buffalo Bills
I'll put the Bills second ahead of two more excellent groups of running backs. I honestly believe that Marshawn Lynch is the closest thing to a "complete" running back in this division (with Ronnie Brown a very close second). That doesn't exactly set the Bills too far apart from Miami, however; trust me - there's a reason I ranked them ahead of the Fish.
That reason is Fred Jackson. Yeah, I know Ricky Williams is a heck of a football player, and despite his checkered past, he's one Miami player that I respect the hell out of. But Fred Jackson does more for a football team than Ricky Williams does. He does more for an offense. (The fact that the Bills have a far more proven third back - Dominic Rhodes - helps as well.)
3. Miami Dolphins
I love Ronnie Brown in terms of pure football talent. He's big, strong, and fast - and he can pick up yardage in big chunks. The fact that he's capable of running the Wildcat offense only enhances his value. But he has a tendency to get nicked up, and he has never quite reached the level one might expect a former No. 2 overall pick to achieve.
I've mentioned Williams. People forget about Patrick Cobbs, too - he's a very solid receiving threat, and honestly could do with a few more touches. Miami is third on my list, but there's clearly talent here.
4. New England Patriots
The Pats have to finish last at something, right? I'll be the first to admit that the Patriots' spread offense makes having an overly talented stable of running backs a lower priority. But that Pats do have talent here. They go four deep with Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and the ever-irksome Kevin Faulk. The problem isn't quantity, clearly; it's not quality, either. These are some good football players, and each guy brings something a little different to the table. The problem is that there isn't a workhorse. That's not a problem for the Patriots, but in a ranking like this, it's good enough to put them at the bottom of the list - particularly when the division is so loaded at the position.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know - and if you've got a gripe about anyone else's AFC East running back rankings, we'd love to hear about it here, too.