2016 AFC North Rankings by Position: Running Backs

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The AFC North features some of the top running backs in the NFL, including Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Let’s rank the running back groups for each team in the division.

AFC North Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE

When you think of the teams in the AFC North, you think of great running backs. Some of the names to come out of the division are the greatest of all time. Jim Brown, Jerome Bettis and Jamal Lewis all left their marks on the game of football.

Smashmouth football is what the AFC North is all about. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals have all built their teams around the running game and defense. Typically, the team with the best combo has won the division.

More from Baltimore Ravens

It should come as no surprise that one of the top present-day rushers comes from the AFC North. The Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell might be the most complete running back in the NFL. The Ravens have a stable of quality running backs that could field two teams. Cincinnati has a terrific one-two punch in Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. The Browns have two young guys that need to step up.

Some will argue that as the vertical passing game has taken over the NFL, running backs are not as valuable. That’s an inaccurate statement as the production from running backs has actually gotten larger. While the number of rushing attempts are on the decline, the best teams now have running backs that are capable of making plays in the passing game as well. Ravens fans saw the cultural shift as running backs caught nearly 30 percent of the team’s receptions this season.

The rest of the AFC North has running backs that are excellent catching the ball out of the backfield, headlined by Bell. Let’s rank the running backs of the North, starting with the clear No. 1 in the division.

Next: The Best in the Game