Christian McCaffrey has been scoring at a record-setting pace so far this season.
That performance has helped the San Francisco 49ers star score the honor of being voted the top running back in the league by The Associated Press.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at running back, making their selections based on current status through Week 8. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
McCaffrey got eight first-place votes and one second to be only player named on all nine ballots. McCaffrey also was voted the top back before the season but was a runaway winner after his fast start to the season with a league-leading 13 touchdowns.
Derrick Henry got three second-place votes and came in second. Raheem Mostert got two second-place votes to come in third and Travis Etienne came in fourth.
Josh Jacobs, the rushing leader in 2022, has struggled behind a bad offensive line in Las Vegas this season but still got one first-place vote and came in fifth.
D’Andre Swift, De’Von Achane, Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery, Bijan Robinson, Kenneth Walker III, Breece Hall, Kyren Williams and Zach Moss also got votes.
McCaffrey has scored at least one TD in every game this season, extending his streak to a record-tying 17 straight games, including the playoffs. Hall of Famer Lenny Moore is the only other play to do that in 1963-64. McCaffrey’s 13 TDs are tied for the second most for a player in the first eight games in the past 15 seasons, trailing only Todd Gurley’s 15 in 2018.
McCaffrey leads the NFL with 652 yards rushing and is also a big threat as a receiver with 292 yards. He ranks second in the NFL with 944 yards from scrimmage.
Henry is still going strong at age 29 and remains one of the top pure runners in the game with his bruising physical style. Henry is coming off his second 100-yard game of the season and is averaging 75.1 yards rushing per game and 4.4 per carry despite playing behind a suspect offensive line in Tennessee.
Henry seems unlikely to generate his fourth 1,500-yard season in the last five years but still remains a top back.
After spending years as a journeyman standout on special teams, Mostert is having a late-career renaissance as a featured back. The 31-year old adds another speed element to the NFL’s most prolific offense in Miami with 520 yards rushing, 151 yards receiving and 12 total touchdowns.
Mostert is well on pace for one of the most productive seasons ever for a back in his 30s. He needs 480 yards and five TD runs in the final nine games to join John Riggins as the only players to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 15 TDs in a season after turning 30.
Etienne is emerging as a versatile star in his second full season in the NFL as a key part of Jacksonville’s offense. Etienne has 583 yards rushing with seven TDs and has caught 27 passes for 266 yards and another score. He has seven TDs in the last four games, including a 56-yard catch and run on Sunday against Pittsburgh that helped the Jaguars move into a tie for the AFC’s best record at 6-2.
Last season’s rushing champ and first-team All-Pro has struggled this year behind a struggling offensive line following a lengthy contract holdout. Jacobs is averaging only 51 yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry but has shown enough to earn some support on this list.
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