With just over a quarter of this year's campaign remaining, I decided to review those rankings to see how I did. As expected, I crushed it with some players ... and whiffed on others. As much as I like to celebrate my wins, for this week, I'm holding myself accountable for three guys I was wrong about (excluding players who have missed significant time to injury). All right, here we go:
» Mark Ingram (offseason ranking: No. 26): For starters, let me note that I was spot on in my analysis but was off on Ingram's ranking. Back in June, I said that I expected John Harbaugh to use a committee of backs and that the Ravens' rushing attack would feature quarterback Lamar Jackson. Well, the Ravens boast the best rushing offense in the league, have four players with more than 35 carries and are led by Jackson (124 attempts, 876 rush yards, six TDs) and Ingram (151 carries, 778 rush yards, 9 TDs). This offense is far more explosive than I initially thought, with Jackson and Ingram benefiting from each other.
» Josh Jacobs (offseason ranking: No. 21): My offseason analysis stated that Oakland would use the rookie running back mainly at the goal line and short-yardage situations. My apologies, young man. Jon Gruden is using Jacobs every which way he can, making him the focal point of the Raiders' offense. The first-year back ranks fifth in rushing yards (957), tied for sixth in rush TDs (7) and has broken several franchise rookie records. Jacobs' running ability is one of the reasons why Derek Carr is having a Pro Bowl-caliber year and the Raiders have a shot at the postseason. The Alabama product is definitely a candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year but will need a strong final month to edge out Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
» Sony Michel (offseason ranking: No. 11): Apparently, I gave Michel too much credit after his historic postseason run with the Patriots. He is the feature back of a rushing attack that ranks 23rd in the league, which would be OK if Tom Brady was having a career year, but he's not. Michel is averaging 3.4 yards per carry and has yet to register 100 rush yards in a game this season. He's nowhere near cracking my top 15 list below, which is saying something.
Now, let's get to the weekly rankings ...
Former NFL rushing leader and NFL Network analyst Maurice Jones-Drew will survey all running backs and rank his top 15 each week of the 2018 season. His rankings are based on this season's efforts alone. Here is MJD's list heading into Week 13.
Another week, another solid performance from Run-CMC. McCaffrey proved yet again why he's the NFL's best running back, generating 133 scrimmage yards, 2 total TDs and leading the Panthers in catches during Sunday's heart-breaking loss to the Saints. The third-year pro, who amazingly doesn't yet have a Pro Bowl or All-Pro honor on his resume, will surely earn both by season's end with the way he's dominated defenses and carried this Carolina offense.
Nothing like a week off to put a season-worst outing behind you. Cook has been absolutely tremendous this season and will have a chance against the Seahawks' run defense (allowing 4.5 yards per run play) to quickly erase Week 11's 26-yard effort from our collective memory. I'm expecting Cook to show out in Seattle next Monday night in a battle between two of the NFC's best teams.
The Browns' offense went off on Miami this past weekend and Chubb was a huge reason why. The second-year back had perhaps his most complete offensive game of the year, surpassing the century mark on the ground and adding 58 more yards through the air. His success in the run game opened up throwing lanes for Baker Mayfield, who was lights out on play-action passes. Chubb now has five 100-yard games this season and exactly 100 more rushing yards than Cook on just eight more carries.
I don't know what the Jaguars said or did late last season to make Henry so angry, but that man seems to revel in embarrassing my former club. In his past three games against Jacksonville, Henry has rushed for a merciless 441 yards and seven touchdowns on a whopping 8.3 yards per carry, including Sunday's soul-destroying 74-yard run. The guy's cold-blooded and sprinting toward a potential big payday this offseason.
In terrible weather conditions and against one of the NFL's best defenses, Zeke produced 126 yards from scrimmage (86 rushing, 40 receiving) on Sunday -- his highest total since Week 9. Still, the two-time Pro Bowler failed to reach the end zone for the fourth time this season, a particularly big problem when you lose a game 13-9. Has Elliott been the world-class back he has been in years past? No. Is he still one of the best RBs in the game today? I think so. He'll have a shot to prove me right on Sunday if he can lift the Cowboys over the Bills' top-five unit.
Fast, physical and fiercely loyal, Mark Ingram is a quarterback's best friend. The veteran has five total touchdowns in his past three games, including both a rushing and receiving score during the Ravens' Monday night thrashing of the Rams. I'm so impressed by the way that Ingram always seems to pick up positive yardage, even if it requires finding the narrowest of creases and churning his legs forward. In fact, he has just five negative plays in his last 77 carries. While Lamar Jackson is rightfully receiving a lot of praise for transforming the Ravens' offense into a juggernaut this year, don't sleep on Ingram's profound impact on the unit.
Yikes. Can we just forget the Raiders' 34-3 dismantling by the Jets ever happened? Jacobs had by far his least productive day as a pro in New York, touching the ball 11 times for a measly 36 yards. Fortunately for the rookie, a return to form against the division-leading Chiefs this Sunday will quickly make his Week 12 performance a mere footnote in an otherwise fantastic Year 1.
It's wild that Fournette's 97-yard, two-TD rushing performance wasn't the best outing by a running back in this game. But it doesn't matter. This is the caliber of play the Jags routinely deserve from Fournette. Now, if only Nick Foles and the pass game could get something -- anything -- going.
I expected Jones to drive the Packers' offense on Sunday, but the third-year back was nowhere to be found. The Niners' defense shut down Green Bay's offense, limiting Jones to just 38 yards on 11 carries. The more disturbing issue, though, is that Jones was a complete non-factor in the passing game for the third straight week. Since catching seven balls for 159 yards against the Chiefs in Week 8, Jones has exactly one catch for -1 yards in his last three games. Matt LaFleur has to do a better job of scheming up passes for the dynamic RB.
After committing his seventh fumble of the year Sunday, Carson took a backseat to Rashaad Penny. Protecting the ball has been an issue for Carson of late, as he's fumbled four times (one lost) in Seattle's last three games. With the NFC playoff picture being so tight, there's no room for Carson's fumbling problems.
Hyde had a middle-of-the-road performance in Houston's narrow win over the Colts, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. That's not gonna cut it against the Patriots on Sunday night. For the Texans to see positive results, Hyde will need to channel the rushing performance he had against the Jaguars in Week 9 (19 carries for 160 yards).
[This 9-yard run](http://www.nfl.com/videos/cincinnati-bengals/0ap3000001080080/Joe-Mixon-jumps-out-of-tackle-to-extend-play-for-first-down) by Mixon was one of the best I've seen all season. His effort to turn a negative play into not only a positive gain but a first down was impressive, and he's played with this fire over the last month. Mixon has had more rush yards (345) and touchdowns (one) in his last four games than he did in his first seven (254 yards, zero TDs). </content:power-ranking>
The Rams' offense was stagnant from start to finish with its only offensive points coming on Greg Zuerlein field goals. Gurley had one punishing 15-yard run against the Ravens, but six attempts for 22 yards (and three catches for -3 yards) rarely gets the job done. Sean McVay must figure out a way to get this offense going because time is running out. Creating more opportunities for his best player would be a good start.
The Chargers need some help down the stretch but are still in the thick of the AFC wild-card race. Gordon has steadily improved since returning from his holdout, a trend I'd like to see continue against the Broncos this weekend and through the end of the season.
Kamara has earned a slot in the top 15 with his recent performances. Ahead of Thanksgiving Day's divisional game against the Atlanta Falcons, who dominated the Saints in their last meeting, Kamara ranks eighth in the league in scrimmage yards per game (105.2) but is also on a six-game stretch without a scrimmage touchdown (the longest streak within a season in his career). I expect Kamara to pick it up in the red zone down the stretch.