Thursday, June 30, 2011
AFC East's best: No. 17 Fred Jackson
The countdown of my top 25 AFC East players continues, one weekday at a time ...
About the choice: The Buffalo Bills didn't make Fred Jackson their feature back until they traded Marshawn Lynch in October and came to the realization rookie C.J. Spiller wasn't ready to be an every-down NFL player. Jackson didn't have double-digit carries until Week 5. From games nine through 16, Jackson ranked sixth among all running backs with 801 yards from scrimmage and was tied for sixth at 4.4 yards per carry over that span. New England Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the only AFC East player to rush for more than 1,000 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, but Jackson's numbers would've soared in that offense. Jackson is a threat in the passing game. In the second half of the season he caught 24 passes for 207 yards and two TDs.
Key fact: Jackson's jersey from 2009 is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for becoming the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and have 1,000 yards on kickoff returns in the same season.
Hint about No. 16: His production doesn't equal his paycheck, but he's still pretty darn good.