Needing only an average game to reach 2,000 yards and a monster game to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, Chris Johnson is hearing a lot of people call his name as the best running back in the NFL. Well, we hope you enjoyed him while it lasted.

There's only one direction to go when you're the best at anything, but "down" comes with some nasty consequences when it involved being repeatedly pummeled by people like Ray Lewis, Troy Polamalu and Mario Williams. Such is life for NFL running backs.

All of five months ago, Adrian Peterson's hold on the unofficial crown bestowed on the league's best was almost unbreakable. In ranking 20 of the league's top backs, SportsNation voters gave Peterson 76 percent of the total first-place votes. LaDainian Tomlinson, the guy Peterson took the title from, was next with a whopping 6 percent.

Danielle (Atlanta)

Does Peterson's fumble [Monday] night cement the idea that Chris Johnson is now the best running back in the NFL? Who would you rather have?

Len Pasquarelli
Len Pasquarelli

A lot of people think, sir, that Johnson was the best back before the fumble. Great year by Johnson, no doubt about it. He's the best back this year, but a lot of folks, me included, would take Peterson over the long haul. Full transcript

becky (philadelphia)

who has more of a shot to break the all time rushing record, a. peterson or c. johnson?

Matt Williamson
Matt Williamson

Peterson. He is more built for the long haul. I love what C Johnson has done, but it won't be long that he goes from a 4.2/20 guy to a 4.5/40 guy...then he will become very average. Full transcript

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