Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
| 5 – Marcus Mariota/ Demarco Murray
This team had a huge turnaround from 3-13 in 2015, to a potential 9-7 finish pending their tilt with the Houston Texans this weekend. The revival of their run game has provided the spark that the offense needed. They rank third in rushing yards per game, and ninth in total offense, and the offseason addition of Demarco Murray has paid dividends to say the least. He has 1,266 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns, and he has also opened things up for Mariota in the passing game. The sophomore quarterback has excelled in his second year, on pace to throw for 800 more yards and 8 more touchdowns than he did in his rookie campaign, while throwing one less interception.
| 4 – Matt Ryan/ Devonta Freeman/ Tevin Coleman
I know, that isn’t two players, but this trio has made Atlanta a true contender. The Atlanta offense leads the league in scoring and yards per play, and this trio is the reason for the Falcons’ success. Ryan is having a career year, posting career highs in yards and touchdowns, with a career-low seven interceptions. The Atlanta running attack is also one of the league’s best, totaling 1,459 rushing yards and 22 total touchdowns. The combo of the two make it difficult for any defense, and they also have one of the league’s best receivers in Julio Jones.
| 3 – David Johnson/ Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer isn’t what he used to be, but he knows how to utilize his biggest weapon: David Johnson. Johnson has seen 20 touches in 12 out 15 games this season, and he has three games of 30 touches or more. Johnson also leads the league with 20 total touchdowns, and he’s only in his sophomore season, in case you forgot. His counterpart Carson Palmer is on the tail end of his career, but he still averaged 284 passing yards per game this season, with 23 passing touchdowns. This QB/RB tandem may be coming to an end, but any quarterback lined up next to David Johnson is in a position to succeed.
| 2 – Dak Prescott/ Ezekiel Elliot
We didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of the season with this rookie QB/RB tandem, but they quickly silenced the doubters. They both are in the MVP race, and Ezekiel Elliot leads the league in rushing by more than 350 yards. He also has rushed for 95 yards or a touchdown in every game this season. However, Prescott has been the more impressive of the two. He had big shoes to fill when Tony Romo and Kellen Moore lost their season due to injury, and he did better than anyone could have expected. He has 23 passing touchdowns to just four interceptions, and his only losses are against the New York Giants. They will be a fun duo to watch for years to come.
| 1 – Ben Roethlisberger/ Le’Veon Bell
This comes as no surprise. This QB/RB combo has gone on to an 8-2 record this season, and the offense has averaged 27.6 points per game when they both play the entire game. Roethlisberger has been an elite QB for years now, and he has rattled off another impressive season, averaging 279.2 yards per game, excluding the Miami game, where he was forced out early due to injury. On the other hand, Le’Veon Bell is having a historic season, but it’s not getting as much publicity due to his suspension to start the season. Bell is averaging 157 yards from scrimmage per game, and if he played all 16 games, he would break the NFL record for most scrimmage yards in a season.