The 7 Best NFL Rushing Seasons in the Last 10 Years

Which running backs have posted the best, most effective rushing seasons in recent years?

This year, we've been enamored with Ezekiel Elliott and his league-leading 1,551 rushing yards through 14 games. The same can be said for guys like David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell, who have had outstanding seasons in their own right, with 1,138 and 1,146 rush yards, respectively.

But, according to recent history, what defines an elite rushing season? Is it the amount of yardage or is there much more to it?

In today's day and age, we look for a crucial balance of volume with efficiency. Net Expected Points (NEP) -- our in-house metric which you can read more about in our glossary -- allows us to examine players in this way. In short, a three-yard run on 3rd-and-5 shouldn't count the same as a three-yard run on 3rd-and-2. One likely results in a punt while the other keeps a drive -- and the chance to score points -- alive. NEP accounts for that.

Since passing is a more efficient way to move the ball, NEP numbers tend to be on the lower side for running backs.

Using NEP, Zeke Elliott's 2016 campaign ranks within the top 15 with two games remaining. What total must he reach to crack the best of the best in recent seasons? Which great runners is he chasing?

Check it out!