Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing AggressionDuring the first episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, Reggie Bush declared that his goal was to win the NFL’s rushing title in 2012. Well, on Sunday, Bush made sure his claim did not go unfounded.

With one of the most impressive rushing performances in recent memory, Bush carried the ball 26 times, eclipsing his previous high of 25 set in Week 15 in 2011, for a career-high 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bush’s unbelievable speed and unrelenting determination saw him turn in the second most productive outing of his career on the ground — that 25-carry outing last season garnered 203 yards — but arguably his more important performance.

Bush was not only a factor in the running game, where he overpowered and outran every Raiders defender on the football field, but he also served as a stabilizing presence for rookie Ryan Tannehill in the passing game. He only caught three passes on the afternoon, but establishing himself as a reliable option for Tannehill is extremely important to the youngster’s development as a quarterback and a leader for the Dolphins.

While Tannehill continues to grow and develop, though, Bush has taken over the role as the Dolphins team leader — both in spirit and performance. On Sunday, Bush propelled Miami to their first win of the season, throwing down the gauntlet on the Raiders defense and showing off his incredible combination of speed, agility and power. His 187 total yards were enough to properly frustrate and dispose of Oakland to the tune of a 35-13 beatdown.

The 27-year-old spent the first five seasons of his NFL career searching for his role and his purpose in the New Orleans offense. Within his first two years in Miami, though, Bush has finally found his place atop the running back food chain.

Through two games this season, Bush ranks second in the NFL with 241 rushing yards, trailing Buffalo’s surprise star C.J. Spiller by 51 yards. Sure it’s a small sample size, but that still means that Bush currently has gained more yards than LeSean McCoy (191), Arian Foster (189), Ray Rice (167) and last year’s rushing title holder Maurice Jones-Drew (137) — none of whom rank among the top five.

Bush’s mere place as the feature back on any team in football is impressive, especially given his humble beginnings with the Saints, but the fact that he’s been able to turn the dreadful start to his career into a booming success is amazing.

Many running backs in the NFL are talented, but not many as physically talented as Bush. The five backs listed above may be the only real competition Bush could find in terms of pure physical skills, but even they might not be capable of some of the unbelievable things Bush can do.

His physical skills combined with the incredible work ethic and motivation he’s found in recent years could very well be enough for Bush to finally realize his full potential as an NFL running back — the same potential that saw him drafted No. 2 overall out of USC back in 2006 and caused a ruckus when he wasn’t taken first.

That potential is no longer going underutilized, though. Bush is determined to be the best back in the league, and at the rate that he’s running he should be hoisting — if only figuratively — the NFL rushing title by season’s end.

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The Starting 11
The Starting 11 is a weekly feature taking a look at the big
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1 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears

Nobody had a worse week than Cutler. After taking it to the Colts in Week 1, with 333 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns, Cutler met his match in the Packers on Thursday night. Clay Matthews and the Pack sacked Cutler seven — that’s right, SEVEN — times and forced him into four interceptions on the way to a 23-10 rout. Cutler is probably feeling a lot more like a cutlet heading into Week 3, because he sure played like one in Green Bay.

2 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins

Reggie! Reggie! The chants in Miami were likely as loud as anything heard since Dan Marino last slung the pigskin around in South Beach. Bush, who said during this season’s Hard Knocks that he wants to win the NFL rushing title, blasted off for 172 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns in the Dolphins 35-13 win against the Raiders. Bush may not end up with the rushing title, but if Sunday was any indication, he’ll certainly come close.

3 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

New Orleans Saints

If losing a heartbreaker to the Redskins in Week 1 wasn’t bad enough, the Saints had to endure a bruising from Cam Newton and the division rival Panthers on Sunday. The 0-2 start is their worst since 2007, when Drew Brees and the Saints started off an eventual 7-9 campaign at 0-4. All the preseason talk of Sean Payton not being that big of a loss looks like hogwash right about now.

4 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Greg Schiano

Hey, Greg, don’t take your own problems out on the Giants. It’s not their fault you let a 12-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter. Either way, though, playing for the full 60 minutes is a relative idea, and if you’re serious about having your guys go after the ball on a kneel down then don’t come crying when Josh Freeman or Gerald McCoy go down with a season-ending injury due to this nonsense.

5 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills

Last week, Spiller barely fell off this list and would have made it if not for Fred Jackson‘s unfortunate injury. Well, another stellar week and I can’t ignore the kid’s talent. Fifteen carries for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns? Throw in three grabs for 47 yards and we’re talking about maybe the most important player to the Bills’ success this season. Jackson may not be back for a few weeks, which hurts, but as long as Spiller is exploding out of the backfield like a firecracker, the Bills shouldn’t fret.

6 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

Wallace’s contract extension might have been re-routed to Antonio Brown‘s mailbox in the offseason, but his talent hasn’t gone anywhere. Even after missing all of training camp, Wallace looks as explosive and in tuned as ever. He jetted out to five catches for 74 yards and scored a touchdown for the second straight week as well. At this rate, teams will be coming in herds trying to steal Wallace away from the unappreciative Steelers. Go get your money, Mike.

7 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Danny Amendola, WR, Rams

If there were an imaginary “Unexpectedly Awesome Performance of the Week,” well, Danny Amendola would be sporting a new tux and have his acceptance speech all primed and proper. Amendola caught 15 — yes, 15 — balls for a whopping 160 yards in Sunday’s win against the Redskins, and he threw a touchdown in there just as a little cherry on the sundae. Sam Bradford must be thanking his lucky stars to have such a physical freak on his side.

8 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

New England Patriots Offense

Wes Welker didn’t get the start on Sunday, and the Patriots offense just never seemed to find any sort of rhythm. Aaron Hernandez’s injury on the second drive of the afternoon didn’t help that — although all signs seem to be positive. Tom Brady never got in sync with his wideouts, and even Rob Gronkowski was a non-factor up until the game’s final drive. If the Patriots want to eastablish a more consistent attack on offense, I understand, but it’s difficult to accept throwing the ball 46 times in a game and not targeting Welker until the final two minutes of the first half. Without Hernandez, some guys will need to step up, but pissing off Welker isn’t the answer.

9 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants

In his season debut, Nicks looked like a guy still dealing with a serious foot injury. Three catches for 38 yards in the Giants 24-17 loss to the Cowboys just wasn’t going to cut it. Flash forward a week and Nicks looked like an entirely different player. Pulling down 10 catches for an eye-popping 199 yards helped keep the Giants alive against the Buccaneers, and as the game wound down Nicks’ role only grew larger. Nicks more than lived up to the challenge and got Eli Manning over 500 yards passing on the game. Wow.

10 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Mike Vick, QB, Eagles

Last week, Vick helped get the Eagles over the hump and lock down a one-point victory in Cleveland. One week later, Vick did it again but in slightly less ugly fashion. Against the Browns, Vick threw four interceptions and found himself utterly confused in the passing game. But he improved against the Ravens D, throwing just two picks and settling down toward the end of the afternoon, leading a game-winning touchdown drive and then taking the ball in himself to grab the lead. It may not be pretty, but Vick’s getting the results necessary for Philadelphia.

11 Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression
    Reggie Bush Will Win NFL Rushing Title If He Continues Running With Menacing Aggression

Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

Luck? No, it was talent. I know, I’m sure I am the first guy to make that sort of joke. Oh well. All I can tell you is that this kid is the real deal. Week 1 may have gone to Robert Griffin III, but Luck was the big winner of the rookie jackpot this week. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but more importantly the Colts pulled out the 23-20 win over the Vikings. That’s one win more than the Colts had until Week 15 in 2011. If that’s a sign, then things are trending up.

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