The Tennessee Titans will have a difficult schedule to navigate during the 2022 season, and along with it, a tough slate of running backs.

Tennessee’s schedule will feature seven games against teams who made the playoffs in 2021, including the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

In addition to those teams, some of the Titans’ other opponents, like the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers, for example, figure to be improved from last season.

As we already mentioned, with a tough slate of games comes a tough slate of running backs. The good news for Tennessee is that the defense thrived against the run in 2021, finishing as the No. 2 unit in the NFL.

If the Titans want a similar result in 2022, they’ll have to keep a lot of good running backs in check. Here are the backs Tennessee will face this coming season, ranked.

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It isn’t clear who will lead the Texans’ backfield out of the gate, but we fully expect Pierce to assume that role by the time the Texans and Titans meet for the first time in Week 8.

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With James Robinson rehabbing a torn Achilles and uncertain for the start of the season, the job appears to be Etienne’s for now; however, the jury is still out on the second-year pro after he missed all of his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury.

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After a disappointing 2020 season, Singletary was mostly the same in 2021, although he did show flashes near the end of the season. In 2022, Singletary could lose third-down snaps to rookie James Cook, which would limit his production.

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Edwards-Helaire has been an effective rusher and pass-catcher when on the field, but injuries have been an issue, with the LSU product missing 10 contests over his first two seasons.

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Jacobs has seen his numbers decline in each of the past two years since his impressive rookie campaign, and that’s even with him playing in more games than he did in 2019. In a contract year, Jacobs will have more competition for touches with Kenyan Drake and rookie Zamir White also in the mix.

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When healthy and getting the rock consistently, Sanders is a big-play threat who can impact a game in multiple ways. However, the key words there are “when healthy,” as Sanders has missed nine games since 2020.

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Williams was part of a two-headed attack in Denver last season along with Melvin Gordon, but he still managed to post over 1,200 total yards, 903 of which came on the ground. He should take on a slightly bigger role in 2022, but Gordon is still around to take touches from him.

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After playing wide receiver in college, Gibson has transitioned to running back nicely. The Memphis product has tallied over 1,000 total yards in each of his first two seasons, including a career-high 1,331 (1,037 rushing) in 2021.

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The Giants have done Barkley no favors with their putrid offensive lines in recent years, but injuries have also derailed the Penn State product. That said, Barkley has the skill set and potential to be one of the league’s best backs when healthy, something he proved over his first two seasons.

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Ekeler remains one of the best two-way backs in the NFL thanks to his abilities as a rusher and pass-catcher, but his size isn’t exactly ideal for a workhorse role. Still, if he can stay healthy, another big year is coming.

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Jones had his lowest rushing yards total since 2018 in 2021, but he also had to split work with A.J. Dillon and missed a pair of games. When at his best, Jones is capable of ripping off game-changing plays and posting monster production, and he has vastly improved as a pass-catcher.

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Following a monster start to his career, Elliott has seen his production dip over the past few years. Once thought of as the league’s best back, the potential is there for the versatile Elliott to re-enter the conversation.

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Mixon had a career year in 2021, posting personal bests in rushing yards (his 1,205 yards ranked third in the NFL), receiving yards, and touchdowns. Mixon’s production could suffer if he loses third-down work due to poor blocking, but he remains one of the league’s better pure runners.

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Taylor ran away with his first rushing crown in 2021, but that’s only because Derrick Henry missed half the season. Some are already calling Taylor the NFL’s best back, but we need to see him post another big year, and do so while outproducing Henry over the course of a full 17-game slate.

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