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Where were the Commanders’ running backs ranked in 2023 NFL RB Index?

The Washington Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner after a disappointing 2022 season and replaced him with former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

There was a lot of excitement and hope surrounding Bieniemy’s arrival, but in many ways, Washington’s offense was worse in 2023. While the overall metrics were similar, Bieniemy favored a more pass-heavy approach. The Commanders led the NFL in passing attempts and were tied for second in sacks allowed.

That pass-heavy approach also saw Washington finish dead last in rushing attempts. A first-time starting quarterback, Sam Howell, had 23 fewer rushing attempts than the next closest team.

It wasn’t because the Commanders lacked talent in the backfield. Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson formed a solid duo. Robinson enjoyed a bit of a breakout season, rushing for 733 yards in 15 games, averaging 4.1 yards per attempt and leading the team with five rushing touchdowns.

Robinson also improved as a receiver, catching 36 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns.

Everyone believed Robinson and Gibson should’ve been more involved in the offense.

How are Washington’s running backs viewed across the NFL?

Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew ranked 72 starting NFL running backs from the 2023 NFL season in his “RB Index.”

Robinson came in at No. 32:

Washington had the fewest rushing attempts in the league this season, due in part to how often the team played from behind, which limited Robinson’s production. Even so, the second-year back amassed 1,101 scrimmage yards in his first full season as RB1. We’ll see if he can build on that under Kliff Kingsbury in 2024.

Gibson came in at No. 55:

Gibson started a pair of mid-December games for Washington and provided underwhelming results. He had more than nine touches in just three games (including one of his starts) in 2023. He’s a free agent this offseason and could be in need of a fresh start.

That’s a fair assessment, but not necessarily Gibson’s fault. Gibson had some good moments; he just didn’t receive enough opportunities. He’s likely to depart, but with Kliff Kingsbury on board, perhaps Gibson could finally have an offensive coach who knows how to best use him.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire