Detroit Lions running back duo could reach some rare air this season

The David Montgomery-Jahmyr Gibbs backfield duo has looked as the Lions envisioned lately, and they could reach some rare air in NFL history this season.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Easing Jahmyr Gibbs in early in the season and injuries to both guys delayed it some. But lately, the backfield of Gibbs and David Montgomery has looked about as the Detroit Lions envisioned it would.

On Wednesday, via Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News, Lions' running backs coach Scottie Montgomery landed on an appropriate label for Gibbs and Montgomery.

"Some people like peanut butter, some people like jelly. But a lot of people like them when they’re put together, So that’s kind of where we are with both of them, really happy with the development.”

Over the last three games, Montgomery has a slight carry advantage over Gibbs (39 to 33). but Gibbs has the advantage in total touches (46 to 41). With 736 (Montgomery) and 844 (Gibbs) yards from scrimmage this season, Montgomery and Gibbs are on pace to be the fifth running back tandem in Lions' history to each have over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in a season. The last was Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 2013.

David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs could land in rare NFL air by season's end

Averaging 81 rushing yards per game this season, Montgomery is on pace for over 1,100 rushing yards in 14 games played (he has missed three). At 62.9 rushing yards per game, Gibbs is on pace for 943 rushing yards in 15 games (he has missed two). But if Gibbs averages 72.3 rushing yards per game from here on out, he would get to 1,000 for the season.

If Montgomery and Gibbs both reached 1,000 yards on the ground, they would become just the eighth duo in NFL history to do it in the same season.

Here are the seven duos who have accomplished the feat.

  • 1972-Miami Dolphins: Larry Csonka (1,117 yards) and Mercury Morris (1,000 yards)
  • 1976-Pittsburgh Steelers: Franco Harris (1,128 yards) and Rocky Bleier (1,036 yards)
  • 1985-Cleveland Browns: Kevin Mack (1,104 yards) and Earnest Byner (1,002 yards)
  • 2006-Atlanta Falcons: Warrick Dunn (1,140 yards) and Michael Vick (1,039 yards)
  • 2008-New York Giants: Brandon Jacobs (1,089 yards and Derrick Ward (1,025 yards)
  • 2009-Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Stewart (1,133 yards and DeAngelo Williams (1,117 yards)
  • 2019-Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson (1,206 yards) and Mark Ingram (1,018 yards)

Gibbs has to pick up his pace a bit, and any missed more games by Montgomery would hurt the pursuit of dual 1,000-yard rushing seasons. But the Lions' running back duo has legit been one of the best in the league this year, even if they don't etch their names in any league history.

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