Greatest single-season rusher

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TomCat88
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Greatest single-season rusher

Post by TomCat88 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:19 am

After watching Adrian Peterson come so close to breaking Eric Dickerson's record I started thinking about what was actually the greatest single-season an NFL running back has ever had. Two come to mind immediately: Jim Brown in 1964 and O.J. Simpson in 1973.

Here's a chronological list of great single-season performances. Which do you think was the best?
1963 - Jim Brown (14 games) 291-1,863, 12 TDs, 6.4 yards per carry, 133.1 yards per game.
1973 - OJ Simpson (14 games) 332-2,003, 12 TDs, 6.0 ypc, 143.1 ypg.
1977 - Walter Payton (14 games) 339-1,852, 14 TDs, 5.5, 132.3 ypg.
1984 - Eric Dickerson (16 games) 379-2,105, 14 TDs, 5.6 ypc, 131.6 ypg.
1995 - Emmitt Smith (16 games) 377-1,773, 25 TDs, 4.7 ypc, 110.8 ypg.
1997 - Barry Sanders (16 games) 335-2,053, 11 TDs, 6.1 ypc, 128.3 ypg.
1998 - Terrell Davis (16) 392-2,008, 21 TDs, 5.1, 125.5
2003 - Jamal Lewis (16) 387-2,066, 14 TDs, 5.3, 129.1
2009 - Chris Johnson (16) 358-2,006, 14 TDs, 5.6, 125.4
2012 - Adrian Peterson (16) 348-2,097, 12 TDs, 6.0, 131.1
Others?

Based on stats alone, I'd have to go with Brown over Simpson, but just barely. Brown has OJ in ypc, but OJ has Brown in ypg and I'd say those two are clearly ahead of any of the others. I think Peterson's season this year and Sanders are a dead heat for third. Not a coincidence that they are the only four at 6.0 ypc or over. I just can't put Dickerson with them when he had 31 more carries than the next closest of those four. Peterson needs just nine yards on 31 carries to pass him, Sanders just 52 yards on 44 carries, OJ just 102 yards on 47 carries, and Brown just 242 on 88 carries. So Dickerson is fifth.

I don't know if any of the above had a more clutch performance than Peterson had against Green Bay. 2nd and 27 with the Vikings offense beginning to struggle and he runs for 28 to set up TD; 2nd and 10 with :24 to play and he runs for 26 to set up game-winning FG from 29 yards instead of 55 yards. 199 yards rushing, two TDs in season finale against your arch-rival to get in the playoffs.


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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by Bobcat Jim » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:37 pm

I'll have to agree with you with having Jim Brown at #1. If he would have had the same number of carries as Dickerson with his yds/carry average , he would have over 2400 total yards. It was too bad that the Vikings were playing for a playoff position. They could have given AD one more carry to get that 10 yards to break the record.



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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by grizzh8r » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:53 pm

TomCat88 wrote:After watching Adrian Peterson come so close to breaking Eric Dickerson's record I started thinking about what was actually the greatest single-season an NFL running back has ever had. Two come to mind immediately: Jim Brown in 1964 and O.J. Simpson in 1973.

Here's a chronological list of great single-season performances. Which do you think was the best?
1963 - Jim Brown (14 games) 291-1,863, 12 TDs, 6.4 yards per carry, 133.1 yards per game.
1973 - OJ Simpson (14 games) 332-2,003, 12 TDs, 6.0 ypc, 143.1 ypg.
1977 - Walter Payton (14 games) 339-1,852, 14 TDs, 5.5, 132.3 ypg.
1984 - Eric Dickerson (16 games) 379-2,105, 14 TDs, 5.6 ypc, 131.6 ypg.
1995 - Emmitt Smith (16 games) 377-1,773, 25 TDs, 4.7 ypc, 110.8 ypg.
1997 - Barry Sanders (16 games) 335-2,053, 11 TDs, 6.1 ypc, 128.3 ypg.
1998 - Terrell Davis (16) 392-2,008, 21 TDs, 5.1, 125.5
2003 - Jamal Lewis (16) 387-2,066, 14 TDs, 5.3, 129.1
2009 - Chris Johnson (16) 358-2,006, 14 TDs, 5.6, 125.4
2012 - Adrian Peterson (16) 348-2,097, 12 TDs, 6.0, 131.1
Others?

Based on stats alone, I'd have to go with Brown over Simpson, but just barely. Brown has OJ in ypc, but OJ has Brown in ypg and I'd say those two are clearly ahead of any of the others. I think Peterson's season this year and Sanders are a dead heat for third. Not a coincidence that they are the only four at 6.0 ypc or over. I just can't put Dickerson with them when he had 31 more carries than the next closest of those four. Peterson needs just nine yards on 31 carries to pass him, Sanders just 52 yards on 44 carries, OJ just 102 yards on 47 carries, and Brown just 242 on 88 carries. So Dickerson is fifth.

I don't know if any of the above had a more clutch performance than Peterson had against Green Bay. 2nd and 27 with the Vikings offense beginning to struggle and he runs for 28 to set up TD; 2nd and 10 with :24 to play and he runs for 26 to set up game-winning FG from 29 yards instead of 55 yards. 199 yards rushing, two TDs in season finale against your arch-rival to get in the playoffs, when GB knew that the Vikings were going to pound the football as much as possible.
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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by jagur1 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:20 pm

anybody win a championship on that list? Brown I think did.


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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by CATCO » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:59 pm

Payton, Smith and Davis did for sure.



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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by [cat_bracket] » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:21 am

jagur1 wrote:anybody win a championship on that list? Brown I think did.
CATCO wrote:Payton, Smith and Davis did for sure.
I see you boys still have a lot to learn. Teams, not individuals, win championships.



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Re: Greatest single-season rusher

Post by lakesbison » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:28 pm

AD IS MY BOY!!! 18 year season ticket holder



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