Monday, August 4, 2008

Will 2,105 Rushing Yards in a Season be broken this year?

1999 Hall of fame inductee Eric Dickerson set the record with the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.

This record has stood for 24 years, longer than any other rushing record. He rushed for 1,800 yards or more three of his first four seasons.

The 2,000 yard rushing mark has been achieved by only five players. They are:

Jamal Lewis – 2,066 yards in 2003
Terrell Davis – 2,008 yards in 1998
Barry Sanders – 2,053 yards in 1997
Eric Dickerson – 2,105 yards in 1984
O. J. Simpson – 2,003 yards in 1973

All of these guys proved that the 2,000 yard barrier could be broken in one season but no one has amassed 2,105 yards.

LaDanian Tomlinson is arguably the leagues best running back; he rushed for 1,815 yards in 2006, his best season. He led the league in 2007 rushing for 1,474 yards.

Larry Johnson amassed 1,789 yards on an, amazing, 416 attempts in 2006.

Adrian Peterson the seventh overall pick took of the league by storm. He was the 2007 Rookie of the year and the Pro Bowl MVP, he ran for 1,341 yards which included rushing for more than 200 yards on two occasions.

He also broke the NFL single-game rushing mark by running all over the Chargers with 296 yards, despite playing in only 14 games.

In 2007 the four best per game rushing averages were held by Adrian Peterson who averaged 95.8 yards per game, LaDanian Tomlinson averaged 92.1 yards per game, Brandon Jacobs averaged 91.7 yards per game and Brian Westbrook averaged 88.9 yards per game.

All four are worthy candidates to have great seasons and break the record, amongst others. But to topple the mark a running back would have to average 132 yards rushing per game.

In today’s game, I don’t think it will happen.

When Eric Dickerson set the record back in 1984; The NFL was more of a rushing league. The teams that put a lot of points on the board then and now did so via the passing game.

The Los Angeles Rams weren’t one of the top ten scoring teams in the league that year. The Rams as a team scored a total of 346 points and passed for 2,142 yards. The Rams had a very competitive team but they were one dimensional.

In today’s NFL your points still come from passing game due to the fact you need to acquire big chunks of yardage also known as big plays to be in position to score points.

We are in the age of the two-running back system and for one player to average 132 yards per game for 16 weeks is almost impossible.

The running game will remain important, and if the team has the lead it will use the running game to control the clock in the fourth quarter.

If I was posed the question “which running back will break Eric Dickerson’s’ record this year?”

My answer would be no one, although if both remain healthy, LaDanian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson have the best chances to accomplish the feat.

No comments: