The top 10 NFL Running Backs of All Time - Fan Arch

The top 10 NFL Running Backs of All Time

The top 10 NFL Running Backs of All Time

When it comes to the National Football League (NFL), running backs play a crucial role in the success of any team. They are the workhorses who carry the ball, break tackles, and score touchdowns. Over the years, there have been many remarkable running backs who have left an indelible mark on the sport. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 NFL running backs of all time.

1. Jim Brown

Jim Brown is widely regarded as the greatest running back in NFL history. He played for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965 and dominated the league during his career. Brown was a physical specimen with a rare combination of size, speed, and power. He led the league in rushing for eight out of his nine seasons and retired as the all-time leading rusher with 12,312 yards.

2. Walter Payton

Walter Payton, also known as "Sweetness," was a legend in his own right. He played for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987 and was a complete running back. Payton was known for his incredible balance, agility, and determination. He held the record for most career rushing yards until it was surpassed by Emmitt Smith. Payton retired with 16,726 rushing yards and was a nine-time Pro Bowler.

3. Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders was an electrifying player who spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998. Despite playing behind a mediocre offensive line, Sanders managed to become one of the most elusive and exciting runners in NFL history. He retired abruptly at the age of 30, leaving fans and analysts wondering how many more records he could have broken. Sanders finished his career with 15,269 rushing yards.

4. Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith was the backbone of the dominant Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1990s. He played from 1990 to 2004, spending most of his career with the Cowboys before finishing with the Arizona Cardinals. Smith was a durable and consistent runner who possessed excellent vision and patience. He retired as the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards and won three Super Bowl championships.

5. Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers was a running back for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1971. Although his career was cut short due to injuries, Sayers left an indelible mark on the game. He was known for his incredible speed, agility, and ability to make defenders miss. Sayers was a five-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

6. Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson burst onto the scene in 1983 and had an immediate impact on the NFL. He played for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders, and Atlanta Falcons during his career. Dickerson was a tall and powerful runner with a unique upright running style. He set the single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984, a record that still stands today.

7. Marshall Faulk

Marshall Faulk was a dual-threat running back who played for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams from 1994 to 2005. He was a key component of the "Greatest Show on Turf" offense that led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in 1999. Faulk was known for his exceptional versatility, as he was equally dangerous as a runner and a receiver. He retired with 12,279 rushing yards and 6,875 receiving yards.

8. LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson, also known as "LT," was one of the most complete running backs of his era. He played for the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 2001 to 2011. Tomlinson was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, whether it was running, receiving, or even throwing a touchdown pass. He retired with 13,684 rushing yards, 145 rushing touchdowns, and 4,772 receiving yards.

9. Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has been a force to be reckoned with since he entered the league in 2007. He has played for the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Washington Football Team, and Detroit Lions. Peterson is known for his incredible power, speed, and ability to break tackles. He has won the NFL rushing title three times and has accumulated over 14,000 rushing yards in his career.

10. Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell was a dominant running back for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints from 1978 to 1985. He was a physical specimen with a rare combination of size, speed, and power. Campbell was known for his punishing running style, often running over defenders on his way to the end zone. He retired with 9,407 rushing yards and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

The top 10 NFL running backs of all time have left an indelible mark on the sport. These players have showcased exceptional skills, strength, and determination, making them legends of the game. Whether it's Jim Brown's dominance, Walter Payton's versatility, or Barry Sanders' elusiveness, each running back on this list has made a significant impact on the sport and deserves recognition for their contributions.


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