The Top 10 Greatest Running Backs of All Time

The Top 10 Greatest Running Backs of All Time

The Top 10 Greatest Running Backs of All Time

Running backs are a fundamental part of any successful football team.

Their ability to carry the ball, make crucial yards, and score touchdowns has made them some of the most revered athletes in the history of the sport.

Here, we take a closer look at the top 10 greatest running backs of all time, considering their impact on the game, statistics, and overall influence.

1. Jim Brown

Jim Brown is widely regarded as one of the most dominant running backs in the history of the NFL. He played for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965 and retired with numerous records and accolades. Brown led the league in rushing eight times, was a three-time MVP, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his nine seasons.

2. Walter Payton

Walter Payton, also known as "Sweetness," had an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. He set the NFL record for career rushing yards and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. 

3. Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders, who spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998, was a human highlight reel.

His electrifying runs and unmatched agility earned him 10 Pro Bowl selections and four rushing titles. Sanders' ability to make defenders miss in open space is legendary.

4. Emmitt Smith

Emmitt Smith, a key figure in the Dallas Cowboys' success in the 1990s, is the NFL's all-time leading rusher. Smith's durability, vision, and knack for finding the end zone helped him secure three Super Bowl championships and eight Pro Bowl selections.

5. Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers, despite having his career cut short due to injury, left an indelible mark on the NFL during his time with the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1971.

His exceptional speed and elusiveness earned him the nickname "The Kansas Comet." Sayers was a five-time All-Pro selection and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

6. O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson had a remarkable career with the Buffalo Bills and later the San Francisco 49ers. His incredible speed and ability to break tackles made him one of the most feared running backs of his era.

Simpson was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and the first player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season.

7. Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell was a force to be reckoned with during his time with the Houston Oilers and later the New Orleans Saints.

Known for his punishing running style, Campbell won the NFL MVP award in 1979 and led the league in rushing yards three times.

8. Eric Dickerson

Eric Dickerson's upright running style and breakaway speed made him a standout running back for the Los Angeles Rams, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Raiders, and Atlanta Falcons.

Dickerson set the single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984 and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection.

9. Marshall Faulk

Marshall Faulk's versatility as a dual-threat running back and receiver set him apart during his time with the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams.

Faulk was a key component of "The Greatest Show on Turf" and earned seven Pro Bowl selections, in addition to winning the NFL MVP award in 2000.

10. LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson, known for his exceptional vision and receiving ability, had a stellar career with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets.

Tomlinson led the league in rushing twice, was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, and set the single-season touchdown record with 31 in 2006.

 

To conclude, the running backs mentioned above have left an enduring legacy on the sport of football.

Their contributions have not only shaped the history of the NFL but have also inspired countless athletes who have followed in their footsteps.


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