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Five teams in the National Football League (NFL) history have had more than one player rush for at least 1000 yards during the regular season. In addition, eight additional teams have come close, in having two players rush for at least 900 yards.

The first team to have two 1000 yard rushers was the 1972 Miami Dolphins.[1] Fullback Larry Csonka rushed for 1117 yards and Mercury Morris, who split the halfback position with Jim Kiick, rushed for exactly 1000.[2][3] Miami won the Super Bowl that season. During the three postseaon games, Csonka rushed for an additional 212 yards and Morris rushed for an additional 182 yards.[1]

The second team with two 1000 yard rushers was the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers.[4] Fullback Franco Harris rushed for 1128 yards and halfback Rocky Bleier rushed for 1036.[5] Although the Steelers were the 2-time defending Super Bowl champions going into the 1976 season, they did not reach the Super Bowl after the 1976 season. They were defeated in the AFC Championship Game by the Oakland Raiders, when both Harris and Bleier had to miss the game due to injuries.[4] In the one postseason game they did play, Harris gained 132 yards and Bleier lost a yard.[4] Since the NFL moved from a 14 game regular season schedule to a 16 game schedule in 1978, the 1972 Dolphins and the 1976 Steelers are the only NFL teams to have multiple 1000 yard rushers in 14 game season.[6]

The third team with two 1000 yard rushers was the 1985 Cleveland Browns.[7] Fullback Kevin Mack rushed for 1104 yards and halfback Earnest Byner rushed for 1002.[8] The Browns made the playoffs in 1985 but were defeated in the opening round by the Miami Dolphins.[7] In that game Byner rushed for 161 yards and Mack rushed for 56.[7]

In 2006, Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons became the first quarterback to rush for over 1000 yards, with 1039.[9][10] Atlanta running back Warrick Dunn rushed for 1140 yards that season, making Vick and Dunn the only 1000 yard rushing tandem to include a quarterback.[11] The Falcons did not make the 2006 playoffs.[12]

The 2008 New York Giants became the fifth team to have two players with 1000 rushing yards and the fourth to have two running backs with 1000 rushing yards.[13][14] Brandon Jacobs finished the season with 1089 yards and Derrick Ward finished with 1025.[14][15] The 2008 Giants played one playoff game, in which Jacobs rushed for 92 yards and Ward rushed for 46.[16]

The 2009 Carolina Panthers became the sixth team to have two players with 1000 rushing yards with Jonathan Stewart rushing for 1133 yards and DeAngelo Williams rushing for 1117.[17][18] Stewart and Williams also became the first pair of teammates to rush for 1100 yards apiece in a single season.[18]

Two members of these 1000 yard rushing duos—Csonka and Harris—were subsequently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[19] Three members of these duos were subsequently convicted of felonies. Morris and Mack were convicted on cocaine related charges, Morris in 1982 and Mack in 1989.[20][21] Vick was convicted on charges related to dog fighting in 2007.[22]

Contents

Near Misses

Quarterback Michael Vick (above) and Warrick Dunn each rushed for over 1000 yards for the 2006 Atlanta Falcons and each rushed for over 900 yards for the 2004 Atlanta Falcons.

Eight NFL teams have narrowly missed having multiple 1000 yard rushers by having two players rush for at least 900 yards. After having two 1000 yard rushers in 1972, the 1973 Miami Dolphins came close to repeating the feat. Csonka finished the regular season with 1003 yards, but a late season neck injury caused Morris to end the regular season with 954 yards.[23][24] The Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions, and in three postseason games Csonka added 333 rushing yards and Morris added 226.[25]

The 1973 Cincinnati Bengals came even closer than the 1974 Dolphins to having two 1000 yard rushers. Halfback Essex Johnson finished the regular season with 997 yards, missing 1000 by three.[23] Fullback Boobie Clark finished the regular season with 988 yards, missing 1000 by 12.[23] So, although the Bengals did not have a 1000 yard rusher during the regular season, they missed out by 15 yards of having two. The Bengals made the playoffs but lost their opening round playoff game to the Dolphins.[25] Clark rushed for 40 yards in that game and Johnson rushed for 17.[25] So, including the postseason, the 1973 Bengals, as well as the 1973 Dolphins, had two 1000 yard rushers.

The 1978 Chicago Bears came even closer than the 1973 Bengals to having two 1000 yard rushers. Walter Payton had 1395 rushing yards and fullback Roland Harper had 992, missing 1000 yards by a mere eight.[26] The Bears missed the playoffs that season.[27]

In 1980, the Atlanta Falcons had two 900 yard rushers. William Andrews had 1308 rushing yards during the regular season and Lynn Cain added 914.[28] In the playoffs that season, both players added 43 rushing yards.[29] The 1988 American Football Conference champion Cincinnati Bengals also had two 900 yard rushers. Fullback Ickey Woods had 1066 in the regular season and halfback James Brooks had 931.[30] In three postseason games that season Woods added 307 yards and Brooks added 102, so including postseason, the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals had two 1000 yard rushers.[31]

The Atlanta Falcons once again had multiple 900 yard rushers in 2004. Dunn had 1106 rushing yards and Vick had 902.[32] Since both would exceed 1000 rushing yards in 2006, Dunn and Vick are, along with Csonka and Morris from the 1972–1973 Dolphins, the only teammates to rush for more than 900 yards in the same season twice. In two postseason games following the 2004 season, Dunn rushed for 201 yards and Vick rushed for 145 yards.[33][34] So this is another team with two 1000 yard rushers if postseason rushing yards are included.

The 2005 Denver Broncos are another team that had two players with over 900 regular season rushing yards. Mike Anderson posted 1014 regular season rushing yards and Tatum Bell posted 921.[10] In two postseason games that season, Anderson rushed for 105 yards and Bell for 39 yards.[35][36] In 2006, not only did the Atlanta Falcons have two 1000 yard rushers, but the Jacsonville Jaguars had two 900 yard rushers. Fred Taylor rushed for 1146 yards and Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 941.[11] This makes 2006 one of the two seasons, along with 1973, in which two teams had multiple 900 yard rushers. The Jaguars did not make the playoffs in 2006.[37]

Key

Season Each year is linked to an article about that particular NFL season.
Team Each team with multiple 1000 or 900 yard rushers, linked to an article about that team's particular season
Leading Rusher The name of the rusher who ran for the most yards for the team that season
Leading Rusher Yards The number of rushing yards for the team's leading rusher that season
#2 Rusher The name of rusher who ran for the 2nd most yards for the team that season
#2 Rusher Yards The number of rushing yards for the team's 2nd leading rusher that season
* National Football Conference or American Football Conference Champion
Super Bowl Champion
^ Quarterback; all other listed players are running backs

Teams with multiple 1000 yard rushers

Brandon Jacobs (above) and Derrick Ward each rushed for over 1000 yards for the 2008 New York Giants.
Season Team Leading Rusher Leading Rusher Yards #2 Rusher #2 Rusher Yards Reference
1972 Miami Dolphins Larry Csonka 1117 Mercury Morris 1000 [2]
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Franco Harris 1128 Rocky Bleier 1036 [5]
1985 Cleveland Browns Kevin Mack 1104 Earnest Byner 1002 [8]
2006 Atlanta Falcons Warrick Dunn 1140 Michael Vick^ 1039 [11]
2008 New York Giants Brandon Jacobs 1089 Derrick Ward 1025 [15][14]
2009 Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart 1133 DeAngelo Williams 1117 [17]

Teams with multiple 900 yard rushers

Season Team Leading Rusher Leading Rusher Yards #2 Rusher #2 Rusher Yards Reference
1972 Miami Dolphins Larry Csonka 1117 Mercury Morris 1000 [2]
1973 Miami Dolphins[a] Larry Csonka 1003 Mercury Morris 954 [23]
1973 Cincinnati Bengals[a] Essex Johnson 997 Boobie Clark 988 [23]
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Franco Harris 1128 Rocky Bleier 1036 [5]
1978 Chicago Bears Walter Payton 1395 Roland Harper 992 [26]
1980 Atlanta Falcons William Andrews 1308 Lynn Cain 914 [28]
1985 Cleveland Browns Kevin Mack 1104 Earnest Byner 1002 [8]
1988 Cincinnati Bengals[a]* Ickey Woods 1036 James Brooks 931 [30]
2004 Atlanta Falcons[a] Warrick Dunn 1106 Michael Vick^ 902 [32]
2005 Denver Broncos Mike Anderson 1014 Tatum Bell 921 [10]
2006 Atlanta Falcons Warrick Dunn 1140 Michael Vick^ 1039 [11]
2006 Jacksonville Jaguars Fred Taylor 1146 Maurice Jones-Drew 941 [11]
2008 New York Giants Brandon Jacobs 1089 Derrick Ward 1025 [15][14]
2009 Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart 1133 DeAngelo Williams 1117 [17]

Footnotes

  • a The 1973 Miami Dolphins, 1973 Cincinnati Bengals, 1988 Cincinnati Bengals and 2004 Atlanta Falcons all had two 900 yard rushers in the regular season, but did not have two 1000 yard rushers in the regular season. However, including postseason games, all four teams had two 1000 yard rushers. See text.

References

  1. ^ a b Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. pp. 234–243. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  2. ^ a b c "1972 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1972/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  3. ^ Csonka, L. & Kiick, J. (1973). Always on the Run. p. 205. ISBN 0-394-48589-9.  
  4. ^ a b c Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. pp. 306–315. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  5. ^ a b c "1976 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1976/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  6. ^ Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. p. 342. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  7. ^ a b c Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. pp. 506–515. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  8. ^ a b c "1985 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1985/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  9. ^ "Vick becomes 1st QB to rush for 1,000". boston.com. http://www.boston.com/sports/football/articles/2006/12/24/vick_becomes_1st_qb_to_rush_for_1000/. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  10. ^ a b c "2005 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2005/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  11. ^ a b c d e "2006 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2006/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  12. ^ "2006 Atlanta Falcons". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/atl/2006.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  13. ^ Campbell, D.. "Vikes get into playoffs with 20-19 win over Giants". Associated Press. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap?gid=20081228016. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  14. ^ a b c d Garafolo, M.. "New York Giants' Ward joins Jacobs in 1,000-yard club". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2008/12/new_york_giants_ward_joins_jac.html. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  15. ^ a b c "2008 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2008/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  16. ^ "Philadelphia Eagles 23 at New York Giants 11". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200901110nyg.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  
  17. ^ a b c "2009 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2009/rushing.htm. Retrieved 20090-01-04.  
  18. ^ a b "Panthers Williams and Stewart running for history". Associated Press. http://www.wcnc.com/sports/Panthers-Williams-and-Stewart-running-for-history-80445517.html. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  
  19. ^ "Pro Football Hall of Famers". Pro Football Hall of Fame. http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/alphabetical.html. Retrieved 2008-11-23.  
  20. ^ Morris, E. with Fiffer, S. (1988). Against the Grain. p. 191. ISBN 0-07-043195-7.  
  21. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: FOOTBALL; Mack Pleads Guilty To Using Cocaine". New York Times. August 31, 1989. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE3DF1731F932A0575BC0A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  22. ^ "Apologetic Vick gets 23-month sentence on dogfighting charges". ESPN. December 11, 2007. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3148549. Retrieved 2008-12-29.  
  23. ^ a b c d e "1973 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1973/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  24. ^ Morris, E. with Fiffer, S. (1988). Against the Grain. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-07-043195-7.  
  25. ^ a b c Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. pp. 252–261. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  26. ^ a b "1978 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1978/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  27. ^ "1978 Chicago Bears". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/chi/1978.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  28. ^ a b "1980 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1980/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  29. ^ Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. p. 412. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  30. ^ a b "1988 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1988/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  31. ^ Neft, D., Cohen, R. & Korch, R. (1995). The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football. pp. 583–585. ISBN 0-312-13186-0.  
  32. ^ a b "2004 Rushing Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2004/rushing.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  33. ^ "Atlanta Falcons 10 at Philadelphia Eagles 27". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200501230phi.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  34. ^ "St. Louis Rams 17 at Atlanta Falcons 47". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200501150atl.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  35. ^ "New England Patriots 13 at Denver Broncos 27". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200601140den.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  36. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers 34 at Denver Broncos 17". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200601220den.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
  37. ^ "2006 Jacksonville Jaguars". Pro-Football-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/jax/2006.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28.  
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