The Fearsome Foursome Rams of Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones fame went 51 straight weeks without allowing a 100-yard rusher. In the final week of the 1964 season, Jim Taylor rushed 17 times for 165 yards against the Rams (he also picked up 56 receiving yards). Over the next three years, no opponent rushed for over 100 yards against Los Angeles. That held true for the first nine weeks of the 1968 season, too, until San Francisco’s Ken Willard broke that mark with a 128-yard performance. That was the only time from 1965 through 1968 that the Rams allowed a 100-yard rusher. Incredibly, there was a stretch of 93 games where the Rams allowed a 100-yard back just five times… and three of them came at the feet of Jim Taylor!1
In 1989, Gerald Riggs, then with Washington, rushed for an incredible 221 yards yards in week two against Philadelphia. That was noteworthy, because for the next 53 games, no opponent rushed for 100 yards against Reggie White, Jerome Brown, and the Philadelphia Eagles defense. We know how dominant the 1991 defense was, but the rush defense was pretty stringy in the surrounding years, too. It wasn’t until Emmitt Smith broke through with a 30-carry, 163-yard day in November 1992 that the streak was snapped.
The third longest streak belongs to the 1998-2001 Ravens: after allowing Chicago’s James Allen to record 163 rushing yards in week 16 of the ’98 season, no back rushed for 100 yards against Baltimore for 46 straight games. The streak-snapper? Corey Dillon, in week 15 of the ’01 season, in a game where the Bengals were shut out.
No active streak can really compare. The 49ers were the only team in 2013 not to allow a single 100-yard rusher, but Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards in week 16 of the 2012 season, so the streak is only at 17 games. Lynch also rushed for 109 yards against San Francisco in the last time the 49ers took the field: the NFC Championship Game.2 Carolina allowed C.J. Spiller to rush for 103 yards in week two of the 2013 season, but the Panthers shut the door on opponents in the final 14 games of the year. The Cardinals and Ravens are tied for the third-longest active streak at 10 games, and the Jaguars is in fifth place at 9 consecutive games.
You’re not seeing triple: nobody broke two 25+ game streaks, but Cleveland’s Leroy Kelly broke three such streaks over his Hall of Fame career.
- In addition to Willard, Baltimore’s Tom Matte also accomplished that feat. And Matte did put up a 99-yard performance in 1965 against LA, too. By 1969, the Rams were positively pedestrian against the run by their standards, allowing both Gale Sayers and Tom Woodeshick to hit the 100-yard mark. Then nobody did it again for 27 games. [↩]
- In fact, over the last four years, including playoffs, Lynch has 4 of the 7 100-yard rushing games allowed by the 49ers. [↩]