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When I went on the Advanced NFL Stats Podcast in late December, I discussed my use of Z-scores to measure the Seattle pass defense. Host Dave Collins asked me if I was planning on using Z-scores to measure other things, like say, Adrian Peterson’s 2012 season. I told him that would be an interesting idea to look at in the off-season.

Well, it’s the off-season. So here’s what I did.

1) For every season since 1932, I recorded the number of rushing yards for the leading rusher for each team in each league. So for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, this was 2,097.

2) Next, I calculated the average number of rushing yards of the top rusher of each other team in the NFL. In 2012, the leading rusher on the other 31 teams averaged 974 yards.

3) Then, I calculated the standard deviation of the leading rushers for all teams in the NFL. In 2012, that was 386 yards.

4) Finally, I calculated the Z-score. This is simply the difference between the player’s average and the league average (for Peterson, that’s 1,123), divided by the standard deviation. Peterson’s Z-score was 2.91, good enough for 15th best since 1932. The table below shows the top 250 seasons using this method from 1932 to 2013; it’s fully searchable and sortable, and you can change the number of entries shown by using the dropdown box on the left. [click to continue…]

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Trent Richardson thinks this guy was an average running back in losses.

Trent Richardson thinks this guy was an average running back in losses.

Yesterday, I noted that Adrian Peterson is averaging nearly two more yards per rush in losses than wins. He’s also averaging a nearly identical number of rushing yards per game in wins and losses.

As you’re about to see, that’s pretty rare. We all know that wins are correlated with rushing yards, so it should come as no surprise that running backs generally gain more rushing yards in wins than in losses.

I looked at all games, including playoffs, from 1960 to 2011, for all players with at least 3,000 rushing yards over that time period. The table below lists the following information for each player:

— His first year (or 1960, if he played before 1960) and his last year (or 2011, if still active)
— All the franchises he played for (which you can search for in the search box)
— His number of career wins, and his career rush attempts, rushing yards, rushing yards per carry, and rushing yards per game in wins
— His number of career losses, and his career rush attempts, rushing yards, rushing yards per carry, and rushing yards per game in losses

The table is sorted by rushing yards per game in wins. Again, for players like Jim Brown or Peterson, they are included but only their stats from 1960 to 2011 are shown. The table only shows the top 50 players, but the search feature works for the entire table, which includes 281 players. In addition, you can click on the drop arrow and change the number of rows shown.

As always, the table is fully sortable. If you click twice on the far right column, you see the career leaders in rushing yards per game in losses. You probably aren’t surprised to see Barry Sanders at the top, but the presence of the running back formerly known as Dom Davis up there is a bit surprising. Steven Jackson is one of the few players who have averaged over 70 rushing yards per game in losses, which jives with the sixth post in Football Perspective history. In addition, Jackson (at least through 2011) and LaDainian Tomlinson form an interesting example of Simpson’s Paradox: Jackson has a higher career rushing yards per game average in both wins (93.9 to 89.9) and losses (71.1 to 63.2), while Tomlinson has the higher career average overall (78.6 to 78.3).

RkPlayerYearsTeamsPosWRsh_WYd_WYPC_WYd/G_WLRsh_LYd_LYPC_LYd/G_L
1Jim Brown1960--1965cleFB55117665905.6119.82538417064.4468.2
2Terrell Davis1995--2001denRB58141568674.85118.42844418804.2367.1
3Barry Sanders1989--1998detRB75167085265.11113.784148371294.8184.9
4Eric Dickerson1983--1993ram-clt-rai-atlRB74177684114.74113.778136855724.0771.4
5O.J. Simpson1969--1979buf-sfoRB4395048185.0711292144263514.469
6Earl Campbell1978--1985oti-norRB50120954094.47108.270111344183.9763.1
7Adrian Peterson2007--2011minRB3879240025.05105.33868530184.4179.4
8Chris Johnson2008--2011otiRB3677237764.89104.92842619414.5669.3
9Clinton Portis2002--2010den-wasRB58128160514.72104.359101940864.0169.3
10Arian Foster2009--2011htxRB2042820774.85103.91628213054.6381.6
11Emmitt Smith1990--2004dal-crdRB1353036131984.3597.8108172267433.9262.4
12Jamal Lewis2000--2009rav-cleRB74165371934.3597.263101938403.7761
13Walter Payton1975--1987chiRB1132460109754.4697.186155863834.174.2
14Larry Johnson2003--2011kan-cin-was-miaRB4081338424.7396.14362724133.8556.1
15Edgerrin James1999--2009clt-crd-seaRB99225194694.2195.66299536293.6558.5
16Billy Sims1980--1984detRB3060328614.7495.43255423784.2974.3
17Curtis Martin1995--2005nwe-nyjRB96223591344.0995.182146557623.9370.3
18Frank Gore2005--2011sfoRB4793944224.7194.15574333664.5361.2
19Jamaal Charles2008--2011kanRB1621815046.9943429016055.5347.2
20Steven Jackson2004--2011ramRB3776934734.5293.980138856884.171.1
21Shaun Alexander2000--2008sea-wasRB73150666074.3990.55985034104.0157.8
22LaDainian Tomlinson2001--2011sdg-nyjRB104204893464.5689.976125748063.8263.2
23Corey Dillon1997--2006cin-nweRB72139164604.6489.786134752893.9361.5
24Rudi Johnson2001--2008cin-detRB4190136724.0889.65262923633.7645.4
25Eddie George1996--2004oti-dalRB90209478633.7687.46097733543.4355.9
26Wilbert Montgomery1977--1985phi-detRB55101647664.6986.75465225133.8546.5
27Fred Taylor1998--2010jax-nweRB89158876744.8386.272107546344.3164.4
28Jamal Anderson1994--2001atlRB3776731894.1686.24763224233.8351.6
29Gale Sayers1965--1971chiRB2942624925.8585.93651021224.1658.9
30Barry Foster1990--1994pitRB3570429974.2685.62327512304.4753.5
31Curt Warner1983--1990sea-ramRB55113347044.1585.54863623893.7649.8
32Matt Forte2008--2011chiRB3566129854.5285.32739513983.5451.8
33Cookie Gilchrist1962--1967buf-den-miaFB3462528714.5984.43137213813.7144.5
34William Andrews1979--1986atlRB4374936094.8283.94258624394.1658.1
35Marshall Faulk1994--2005clt-ramRB99177483074.6883.989122745743.7351.4
36John Henry Johnson1960--1966pit-otiFB-HB3258926824.5583.83843517183.9545.2
37Tony Dorsett1977--1988dal-denRB1212237101374.5383.868100139853.9858.6
38Jerome Bettis1993--2005ram-pitRB111233392743.9883.593134550623.7654.4
39Priest Holmes1997--2007rav-kanRB61109350774.6583.24972933164.5567.7
40Ricky Watters1992--2001sfo-phi-seaRB91182375524.14836396337203.8659
41Jim Nance1965--1973nwe-nyjRB3057124554.381.86268025853.841.7
42Robert Smith1993--2000minRB63103951464.9581.74151722624.3855.2
43George Rogers1981--1987nor-wasRB53100943264.2981.64577231284.0569.5
44Jim Taylor1960--1967gnb-norFB81146865764.4881.23140115823.9551
45Travis Henry2001--2007buf-oti-denRB3667229064.3280.75281631803.961.2
46Willie Parker2004--2009pitRB5597744364.5480.72740314133.5152.3
47Ray Rice2008--2011ravRB4579236274.5880.62227411944.3654.3
48Maurice Jones-Drew2006--2011jaxRB4577636164.6680.45072232864.5565.7
49Deuce McAllister2001--2008norRB5091340174.480.34754322404.1347.7
50Thurman Thomas1988--2000buf-miaRB1302373103784.3779.87184331383.7244.2
51Terry Allen1991--2001min-was-nwe-nor-ravRB69130355044.2279.86589032633.6750.2
52Fred Jackson2007--2011bufRB2539319805.0479.24042418144.2845.4
53Jonathan Stewart2008--2011carRB2841422175.3679.23531412954.1237
54Franco Harris1972--1984pit-seaRB1362553106824.1878.55577629243.7753.2
55John Riggins1971--1985nyj-wasRB103204880883.9578.579111942603.8153.9
56Tiki Barber1997--2006nygRB80127762694.9178.480105446324.3957.9
57Lydell Mitchell1972--1980clt-sdg-ramRB58110344724.0577.14964522803.5346.5
58Ricky Williams1999--2011nor-mia-ravRB81148662214.1976.8709673868455.3
59Greg Bell1984--1990buf-ram-raiRB3559626414.4375.55068426763.9153.5
60Marshawn Lynch2007--2011buf-seaRB3159223373.9575.44356823384.1254.4
61Stephen Davis1996--2006was-car-ramRB72123454224.3975.36380731013.8449.2
62LeSean McCoy2009--2011phiRB2842721004.9275202259964.4349.8
63Domanick Williams2003--2005htxRB122268983.9774.82854422974.2282
64Hoyle Granger1966--1972oti-norRB2744320134.5474.63835815304.2740.3
65DeAngelo Williams2006--2011carRB3855728335.0974.64345122775.0553
66Rodney Hampton1990--1997nygRB56104841223.9373.65182629693.5958.2
67Ahman Green1998--2009sea-gnb-htxRB89141665454.6273.56375931814.1950.5
68Earnest Jackson1983--1988sdg-phi-pitRB3154422794.1973.54451518883.6742.9
69Lawrence McCutcheon1973--1981ram-den-sea-bufRB75124354624.3972.83842216934.0144.6
70Freeman McNeil1981--1992nyjRB71113251094.51727578233644.344.9
71Rashard Mendenhall2008--2011pitRB3764626434.0971.4172289544.1856.1
72Warrick Dunn1997--2008tam-atlRB98161869964.3271.492116743713.7547.5
73Cedric Benson2005--2011chi-cinRB5092535683.8671.44564724463.7854.4
74Natrone Means1993--1999sdg-jaxRB55100439173.971.23954919483.5549.9
75Gary Brown1991--1999oti-sdg-nygRB4061928414.59713542414763.4842.2
76Michael Turner2004--2011sdg-atlRB76113053914.7770.93837614573.8838.3
77Christian Okoye1987--1992kanRB447803120470.93544717713.9650.6
78Karim Abdul-Jabbar1996--2000mia-cle-cltRB3365123393.5970.93138811883.0638.3
79Garrison Hearst1993--2004crd-cin-sfo-denRB76121053854.4570.95568128404.1751.6
80Joe Morris1982--1991nyg-cleRB63110344604.0470.85044816783.7533.6
81Johnny Johnson1990--1994crd-nyjRB2442816853.9470.24761823933.8750.9
82Thomas Jones2000--2011crd-tam-chi-nyj-kanRB88154161543.9969.999126249503.9250
83Chuck Muncie1976--1984nor-sdgRB5181735544.3569.76585436644.2956.4
84Chuck Foreman1973--1980min-nweRB77132453184.0269.13842614093.3137.1
85Ottis Anderson1979--1992crd-nygRB94163064893.986980103342174.0852.7
86Larry Csonka1968--1979mia-nygRB91138762234.4968.46469125873.7440.4
87Randy McMillan1981--1986cltRB2028213654.8468.36669524843.5737.6
88John Brockington1971--1977gnb-kanRB3663724563.8668.25465123083.5542.7
89Ryan Grant2007--2011gnbRB4567030524.5667.82231312914.1258.7
90Willis McGahee2004--2011buf-rav-denRB66104244154.2466.96185933593.9155.1
91Ron A. Johnson1969--1975cle-nygRB3762924263.8665.64153317293.2442.2
92Joe Cribbs1980--1988buf-sfo-miaRB5583435804.2965.14952319613.7540
93Marcus Allen1982--1997rai-kanRB145222194334.2565.191106841573.8945.7
94Antowain Smith1997--2005buf-nwe-oti-norRB75124848723.9656167425593.842
95Larry Brown1969--1976wasRB69117144413.7964.43546417803.8450.9
96Kevin Jones2004--2008det-chiRB2232614154.3464.34146917613.7543
97Floyd Little1967--1975denRB4573828803.9646782031873.8947.6
98Wendell Tyler1977--1986ram-sfoRB7193145104.8463.54655024434.4453.1
99Ricky Bell1977--1982tam-sdgRB253971588463.53846215913.4441.9
100Abner Haynes1960--1967kan-den-mia-nyjHB4860130465.0763.56043915923.6326.5
101Cadillac Williams2005--2011tam-ramRB3350520944.1563.55056819933.5139.9
102Clem Daniels1960--1968kan-rai-sfoRB5168932364.763.54940116694.1634.1
103Pete Johnson1977--1984cin-sdg-miaRB64102839953.8962.45053818793.4937.6
104Leonard Russell1991--1996nwe-den-ram-sdgRB3154919343.5262.45161520393.3240
105Bam Morris1994--1999pit-rav-chi-kanRB396052423462.13744416363.6844.2
106Rueben Mayes1986--1993nor-seaRB3655522334.02624031412624.0231.6
107Errict Rhett1994--2000tam-rav-cleRB3663522133.4961.54253919303.5846
108Anthony Thomas2001--2007chi-dal-nor-bufRB3962823953.8161.44943115323.5531.3
109James Wilder1981--1990tam-detRB3248119644.0861.486112341603.748.4
110Joseph Addai2006--2011cltRB6294338044.0361.42631012704.148.8
111Marion Butts1989--1995sdg-nwe-otiRB507663067461.35560122623.7641.1
112Matt Snell1964--1972nyjRB4264125734.0161.33543518494.2552.8
113Delvin Williams1974--1980sfo-miaRB5174531154.1861.14758825254.2953.7
114James Brooks1981--1992sdg-cin-cle-tamRB8397650605.18618676731184.0736.3
115Kevin Mack1985--1993cleRB5175331094.13615464524383.7845.1
116Mike Thomas1975--1980was-sdgRB5279631633.9760.82831911483.641
117Neal Anderson1986--1993chiRB6899241304.1660.74960423153.8347.2
118Paul Lowe1960--1969sdg-kanHB6676739985.2160.62822810754.7138.4
119DeShaun Foster2003--2008car-sfoRB4768928334.1160.33332311383.5234.5
120Napoleon Kaufman1995--2000raiRB4651227605.39604646720364.3644.3
121Mike Garrett1966--1973kan-sdgRB6282337124.5159.94147717033.5741.5
122Dave Hampton1969--1976gnb-atl-phiRB3654721443.9259.65558322963.9441.7
123Leroy Kelly1964--1973cleRB92126854654.3159.44953821453.9943.8
124Sam Cunningham1973--1982nweRB5380031333.9259.15261524303.9546.7
125Duce Staley1997--2006phi-pitRB6692338814.258.85262123683.8145.5
126Charlie Garner1994--2004phi-sfo-rai-tamRB6983040354.8658.58278435034.4742.7
127Mike Rozier1985--1991oti-atlRB4565426224.0158.35256020223.6138.9
128Brian Westbrook2002--2010phi-sfoRB8097146604.858.34952922064.1745
129Mark van Eeghen1974--1983rai-nweRB96139355613.9957.94143217143.9741.8
130Julius Jones2004--2010dal-sea-norRB4868427754.0657.84863624723.8951.5
131Marion Barber2005--2011dal-chiRB5978334074.3557.74441415243.6834.6
132James Stewart1995--2002jax-detRB5482831083.7557.65368128954.2554.6
133Eddie Lee Ivery1979--1986gnbRB3540720144.9557.5342448913.6526.2
134Ken Willard1965--1974sfo-crdRB69100339553.9457.35857919633.3933.8
135Mike Pruitt1976--1986cle-buf-kanRB6794438404.0757.37692136053.9147.4
136Marv Hubbard1969--1977rai-detRB6676737734.9257.2242258673.8536.1
137Gerald Riggs1982--1991atl-wasRB6289435443.9657.272111046904.2365.1
138Ronnie Brown2005--2011mia-phiRB4359624484.1156.95058625224.350.4
139Adrian Murrell1993--2003nyj-crd-was-dalRB4463724943.9256.77276528623.7439.8
140Don Perkins1961--1968dalFB-HB5575831074.156.55175430794.0860.4
141Lamar Smith1994--2003sea-nor-mia-carRB5481130433.7556.45856520303.5935
142Mike Anderson2000--2007den-ravRB5871632544.5456.1402509763.924.4
143J.D. Smith1960--1966sfo-dalFB-HB3345118504.156.13641115643.8143.4
144Ted Brown1979--1986minRB5066027994.24565649919073.8234.1
145Dick Bass1960--1969ramFB-HB4759026124.4355.65956725044.4242.4
146Sammy Winder1982--1990denRB80119544433.7255.55242313563.2126.1
147Emerson Boozer1966--1975nyjRB5477429843.8655.35851820924.0436.1
148Ed Podolak1969--1977kanRB4865526304.0254.84742314823.531.5
149Earnest Byner1984--1997cle-was-ravRB111152260643.9854.610275730344.0129.7
150Brandon Jacobs2005--2011nygRB7186238694.4954.53933614414.2936.9
151Roger Craig1983--1993sfo-rai-minRB127165868734.1554.15352921063.9839.7
152Mel Farr1967--1973detRB3137716774.4554.1272929603.2935.6
153Bobby Humphrey1989--1992den-miaRB3342217814.22542234213383.9160.8
154Jim Otis1970--1978nor-kan-crdRB5778230573.9153.65139113353.4126.2
155Chris Warren1990--2000sea-dal-phiRB7087237434.2953.59194840614.2844.6
156Ahmad Bradshaw2007--2011nygRB5256527804.9253.5272469173.7334
157John Stephens1988--1993nwe-gnb-kanRB2841014773.652.85953519633.6733.3
158Gary W. Anderson1985--1993sdg-tam-detRB3642018994.5252.87344915103.3620.7
159Otis Armstrong1973--1980denRB5872130554.2452.73932114084.3936.1
160Mercury Morris1969--1976mia-sdgRB7473738965.2952.6331616824.2420.7
161Kevan Barlow2001--2006sfo-nyjRB3745119464.3152.65058320743.5641.5
162Tom Sullivan1972--1978phi-cleRB2637513593.6252.35148316833.4833
163Reggie Cobb1990--1996tam-gnb-jax-nyjRB2940715143.7252.26267022553.3736.4
164Hewritt Dixon1963--1970den-raiRB-TE5567728614.2352381615533.4314.6
165Altie Taylor1969--1976det-otiRB5471827943.8951.74541714063.3731.2
166Tony Collins1981--1990nwe-miaRB5668228854.2351.55355619623.5337
167Sherman Smith1976--1983sea-sdgRB3540317924.4551.25343117284.0132.6
168Justin Fargas2003--2009raiFB2528712784.4551.16554020913.8732.2
169Edgar Bennett1992--1999gnb-chiRB6489932643.63514737912893.427.4
170Terry Metcalf1973--1981crd-wasRB-WR4649923414.6950.93628212164.3133.8
171Calvin Hill1969--1981dal-was-cleRB96114548844.2750.95439515593.9528.9
172Michael Vick2001--2011atl-phiQB6545932877.1650.65129721657.2942.5
173MacArthur Lane1968--1978crd-gnb-kanRB5260226204.3550.46755118843.4228.1
174Larry Kinnebrew1983--1990cin-bufRB3745818634.0750.44032812873.9232.2
175Gerry Ellis1980--1986gnbRB4647923144.8350.35435014994.2827.8
176Barry Word1987--1993nor-kan-minRB4554122354.1349.7242238593.8535.8
177Johnny Roland1966--1973crd-nygRB4050119683.9349.24742714583.4131
178Herschel Walker1986--1997dal-min-phi-nygRB8496241224.2849.1106102042354.1540
179Curtis Dickey1980--1986clt-cleRB3038314673.8348.95155325454.649.9
180Keith Lincoln1961--1968sdg-bufFB-HB4744022945.2148.83830812554.0733
181Boobie Clark1973--1980cin-otiRB4860123113.8548.1312258373.7227
182Clarence Davis1971--1978raiRB7375935114.6348.1251666253.7725
183Michael Pittman1998--2008crd-tam-denRB6978233154.24488166524993.7630.9
184Tom Woodeshick1963--1972phi-crdRB3134614834.2947.85045619224.2138.4
185Tyrone Wheatley1995--2004nyg-raiRB6781831853.8947.56149218783.8230.8
186Charley Tolar1960--1966otiFB4657621733.7747.24235411833.3428.2
187Frank Pollard1980--1988pitRB5255124484.4447.15044717723.9635.4
188Lorenzo White1988--1995oti-cleRB5461225384.15475952619683.7433.4
189Ron Dayne2000--2007nyg-den-htxRB5469325373.66474232012713.9730.3
190Walter Abercrombie1982--1988pit-phiRB4551621134.09474236914233.8633.9
191Harvey Williams1991--1998kan-raiRB5363224873.9446.95541115283.7227.8
192Don Calhoun1974--1981buf-nweRB5557725324.39463928810443.6326.8
193Greg Hill1994--1999kan-ram-detRB5357924394.2146281967954.0628.4
194Roland Harper1975--1982chiRB3439815543.945.74036415014.1237.5
195Rob Carpenter1977--1986oti-nyg-ramRB7690434493.8245.44835412463.5226
196Dexter Bussey1974--1984detRB5757825714.4545.17662825514.0633.6
197Wray Carlton1960--1967bufHB-FB4347219354.1453833814024.1536.9
198John David Crow1960--1968crd-sfoHB-TE5253923244.3144.74535514254.0131.7
199Mike Alstott1996--2006tamRB89100239483.9444.47946914813.1618.7
200Dalton Hilliard1986--1993norRB6576228643.7644.14438313643.5631
201Joe Washington1977--1985sdg-clt-was-atlRB6467228194.19446254220763.8333.5
202Wilbur Jackson1974--1982sfo-wasRB3637115744.2443.76060823053.7938.4
203Nick Pietrosante1960--1967det-cleFB5052021854.243.73630612414.0634.5
204Mario Bates1994--2000nor-crd-detRB3844016443.7443.35341614393.4627.2
205Les Josephson1964--1974ramRB5855225014.5343.1352006283.1417.9
206Reggie Bush2006--2011nor-miaRB4542919384.5243.13634914384.1239.9
207Rocky Bleier1968--1980pitRB8586136024.1842.4362077403.5720.6
208Chris Brown2003--2009oti-htxRB3230213524.4842.33844217814.0346.9
209James R. Jones1983--1992det-seaFB-TE3742915553.62427557520243.5227
210Charlie H. Smith1968--1975rai-sdgRB6672127513.8241.7221737154.1332.5
211Don Woods1974--1980sdg-sfoRB2933812053.5741.64042518824.4347.1
212Wayne Morris1976--1984crd-sdgRB4749619513.9341.56439914323.5922.4
213LaMont Jordan2001--2009nyj-rai-nwe-denRB5346721804.6741.16046917703.7729.5
214Ernie Green1962--1968cleHB-FB6455626214.7141271346544.8824.2
215Doug Kotar1974--1981nygRB3132412533.8740.45857621273.6936.7
216Dorsey Levens1994--2004gnb-phi-nygRB104102841824.0740.24838014753.8830.7
217Charles White1980--1988cle-ramRB5148720394.19405130310683.5220.9
218Craig Heyward1988--1998nor-chi-atl-ram-cltRB7164728374.38407240715183.7321.1
219Reuben Droughns2001--2008det-den-cle-nygRB5047819934.1739.94745916383.5734.9
220Johnny Hector1983--1992nyjRB5856923064.0539.86348920074.131.9
221Harold Green1990--1998cin-ram-atlRB4744218664.2239.77872025543.5532.7
222Amos Marsh1961--1967dal-detHB-FB3126412224.6339.45241216554.0231.8
223Dave Osborn1965--1976min-gnbRB8288632323.6539.44735213123.7327.9
224Cid Edwards1968--1975crd-sdg-chiRB2923511434.8639.4494181670434.1
225Tom Matte1961--1972cltRB9494237003.9339.44329811473.8526.7
226John L. Williams1986--1995sea-pitFB8173931724.2939.27553119393.6525.9
227Ladell Betts2002--2010was-norRB5248120164.1938.86035613553.8122.6
228Walt Garrison1966--1974dalRB8777733194.2738.1372369754.1326.4
229Michael Bennett2001--2010min-kan-tam-sdg-raiRB4742417884.22386044020084.5633.5
230Wendell Hayes1963--1974dal-den-kanRB625872349437.95840114453.624.9
231Willie Ellison1967--1974ram-kanRB5549020624.2137.52624810164.139.1
232Essex Johnson1968--1976cin-tamRB4839917894.4837.36532914614.4422.5
233Jim Kiick1968--1977mia-denRB8079129723.7637.23431310563.3731.1
234Stump Mitchell1981--1989crdRB5143918904.3137.16451425735.0140.2
235John Fuqua1969--1976nyg-pitRB5752421014.0136.93723910874.5529.4
236Robert Newhouse1972--1983dalRB115103042374.1136.84230411983.9428.5
237Curtis McClinton1962--1968kanFB-TE5851721344.1336.8322429784.0430.6
238Leroy Hoard1990--1999cle-rav-car-minRB7667727964.1336.87039213973.5620
239Merril Hoge1987--1994pit-chiRB5650520274.0136.25435913593.7925.2
240Charlie Harraway1966--1973cle-wasRB6258822403.8136.1342759213.3527.1
241Larry Garron1960--1968nweHB-FB5245718774.1136.1372609193.5324.8
242Correll Buckhalter2001--2010phi-denRB6249022224.5335.8482229594.3220
243Erric Pegram1991--1997atl-pit-sdg-nygRB5856420673.6635.64132714504.4335.4
244Carl Garrett1969--1977nwe-chi-nyj-raiRB5043517524.03356460424784.138.7
245Rickey Young1975--1983sdg-minRB5852820323.85357347216053.422
246Greg Pruitt1973--1984cle-raiRB8861430785.01357157725174.3635.5
247Darrin Nelson1982--1992min-sdgRB7358325454.3734.97648320674.2827.2
248Lenny Moore1960--1967cltRB-WR5846720114.3134.7332479863.9929.9
249Donny Anderson1966--1974gnb-crdRB6859423493.9534.55758922563.8339.6
250Kenneth Davis1986--1994gnb-bufRB7760326564.434.55433313714.1225.4
251Tommy Mason1961--1971min-ram-wasRB6154421023.8634.55542418554.3833.7
252Chester Taylor2002--2011rav-min-chi-crdRB8672629534.0734.37047019324.1127.6
253Tony Nathan1979--1987miaRB8963630474.7934.2452149504.4421.1
254Dominic Rhodes2001--2010clt-raiRB7057823874.1334.14033413063.9132.7
255Timmy Brown1960--1968phi-cltRB5139017244.4233.85346320054.3337.8
256Dick Hoak1961--1970pitRB-WR4341314203.44337963823073.6229.2
257Bill Mathis1960--1969nyjFB-HB6661521643.5232.86041713803.3123
258Earl Gros1962--1970gnb-phi-pit-norFB4434814414.1432.85245516733.6832.2
259Bill Brown1961--1974chi-minRB9689331383.5132.77770924613.4732
260Anthony Johnson1990--2000clt-nyj-chi-car-jaxRB5348217123.5532.37437113893.7418.8
261Jess Phillips1968--1977cin-nor-rai-nweRB6244419804.4631.96145116013.5526.2
262Terry Kirby1993--2002mia-sfo-cle-raiRB6853821564.0131.75130510193.3420
263Ronnie Bull1962--1971chi-phiRB6052018963.6531.64932712483.8225.5
264Norm Bulaich1970--1979clt-phi-miaRB7255222754.1231.64630011953.9826
265John Cappelletti1974--1983ram-sdgRB7767624103.5731.3341836243.4118.4
266Sammy Morris2000--2011buf-mia-nwe-dalRB6544319894.4930.66529410733.6516.5
267Pete Banaszak1966--1978raiRB11386734533.9830.6401856373.4415.9
268Cullen Bryant1973--1987ram-seaRB9571827463.8228.9522449653.9518.6
269Maurice Morris2002--2011sea-detRB7653521694.0528.57637416004.2821.1
270Randall Cunningham1985--2001phi-min-dal-ravQB9848627015.5627.67333424757.4133.9
271Tony Galbreath1976--1987nor-min-nygRB7950421244.2126.99054420213.7222.5
272Matt Suhey1980--1989chiRB8460222573.7526.9592698453.1414.3
273Kordell Stewart1995--2005pit-chi-ravQB7641019924.8626.25420411645.7121.6
274Steve Young1985--1999tam-sfoQB12555032365.8825.96026815975.9626.6
275Steve McNair1995--2007oti-ravQB10047924885.1924.97224514575.9520.2
276Donovan McNabb1999--2011phi-was-minQB10645823915.2222.67422914886.520.1
277Kevin Faulk1999--2011nweRB12565327434.221.95429912894.3123.9
278Preston Pearson1968--1980clt-pit-dalRB11860723803.9220.25837713313.5322.9
279Keith Byars1986--1998phi-mia-nwe-nyjFB-TE11953718933.5315.97931811543.6314.6
280John Elway1983--1998denQB16359822793.81149226615535.8416.9
281Fran Tarkenton1961--1978min-nygQB13139017104.3813.111729219346.6216.5

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www.notacompiler.com.

Career statistics can be very misleading, since a player can hang around for a bunch of meaningless years but really pad his totals. Six years ago, Doug came up with a system that only counted the receiving yards a player recorded after his first 1,000 receiving yards each season.

I’m going to do something similar for running backs, but instead will focus on individual game performances. I have game logs for every running back (post-season included) for every game since 1960. What I did was zero out all rushing yards in games where a player had 50 or fewer rushing yards; in the remaining games, I only gave those runners credit for the rushing yards they gained after their first 50 rushing yards. The “RYov50″ column shows the running back’s career rushing yards after removing the first 50 rushing yards he had in every game; the next column shows each player’s career rushing yards (since 1960, including post-season), and the first “Perc%” column shows the ratio of the “RYov50″ column to the career rushing yards. A higher percentage means the player spent most of his time as the lead back for his team, while a lower percentage indicates that the player spent significant time in a committee and/or stuck around for several years past his prime. Obviously for still active players, the percentage column could be misleading as they may not have entered the decline portion of their careers just yet.

The #50YG column shows how many games the player had over 50 rushing yards, and the next column shows what percentage of games the running back gained over 50 yards. For players like Jim Brown, this study only includes his seasons starting in 1960, and for active players, 2012 data is *not* included:
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Tomlinson pushed many teams to fantasy titles.

Bill Simmons wrote about LaDainian Tomlinson last month and called him the best fantasy football player of all-time. “Greatest ever” debates are always subjective, but at least when it comes to fantasy football, we can get pretty close to declaring a definitive answer. Joe Bryant’s landmark “Value Base Drafting” system explained that the “value of a player is determined not by the number of points he scores, but by how much he outscores his peers at his particular position.” Bryant came up with the concept of calculating a ‘VBD’ number for each player to measure their value.

A player’s VBD is easy to calculate. Each player’s VBD score is the difference between the amount of fantasy points he scored and the fantasy points scored by the worst starter (at his position) in your fantasy league. A player who scores fewer fantasy points than the worst starter has a VBD of 0. There is no standard scoring system for fantasy leagues, so a player’s fantasy points total will depend on the specific league’s scoring rules.1 And, of course, his VBD score will change depending on the number of starters at each position in the league.2

That said, once you pick a scoring system and a set of rules, it’s easy to calculate career VBD scores for every player since 19503. Let’s start with the quarterbacks:

PlayerYearsPOSTeamsVBDOVR RKPOS RK
Peyton Manning1998--2010QBclt107191
Brett Favre1992--2010QBatl-gnb-nyj-min1061102
Dan Marino1983--1999QBmia988143
Fran Tarkenton1961--1978QBmin-nyg921154
Steve Young1985--1999QBtam-sfo774245
Joe Montana1979--1994QBsfo-kan727336
Randall Cunningham1985--2001QBphi-min-dal-rav723357
Tom Brady2000--2011QBnwe720368
Drew Brees2001--2011QBsdg-nor688389
John Elway1983--1998QBden6604010
Roger Staubach1969--1979QBdal6304411
Johnny Unitas1956--1973QBclt-sdg6254712
Warren Moon1984--2000QBoti-min-sea-kan5925713
Ken Anderson1971--1986QBcin5397414
Sonny Jurgensen1957--1974QBphi-was5287715
Dan Fouts1973--1987QBsdg5267816
Daunte Culpepper1999--2009QBmin-mia-rai-det5158017
Aaron Rodgers2005--2011QBgnb5078318
Tobin Rote1950--1964QBgnb-det-sdg-den4948819
Roman Gabriel1962--1977QBram-phi40413020
Rich Gannon1988--2004QBmin-was-kan-rai39613521
Kurt Warner1998--2009QBram-nyg-crd39613622
Bobby Layne1950--1962QBchi-nyy-det-pit38514023
Y.A. Tittle1950--1964QBbcl-sfo-nyg38414124
Daryle Lamonica1963--1973QBbuf-rai36815325

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  1. I’ve decided to use a blend of the most common scoring options: 1 point per 20 yards passing, 5 points per passing touchdown, -2 points per interception, 6 points for rushing/receiving touchdowns, 1 point per 10 yards rushing/receiving, 0.5 points per reception. []
  2. Again, I’m using a blend here, but for baseline purposes I’m using QB12, RB24, WR32 and TE12, since the standard 12-team league starts 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2-3 WRs and 1 TE. []
  3. I’ve pro-rated production for those players who were part of seasons when the NFL did not have a 16-game schedule; I also changed the baseline numbers depending on the number of teams in the league, as a baseline of QB12 doesn’t make sense for 1950, when there were only 12 teams. []
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Franchise leaders — rushing stats

Yesterday, we took a look at the franchise leaders in various passing categories. Let’s do the same for running backs today. The first list shows the leaders in career rushing yards for each franchise; the last column shows the last year that running back played for that franchise:

TeamYardsRunning BackLast Yr
STL9093Steven Jackson
SFO7625Frank Gore
CAR5047DeAngelo Williams
SDG12490LaDainian Tomlinson2009
GNB8322Ahman Green2009
JAX11271Fred Taylor2008
NOR6096Deuce McAllister2008
SEA9429Shaun Alexander2007
KAN6070Priest Holmes2007
NYG10449Tiki Barber2006
BAL7801Jamal Lewis2006
NYJ10302Curtis Martin2005
IND9226Edgerrin James2005
HOU3195Domanick Williams2005
TEN10009Eddie George2003
CIN8061Corey Dillon2003
DAL17162Emmitt Smith2002
DEN7607Terrell Davis2001
MIN6818Robert Smith2000
BUF11938Thurman Thomas1999
DET15269Barry Sanders1998
OAK8545Marcus Allen1992
TAM5957James Wilder1989
ATL6631Gerald Riggs1988
CHI16726Walter Payton1987
ARI7999Ottis Anderson1986
WAS7472John Riggins1985
PHI6538Wilbert Montgomery1984
PIT11950Franco Harris1983
NWE5453Sam Cunningham1982
MIA6737Larry Csonka1979
CLE12312Jim Brown1965

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{ 4 comments }