NFL Running Back HOFers?

tribefan

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Here's a list of the all-time NFL rushing leaders with HOFers in BOLD...

1 Emmitt Smith 18,355
2 Walter Payton 16,726
3 Barry Sanders 15,269

4 Curtis Martin 14,101
5 Jerome Bettis 13,662
6 Eric Dickerson 13,259
7 Tony Dorsett 12,739
8 LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 12,490
9 Jim Brown 12,312
10 Marshall Faulk 12,279
11 EDGERRIN JAMES 12,246
12 Marcus Allen 12,243
13 Franco Harris 12,120
14 Thurman Thomas 12,074
15 FRED TAYLOR 11,540
16 John Riggins 11,352
17 Corey Dillon 11,241
18 O.J. Simpson 11,236
19 Warrick Dunn 10,967
20 Ricky Watters 10,643
21 JAMAL LEWIS 10,607
22 Tiki Barber 10,449
23 Eddie George 10,441
24 Ottis Anderson 10,273

I know there is a lot more than simply yardage that can be considered for a HOF career but rushing yardage, for running backs, is the primary benchmark.

The other factor is that eras can't be easily compared... meaning, Jim Brown did more in his 12K yards than Curtis Martin did in his 14K (not picking on C-Mart, just pointing out the difference in the eras)... 12 game vs. 14 game vs. 16 game seasons, bye weeks, and the evolution of body supplements, etc.

That being said, is there a point on this list where you consider the HOFer line to be drawn?

Tomlinson is a no-brainer and I've always thought of Marshall Faulk and Jerome Bettis as HOFers (particularly after winning Super Bowls). But I've never considered Curtis Martin, Edge James, Fred Taylor and Corey Dillon HOFers (as their careers were unfolding over the seasons).

I have to hand it to Curtis Martin at this point (I somehow managed to NOT notice most of his career) but I'm drawing the line there. This puts the line at around 13K yardage, which basically limits my HOFer list to those in the current top-10 plus, obviously, those already in.

Someone convince me that Edge, Taylor, Dillon, and anyone else down the list is a HOFer. Call me sentimental, traditional, or simply "old", but I find Ottis Anderson the next candidate on my list.

Interested in your thoughts. Please don't make this argumentative or insult each others' opinions.

Thanks,


Michael
 
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valediction

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Here's a list of the all-time NFL rushing leaders with HOFers in BOLD...

1 Emmitt Smith 18,355
2 Walter Payton 16,726
3 Barry Sanders 15,269

4 Curtis Martin 14,101
5 Jerome Bettis 13,662
6 Eric Dickerson 13,259
7 Tony Dorsett 12,739
8 LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 12,490
9 Jim Brown 12,312
10 Marshall Faulk 12,279
11 EDGERRIN JAMES 12,246
12 Marcus Allen 12,243
13 Franco Harris 12,120
14 Thurman Thomas 12,074
15 FRED TAYLOR 11,540
16 John Riggins 11,352
17 Corey Dillon 11,241
18 O.J. Simpson 11,236
19 Warrick Dunn 10,967
20 Ricky Watters 10,643
21 JAMAL LEWIS 10,607
22 Tiki Barber 10,449
23 Eddie George 10,441
24 Ottis Anderson 10,273

I know there is a lot more than simply yardage that can be considered for a HOF career but rushing yardage, for running backs, is the primary benchmark.

The other factor is that eras can't be easily compared... meaning, Jim Brown did more in his 12K yards than Curtis Martin did in his 14K (not picking on C-Mart, just pointing out the difference in the eras)... 12 game vs. 14 game vs. 16 game seasons, bye weeks, and the evolution of body supplements, etc.

That being said, is there a point on this list where you consider the HOFer line to be drawn?

Tomlinson is a no-brainer and I've always thought of Marshall Faulk and Jerome Bettis as HOFers (particularly after winning Super Bowls). But I've never considered Curtis Martin, Edge James, Fred Taylor and Corey Dillon HOFers (as their careers were unfolding over the seasons).

I have to hand it to Curtis Martin at this point (I somehow managed to NOT notice most of his career) but I'm drawing the line there. This puts the line at around 13K yardage, which basically limits my HOFer list to those in the current top-10 plus, obviously, those already in.

Someone convince me that Edge, Taylor, Dillon, and anyone else down the list is a HOFer. Call me sentimental, traditional, or simply "old", but I find Ottis Anderson the next candidate on my list.

Interested in your thoughts. Please don't make this argumentative or insult each others' opinions.

Thanks,


Michael

Easy to overlook Martin. Kind of like a Yount or Yaz getting to 3,000 hits. They just kind of sneak up on you because they can be penciled in for 160 or so hits a year, they won't get to 200 very often, but they won't got below 125 either. Martin did the same thing, 1400 here, 1600 his last big year, but a lot of 1000-1250 yard seasons in there. Didn't get to 2000, only 1 year below 1,000, led the league once. I'm not real sure what constitutes a HOF RB, seems like most are a case by case basis.
 

Droubaysports

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lets discuss curtis martin and barry sanders.. they have anything in common?
try 10 years from the start of thier carrer with 1000+ yards.. emmit do it? NO..Payton do it? NO, eddie george? Tomlinson? Jim Brown?..Anyone else? NO..
oh and oldest rb to win a rushing title.. one of a select few to hold team rushing records for 2 teams
oh yeah and almost 500 catches....

oh and 10th all time rushing yards per game,,more than emmitt etc
 
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tribefan

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lets discuss curtis martin and barry sanders.. they have anything in common?
try 10 years from the start of thier carrer with 1000+ yards.. emmit do it? NO..Payton do it? NO, eddie george? Tomlinson? Jim Brown?..Anyone else? NO..
oh and oldest rb to win a rushing title.. one of a select few to hold team rushing records for 2 teams
oh yeah and almost 500 catches....

oh and 10th all time rushing yards per game,,more than emmitt etc

The other impressive stat was that he played in nearly every game, every season.

Yes, he matched Sanders' for the 1000-yard seasons but that's only because Sanders "let him" match that record. There's no fair comparison to Sanders, certainly not Curtis Martin. Sanders was an absolute freak of nature and had he chosen to play longer, he would have reached 20K yards, possibly 25K, and this 1000-yard streak would have reached 15 or more.
 
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katester44

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To me the only two on that list that should get in are Faulk and Tomlinson, all the rest were really good, not transcendent and really good shoudln't be in the HOF.

The name that bothers me the most on the HOF list is Barry Sanders. Yes, he had tremendous seasons, great skill, etc. But did any "great" player ever hurt his team as much as he did, no RB in history had more negative yardage runs than he did. To me he was more about always trying to break the long run and would take a 6 yard loss rather than a 3 yard gain trying to get it. Maybe the Lions always stunk because they were always in 2nd and 16 rather than 2nd and 5???? Just my opinion and now all you Sanders fans can bash away on me!!!
 

tribefan

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To me the only two on that list that should get in are Faulk and Tomlinson, all the rest were really good, not transcendent and really good shoudln't be in the HOF.

The name that bothers me the most on the HOF list is Barry Sanders. Yes, he had tremendous seasons, great skill, etc. But did any "great" player ever hurt his team as much as he did, no RB in history had more negative yardage runs than he did. To me he was more about always trying to break the long run and would take a 6 yard loss rather than a 3 yard gain trying to get it. Maybe the Lions always stunk because they were always in 2nd and 16 rather than 2nd and 5???? Just my opinion and now all you Sanders fans can bash away on me!!!

Interesting insight on Sanders. I don't think he was looking to break the big one... those just happened! Certainly he wasn't big-headed (no more than any pro athlete) - he would simply flip the ball to the ref when he reached the end zone and would humbly celebrate with his teammates on the sideline. The media has labeled him selfish.

Negative yardage was always what the critics would point to when looking at a fault. It seemed to be a search for something negative. How can a player be held responsible for only gaining 140 yards on the day when he could have had 160 had he not gotten stuffed a few times? He made the Lions successful (they did nothing for two decades before him and nothing since). If he ever had talent around him, they could have won much more.

I have similar feelings about who should and shouldn't be in the HOF. I conceded C-Mart after reviewing his career in numbers (he did it quietly - amazing when you consider it was NY - I guess his teams were mostly average at best).

But, how can you exclude Bettis? Numbers aside, the running game is what defined the Steelers of late-90s to mid-00s (long before Bettis, too, of course). Those weren't average teams and he was the offense.
 
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mj23bullsfan

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pure running, gotta give it to jim brown. he was fast, strong and had the endurance.

payton was by far the best OVERALL running back. he caught passes, threw passes, had some hidden speed, could juke with the best of them, had the very best straight arm in the business, and oh, he returned kickoffs in his first year or two for around 30 yds per.

he could also kick and punt.

paul
 

DaNotoriousNIC

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You can't even begin to compare Curtis to Barry on any level, the man would probably still be running 1,000+ today if he still played. Curtis did put up the numbers and was very consistant but when I watched him play nothing ever screamed at me he was on of the best running backs ever.
4 Curtis Martin 14,101 I'd say maybe but not right away
5 Jerome Bettis 13,662 Yes
8 LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 12,490 Maybe, has to put up some decent numbers this year though for me to say yes
10 Marshall Faulk 12,279 Yes
11 EDGERRIN JAMES 12,246 No unless he has a few more good seasons
15 FRED TAYLOR 11,540 No
17 Corey Dillon 11,241 No
19 Warrick Dunn 10,967 No
20 Ricky Watters 10,643 No
21 JAMAL LEWIS 10,607 No, would be a shoe in if he hadn't fell off the face of the earth after that huge season.
22 Tiki Barber 10,449 No
23 Eddie George 10,441 No
24 Ottis Anderson 10,273 No
 

cjay101

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I think 'easy' cutoff is after Edge James. He's the last one I'd let in from that list...Taylor, can't see it.
 

DaNotoriousNIC

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To me the only two on that list that should get in are Faulk and Tomlinson, all the rest were really good, not transcendent and really good shoudln't be in the HOF.

The name that bothers me the most on the HOF list is Barry Sanders. Yes, he had tremendous seasons, great skill, etc. But did any "great" player ever hurt his team as much as he did, no RB in history had more negative yardage runs than he did. To me he was more about always trying to break the long run and would take a 6 yard loss rather than a 3 yard gain trying to get it. Maybe the Lions always stunk because they were always in 2nd and 16 rather than 2nd and 5???? Just my opinion and now all you Sanders fans can bash away on me!!!

How many times was it Scott Mitchell ran around in the backfield and lost 10 plus yards instead of throwing the ball away? I don't think that you got to watch Barry play week in and week out. The Lions offensive line has always been sub par, its not a shocker that he lost yards here and there. Whats more shocking is the fact he even did what he did. Barry was the team, yeah Herman Moore and Brett Perriman were a good combo for a bit but even then, Barry is the sole reason that offense did anything really. Barry quit at his prime, he didn't care about records, didn't even want them. He didn't even want the spotlight or attention that he got. He was just there to play the game and do his best. Just a shame he quit when he did because had he shattered Payton's record instead of mysteriously quitting you wouldn't care about how many yards he lost.
 
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