Below is a look at the careers of the NFL’s top five all-time rushers. And the one thing these guys had in common is that they were all amazingly consistent. Four of the five rushers had at least eight straight seasons of 1,000 yards, and three had streaks of at least 10 seasons. And the fifth, Walter Payton, had 1,000 yards in 10 of 11 years at one point.
But Barry Sanders was the most consistent of the bunch because he did not tail off at the end. Sanders retired from the NFL at the age of 30 following a 1,500 yard season, and less than 1,500 yards behind Walter Payton, who at the time was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. The other four guys all had at least one season with less than 800 yards at the end of their careers.
So while many wonder how many yards Sanders could have gained if hadn’t retired, maybe he got out at the right time…
Data via Pro-Football-Reference.com
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