Tag Archives: history

History of the Career Rushing Yards Record

Seemingly every offseason for the last half decade, Adrian Peterson has made slow-news-day headlines by reiterating his goal of breaking Emmitt Smith‘s career rushing yards record. Normally, this notion would be dismissed. However, given Peterson’s production to date, in concert with his remarkable physical conditioning and recovery ability, his words hold more weight than those of other backs.1 While Peterson’s goal pops up in the news every now and then, the history of the record itself is rarely covered. We’ll see an offhand remark about…

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1970s NFL Offenses

If you’ve been following along, you know that I am exploring NFL offenses by the decade. Yes, a decade is an arbitrary constraint to set on something like this, but when put together as a whole, this series weaves a rich tapestry that highlights the evolution of offensive football at the major professional level. We’ve seen how offensive output rapidly increased in the thirties and forties before experiencing a more gradual increase in the fifties and sixties. We’ve also examined the ways in which the…

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AFL Offenses

Regulars know that I am in the middle of a series in the history of NFL offenses.1 Over the long course of the league’s history, only two rivals have ever seriously challenged the NFL – both enough to force an eventual merger. As I did with the All American Football Conference, I am giving the American Football League its own article, separate from the NFL. Much like the AAFC before it, the AFL was known as a far more offensively oriented league than the contemporary…

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1960s NFL Offenses

If you’ve been following along, you know I’m in the middle of a series on NFL offense in each decade.1 Generally, offenses that gain a lot of yards and score a lot of points are held in the highest regard in our collective memory. Winning titles and fielding a few Hall of Famers doesn’t hurt either. My approach, however, is to focus more on teams who were efficient over a large volume of plays. As usual, I am using Total Adjusted Yards as my primary…

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AAFC Offenses

Earlier this week, I looked at the NFL offenses of the 1940s. However, the NFL was not the only major football league during this time. The upstart All America Football Conference capitalized on the NFL’s wartime talent drought and built a league reputable enough to poach NFL stars, coaches, and fans, and ultimately force a merger. Although the NFL does not officially recognize AAFC stats, wins, or championships,1 the league was arguably far closer to the NFL than the early AFL ever was. AAFC owners…

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1940s NFL Offenses

Last week, I looked at 1930s NFL offenses, highlighting the top performing teams and noting the offensive contributions of league champions. Today, I’m going to discuss 1940s NFL offenses before moving on to the AAFC later in the week.¬†The NFL does not recognize the statistics, records, or achievements from the AAFC, so I am not going to either (in this post). The NFL offenses of the 1940s have a unique place in the league’s history. In the early part of the decade, rosters were depleted…

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1930s NFL Offenses

I am of the belief that we as fans don’t think about, talk about, learn about, or even hear about the earliest years of the NFL. Sure, we’ll see some grainy footage of Johnny Unitas throwing a bomb to John Mackey or Bart Starr sealing the deal with a QB sneak, but most pre-Joe Namath¬†events are out of sight out of mind.1 Today, I’m going to go back to the decade in which Unitas and Starr were born and look at the offensive performances of…

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