Buried in the year-end stats

Russell Wilson finished with 849 rushing yards this season, fifth most by a quarterback in modern pro football history (read: since 1950). Here are all the QBs who rushed for 600 or more. (Note: Joe Geri doesn’t really belong because he was single-wing tailback with the 1950 Steelers – and ran more than he threw.)

What’s been less noticed is that Wilson tied for 16th in the whole league in rushing. That’s the highest any quarterback has ranked since 1990. Indeed, only 10 times since ’50 has a QB cracked the Top 20. The list:

NFL QUARTERBACKS WHO FINISHED IN THE TOP 20 IN RUSHING (SINCE 1950)

Year Quarterback, Team Att Yds Avg TD Rank
2014 Russell Wilson, Seahawks 118 849 7.2 6 T16th
2012 Robert Griffin III, Redskins 120 815 6.8 7 20th
1990 Randall Cunningham, Eagles 118 942 8.0 5 9th
1972 Bobby Douglass, Bears 141 968 6.9 8 12th
1953 Bobby Layne, Lions* 87 343 3.9 0 20th
1952 Bobby Layne, Lions* 94 411 4.4 1 9th
1952 Charlie Trippi, Cardinals 72 350 4.9 4 16th
1951 Tobin Rote, Packers 76 523 6.9 3 8th
1951 Charlie Trippi, Cardinals 78 501 6.4 4 9th
1950 Johnny Lujack, Bears 87 397 6.3 11 19th

*won title

In the early ’50s, as you can see, the NFL went through a phase with quarterbacks that was lot like the current one. Layne, Trippi (a former halfback), Rote and Lujack were also major running threats. In fact, Layne won two championships playing that way.

Where is Michael Vick, you ask? Surprisingly, Vick never finished higher than 21st in rushing (in 2006, when he gained a career-high — and league record — 1,039 yards for the Falcons). It’s a reflection of The Decline of the Running Game that Wilson can rush for 849 and end up tied for 16th. Just think: He would have been the leading rusher (or tied for the lead) on 17 teams.

Source: pro-football-reference.com

The Seahawks' Russell Wilson tied for 16th in the NFL in rushing, the highest a  QB has ranked since this guy in 1990.

The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson tied for 16th in the NFL in rushing, the highest a QB has ranked since this guy in 1990.