Thanks to the Cardinals’ uncooperative defense in Week 9, DeMarco Murray’s quest to be the first NFL back to rush for 100 yards in every game of a season has been quashed. That said, 100 yards — as nice and round a number as it is — is still just a number. Would it surprise you to learn that no back has rushed for even 75 yards in all of his team’s games? I mention this because the Cowboys’ Murray had 79 against Arizona, so the feat is still within reach.
Indeed, only two other backs have gotten as far as DeMarco has — 75-plus rushing yards in each of the first 10 games. They are: Terrell Davis with the 1997 Broncos and Edgerrin James with the 2005 Colts. (Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson didn’t even do it the years they broke the single-season rushing record.)
Sure, 75 yards is as arbitrary as 100, but it might be considered, at the very least, a “quality start.” Gaining that many yards week in and week out shows a fairly high level of consistency, does it not? Here are the backs who’ve come closest to doing it in every game of a season:
MOST GAMES WITH 75 OR MORE RUSHING YARDS, SEASON
|Year||Running back, Team||75+||Low Game|
|2004||Corey Dillon, Patriots||15||79 vs. Bills|
|2011||Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars||15||63 vs. Texans|
|2012||Adrian Peterson, Vikings||15||60 vs. Colts|
|2008||Adrian Peterson, Vikings||15||32 vs. Saints|
|2003||Jamal Lewis, Ravens||14||68 vs. Jaguars|
|1985||Marcus Allen, Raiders||14||50 vs. Chiefs|
|2012||Alfred Morris, Redskins||14||47 vs. Vikings|
|2012||Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks||14||41 vs. Patriots|
|1984||Eric Dickerson, Rams||14||38 vs. 49ers|
|1983||Eric Dickerson, Rams||14||37 vs. Redskins|
|2009||Chris Johnson, Titans||14||34 vs. Colts|
|1992||Barry Foster, Steelers||14||25 vs. Bears|
|1997||Barry Sanders, Lions||14||20 vs. Bucs|
|1973||O.J. Simpson, Bills||13*||55 vs. Dolphins|
*14- game season (so only once did he fall below the 75-yard threshold).
If you’re confused by Dillon’s line, let me explain: He missed a game that season. In the other 15, he rushed for 75 or more yards (gaining, on his worst day, 79 against Buffalo in Week 3. So he rushed for 75+ in every one of his games but not in every one of New England’s games.
Regardless, it’s an impressive accomplishment. Consider: The Patriots went 17-1 (postseason included) in the games Dillon played, capped by their Super Bowl win over the Eagles. And in the one they lost — 29-28 to the Dolphins — they blew an 11-point lead in the last three minutes. That’s how close he came to a perfect season. You’d have to think his utter reliability had something to do with it.