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Greatest Running Backs of All Time - peak skills over 3-5 year stretch (not on longevity)

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Greatest Running Backs of All Time - peak skills over 3-5 year stretch (not on longevity)

Who is the Greatest Running Backs of All Time?
Not based on career longevity but based on their peak skills over a few year period
My picks:
1. Barry Sanders
2. Jim Brown
3. Adrian Peterson
5. Walter Payton
5. OJ Simpson
Barry Sanders followed by Frank Gore.
Based on this criteria I think an underrated candidate would be Jamal Charles. If he didn't have injuries he would have finished his career with the best YPC of all time and technically he still does have the highest YPC of any RB cause Motley was a FB.

Maybe not the GOAT but him and Faulk were the two best RBs I got to watch live.

Originally posted by Waterbear:
Based on this criteria I think an underrated candidate would be Jamal Charles. .. he still does have the highest YPC of any RB cause Motley was a FB.

Charles was very great, kinda like Gale Sayers. Extremely fast and elusive and he broke off a lot of long runs.

But he had a few weaknesses (like Sayers) in that he wasn't a tough runner, he was more of a finesse runner. Guys like Earl Campbell for example didn't have the YPC but they punished defenses and wore them down. Got a lot of first downs and TD's and by the 4th quarter the defense would be gassed and just give up. Same is true to some degree for Jim Brown, Adrian Peterson, Bo Jackson and even OJ and Walter Payton and most of the guys on this list.

But you are right, Jamaal Charles was great.
I think Adrian Peterson is underrated. He had two season stolen from him in the prime of his career which if played would have been another ~2000 yards and that would put him just below Emmitt Smith for career rushing yards and touchdowns. Had one of the best seasons ever and won MVP
Originally posted by Waterbear:
Based on this criteria I think an underrated candidate would be Jamal Charles. If he didn't have injuries he would have finished his career with the best YPC of all time and technically he still does have the highest YPC of any RB cause Motley was a FB.

Maybe not the GOAT but him and Faulk were the two best RBs I got to watch live.


Shanny's dream RB. The dudes he handpicks are often in the mold of a poor man's Jamaal Charles--6-0, 200 lbs, run tall like sprinters and are fast as f**k.(Joe Williams, Raheem Mostert, etc.)
Not many people were old enough to have seen Jim Brown play in the 50's and 60's. Those who did rank him #1.
Payton, Sanders, Brown are all #1 in my book. Case can be made for each.

I'm a huge Bo Jackson fan but I wouldn't put him above Sayers. Bo whole career is a bunch of "what if" and he never broke 1000 yards rushing. He had the potential to be an all time great considering he didn't practice football nor was it his first love (baseball)

I think you also put too much emphasis on power running. Yes they wore down defenses but the finesse runners scored lots of points and wore down
defenses in their own way.

As much as I hate to say it Emmit belongs somewhere in the lattter part of the top 10. Yes he had a long career and yes he ran behind a great line but to last that long and to be the rushing champ takes skill. Nobody else has done what he has done.
Jamal Lewis also had a couple of amazing seasons. The year he had 2000 was something. Dude was huge and ran like a deer.

But just going by a 4 or 5 year stretch, then its Ladanian (idk hows he not on this list) Best RB of the modern era. 10K yards his first 7 seasons.
[ Edited by TheGore49er on May 22, 2020 at 7:28 AM ]

Sanders then everyone else
B Sanders, Sweetness, Ladanian T, E Dickerson for the players that I saw. Bo was great for a couple of years. Ed James, Speedster Chris Johnson, Charles ..so many of them.
[ Edited by frankieuc68 on May 22, 2020 at 7:52 AM ]
Originally posted by frankieuc68:
B Sanders, Sweetness, Ladanian T, E Dickerson for the players that I saw. Bo was great for a couple of years. Ed James, Speedster Chris Johnson, Charles ..so many of them.

Nah homie I'm not with you on those
Priest Holmes was pretty dope too.
Terrell Davis had such a good 3 year stretch it got him in the Hall.
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