Best rushing offenses in NFL history

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Mar 09, 2008



Heres's a look at the greatest rushing attacks in NFL history, based upon average yards per attempt. It includes all 32 teams that averaged more than 5.0 YPA over the course of a season, dating back to 1934, the first year that this data is available.
 
The 2007 Vikings, led by rookie phenom Adrian Peterson, finished No. 6 all time, with an average of 5.332 YPA.
 
Click here for a complete wrap-up of the topic. The one big thing that jumps out from this list is that few of these teams were particularly dominant. Only 13 of the 32 teams on the list made the playoffs, just one won an NFL championship and two won AFL championships. This list, in other words, defies the conventional wisdom that running the ball well is a key to success in the NFL. If this conventional wisdom was correct you'd expect the greatest running teams of all time to have shown far more success.
 
By contrast, the great passing teams have been far more successful than the great running teams. 
 
 
GREATEST GROUND ATTACKS in NFL HISTORY (by YPA)
 
Team
Record
Att.
Yards
Avg.
1
1963 Browns
10-4
460
2639
5.737
2
1954 49ers
7-4-1
442
2498
5.652
3
1963 Chargers (AFL)
11-3 (won AFL Title)
395
2201
5.572
4
1997 Lions
9-7 (lost WC)
447
2464
5.512
5
2006 Falcons
7-9
537
2939
5.473
6
2007 Vikings
8-8
494
2634
5.332
7
1958 Browns
9-3 (lost div. playoff)
475
2526
5.318
8
2002 Vikings
6-10
473
2507
5.300
9
1984 Rams
10-6 (lost WC)
541
2864
5.294
10
1990 Lions
6-10
366
1927
5.265
11
1966 Browns
9-5
415
2166
5.219
12
1951 Rams
8-4 (won NFL title)
426
2210
5.188
13
1998 49ers
12-4 (lost div. playoff)
491
2544
5.181
14
1956 Rams
4-8
384
1978
5.151
15
2002 Chiefs
8-8
462
2378
5.147
16
2003 Chargers
4-12
417
2146
5.146
17
1994 Lions
9-7 (lost WC)
406
2080
5.123
18
1973 Bills
9-5
605
3088
5.104
19
2004 Falcons
11-5 (lost NFC title)
524
2672
5.099
20
1956 Colts
5-7
432
2202
5.097
21
1966 Chiefs (AFL)
11-2-1 (lost SB)
448
2274
5.076
22
1972 Steelers
11-3 (lost AFC title)
497
2520
5.070
23
1975 Bills
8-6
588
2974
5.058
24
2003 Packers
10-6 (lost. div. playoff)
507
2558
5.045
25
1953 Rams
8-3-1
426
2148
5.042
26
1960 Browns
8-3-1
383
1930
5.039
27
1953 49ers
9-3
443
2230
5.034
28
1985 Colts
5-11
485
2439
5.029
29
1958 Rams
8-4
345
1734
5.026
30
1962 Texans (AFL)
11-3 (won AFL title)
479
2407
5.025
31
1934 Bears
13-0 (lost NFL title)
567
2847
5.021
32
1999 49ers
4-12
418
2095
5.012

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