Best rushing teams of the Super Bowl Era

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Mar 09, 2008



Here's a look at the greatest rushing attacks in of the Super Bowl Era, based upon average yards per attempt. It includes the 19 teams of the era that averaged more than 5.0 YPA over the course of a season, along with two that came desperately close to reaching the magical 5.0 mark.
 
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. Not one of the greatest ground attacks of the Super Bowl Era won the big game. And only one, the 1966 Chiefs of the AFL, even reached the Super Bowl.
 
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. For example, the 2007 Vikings were one of the best teams of the Super Bowl Era running the ball and stopping the run on defense. Yet they finished just 8-8.
 
By contrast, the great passing teams have been far more successful than the great running teams. 
 
 
GREATEST RUSHING OFFENSES of SUPER BOWL ERA (by YPA)
 
Team
Record
Att.
Yards
Avg.
1
1997 Lions
9-7 (lost WC)
447
2464
5.512
2
2006 Falcons
7-9
537
2939
5.473
3
2007 Vikings
8-8
494
2634
5.332
4
2002 Vikings
6-10
473
2507
5.300
5
1984 Rams
10-6 (lost WC)
541
2864
5.294
6
1990 Lions
6-10
366
1927
5.265
7
1966 Browns
9-5
415
2166
5.219
8
1998 49ers
12-4 (lost div. playoff)
491
2544
5.181
9
2002 Chiefs
8-8
462
2378
5.147
10
2003 Chargers
4-12
417
2146
5.146
11
1994 Lions
9-7 (lost WC)
406
2080
5.123
12
1973 Bills
9-5
605
3088
5.104
13
2004 Falcons
11-5 (lost NFC title)
524
2672
5.099
14
1966 Chiefs (AFL)
11-2-1 (lost SB)
448
2274
5.076
15
1972 Steelers
11-3 (lost AFC title)
497
2520
5.070
16
1975 Bills
8-6
588
2974
5.058
17
2003 Packers
10-6 (lost. div. playoff)
507
2558
5.045
18
1985 Colts
5-11
485
2439
5.029
19
1999 49ers
4-12
418
2095
5.012
20
1971 Dolphins
10-3-1 (lost SB)
486
2429
4.998
21
1976 Patriots
11-3 (lost div. playoff)
591
2948
4.988
 

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