(Todd Gurley photos courtesy of St. Louis Rams)
Talk of Fame Network
It took 42 seasons before the NFL witnessed its first 2,000-yard rusher.
O.J. Simpson ended the drought with his 2,003 yards for the Buffalo Bills in 1973 during a 14-game season. There have been six 2,000-yard seasons since then, an average of one every 6.8 seasons.
Adrian Peterson authored the last 2,000-yard season for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, so we could still be a few years away from the next one. We asked our listeners and readers of The Talk of Fame Network in our weekly poll whom the next 2,000-yard rusher would be and rookie halfback Todd Gurley of the St. Louis Rams sprinted away from the pack.
Gurley received 43.5 percent of the vote, followed by Peterson at 30.4 percent, then Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell at 13 percent, LSU sophomore Leonard Fournette at 8.7 percent and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles at 4.3 percent.
Age is working against Peterson. He’s 30 this season and no back in his 30s has ever rushed for 2,000. Simpson became the first to rush for 2,000 at 26 years of age. Eric Dickerson set the NFL regular season record with 2,105 yards at 24 years of age.
Gurley has both age and talent going for him. He left Georgia early to turn pro last spring and became the 10th overall selection of the St. Louis Rams even though he was still rehabilitating a knee injury that ended his final college season in November 2014.
Gurley did not play in the pre-season nor did he suit up for St. Louis in the first two games of the regular season. The Rams finally gave him a taste of NFL action in the third game against Pittsburgh, gaining nine yards on six carries. But in his next two games, both starts, Gurley showed why the Rams were willing to wait on him.
Gurley went on the road against two Super Bowl contenders and topped 140 yards each game. He slapped 146 yards on 19 carries against Arizona and 159 yards on 30 carries against Green Bay. He’s only 21 years of age.
So keep an eye on Gurley. He may have that magic 2,000 in his future.