Bob LeGere’s “Team for the Ages” — Running Backs

March 22, 2018

Here are the running backs Bob LeGere selected for his ” Team for the Ages.”

Barry Sanders

With his unparalleled ability to change direction and elude tacklers, Sanders was a threat to score -- or at least do something amazing -- every time he touched the ball.

Sanders rushed for over 1,300 yards in each of his 10 seasons, except when he missed five games in 1993, and even then, he still rushed for 1,115 yards. There were no dips or lulls in Sanders’ career because he retired when he was just 30, still in a prime that was as spectacular as anyone’s. In his final season, the 5-foot-8, 203-pound Sanders rushed for 1,491 yards. The previous year he posted career highs of 2,053 rushing yards, 6.1-yard average per carry and 2,358 yards from scrimmage.

Gale Sayers

No one burned more brightly or flamed out more quicker than the “Kansas Comet.”

He played just five full seasons before devastating knee injuries ended a career that began with arguably the most spectacular rookie season in history, which included an NFL-record 22 touchdowns; six in one game. That was 1965, when Sayers rushed for 14 scores on just 166 carries (5.2-yard average) and had six TDs on 29 receptions, averaging a ridiculous 17.5 yards per catch. He also scored on an 85-yard punt return and a 96-yard kickoff return.

Sayers led the NFL in rushing yards and all-purpose yards three times, and his career 30.6-yard kickoff-return average remains the league record.

Walter Payton

Starting with his second season (1976) and throwing out the 1982 nine-game strike season, “Sweetness” had 10 straight campaigns with more than 1,200 rushing yards, including nine in which he surpassed 1,300, while not missing a single start. Called by many the greatest all-around football player ever, Payton threw eight TD passes on just 34 attempts, and his 492 receptions are a Bears record. His 275-yard rushing performance against the Vikings in 1977 stood as the NFL record for 23 years, and his 16,726 career rushing yards are second only to Emmitt Smith.

Eric Dickerson

No ball carrier ever had a more productive first seven seasons than Dickerson, who piled up 11,298 yards and 82 touchdowns from 1983-89. He led the league in rushing and yards from scrimmage four times in that seven-year span, and he rushed for more than 1,650 yards four times, including his NFL-record 2,105 in 1984.

Dickerson reached 10,000 rushing yards in fewer games (91) than anyone in NFL history -- seven games sooner than the former record holder, Jim Brown.

Now that you’ve seen LeGere’s backfield, it’s time to vote on your “Team for the Ages,” automatically entering you to win a slew of great prizes, including a trip for two to the “Big Game” in Atlanta next year.

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