Over the past dozen years, it seems that about half of the National Football League teams end the season with a 1,000-yard runner.
Last season, 15 teams had a 1,000-yard rusher. The 15 1,000-yard rushers was tied for second lowest number since 1999 when 14 runners gained 1,000 or more yards rushing (there were 15 1,000-yard rushers also in 2009). Most 1,000-yard rushers since 2000? In 2006, there were 23.
The St. Louis Rams, led by Steven Jackson, lead the NFL with seven straight seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher. The Tennessee Titans have a streak of six straight seasons, with Chris Johnson reaching that mark in the past four seasons and a pair of runners accomplishing that mark in two previous years.
A pair of teams last season had their first 1,000-yard rusher in over five years. The Denver Broncos’ Willis McGahee gained 1,199 yards on the ground, giving Denver their first 1,000-yard rusher since Tatum Bell gained 1,025 in 2006. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 1,204 last season, giving the Seahawks their first 1,000-yard runner since 2005 when Shaun Alexander gained 1,880.
Following are the NFL teams that have had a 1,000-yard rusher for two or more consecutive seasons (active):
Year Streak, Team (Rushers)
7: St. Louis Rams (Steven Jackson 2005-2011)
6: Tennessee (Chris Johnson 2008-2011, LenDale White 2007, Travis Henry 2006)
3: Baltimore (Ray Rice 2009-2011)
3: Cincinnati (Cedric Benson 2009-2011)
3: Jacksonville (Maurice Jones-Drew 2009-2011)
2: Atlanta (Michael Turner 2010-2011)
2: Houston (Arian Foster 2010-2011)
2: Philadelphia (LeSean McCoy 2010-2011)
At the other end of the spectrum are the eight teams that have not had a 1,000-yard rusher in the past two seasons… and beyond. The Detroit Lions top this category; they have not had a 1,000-yard runner since 2004.
Which is more likely to happen in the 2012 NFL season?
Following are the teams that have the longest current drought of 1,000-yard rushers:
Last Year with 1,000-Yard Rusher, Team (Last 1,000-Yard Runner)
2004: Detroit (Kevin Jones)
2006: Dallas (Julius Jones)
2006: New Orleans (Deuce McAllister)
2007: Indianapolis (Joseph Addai)
2009: Buffalo (Fred Jackson)
2009: Carolina (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams)
2009: Green Bay (Ryan Grant)
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