NFL Single Season Rushing Yards Leaders

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson came so close to breaking Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. In his last game of the season, Peterson rushed for 199 yards, coming within 9 yards of breaking the record.

After an impressive rookie season in 1983 (1,808 rushing yards), Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams broke out in his sophomore season for 2,105 rushing yards on 379 carries. His 2,105 single season rushing yards total, still stands over 25 years later. Jamal Lewis came within 50 yards back in 2003.

Only 6 players in the history of the NFL have rushed for over 2,000 yards in a season; Eric Dickerson, Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Chris Johnson, and OJ Simpson.

Rk Player Team Yards Year
1 Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams 2,105 1984
2 ** Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings 2,097 2012
3 Jamal Lewis Baltimore Ravens 2,066 2003
4 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions 2,053 1997
5 Terrell Davis Denver Broncos 2,008 1998
6 Chris Johnson Tennessee Titans 2,006 2009
7 O.J. Simpson Buffalo Bills 2,003 1973
8 Earl Campbell Houston Oilers 1,934 1980
T9 Ahman Green Green Bay Packers 1,883 2003
  Barry Sanders Detroit Lions 1,883 1994
11 Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks 1,880 2005
12 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns 1,863 1963
13 Tiki Barber New York Giants 1,860 2005
14 Ricky Williams Miami Dolphins 1,853 2002
15 Walter Payton Chicago Bears 1,852 1977
16 Jamal Anderson Atlanta Falcons 1,846 1998
17 Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams 1,821 1986
18 O.J. Simpson Buffalo Bills 1,817 1975
19 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers 1,815 2006
20 Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams 1,808 1983
21 Larry Johnson Kansas City Chiefs 1,789 2006
22 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys 1,773 1995
23 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings 1,760 2008
24 Marcus Allen Los Angeles Raiders 1,759 1985
T25 Larry Johnson Kansas City Chiefs 1,750 2005
  Terrell Davis Denver Broncos 1,750 1997
27 Gerald Riggs Atlanta Falcons 1,719 1985
28 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys 1,713 1992
29 Edgerrin James Indianapolis Colts 1,709 2000
30 Michael Turner Atlanta Falcons 1,699 2008
T31 Curtis Martin New York Jets 1,697 2004
  Earl Campbell Houston Oilers 1,697 1979
33 Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks 1,696 2004
34 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers 1,695 2006
35 Barry Foster Pittsburgh Steelers 1,690 1992
36 Walter Payton Chicago Bears 1,684 1984
37 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers 1,683 2002
38 George Rogers New Orleans Saints 1,674 1981
39 Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers 1,665 1997
40 Tiki Barber New York Giants 1,662 2006
41 Eric Dickerson Indianapolis Colts 1,659 1988
42 Tony Dorsett Dallas Cowboys 1,646 1981
43 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers 1,645 2003
44 Deuce McAllister New Orleans Saints 1,641 2003
45 Corey Dillon New England Patriots 1,635 2004
46 Arian Foster Houton Texans 1,616 2010
47 Priest Holmes Kansas City Chiefs 1,615 2002
48 Walter Payton Chicago Bears 1,610 1979
49 Ottis Anderson St. Louis Cardinals 1,605 1979

** Updated Dec. 30th, 2012


All-Time Leaders – Offense Single Season Leaders – Offense Defense Leaders
Total Passing Yards Passing Yards All-Time Interception
Touchdown Passes Touchdown Passes Single Season Interceptions
Rushing Yards Rushing Yards Interception Return Yards
Receiving Yards Rushing Touchdowns All Time Sacks
Touchdowns (RB and WR) Receiving Yards Single Season Sacks
  Receiving Touchdowns  
  • Nick Cekinovich

    Don’t forget, OJ did it in 14 games, not 16.

  • haha

    don’t forget oj did it period …lol

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