Career Yardage Leaders – Running Backs Who Surpass Quarterbacks


Yard production, as produced by the quarterback and running back positions is usually separated by a decent amount. A great game by a quarterback is usually thought to have been a 300+ yard performance, just as a successful quarterback season is noted by the passing of 3,000 yards or more. On the other hand, running backs are considered successful when they put up about one third the yards that quarterbacks do. A running back usually targets a 100 yard game and a thousand yard season as signs of success. So it follows logic that each team’s record holder for career passing yards would have more yards that each team’s record holder for career rushing yards.

For example, the Denver Broncos:

Career Passing Leader: John Elway, 51,475 yards

Career Rushing Leader: Terrell Davis, 7,607 yards

But, are there any teams in the league that has a career rushing leader who has more yardage than their career passing leader?

Well, the answer is yes – but we wouldn’t have really asked the question if there hadn’t been at least one, right?

Two of the current 32 teams in the NFL have a career rushing leader with more yards than their career passing leader.

Team number one: The Baltimore Ravens

Career Passing Leader: Kyle Boller, 7,555 yards

Career Rushing Leader: Jamal Lewis, 7,801 yards

This situation will most likely change as Jamal Lewis now plays for the Cleveland Browns, while Kyle Boller continues to play in Baltimore.

Team number two The Chicago Bears

Career Passing Leader: Sid Luckman, 14,686 yards

Career Rushing Leader: Walter Payton, 16,726 yards

This one is also easy to explain, but will most likely not change anytime soon. The Bears have never been a primarily passing team and Payton was their starting running back for a number of years before retiring as the NFL’s career rushing leader.

One other team is close to this mark, but doesn’t quite qualify.

The Detroit Lions

Career Passing Leader: Bobby Layne, 15,710 yards

Career Rushing Leader: Barry Sanders, 15,269 yards

If Barry Sanders had not retired earlier than expected, he would have easily gained another 442 yards and thrown Detroit in with Baltimore and Chicago.

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