The New Orleans Saints came into the National Football League in 1966 and like most expansion teams had some tough years in the beginning. Since then though they have had a good mix of successful years and years that were more of a struggle.
Like every team in the NFL, the Saints have relied on running backs over the years. Lucky for them, they have had some very good ones in their history too. Here is a look at some of the all time great New Orleans Saints running backs.
The Best For A Career
The all time leading rusher for the Saints is running back Deuce McAllister. He played for the team from 2001 to 2008 and during that time ran for 6,096 yards. That’s almost 2,000 yards more than the second place player on that list, Dalton Hilliard. McAllister is also at the top of the list in rushing touchdowns scored with 49, again Hilliard is in second place, this time with 39 scores of his own. The running back with the highest average yards per carry, with 300 minimum career rushing attempts, is Pierre Thomas at 5.1. Thomas is eclipsed in this category, just not by a running back. Former quarterback Archie Manning carried the ball 357 times for 2,058 yards, an average of 5.8 yards per carry.
The Best For A Season
No New Orleans Saints running back has rushed for more yards in one season than George Rogers. In 1981, Rogers put up 1,674 yards. McAllister missed taking this spot in the team record books by just 34 yards in 2003 when he ran the ball for 1,641 yards. Three players are tied for the team record for most rushing touchdowns scored in one season at 13. George Rogers accomplished this in that same 1981 season, Dalton Hilliard equaled that mark in 1989, and then Deuce McAllister joined them at 13 in 2002. When it comes to the highest average yards per carry over the course of one season, with a minimum of 150 rushing attempts, Chuck Muncie tops the list. In 1979, Muncie carried the ball 238 times for 1,198 yards and an average of 5.0 yards per carry.
The Best For A Game
In a 28-17 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1983, George Rogers set the all time record for rushing yards in one game for the Saints when he put up 206 yards. In 1986, Rueben Mayes came close to taking that mark for himself when he ran for 203 yards in a 31-27 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Eight different Saints players are tied for the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game at three, but no player has done it twice. Those players are Mario Bates, Reggie Bush, Rueben Mayes, Deuce McAllister, Chuck Muncie, George Rogers, Ricky Williams, and Wayne Wilson. The single game record for highest yards per carry average in one game, with at least ten carries, is held by Tony Galbreath. In a 1976 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Galbreath carried the ball 14 times for 146 yards or an average of 10.43 yards per carry. Two other running backs put up over ten yards per carry averages in a game for the team. Gill Fenerty carried the ball ten times for 104 yards in a 1990 win over the Rams and Hokie Gajan carried the ball 11 times for 113 yards in a loss against the New York Jets.