When a running back has a great game, it is usually assumed he has broken the 100 yard mark. A particularly great performance might even see the running back game more than 150 yards. Some running backs even go over the 200 yard mark in a game and that is generally considered to be a dominant performance.
It seems natural to believe that when a running back has one of these dominant performances, that they also score a fair amount of touchdowns. That is not always the case though. Here we are going to take a look at the top ten rushing performances in NFL history that resulted in no touchdowns being scored.
#8 (tie) – December 18th, 1960
John David Crow of the St. Louis Cardinals carried the ball 24 times for 203 yards and no touchdowns. The Cardinals would win that game 38-7 over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
#8 (tie) – December 28th, 2002
New York Giants running back Tiki Barber would carry the ball 32 times and also rush for 203 yards without scoring a touchdown. The Giants would win the game 10-7 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
#6 – November 16th, 1980
Earl Campbell appears on the list for a second time thanks to his performance in a 10-6 Oilers win over the Bears that happened just over a month after he’d rushed for more than 200 yards without a touchdown the first time. This time he amassed 206 yards on 31 carries.
#5 – November 4th, 1984
Eric Dickerson ran for 208 yards on 21 carries in a 16-13 victory for the Los Angeles Rams over the Cardinals. He scored a lot of touchdowns that season, but none in this game.
#3 – September 24th, 1990
Right in the middle of his team’s run of dominance over the AFC, Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 214 yards and no touchdowns in a 30-7 win over the New York Jets. In doing so, he would average 11.89 yards per carry.
#2 – December 21st, 2008
The Giants are the only team to have two different players on this list. In a 34-28 win over the Carolina Panthers in 2008, running back Derrick Ward carried the ball 15 times for 215 yards and no touchdowns. This gave him an amazing 14.33 yards per carry average.
#1 – November 13th, 1994
One of the greatest running backs in NFL history is also on this list. Barry Sanders helped the Detroit Lions to a 14-9 win over the Buccaneers when he carried the ball 26 times for 237 yards, even though he failed to get into the end zone.
Included in the group of players that have done this are five different members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, and Thurman Thomas.
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