Rookie Sensation

In 1983, future Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson established the NFL mark for rushing yards by a rookie . Drafted second overall that year among a first round dominated by quarterbacks, Dickerson became an instant star.

Nine times during his rookie season, he rushed for more than 100 yards highlighted by a season-high 199 yards against the Detroit Lions in Week 5. By season’s end, his 1,808 yards not only ranked as the most ever by a rookie rusher but it was the sixth highest season rushing total ever at that time. Only O.J. Simpson (1973, 1975), Earl Campbell (1980), Jim Brown (1963), and Walter Payton (1977) had more yards rushing in a single season than what Dickerson amassed during his fabulous rookie campaign. Of course, Dickerson raised the bar the following season when he established the NFL record of 2,105 yards, a mark that still stands today.

Here is the game-by-game breakdown for the Dickerson’s record-setting rookie season.

New York Giants
31
91
24
0
New Orleans Saints
18
88
20
3
Green Bay Packers
20
75
12
1
New York Jets
28
192
85t
2
Detroit Lions
30
199
20
3
San Francisco 49ers
22
142
49
1
Atlanta Falcons
29
64
9
2
San Francisco 49ers
25
144
24
0
Miami Dolphins
14
101
40
1
Chicago Bears
34
127
16
2
Atlanta Falcons
21
146
37
2
Washington Redskins
12
37
11
0
Buffalo Bills
32
125
12
1
Philadelphia Eagles
28
103
22
0
New England Patriots
27
94
14
0
New Orleans Saints
19
80
15
0
Total
390
1,808
85t
18

 
Progression of a Record - Rushing Yards, Rookie Season

1,808 – Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983)
1,674 – George Rogers, New Orleans Saints (1981)
1,605 – Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (1979)
1,450 – Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers (1978)
1,162 – Don Woods, San Diego Chargers (1974)
1,105 – John Brockington, Green Bay Packers (1971)
1,023 – Paul Robinson, Cincinnati Bengals (1968)
1,004 – Beattie Feathers, Chicago Bears (1934)


Dickerson, Eric
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