Top 20 feature rushing - start of 2002

01/01/2005







Top 20 Rushing

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Marshall Faulk (Photo: Associated Press)
Marshall Faulk entered the Top 20 rushers of all-time and climbed to 16th by the end of the season. (Photo: Associated Press)

The Top 20 rushers list included three new running backs by Week 5 of the 2001 season. The St. Louis Rams' Marshall Faulk entered in the second week of the year, Terry Allen of the Ravens climbed to Top 20 status in Week 4, and the New York Jets' Curtis Martin joined them one week later.

Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys established a new NFL mark with his 11th straight 1,000-yard season. Smith rushed for 1,021 yards in 2001 and now trails Walter Payton, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, by 539 yards.

Faulk recorded his seventh 1,000-yard season rushing in eight years as he gained 1,382 yards on 260 carries, and 12 touchdowns. He ranks as the game's 16th all-time leading rusher. Martin has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his seven seasons as a pro including a career-high 1,513 yards this past season. He is now the 18th ranked ground gainer of all-time with 9,267 yards. Allen joined the Ravens in 2001 and added 658 yards in 11 games to his career total. He finished the year in 19th place.

Other active rushers in the Top 20 include Jerome Bettis (No. 12), and Ricky Watters (No. 13).

Leading Lifetime Rushers

(At the Start of 2002 Season)

Rank Player League Yrs Att Yds Avg TD
1 (1) Walter Payton* NFL 13 3,838 16,726 4.4 110
2 (3) EMMITT SMITH NFL 12 3,798
16,187 4.3 148
3 (2) Barry Sanders NFL 10 3,062 15,269 5.0 99
4 (4) Eric Dickerson* NFL 11 2,996 13,259 4.4 90
5 (5) Tony Dorsett* NFL 12 2,936 12,739 4.3 77
6 (6) Jim Brown* NFL 9 2,359 12,312 5.2 106
7 (7) Marcus Allen NFL 16 3,022 12,243 4.1 123
8 (8) Franco Harris* NFL 13 2,949 12,120 4.1 91
9 (9) Thurman Thomas NFL 13 2,877 12,074 4.2 65
10 (10) John Riggins* NFL 14 2,916 11,352 3.9 104
11 (11) O.J. Simpson* AFL-NFL 11 2,404 11,236 4.7 61
12 (14) JEROME BETTIS NFL 9 2,686
10,876 4.0 53
13 (12) RICKY WATTERS NFL 10 2,622 10,643 4.1 78
14 (13) O.J. Anderson NFL 14 2,562 10,273 4.0 81
15 (15) Joe Perry* AAFC-NFL 16 1,929 9,723 5.0 71
16 (--) MARSHALL FAULK NFL 8 2,155 9,442 4.4 79
17 (16) Earl Campbell* NFL 8 2,187 9,407 4.3 74
18 (--) CURTIS MARTIN NFL 7 2,343 9,267 4.0 64
19 (--) TERRY ALLEN NFL 10 2,152 8,614 4.0 73
20 (17) Jim Taylor* NFL 10 1,941 8,597 4.4 83

2001 Notes:
Marshall Faulk entered the Top 20 in Week 2. Terry Allen entered the Top 20 in Week 4. Curtis Martin entered the Top 20 in Week 5. Roger Craig (1,991 carries for 8,189 yards, 56 TDs), Herschel Walker (1,954 carries for 8,225 yards, 61 TDs), and Earnest Byner (2,095 carries for 8,261 yards, 56 TDs) were displaced from the Top 20.

Next in Line:
Players active in 2001 who rank closest to a Top Twenty ranking: Eddie George (7,813) and Terrell Davis (7,607).

*
Pro Football Hall of Fame Member
( ) — Indicates Rank at the Start of the 2001 Season
ACTIVE IN 2001

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