Walter Payton

RB

“Sweetness”

Walter Payton

13 seasons
16,726 rushing yards
125 total TDs
492 career receptions
77 100-yard games
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13

seasons

16,726

rushing yards

125

total TDs

492

career receptions

77

100-yard games
View full stats

"It’s not about money. It’s not about statistics. It’s about the romance kindled by playing the game the way it was supposed to be played."

Read Walter Payton's Bio

(Jackson State)...5'10'', 200...Walter Jerry Payton . . .First-round pick, 1975 draft. . . Quickly established himself as super star. . .Retired as all-time leader in rushing, combined net yards. . . Career stats: 16,726 yards, 110 TDs rushing; 492 receptions for 4,538 yards; 21,803 combined net yards, 125 touchdowns. . .All-Pro seven times. . .Played in nine Pro Bowls. . . Held single-game rushing record of 275 yards. . . Had 77 games over 100 yards rushing. . .Born July 25, 1954, in Columbia, Mississippi. . . Died November 1, 1999, at age of 45.

BIO

Walter Payton Chicago Bears

"It’s not about money. It’s not about statistics. It’s about the romance kindled by playing the game the way it was supposed to be played."

Walter Payton, the Chicago Bears' first-round choice and the fourth player selected in the 1975 National Football League Draft, developed into a superstar of unusual dimensions during his 13-season NFL tenure from 1975 to 1987, all of which he spent with the Chicago Bears.

The 5-10, 200-pound running back who rushed for 3,563 yards in four seasons at Jackson State went on to dominate the rushing section of the NFL record book during and long after his career ended.

The records he held at the time of his retirement included 16,726 total yards, 10 seasons with 1,000 or more yards rushing, 275 yards rushing in one game against Minnesota (1977), 77 games with more than 100 yards rushing, and 110 rushing touchdowns. Payton had 4,368 combined net attempts and accounted for 21,803 combined net yards. He also scored an impressive 750 points on 125 touchdowns.

Payton won the NFC rushing title five straight years from 1976 to 1980. He also led the NFC with 96 points in 1977 and won the NFL kickoff return championship in his rookie 1975 campaign. He was named both All-Pro and All-NFC seven times and played in nine Pro Bowl games. Payton was selected as the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1977 and 1985, the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1977 and 1985 and the NFC Most Valuable Player in 1977.

An amazing runner, Walter rushed for more than 1,000 yards 10 of his 13 seasons. His best season came in 1977, when he ran for 1,852 yards, third best in history at that time. Payton's 492 career pass receptions for 4,538 yards and 15 touchdowns contributed to his exceptional combined net yard totals.

Extremely durable, Payton missed one game in his rookie campaign and then played in 186 consecutive games.

STATS

Walter Payton's Stats

Year

Team

G
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Rec
Yds
Avg
TD
1975 Chicago
13
196
679
3.5
7
33
213
6.5
0
1976 Chicago
14
311
1390
4.5
13
15
149
9.9
0
1977 Chicago
14
339
1852
5.5
14
27
269
10.0
2
1978 Chicago
16
333
1395
4.2
11
50
480
9.6
0
1979 Chicago
16
369
1610
4.4
14
31
313
10.1
2
1980 Chicago
16
317
1460
4.6
6
46
367
8.0
1
1981 Chicago
16
339
1222
3.6
6
41
379
9.2
2
1982 Chicago
9
148
596
4.0
1
32
311
9.7
0
1983 Chicago
16
314
1421
4.5
6
53
607
11.5
2
1984 Chicago
16
381
1684
4.4
11
45
368
8.2
0
1985 Chicago
16
324
1551
4.8
9
49
483
9.9
2
1986 Chicago
16
321
1333
4.2
8
37
382
10.3
3
1987 Chicago
12
146
533
3.7
4
33
217
6.6
1
Career Total
190
3838
16,726
4.4
110
492
4538
9.2
15
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 34-11-331, 8 TD, 6 Int; Kickoff Returns: 17-539



CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

Walter Payton's Championship Games

Championship Games

1984 NFC – San Francisco 49ers 23, Chicago Bears 0
Payton started at tailback. He had 22 rushes for 92 yards and three receptions for 11 yards.

1985 NFC – Chicago Bears 24, Los Angeles Rams 0
Payton started at running back. He had 18 rushes for 32 yards, seven receptions for 48 yards and one fumble.

Super Bowls

Super Bowl XX – Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10
Payton started at running back. He had 22 rushes for 61 yards and one fumble.



CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Walter Payton's Career Highlights

All-NFL: 1976 (AP, PFWA, PW), 1977 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1978 (PFWA, NEA, PW), 1979 (NEA, PW), 1980 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW), 1984 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW), 1985 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN)

All-NFL Second Team: 1976 (NEA), 1978 (AP), 1979 (AP), 1983 (NEA), 1986 (AP, NEA)

All NFC: 1976 (AP, UPI, SN, PW). 1977 (UPI, SN, PW). 1978 (UPI, SN, PW). 1979 (UPI, SN, PW). 1980 (UPI, PW). 1984 (UPI, PW). 1985 (UPI)

All NFC Second Team: 1983 (UPI). 1986 (UPI)

(9) – 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987

(at time of his retirement following 1987 season)

• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 3,838
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 16,726
• [1st] Most Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 10
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 275 (vs. Minnesota, Nov. 20, 1977)
• [1st] Most Games 100 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 77
• [1st] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Career – 110
• [1st] Most Combined Attempts, Career – 4,368
• [1st] Most Combined Net Yards, Career – 21,803
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Rushing Attempts – 4 (1976-79)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 6 (1976-1981)
• [2nd] Most Touchdowns, Career – 125
• [2nd] Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Rushing – 9 (1985)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons Leading League, Rushing Attempts – 4 (1976-79)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Consecutive Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 3 (1983-86)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Games 200 or More Yards Rushing, Season – 2 (1977)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Games 100 or More Yards Rushing, Season – 10 (1977, 1985)

Pro Bowl Records

• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 81
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 368
• [1st] Most Receptions, Career – 18
• [2nd] Highest Average Rushing Gain, Game – 6.91 (1985)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Rushing Touchdown, Career – 2
• [3rd] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 77 (1978)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Fumbles, Career – 3

Chicago Bears records held by Payton
(Records through the 1987 season, Payton's final season with Chicago)

• [1st] Most Games – 190
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games – 186
• [1st] Most Points Scored, Career – 750
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 125
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 3,838
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 381 (1984)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 40 (vs. Minnesota, Nov. 20, 1977)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 16,726
• [1st] Most Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 10
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,852 (1977)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 275 (vs. Minnesota, Nov. 20, 1977)
• [1st] Most Games 100 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 77
• [1st] Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Rushing – 9 (1985)
• [1st] Most Consecutive Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 6 (1976-1981)
• [1st] Most Games 200 or More Yards Rushing, Season – 2 (1977)
• [1st] Most Games 200 or More Yards Rushing, Career – 2
• [1st] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Career – 110
• [1st] Most Combined Attempts, Career – 4,368
• [1st] Most Combined Attempts, Season – 426 (1984)
• [1st] Most Combined Attempts, Game – 41 (vs. Minnesota, Nov. 20, 1977; at Buffalo, Oct. 7, 1979)
• [1st] Most Combined Net Yards, Career – 21,803
• [Tied for 1st] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Season – 14 (1977, 1979)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive Games with a Rushing Touchdowns – 7 (1976)
• [1st] Most Pass Receptions, Career – 492
• [2nd] Most Touchdowns, Season – 16 (1977, 1979)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 369 (1979)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 38 (at Dallas, Nov. 26, 1981)
• [2nd] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,684 (1984)
• [2nd] Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Rushing – 6 (1984)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Touchdowns, Season – 13 (1976)
• [2nd] Most Consecutive Games with a Pass Reception – 45 (1984-87)
• [2nd] Most Combined Attempts, Season – 400 (1979)
• [2nd] Most Combined Attempts, Game – 40 (at Dallas, Nov. 26, 1981)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Seasons – 13
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Seasons – 13
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Games with a Touchdown – 7 (1976)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 205 (at Green Bay, Oct. 30, 1977)
• [3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 339 (1977, 1981)
• [3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 36 (vs. Oakland, Nov. 7, 1976; vs. San Diego, Oct. 25, 1981)
• [3rd] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,610 (1979)
• [3rd] Most Consecutive Games 100 or More Yards Rushing – 5 (1977)
• [3rd] Most Receiving Yards, Career – 4,538
• [3rd] Most Combined Attempts, Season – 383 (1978)
• [3rd] Most Combined Attempts, Game – 39 (vs. San Diego, Oct. 25, 1981)
• [3rd] Most Combined Net Yards, Season – 2,216 (1977)
• [3rd] Most Combined Net Yards, Game – 300 (vs. New Orleans, Dec. 21, 1975)

NFL Statistical Championships
Touchdown Leader: 1977
Rushing Titles: 1977

NFC Statistical Championships
Scoring Titles: 1977
Touchdown Leader: 1977, 1979
Rushing Titles: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980

Team Statistical Championships
Scoring Titles: 1976, 1977, 1979
Touchdown Leader: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
Rushing Titles: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
Reception Titles: 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985

• 1970s All-Decade Team
• 1980s All-Decade Team
• NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team
• All-Time NFL Team (selected in year 2000)
• 1976 NFC Player of the Year (SN)
• 1977 Most Valuable Player (PFWA, AP, NEA)
• 1977 NFC Player of the Year (UPI, SN)
• 1977 Offensive MVP (AP, PW)
• 1977 NFC Offensive Player of the Year (UPI)
• 1985 Most Valuable Player (NEA, MX)
• 1985 NFC Offensive Player of the Year (UPI)

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1975 Chicago Bears 4 10 0 (3rd)
1976 Chicago Bears 7 7 0 (2nd)
1977 Chicago Bears 9 5 0 (2nd)
1978 Chicago Bears 7 9 0 (4th)
1979 Chicago Bears 10 6 0 (2nd)
1980 Chicago Bears 7 9 0 (3rd)
1981 Chicago Bears 6 10 0 (5th)
1982 Chicago Bears 3 6 0 (12th*)
1983 Chicago Bears 8 8 0 (3rd)
1984 Chicago Bears 10 6 0 (1st)
1985 Chicago Bears 15 1 0 (1st)
1986 Chicago Bears 14 2 0 (1st)
1987 Chicago Bears 11 4 0 (1st)
*NFC regular season finish in strike-shortened season.

 

CAREER CAPSULE

Walter Payton's Career Capsule

Full Name: Walter Jerry Payton

Birthdate: July 25, 1954

Birthplace: Columbia, MS

Died: November 1, 1999 at age of 45

High School: Columbia (MS)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 31, 1993

Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 31, 1993

Presenter: Jarrett Payton, Walter's son

Other Members of Class of 1993: Dan Fouts, Larry Little, Chuck NollBill Walsh

Pro Career: 13 seasons, 190 games

Drafted: 1st round (4th player overall) in 1975 by Chicago Bears.

Uniform Number: #34



ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH

Walter Payton Enshrinement speech

Walter Payton Enshrinement Speech 1993

Presenter: Jarrett Payton

Let's try and get this thing over with. I am very privileged and honored to be chosen to induct my dad into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is an historic event which my dad, Walter and members of the Payton family will treasure~ for the rest of our lives. His friends and fans will recall this memorable occasion. My dad had played football for 13 years only missing one game and breaking all running back records. These and other records have placed him in sports annuals and that is why we are here to honor this super star. Not only is my dad an exceptional athlete, he is a role model. He is my biggest role model and best friend. WE do a lot of things together, play basketball, golf, go to the movies to name a few. I am sure my sister will endorse this statement we have a super dad. My father has always been involved with charitable organizations. As a matter of fact, I can safely say he is a philanthropist. On behalf of my Connie, my sister Brittney and all our relatives, I congratulate you dad. On behalf of your friends and your fans, I say congratulations too. Thank you.

Walter Payton

Thank you. Thank you. You know when I first got here we made a wager who would be the first one to break down in tears and I was the first one to say that I wouldn't and I was the first one to say how strong I was and everything else, as it goes to show that a lot of times when you are amongst your piers such as these great athletes, you try to be something that you not. And after hearing my son get up here and talk, I don't care if I lose the bet. You know when you first get up here the first thing you do is thank a lot of people for putting you here because as the previous inductees and I am sure Coach Walsh will say, we are not standing up here because of our own merit, because of something we did by ourselves. Football is a team game and it takes everyone on that team to make a product such as these Hall of Famers are sitting under this tent and the ones that are being inducted today. And they will be the first ones to say, that when they stood up here and accepted being inducted here they did it with a great deal of embarrassment because you were pointing all the accolades towards them and they realized in their hearts that there were teammates that threw blocks and caught passes and talked to them when they were down. There were high school coaches such as Charles Boston that took me under his wing and taught me the fundamentals of football. And when I went to college there was Robert Hill who took me there and he showed me what hard work and determination would do if you put forth the effort and you take a little time. They would stand up here and tell you that everything that they had on paper and everything they had in their hearts did not come from them solely alone, but it came from the number of people that have helped them and have met along the way such as I. Every guy, every offensive lineman that played from the Chicago Bears helped me get that 16,000 and I thank them.

When you stand up here and you give talks and you give your acceptance speech, there is humorous things that come to mind. One of them is my sister and my brother, Eddie Payton and my sister Pamela. Because when I was growing up I was the baby and when they had to clean the house on Saturdays and do things when mom went to work and said I want this house clean when I get back, hey I was the baby I didn't have to do this. So, these guys beat me up. That's the reason why I had the moves that I did because when you have an angry sister and angry brother chasing you with a broom and a wet dish rag, you tend to pick up moves you never had before. I want to thank them for being a part of my life and helping me to be here because they are as much to be here as I am.

Also, there are a lot of people that I can name, but I won't do that because when you do that you leave out people that are close to you and I said earlier if I named all the people that have been influential in my life I would be up here beyond the eight minutes and eight days. But you know there is somebody very special my mom, because she was the one alone with my father who passed away in 1978 that instilled in me what you see here today, some of it good and everything that is bad I earned on my own. And I want to thank her for not giving up on me and keeping me close to her and giving me all that extra push that a son needed who was very curious about life. In other words, she is the one who taught me the basics of what true values are all about and you know, there was a guy who was supposed to be here today to co-introduce me with my son, Mr. Jim Finks who is having a bout with lung cancer and I want him to know that our prayers are with him because he was the guy who gave me my start. He was the one who called me when I was at Jackson State Un. the day before the draft and he asked me a question and said ''Walter, this is Jim Finks, how would you like to play for the Chicago Bears?'' My answer to him was, ''Jim, I will play for anybody.'' And that was the way I felt at that particular time and I think if I would have answered that question any different than the way I did, I probably would have been playing for someone else maybe even Pittsburgh. But blessings come and blessings go.

The thing I am most proud of and the thing I am most ashamed of they coincide with each other. You saw my son up here a few minutes ago, and believe me, I had a lump in my throat that was so big it was unbelievable. I also have a little daughter, Brittney Jeannette Payton. And I think about her also because their mom was with me for those 13 years I played and believe me they were not good because I was not the easiest person to get along with. And because of my wanting to give to so many other people, sometimes you tend to neglect the people you truly love the most. And I want to stand up here and say that in this point of my life, that Jarrett, Brittney and your mom you guys will not have to worry about anything in your life no matter what the situation or how it ends. Because just as running up that hill and trying to catch runners such as Jim Brown and Gale Sayers, motivated me to do more than I thought I possibly could do, you three will motivate me to make sure that your lives are happy and fulfilled.

I am going to close by saying life is short, it is oh so sweet, there are a lot of people that we meet as we walk through these swallow halls, but the things that mean the most are the friendships that you meet and take along with you. I am happy to say that everyone that I have met in my life I have gained something from them be it negative or positive it has enforced and reinforced my life in some aspect. When you speak of role models, when we talk to our kids, everybody is a role model, everyone just as you look at a Michael Jordan to be the terrific athlete he is and you look at a Pete Rose to be the terrific athlete he is and then he falls on hard times but when he played the game I got something from the way he played the game because he hustled every play and just because he had one mistake in his life am I supposed to throw back everything that I gained from him, you can't do that and I am talking to the kids. Everybody that you meet you can learn something from them. Everybody who comes into your life can influence your life as well, just has these people have, just as you have. Because the fans are what makes this game. Without you being out here and coming to the Hall of Fame, it wouldn't be professional football. So, I stand here, and I applaud you for supporting and staying with the National Football League and these players here. Thank you.