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How DeAngelo Compares to the Greatest In History...


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#1 adallastiger

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:36 AM

Is DeAngelo the greatest running back in NFL history..hard to say that. But does he compare favorably...absolutely. So let's take a quick peek at some stats.

I googled up GREAT RUNNING BACKS and while this is someone's opinion, certainly we would all agree he is close.

He ranks Gayle Sayers, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell, Marshall Faulk, LaDanian Tomlinson, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Walter Payton as the best. Okay, not saying that is or is not correct, but it's a good list.

The following are each players stretch of Yards Per Carry Average for their best three years. The last number is the average of those three years.

Gayle Sayers 5.2 5.4 4.7 avg 5.1
Jim Brown 6.4 5.2 5.3 avg 5.6
E. Eickerson 4.6 5.6 4.2 avg 4.8
O.J Simpson 6.0 4.2 4.2 avg 5.2
E. Campbell 4.8 4.6 5.2 avg 4.8
M. Fault 5.5 5.4 5.3 avg 5.4
L. Tomlinson 4.3 5.2 4.7 avg 4.7
E. Smith 4.6 5.3 4.0 avg 4.6
B. Sanders 5.1 6.1 4.8 avg 5.3
W. Payton 4.5 5.5 4.2 avg 4.7

D. Williams 5.0 5.5 5.2 avg 5.2

So, what does the above tell us? That DeAngelo certainly ranks thus far with the all time greats. Without question. Only five of the above ten have EVER averaged five yards a carry over a three year period. After doing some other research, not l00% complete, I believe I can fairly say that in the history of the NFL, given 130 or more carries a year, only Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, and DeAngelo Williams have averaged 5 yards per carry for three consecutive seasons. Should DeAngelo average 5 yards per carry in the coming year, it would appear that he would be the only back in NFL history to average 5 yards a carry for four consecutive years. Only Brown, Dickerson, Simpson, and Faulk have averaged as much as 5.6 yards a carry in one season. A huge mark.

DeAngelo's best two records as far as I know:

Only DeAngelo, Jim Brown, and O.J. Simpson have had l5 td's, 1,500 yards, and and averaged 5.5 yards per carry in a season. That said, perhaps Chris Johnson tied that last year, I don't know.

Only Jim Brown has more touchdowns in a season (by one) than DeAngelo from 30 or more yards out. I think it is seven to six.

Hard to say DeAngelo does not rank with the all time greats...at least thus far.

I did not include Adrian Peterson in the above stats, because he was not listed in the original article. However, let's take a look

A Peterson 5.6 4.8 4.4 avg 4.9

So we can add Adrian to the above list of backs that have averaged 5.6 yards a carry in a given year. But it is interesting that his average has dropped for three straight years. Not going to get into the reasons here.

The above does not take into account various subjective factors. Let's take a look in a year. But it would be hard to say that DeAngelo is not one of the 20 best backs in league history. How can he not be?

Your thoughts?

#2 DirtyMagic97

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:40 AM

Good research. It's extremely hard to compare the accomplishments of DeAngelo to accomplishments of previous backs. While 3 years of 5.0 ypc is a great stat, he has the benefit of sharing carries with another very good back. There is a good chance that if D-Will was the only back in our system, his ypc would likely decrease.

That being said, DeAngelo is probably the most underrated back in the NFL. If he stays healthy, he will definitely get to the HoF.

#3 Lumps

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:51 AM

This is why is is a very smart move for Dwill if he stays here, on a run-based team with a 'back-up' stud although I see them both as equal, more of sharing carries. If he stays with a run based team and continues as he has given no major injuries, or a team running him into the ground, I see him as easily being one of the best backs of all time.

Even for a RB Dwill is still very young.

ps Jim Brown is a god...

#4 nosuchthingasapanther

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:59 AM

not this crap again.

#5 jasonluckydog

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:01 AM

The Lombardi Trophy will be renamed the DWILL Trophy.

#6 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:06 AM

Good research. It's extremely hard to compare the accomplishments of DeAngelo to accomplishments of previous backs. While 3 years of 5.0 ypc is a great stat, he has the benefit of sharing carries with another very good back. There is a good chance that if D-Will was the only back in our system, his ypc would likely decrease.

That being said, DeAngelo is probably the most underrated back in the NFL. If he stays healthy, he will definitely get to the HoF.



Though through limited time. D'Will averaged 5.0 ypc BEFORE J. Stewart got here.

I am not sure on the HOF yet, but as you said "if he stays healthy" He will definitely set the Carolina record book high.

#7 DirtyMagic97

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

Though through limited time. D'Will averaged 5.0 ypc BEFORE J. Stewart got here.

I am not sure on the HOF yet, but as you said "if he stays healthy" He will definitely set the Carolina record book high.


Yea, that's really the point I was making. With limited carries, it's a little easier to average 5 ypc. The law of large numbers will bring people back to a modest average.

I'm not sure on the HoF either, I'm just a homer, and I love the dude.

#8 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:13 AM

Why anyone would want to trade him is INSANE. Those that make the point J. Stewart is a better back are not even close.

Before D'Will went out with his injury he had 1100 yds while during the same span. J. Stewart has only 700 yds. Big difference.

#9 DirtyMagic97

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:16 AM

To be fair, J-Stew was 5.1 ypc and DeAngelo was 5.2. Not much of a difference. When J-Stew became the primary back, he was just a effective as DeAngelo. And J-Stew had more TD's.

#10 nosuchthingasapanther

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:19 AM

Before D'Will went out with his injury he had 1100 yds while during the same span. J. Stewart has only 700 yds. Big difference.


because of injury concerns with stewart, williams was well on his way to carrying the rock well over 300x last season before getting hurt.

stewart was on pace to touch the ball less than he did his rookie season.

that's the big difference.

#11 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:33 AM

I think this tandem if it stays together will go down in NFL History as THE BEST. They provide such a huge difference in style. DeAngelo moves by them... Stewart runs over them. How many times has D Will wore a defense down and Stewart comes in and runs over what is left of them.

I won't trade either and I would do whatever possible to keep them both.

#12 Pumpkin King

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:37 AM

Give credit to our O-line.

#13 PantherBrew

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:37 AM

I'm just glad we can probably keep them both since we let Peppers go.

#14 CRA

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:37 AM

Why anyone would want to trade him is INSANE. Those that make the point J. Stewart is a better back are not even close.

Before D'Will went out with his injury he had 1100 yds while during the same span. J. Stewart has only 700 yds. Big difference.


well, if you want to argue who is better DeAngelo in his 4th year year vs. Stewart in his 2nd.....DeAngelo should be better as that is when he should be peaking. If you want to look at what both proved to be after two years in the NFL.....Stewart looks to be on pace to be a better RB....and has done it while less than 100%.

before Williams went went out w/ his injury following the Viking game....he also 60 more carries depsite missing almost 2 full games (Tampa and most of Minny). Big difference.

#15 DirtyMagic97

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 11:39 AM

I'm just glad we can probably keep them both since we let Peppers go.


Hopefully. It'll be hard to pay DeAngelo, Stewart, Beason, and probably Davis. If Moore turns out to be a good QB, he'll earn his payday as well.


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