Who is the All-Time Greatest Running Back?

Different eras have praised Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, and Walter Payton as the best running backs.

All four have held franchise and NFL running records, demonstrating great skill during their careers. A few comparisons and figures may help clarify the situation. This article will go through each player’s total statistics, averages, impact on their teams, use, and the relative strength of each era they played. In the end, you can find the best running backs of all time.

You should get enough information to decide who you believe is best through this article.

Which NFL running back had the longest career?

Emmitt Smith may appear to be the best of all time at first glance regarding running backs. He has the most running yards, rushing touchdowns, and even receptions among the four backs. But, Smith appeared in 36 more games than the next closest rusher and twice as many as Jim Brown. “The best ability is availability,” as the phrase goes. Running backs take more hits than most other football positions, rendering them more prone to injury and having shorter careers on average than other positions. The number of games each of the four backs has missed is listed below:

  • In his 15-year career, Emmitt Smith only missed 14 games. Smith only missed 5.8% of his career games, despite each season being a 16-game season. He led in most categories due to his longevity and good health, which allowed him to play football until he was 35 years old. In his career, he appeared in 226 games.
  • With a strike-shortened 9-game season in 1982 and a 15-game season in 1987, Walter Payton only missed 4 games during his career. He played in 190 of his 194 career games, which means he only missed 2.0 percent of his games. Payton played until he was 33 years old.
  • During his NFL career, Barry Sanders missed seven games. He only missed 4.3 percent of the 160 games he could have played. Sanders’ career, as before indicated, lasted ten years. With 73 fewer games than Smith and 37 fewer than Payton, it’s incredible to think he was only 3,086 yards away from becoming the all-time leading rusher. Sanders left the company at the age of 31.
  • With 118 games under his belt, Jim Brown has never skipped a game or started one. Brown was a true workhorse back who was always available and ready to play, and he was the epitome of durability and health.

Which era had the most challenging running backs?

Smith and Sanders played in the 1990s, with Smith continuing into the 2000s.

Payton in the 1970s and 1980s, and Brown in the 1950s and 1960s. Different types of play were prevalent in all three eras, and it is argued that this helps or weakens each player’s claim to GOAT status.

Who in the NFL has the most MVPs?

Each of the four running backs had Hall of Fame-caliber careers, setting records and winning many games. Because of their supremacy, they all received several awards and honors throughout their careers.

With 26, Jim Brown has the most trophies, followed by Sanders with 25, Smith with 25, and Payton with 23. The most aassssaqt4dsurprising aspect is that, despite having the group’s shortest career, he has achieved the highest level of success. he is still the most decorated back. Every year of his career, Brown made the Pro Bowl and was chosen First-Team All-Pro in all but one of them. He was the league MVP 33% of the time he was in the league and is the first running back in NFL history to average more than 100 yards a game rushing.