Woohoo! I managed to squeeze in a blog post. This one should stir up the hornet's nest.
Disclaimer 1: I am not going to accept any TDs about this entry. It is my objective, unbiased analysis.
Disclaimer 2: If you disagree, that's fine. However, before you call me an idiot, do your own research and analysis. Otherwise, you can only agree or disagree. If your numbers show something different, then we can compare and discuss.
Now, here is the blog. I think we can safely assume that most people (at least the ones with half a brain) agree that the top 5 backs in history which are no longer playing are Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Gayle Sayers, and Jim Brown. Well, I wanted to know who is the best of the bunch STATISTICALLY. I repeat STATISTICALLY. I did not do any research based on emotion. This is strictly numbers, and as Rodger likes to say, numbers don't lie. This is purely a STATISTICAL analysis.
Disclaimer 3: You can argue all you want to based on emotions; however, it does not change the numbers.
I had to compare apples to apples, so my numbers are NOT career numbers. Smith played for 15 years while Sayers only played 7. Would career numbers be a fair comparison? No. So I only compared each runner's first 7 seasons because Sayers only played 7. The stats that I used were (there are 20 categories):
Total attempts, Total Yards, Total Yards/ATT, Total TDs, Total receptions, Total REC yards, Total yards/REC, Total REC TDs, Yards per season, TDs per season, Yards/game, TD/game, ATT/game, REC/game, REC yards/game, REC TDs/game, Yards from scrimmage(YFS), YFS/game, rushing titles, and MVPs.
I then ranked each runner, 1st through 5th, based on these categories. After that, I assigned a point scale for each category:
1st - 5 pts
2nd - 4 pts
3rd - 3 pts
4th - 2 pts
5th - 1 pt
If they tied, I divided the points between them. So given all of that information, here is how they ranked in order along with their total points:
T- 1st Emmitt Smith (69 pts) (Smith gets the overall number 1 because he is the NFL rushing leader in yards and TDs)
T- 1st Jim Brown (69 pts)
3rd - Barry Sanders (64.5 pts)
4th - Walter Payton (54.5 pts)
5th - Gayle Sayers (33 pts)
So, there you have it. Again, I am not going to accept any throwdowns. You all are welcome to argue amongst yourselves. This was a fun little exercise. The one thing that I did learn was that Jim Brown was a heck of a receiver out of the backfield. Have fun with your prognostications.