Ranking The 15 Greatest Running Backs of All Time

There have been many great running backs in the history of the NFL. Some players are more well-known than others, but all of them deserve credit for their accomplishments on the field. This article will rank the 15 greatest running backs of all time. We will take a look at some of the most famous players in the league and some lesser-known ones who deserve more recognition.

15. Joe Perry

joe perry credit Frank Rippon
Courtesy of Frank Rippon

San Francisco 49ers (1948-1960 and 1963), Baltimore Colts (1961-1962)

Career Rushing Yards: 8,378

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 53

14. Jim Taylor

jim taylor credit tony tornsic
Courtesy of Tony Tornsic

Green Bay Packers (1958-1966), New Orleans Saints (1967)

Career Rushing Yards: 8,597

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 83

13. Marcus Allen

marcus allen credit Owen Shaw
Courtesy of Owen Shaw

L.A. Raiders (1982-1992), Kansas City Chiefs (1993-1997)

Career Rushing Yards: 12,243

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 144

12. Terrell Davis

terrell davis credit ED REINKE
Courtesy of Ed Reinke

Denver Broncos (1995-2001)

Career Rushing Yards: 7,607

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 60

11. Curtis Martin

Curtis Martin running down the field
Courtesy of Mitchell Reibel

New England Patriots (1995-1997), New York Jets (1998-2006)

Career Rushing Yards: 14,101

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 90

10. Tiki Barber

New York Giants (1997-2006)

Career Rushing Yards: 10,449

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 68

9. Marshawn Lynch

marshawn lynch credit Otto Greule Jr
Courtesy of Otto Greuel Jr.

Buffalo Bills (2007-2010), Seattle Seahawks (2010-2015), Oakland Raiders 2017-2018)

Career Rushing Yards: 10,413

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 94

8. LaDainian Tomlinson

ladainian tomlinson credit Robert B. Stanton
Courtesy of Robert B. Stanton

San Diego Chargers (2001-2009), New York Jets (2010-2011)

Career Rushing Yards: 13,684

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 145

7. Barry Sanders

barry sanders credit Betsy Peabody Rowe
Courtesy of Betsy Peabody Rowe

Detroit Lions (1989-1998)

Career Rushing Yards: 15,269

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 99

6. Emmitt Smith

emmitt smith credit Manny Rubio
Courtesy of Manny Rubio

Dallas Cowboys (1990-2002), Arizona Cardinals (2003-2004)

Career Rushing Yards: 18,355

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 164

5. Marshall Faulk

marshall faulk credit Joe Robbins
Courtesy of Joe Robbins

Indianapolis Colts (1994-1998), St. Louis Rams (1999-2005)

Career Rushing Yards: 12,280

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 100

4. Adrian Peterson

adrian peterson credit Andy Clayton King
Courtesy of Andy Clayton-King

Minnesota Vikings (2007-2016), New Orleans Saints (2017), Arizona Cardinals (2017)

Career Rushing Yards: 12,276

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 99

3. Thurman Thomas

Buffalo Bills (1988-1999), Miami Dolphins (2000)

Career Rushing Yards: 12,074

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 88

2. Jerome Bettis

jerome bettis credit George Gojkovich
Courtesy of George Gojkovich

L.A./St. Louis Rams (1993-1995), Pittsburgh Steelers (1996-2005)

Career Rushing Yards: 13,662

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 91

1. Ollie Matson

ollie matson courtesy of public domain
Courtesy of Public Domain

Chicago Cardinals (1952-1958), L.A. Rams (1959-1962), Detroit Lions (1963), Philadelphia Eagles (1964-1966)

Career Rushing Yards: 5,173

Career Rushing Touchdowns: 40

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This article was produced by Max My Money and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Manny Rubio.


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As a certified credit counselor, Max Marvelous has coached over 250 Millennials to help take the stress out of money. When Max is not coaching, you'll find him reading financial books, indoor cycling, or visiting local pawn shops looking for swiss-made watches.