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Team records of individuals

Posted by Doug on March 31, 2006

Yesterday's rant made me curious about generalizations along the lines of "Player X played on great teams." So I rounded up the top 20 rushers in history and computed the overall record of their teams. I threw out the years in which the given player was not the leading rusher on his team, which explains why these numbers don't exactly match up with the Smith and Payton numbers I cited yesterday.


Emmitt Smith 122-102-0 0.545
Walter Payton 100- 79-0 0.559
Barry Sanders 78- 82-0 0.487
Curtis Martin 95- 81-0 0.540
Jerome Bettis 93- 83-0 0.528
Eric Dickerson 81- 78-0 0.509
Tony Dorsett 111- 56-0 0.665
Jim Brown 79- 34-5 0.691
Marshall Faulk 96- 80-0 0.545
Marcus Allen 105- 63-0 0.625
Franco Harris 121- 51-1 0.702
Thurman Thomas 97- 47-0 0.674
John Riggins 74- 55-0 0.574
O.J. Simpson 45- 95-2 0.324
Ricky Watters 86- 57-1 0.601
Eddie George 80- 48-0 0.625
Corey Dillon 50- 78-0 0.391
Ottis Anderson 64- 56-1 0.533
Earl Campbell 42- 47-0 0.472
Edgerrin James 71- 25-0 0.740

Certainly a high team winning percentage could be cited as evidence either for or against a given player in a greatest-ever debate. Please note that I am expressly refusing to make any point here. I'm just presenting the list for your amusement.

Because I can sense the request coming, I'll go ahead and compute this for quarterbacks and wide receivers. But I want to be clear about what these numbers are. This is not the team's record in games started by the quarterback. It is the sum of the team's seasonal record for seasons in which the quarterback was the team's leading passer. In 1983, for instance, the Dolphins were 12-4. Because he was Miami's leading passer that year, Dan Marino gets the entire 12-4 even though he only played 11 games. Why? Because it's the best I can do. I don't have data on which quarterbacks started which games.

Dan Marino            154-101-0  0.604
Brett Favre 140- 84-0 0.625
John Elway 161- 93-1 0.633
Warren Moon 117-106-0 0.525
Fran Tarkenton 131-116-6 0.530
Vinny Testaverde 94-129-1 0.422
Drew Bledsoe 96- 96-0 0.500
Dan Fouts 96-111-1 0.464
Joe Montana 132- 51-1 0.720
Johnny Unitas 119- 61-5 0.657
Dave Krieg 110- 97-0 0.531
Boomer Esiason 82-109-0 0.429
Jim Kelly 108- 67-0 0.617
Jim Everett 73-102-0 0.417
Jim Hart 92- 93-5 0.497
Steve Deberg 57-109-2 0.345
Kerry Collins 75- 85-0 0.469
John Hadl 90- 81-10 0.525
Phil Simms 104- 71-0 0.594
Peyton Manning 80- 48-0 0.625

Nothing ticks me off more than a guy that has double-digit ties and therefore messes up my formatting. Curse you, John Hadl!

I gave a wide receiver credit (or blame) for a season if he was one of his team's top two wide receivers, as measured by receiving yards.

Jerry Rice            188- 98-1  0.657
Tim Brown 114-110-0 0.509
James Lofton 101- 96-3 0.512
Cris Carter 126- 82-0 0.606
Henry Ellard 95-112-0 0.459
Andre Reed 127- 96-0 0.570
Steve Largent 96-100-0 0.490
Irving Fryar 95-111-1 0.461
Art Monk 116- 69-0 0.627
Marvin Harrison 92- 68-0 0.575
Jimmy Smith 90- 70-0 0.562
Isaac Bruce 86- 74-0 0.537
Charlie Joiner 122-125-2 0.494
Michael Irvin 96- 64-0 0.600
Don Maynard 79- 83-6 0.488
Rod Smith 93- 51-0 0.646
Gary Clark 91- 52-0 0.636
Stanley Morgan 102- 80-0 0.560
Keenan McCardell 103- 73-0 0.585
Terrell Owens 95- 65-0 0.594

This entry was posted on Friday, March 31st, 2006 at 4:56 am and is filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.