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Felix Jones, Freddie Solomon and Michael Vick

Posted by Chase Stuart on September 30, 2009

Before injuring his left knee on Monday Night Football, Felix Jones had 8 carries for 94 yards. An incredible performance for most players, but just another day at the office for Mr. Jones. Over at Footballguys.com, Shark Pool member wdcrob asked me if Felix Jones is going to be the fastest running back in NFL history to get to 500 career rushing yards. Jones has 51 career carries on which he has gained an incredible 478 yards. With just 22 rushing yards on his next five carries -- and after that injury it won't happen this weekend -- he will become the fastest player to ever get to 500 career rushing yards.* Unless Jones totally implodes, he'll easily set the market for fastest running back to reach the 500-yard plateau.

*Here at P-F-R-, we have game by game data dating back to 1960 (I've also excluded 2009 game data), but we do not have play by play data . Therefore, the scope of this study is limited only to players whose career began after 1960. For all players, the number of carries it took them to reach 500 yards was approximated based on their career yardage before and after the game in which they hit the 500-yard mark. So if a RB had 80 career carries for 480 yards, and then had 20 carries for 100 yards in his next game (5.0 yards per carry), he is credited with reaching the 500-yard mark on 84.0 carries. If a RB had 90 career carries for 492 yards, and had 4 carries for 50 yards in his next game (12.5 YPC), he'd be "assumed" to have reached the 500-yard mark on 90.8 carries. Obviously this isn't perfect, but lacking play-by-play data, I think this is the best we can do.

The table below shows the fastest 50 players to record 500 career rushing yards, as measured by the approximated number of carries.

carry	pos	name
56.0	WR	Freddie Solomon
57.7	QB	Michael Vick
57.9	QB	Randall Cunningham
60.1	QB	Greg Landry
63.4	WR	Jerry Rice
65.1	RB	Bo Jackson
68.1	QB	Roger Staubach
68.5	QB	Jack Concannon
69.2	QB	Mike Pagel
71.2	RB	Paul Lowe
71.9	RB	Warren McVea
72.0	RB	Ahmad Bradshaw
72.4	RB	Hoyle Granger
73.2	QB	Bobby Douglass
74.2	QB	Donovan McNabb
75.0	WR	Andre Reed
75.5	RB	Jerious Norwood
75.6	RB	Don Woods
76.0	RB	Mercury Morris
76.2	QB	Mark Brunell
76.7	QB	Fran Tarkenton
77.0	QB	Bert Jones
77.0	QB	Rodney Peete
78.0	QB	Vince Young
78.1	RB	Gary Brown
79.5	QB	Rob Johnson
79.7	RB	Bill Thornton
80.3	QB	Virgil Carter
80.9	RB	Stump Mitchell
81.0	WR	Frank Jackson
82.9	RB	Todd McNair
82.9	RB	Mike Garrett
83.2	QB	Steve McNair
83.5	RB	Thomas Sanders
83.5	RB	Greg Pruitt
83.7	RB	Rod Bernstine
85.1	RB	Mack Lee Hill
85.4	RB	Ted McKnight
85.8	WR	Dwight Stone
85.8	RB	Marcel Shipp
85.8	RB	LaMont Jordan
85.8	QB	Pete Beathard
86.1	RB	Jess Phillips
86.1	QB	Steve Young
86.3	QB	Steve Grogan
86.4	QB	Steve Pelluer
86.4	RB	Adrian Peterson
87.3	RB	Billy Sims
87.5	QB	David Garrard
87.6	RB	Jewerl Thomas

And a list of all running backs to hit the 500-yard mark on or before their 100th carry:

65.1	RB	Bo Jackson
71.2	RB	Paul Lowe
71.9	RB	Warren McVea
72.0	RB	Ahmad Bradshaw
72.4	RB	Hoyle Granger
75.5	RB	Jerious Norwood
75.6	RB	Don Woods
76.0	RB	Mercury Morris
78.1	RB	Gary Brown
79.7	RB	Bill Thornton
80.9	RB	Stump Mitchell
82.9	RB	Todd McNair
82.9	RB	Mike Garrett
83.5	RB	Thomas Sanders
83.5	RB	Greg Pruitt
83.7	RB	Rod Bernstine
85.1	RB	Mack Lee Hill
85.4	RB	Ted McKnight
85.8	RB	Marcel Shipp
85.8	RB	LaMont Jordan
86.1	RB	Jess Phillips
86.4	RB	Adrian Peterson
87.3	RB	Billy Sims
87.6	RB	Jewerl Thomas
88.4	RB	Barry Foster
88.5	RB	Najeh Davenport
89.1	RB	Pete Banaszak
89.3	RB	Michael Turner
89.5	RB	Walt Garrison
89.8	RB	Clarence Davis
89.8	RB	Charlie H. Smith
89.8	RB	Rueben Mayes
89.9	RB	Larry Johnson
90.1	RB	Tony Nathan
90.2	RB	Dave Meggett
90.5	RB	Larry Garron
90.9	RB	Tom Moore
91.1	RB	Franco Harris
92.0	RB	Willie Parker
92.2	RB	Lamar Smith
92.3	RB	Jimmy Thomas
92.5	RB	John Brockington
92.5	RB	Selvin Young
92.9	RB	Curtis McClinton
92.9	RB	Ernie Green
93.1	RB	Antowain Smith
93.1	RB	Cookie Gilchrist
93.2	RB	Robert Holmes
93.7	RB	Anthony Thomas
94.0	RB	Mewelde Moore
94.0	RB	Kenny King
94.0	RB	Barry Word
94.2	RB	Troy Hambrick
94.3	RB	Earnest Byner
94.7	RB	Onterrio Smith
94.7	RB	Jesse Chatman
95.0	RB	Maurice Jones-Drew
95.2	RB	Tom Watkins
95.3	RB	Tony Lorick
95.5	RB	Tatum Bell
95.6	RB	John Settle
95.7	RB	Delvin Williams
95.7	RB	Justin Fargas
95.8	RB	Cid Edwards
96.0	RB	Lenvil Elliott
96.2	RB	Barry Sanders
96.6	RB	Fred Taylor
96.7	RB	Robert Weathers
96.8	RB	Duane Thomas
97.2	RB	Ron Rivers
97.5	RB	Ahman Green
97.5	RB	Maurice Morris
97.8	RB	Chris Johnson
98.0	RB	Horace Ivory
98.2	RB	Reggie Brooks
98.3	RB	Rob Carpenter
98.4	RB	Ricky Ervins
98.7	RB	Prentice Gautt
98.8	RB	LeShon Johnson
99.1	RB	Abner Haynes
99.1	RB	Trung Canidate
99.2	RB	Eddie George
99.3	RB	Earl Campbell
99.3	RB	Marv Hubbard
99.5	RB	Derrick Blaylock
99.5	RB	Clinton Portis
99.5	RB	Charley Young
99.8	RB	Dave Smith
100.0	RB	Gill Fenerty

Jones looks on track to have another season with 20-100 carries and average (well) over 5.0 yards per carry. Only five other players have done that since 1960, including two players who would one day lead the league in carries. Who knows how Jones' career will turn out, but at this point, there doesn't appear to be much of a ceiling on it.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 7:33 am and is filed under Player articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.