List of American Football League rushing champions

In its ten years of existence, two American Football League (AFL) rushing yards leaders were also AFL Rookies of the Year: The Dallas Texans' Abner Haynes in 1960, and the San Diego Chargers' Dickie Post in 1969. Only two men won the rushing crown twice: the Buffalo Bills' Cookie Gilchrist in 1962 and 1964, and the Boston Patriots' Jim Nance, in 1966 and 1967. All years had fourteen regular-season games.

Year Player Team Att. Yards Avg. TD
1960 Abner Haynes Dallas Texans 157 875 5.6 9
1961 Billy Cannon Houston Oilers 200 948 4.7 6
1962 Cookie Gilchrist Buffalo Bills 214 1,096 5.1 13
1963 Clem Daniels Oakland Raiders 215 1,099 5.1 3
1964 Cookie Gilchrist Buffalo Bills 230 981 4.3 6
1965 Paul Lowe San Diego Chargers 222 1,121 5.0 7
1966 Jim Nance Boston Patriots 299 1,458 4.9 11
1967 Jim Nance Boston Patriots 269 1,216 4.5 7
1968 Paul Robinson Cincinnati Bengals 238 1,023 4.3 8
1969 Dickie Post San Diego Chargers 182 873 4.8 6

See also


  • "NFL Rushing Yards Year-by-Year Leaders". Sports Reference. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
List of National Football League rushing champions

In American football, running (also referred to as rushing) is, along with passing, one of the two main methods of advancing the ball down the field. A running play generally occurs when the quarterback hands or tosses the ball backwards to the running back, but other players, such as the quarterback, can run with the ball. In the National Football League (NFL), the player who has recorded the most rushing yards for a season is considered the winner of the rushing title for that season. In addition to the NFL rushing champion, league record books recognize the rushing champions of the American Football League (AFL), which operated from 1960 to 1969 before being absorbed into the National Football League in 1970.The NFL did not begin keeping official records until the 1932 season. The average amount of yardage the rushing champion has gained has increased over time—since the adoption of the 14-game season in 1961, all but two rushing champions have recorded over 1,000 yards rushing, and the adoption of the 16-game season in 1978 has resulted in many rushing champions recording over 1,500 rushing yards. Seven rushing champions have recorded over 2,000 rushing yards, a feat first accomplished by O. J. Simpson in 1973 and most recently accomplished by Adrian Peterson in 2012.

The player with the most rushing titles is Jim Brown, who was the rushing champion eight times over his career. Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, O. J. Simpson, Steve Van Buren, and Barry Sanders are tied for the second-most rushing titles, each having won four times. Jim Brown also holds the record for the most consecutive rushing titles with five, having led the league in rushing each year from 1957 to 1961. Steve Van Buren, Emmitt Smith, and Earl Campbell each recorded three consecutive rushing titles. The Cleveland Browns have recorded the most rushing titles with eleven; the Dallas Cowboys rank second, with seven rushing titles. The most recent rushing champion is Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, who led the league with 1,434 yards rushing over the 2018 season.

AFL annual rushing yards leaders

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