Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Waiting For The Weekend: Looking at the Numbers 0

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Jacksonville Jaguars v Seattle Seahawks

Edgerrin James is within 18 yards of moving into the top 10 in NFL rushing history.

This week we are looking at some statistics and looking at their worth in determining all time greatness.

Reaching the Edge
I saw an interesting note this week that Seattle Seahawks running back Edgerrin James is 18 yards away from passing Marcus Allen for 10th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He is less than 100 yards away from passing Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown to move into eighth place on the all-time list.

Now, James is a very good player and will probably one day earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is no Marcus Allen or Marshall Faulk and definitely not on the same level as Jim Brown.

His situation is just another example of how inaccurate statistics can be when used as a tool for measuring all-time greatness.

I still believe that statistics have value, but now see them as a way to compare players of the same era rather than for looking across generations.

When Jim Brown passed Jim Perry to become the NFL’s all-time rushing leader and then became the first player in NFL history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark, there was little question that he had achieved something very special.

Today, the 10,000-yard club includes 24 players with Clinton Portis likely to become the 25th member later this season. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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