In Seidel’s article this morning, he mentions that Jahmyr Gibbs is approaching a rookie mark held by Billy Sims and Mel Farr. As to the latter, Gibbs is sure to pass him as Farr had 860 yards rushing & 317 yards receiving where Gibbs already has 792 yards rushing & 296 yards receiving.
But then, I went and looked at Billy Sims rookie season. Wow. Easy to forget just how great Sims was.
In 16 games, Sims not only rushed for 1303 yards, but also has 621 yards receiving. Add in 13 TDs rushing and another 3 TDs receiving.
You might wonder, as I did, well, was Sims basically a one man show who got the ball all the time?
The Lions amazingly had 2599 yards rushing that season. [The 2023 Lions have a gaudy 1973 yards rushing with 3 games to go, which compared to the Caldwell years when they never rushed for more than 1422 (in his 1st year 2015), is a rather amazing improvement]
Dexter Bussey had 145 carries for 720 yards, a 5.0 avg, and 3 TDs, plus another 364 yards receiving.
Gary Danielson had 48 carries for 232 yards & 2 TDs.
Rick Kane & Horace King combined for another 49 carries for 182 yards and 1 TD.
The Lions defense that year only gave up 1599 yards rushing & 9 rushing TDs.
The problem was that they missed the playoffs because they lost a lot of close games and finished only 9-7, tied with the Vikings, but must have lost on some down the road tiebreaker because head to head they both won one and had the same division record at 5-3.
Well let me answer my own question. It’s happened a few times in history. Miami with Czonka and Morris….Pittsburgh with Harris and Blier….Cleveland with Mack and Byner….the Giants with Jacobs and Ward….Carolina with Williams and Stewart. Now two other duos featured a RB and QB….Dunn and Vick, Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram
Well I wouldn’t say watered down. I mean if it was then every team would have that. Now to say “They are the greatest tandem in NFL History” because they accomplished this in a 17 game season while duos that they would be compared to had 14/16 game seasons…well I certainly agree there because of the extra game(s)
Changed the title of the post because two 1000-yard RBs is rare no matter how you look at it.
The one thing that could happen, though, is if the Lions beat both the Vikings & Cowboys, but can’t do any better than the No. 3 seed, they might rest both Monty & Gibbs in game 17 and go with the Craig Reynolds show.