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Chargers’ All-Time Rushing Yardage Leaders

Updated on January 19, 2009

LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson Video

Marion Butts

Natrone Means


The San Diego Chargers were one of the AFL franchises that merged into the NFL around 1970, and they have been in one Super Bowl.  That was after the 1994 season, when they lost to Steve Young’s San Francisco 49ers.  And while San Diego has always been known as a passing team, they have fielded some pretty good running backs over the years.  Here is a list of the team’s all-time Top 10 in rushing yards:


LaDainian Tomlinson (11,760)—LaDainian Tomlinson has been the most dominant running back in the NFL since breaking into the league in 2001.  And while he’s dealt with some injuries the last few seasons, he leads the Chargers all-time in rushing yards by a mile, or by at least 6000 yards.  Tomlinson has rushed for 11,760 yards in his career, which puts him 14th on the NFL career list already, and as I write this in 2009 he is not even 30 years old.  Tomlinson is a five-time Pro Bowler, including three times being voted first team All Pro.  His best season so far was 2006, when he rushed for a career high 1815 yards and an NFL record 28 rushing touchdowns, adding 56 catches for 508 yards and three more scores (giving Tomlinson 2323 yards from scrimmage with 31 TDs). 


Paul Lowe (4972)—Paul Lowe was with the Chargers in the early days, playing for them from 1960 to 1968, and still ranks second in team history with 4972 rushing yards.  Lowe has his best season in 1965, when he was a first team All Pro with a career high 1121 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs, adding 17 catches for 126 yards and another touchdown out of the backfield. 


Marion Butts (4297)—Marion Butts played most of his career in San Diego, from 1989 to 1993, and ranks third in Chargers’ history with 4297 rushing yards.  Butts made the Pro Bowl in 1990 and 1991, and 1990 was his best season. That year, Butts rushed for career highs in yards (1225) and touchdowns (8, tied career best), adding 16 receptions for 117 yards as well.  


Natrone Means (3885)—Natrone Means was part of the Super Bowl team of 1994, and played five seasons in San Diego, 1993-95 and again in 1998-99.  Means ranks fourth in franchise history with 3885 rushing yards, and his best season with the Chargers was, not surprisingly, 1994.  That year, Means rushed for career highs in yards (1350) and TDs (12), adding 39 catches for 235 more yards as a receiver.


Chuck Muncie (3309)—Chuck Muncie was a great running back in the NFL for both the Chargers and the New Orleans Saints during his career, and played in San Diego from 1980 to 1984 for some great Chargers’ teams.  Muncie ranks fifth in team history with 3309 rushing yards, and his best season for them was 1981.  That year, Muncie rushed for 1144 yards with a career high 19 rushing scores (NFL best that year), and added 43 receptions for another 362 yards out of the backfield.


Don Woods (2858)—Don Woods played for the Chargers from 1974 to 1980 and ranks sixth in team history with 2858 rushing yards.  Woods had his best season in 1974, when he rushed for career highs in yards (1162) and rushing TDs (7), adding 26 catches for 349 yards and 3 more scores as a receiver. 


Keith Lincoln (2698)—Keith Lincoln played most of his career in San Diego, from 1961 to 1966 and made the Pro Bowl in a Chargers’ uniform four straight seasons, including twice as a first team All Pro.  Lincoln ranks seventh in franchise history with 2698 rushing yards, and his best season in San Diego was 1963.  That year, Lincoln rushed for career highs in yards (826) and TDs (5), adding 24 catches for 325 yards and three more touchdowns as well. 


Dickie Post (2519)—Halfback Dickie Post only played four seasons in San Diego, from 1967 to 1970, but ranks eighth in team history with 2519 rushing yards.  Post made the Pro Bowl twice, including his best season of 1969.  That year, Post rushed for a career best 873 yards with 6 rushing scores, and added 24 catches for 235 more yards out of the backfield. 


Gary W. Anderson (2250)—Gary Anderson began his career with San Diego, where he played from 1985 to 1988, and ranks ninth in Chargers’ history with 2250 rushing yards.  Anderson went to the Pro Bowl in 1986, but his best statistical season was 1988, when he rushed for a career high 1119 yards with 3 rushing TDs, adding 32 catches for 182 more yards as a receiver. 


Mike Garrett (2235)—Mike Garrett was a Pro Bowler with Kansas City, where he began his career, and played for the Chargers from 1970 to 1973.  Garrett ranks tenth in team history with 2235 yards, and his best season in a Chargers’ uniform was 1972.  That year, Garrett rushed for 1031 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, adding 31 receptions for 245 yards and one more score as well. 



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      kevin "charger" ramsey 7 years ago

      i still say natrone means was the best chargers back ever