All-Time NFL Rushing Leaders by Team—AFC
As with most lists of this type, you may find it surprising to see certain names on here, while others are obvious and sometimes legendary. This one is a list of NFL teams' all-time leading rushers, based on total number of yards. Here, we look at the AFC, and also will have one for the NFC teams.
Baltimore Ravens-Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis played the first seven years of his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens (excluding the 2001 season which was missed due to injury). During that time he became the team's all-time leading rusher with 7801 yards, and also 45 rushing touchdowns. Lewis' best season was 2003, when he rushed for 2066 yards and 14 TDs. Lewis signed with the Cleveland Browns before the start of the 2007 season.
Buffalo Bills-Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas was such a prolific running back, that his numbers in Buffalo trumped even O.J. Simpson's. In all, Thomas rushed for 11,938 yards during his time with the Bills (1988-1999), and added another 4341 yards receiving. In 1992, Thomas had a career high in rushing yards with 1487. In all, Thomas had 87 touchdowns in a Bills uniform before playing his final NFL season in Miami in 2000. Thomas also was part of the Bills teams that won four straight AFC Championships in the nineties, but never won the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals-Corey Dillon
Corey Dillon played for the Bengals from 1997 to 2003, before going on to play for the New England Patriots. During his tenure in Cincinnati, Dillon rushed for a total of 8061 yards and 45 rushing touchdowns. His best season with the team was 2000, when he rushed for 1435 yards with 7 touchdowns. Dillon is currently a free agent and pondering retirement.
Cleveland Browns-Jim Brown
Jim Brown played his entire career with the Browns, and is arguably the greatest running back of all-time. In just nine seasons, Brown rushed for a total of 12,312 yards with 106 touchdowns, and added another 20 receiving TDs. He never had less than 942 yards in a season (and at that time, teams played 12 or 14 games in the regular season), and Brown's best year was 1963 when he rushed for 1863 yards with 12 touchdowns, adding another 268 yards receiving with three more TDs.
Denver Broncos-Terrell Davis
Terrell Davis played his entire career with the Broncos, rushing for 7607 yards during that time. Davis only played from 1995 to 2001, with the last few of those seasons being cut short by injuries. But if Davis had continued to play and matched his early career numbers, he could have been one of the best rushers of all-time numbers-wise. In 1998, Davis rushed for an astonishing 2008 yards with 21 rushing touchdowns, and added another 2 TDs receiving, earning the NFL MVP Award. He also won the Super Bowl MVP Award in 1997 for Super Bowl XXXII.
Houston Texans-Domanick Williams
Though he was born as Domanick Davis and played under that name, this Texans running back's real name is Domanick Williams. Williams rushed for a total of 3195 yards during his three seasons in Houston, to become the young franchise's all-time leader in that department. Though injuries shortened his career, Williams may still return to the game. But for now, his best season was 2004 when he rushed for 1188 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. That same year, Williams caught 68 passes for another 588 yards and a touchdown.
Indianapolis Colts-Edgerrin James
Though he's currently toiling away in Arizona, Edgerrin James played for the first seven seasons of his career with the offense-first Colts, compiling a total of 9226 rushing yards with the team. In 2000, James had his best season, rushing for 1709 yards and 18 total touchdowns, but then he suffered a knee injury in 2001 that shortened his season. Slowly, James made it all the way back, rushing for over 1500 yards in both 2004 and 2005.
Jacksonville Jaguars-Fred Taylor
Fred Taylor has played his entire NFL career with the Jaguars, beginning in 1998, and continuing through today. During his time in Jacksonville, Taylor has rushed for 9513 yards and 56 rushing touchdowns. He's added another 2205 yards receiving with 8 more TDs. In 2003, Taylor rushed for 1572 yards, but his best overall season was 2000 when he ran for 1399 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns and another 2 receiving TDs.
Kansas City Chiefs-Priest Holmes
Though he has really only played three full seasons with the Chiefs (2001-2003, with injuries shortening his 2004 and 2005 seasons), Priest Holmes was one of the game's best rushers during that time. In all, Holmes has 5933 yards rushing and 76 rushing touchdowns while with Kansas City. And while he had a career high of 1615 yards rushing in 2002, Holmes' best year overall was 2003, when he rushed for 1420 yards with 27 touchdowns, and added 690 more yards receiving. He's not yet off of the Chiefs' roster, but Holmes has been contemplating an official retirement.
Miami Dolphins-Larry Csonka
Larry Csonka was a bull of a fullback, and one of the last of the old-style power rushers. During his time in Miami (1968-1974 and again in 1979), Csonka compiled 6737 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns. Csonka's best season was 1972, the same year the Dolphins capped off a perfect 17-0 season with a Super Bowl victory. That same year, Csonka rushed for 1117 yards with 6 touchdowns. He went on to play for the Giants for three seasons but returned to Miami in 1979. That final season of his career, Csonka won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award by rushing for 837 yards and 12 touchdowns.
New England Patriots-Sam Cunningham
Sam "Bam" Cunningham played his whole career with the New England Patriots, from 1973-1982. During that time he rushed for a franchise leading 5453 yards to go along with 43 rushing touchdowns. Cunningham also caught 210 passes for 1905 yards and 6 TDs during his career. His best season was 1977 when he rushed for 1015 yards with 5 total touchdowns. Cunningham's younger brother, Randall, also went on to have a very successful career as an NFL quarterback.
New York Jets-Curtis Martin
Though he began his career with the rival Patriots, Curtis Martin played for the Jets for the bulk of his NFL tenure (1998-2005). He never matched his single season touchdown mark of 14 in New York, but did rush for a career high of 1697 yards with 14 total touchdowns in 2004. In all, Martin tallied 10,302 rushing yards while a member of the Jets, with 58 rushing TDs. He hasn't officially retired, but it's unlikely Martin will return from his latest knee injury.
Oakland Raiders-Marcus Allen
Marcus Allen played for the bulk of his career with the Raiders, in both Oakland and Los Angeles, tallying 8545 rushing yards and 4258 receiving yards with 97 total touchdowns. Allen was particularly brilliant early in his career, and in 1985 rushed for a career-high of 1759 yards with 11 TDs, adding another 555 yards and 3 touchdowns as a receiver-earning him the NFL MVP Award that season. Allen also won the Super Bowl MVP in 1984 as the Raiders beat the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Franco Harris
Franco Harris played for the Steelers most of his career (1972-1983) before wrapping up his NFL tenure with Seattle in 1984. In all, Harris rushed for a franchise leading 11,950 yards with the Steelers, including a career high of 1246 in 1975. He may be best known for the "Immaculate Reception" in a playoff game against Oakland, but for the most part Harris was a workhorse whose consistency led to eight seasons of over 1000 yards rushing, and a total of 100 touchdowns in Pittsburgh. But perhaps more importantly, Harris helped the Steelers to win four Super Bowls.
San Diego Chargers-LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson has only played in the NFL for six seasons (2001-present), but has already become the Chargers' all-time leading rusher with 9176 yards on the ground. But even more than that, Tomlinson has become one of the greatest running backs the game has ever seen, and at press time is only 28 years old. If he stays healthy, he could break every rushing record in the books. To go along with the 9176 yards, Tomlinson has 100 rushing touchdowns, with 2900 yards and 11 more touchdowns as a receiver. In 2006, Tomlinson rushed for 1815 yards with an unbelievable 28 touchdowns, adding another 508 yards with 3 touchdowns as a receiver.
Tennessee Titans-Eddie George
Eddie George played for most of his career with the Titans franchise, which was previously the Houston Oilers (1996-2003). During that time, George became the team's all-time leading rusher with 10,009 yards on the ground to go along with 74 total touchdowns. George was consistent, as he tallied over 1200 yards rushing in five straight seasons, including a career high of 1509 with 14 rushing touchdowns in 2000. George last played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, and though he hasn't officially announced his retirement, it is unlikely that he will play again in the NFL.