This Day In Sports History (December 15th) – Joe Montana
This Day In Sports History (December 16th) – O.J. Simpson
It was on this day in 1973 that Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson became the first man to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. Simpson accomplished the feat in just 14 games as that was the length of the schedule at the time.
Simpson entered the final game of the season against the New York Jets needing 197 yards to reach 2,000 for the season. The Bills were intent on getting Simpson to the milestone as they gave him the ball 34 times. In the end, he would finish the game with an even 200 yards and an amazing 2,003 rushing yards for the season. O.J. was the only running back to reach the 2,000 yard mark while playing just a 14 game schedule. Since the NFL changed to a 16 game schedule in 1978, five men have joined Simpson in the 2,000 yard club.
In 1984 Eric Dickerson ran for 2,105 yards which still stands as the NFL record. Barry Sanders joined the club in 1997 and the very next year Terrell Davis became the fourth member. Jamal Lewis had the second highest total in NFL history in 2003 with 2,066 yards, and in 2009 Chris Johnson totaled 2,006 rushing yards.
Here is a look at O.J. Simpson, who was ranked No. 40 on the NFL Network’s top 100 players of all time.
William Perry, NFL – Born December 16th 1962 (age 49) in Aiken, South Carolina
Billy Ripken, MLB – Born December 16th 1964 (age 47) in Havre de Grace, Maryland
Clifford Robinson, NBA – Born December 16th 1966 (age 45) in Buffalo, New York