28 years ago, Eric Dickerson smashed O.J. Simpson's record for rushing yards in a season, gaining 2,105, a record that stands to this day.
Here's the thing, though: Dickerson needed 16 games to break that record. When Simpson set the record by running for 2,003 yards in 1973, the regular season in the NFL was 14 games. (The NFL began playing the 16-game schedule in 1978.)
Furthermore, if you look at Dickerson's game log from that season, he did not hit 2,000 in a 14-game span.
- Games 1-14: 1,792 yards
- Games 2-15: 1,869 yards
- Games 3-16: 1,865 yards
Since then, four other running backs have rushed for 2,000 yards in a season:
- Barry Sanders: 2,053 yards in 1997
- Terrell Davis: 2,008 yards in 1998
- Jamal Lewis: 2,066 yards in 2003
- Chris Johnson: 2,006 yards in 2009
- Sanders only had 52 rushing yards after Week 2, and rushed for 2,001 in the final 14 games. So Sanders became the second back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a 14-game span.
- Davis needed 16 games. He barely made it over 2,000 as it was; he did not even get to 1,800 in any 14-game span.
- Lewis also needed 16 games. He ran for 1,883 in games 2-15; that was as close as he got.
- Finally, CJ2K's 2009 season was also the result of the 16-game schedule. He only had 468 yards after 5 games.