, the NFL single-season rushing yards leader, pictured in 2010.
recorded the fourth 2,000 yard season and was the only back to record 20 or more touchdowns in one.
The 2,000-yard club is a group of seven National Football League (NFL) running backs that have surpassed 2,000 rushing yards in a season. These seven rushing seasons rank as the seven highest single-season rushing totals in NFL history, and reaching the 2,000 yard mark is considered a significant achievement for running backs. The first 2,000 yard season was recorded in 1973 by Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson. Simpson is the only player to have surpassed 2,000 yards in a 14-game season, as all others occurred in 16-game seasons; he finished the season with 2,003 rushing yards, averaging six yards per carry and an NFL-record 143.1 rushing yards per game. Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson, who had broken the single-season rookie rushing record the year in 1983, recorded the second 2,000 yard season in 1984. Dickerson rushed for 2,105 yards, an NFL record, and averaged 131.6 rushing yards per game.
Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders recorded the third 2,000 yard season in 1997, rushing for 2,053 yards. At the age of 29, Sanders was the oldest back to surpass 2,000 yards. Sanders had opened the season with only 53 yards through two games, but ran for 100 yards or more in each of the last 14 games of the season and averaged 6.1 yards per carry during the season. In 1998 Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis became the fourth player to rush for over 2,000 yards, running for 2,008 yards. Davis also recorded 21 rushing touchdowns, making him the only 2,000 yard rusher to record 20 or more touchdowns in a season, and he had reached the 1,000 yard mark only only seven games into the season. Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis surpassed 2,000 yards in the 2003 season, recording 2,066 yards over the course of the season. 500 of these yards were recorded in two games against the Cleveland Browns, with Lewis rushing for a then-NFL record 295 yards in the first and recording 205 rushing yards in the second. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and also recorded an NFL-record 2,509 yards from scrimmage. Minnesota Vikings back Adrian Peterson is the most recent player to have surpassed 2,000 yards rushing, having finished the 2012 NFL season with 2,097 yards rushing, just eight yards short of Dickerson's record. Peterson had torn two ligaments in his left knee the previous year, making him the only player to have surpassed 2,000 yards after having reconstructive knee surgery the prior season.
Out of the seven players to have recorded 2,000-yard rushing seasons, all but one (Dickerson) won the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award; Simpson, Sanders, Davis, and Peterson also won the AP Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Simpson, Dickerson, and Sanders are each members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which "honor[s] individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football"; Davis is not a Hall of Fame member, while Lewis, Johnson, and Peterson are not yet eligible to be voted in.[A]
, the first running back to gain over 2,000 yards in a season and the only player to do so in a 14-game season, photographed in 1990.
, the most recent player to surpass 2,000 yards and the only one to do so after having reconstructive knee surgery.
2,000 yard rushers 
- ^ a b "Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson joins the 2,000-yard club". NFL.com. December 30, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ "NFL Single-Season Rushing Yards Leaders". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- ^ "Adrian Peterson just misses record". ESPN.com. December 31, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- ^ a b c d e Bender, Bill (December 23, 2012). "Adrian Peterson has one more week to enter elite 2,000 yard club". Sporting News. AOL.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ a b c d "NFL Single-Season Rushing Leaders". SI.com. CNN. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ a b c d e f g h "AP MVP winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ a b c d e f g h "AP Offensive Player of the Year winners". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ a b c d e f g h "Hall of Famers - Alphabetically". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ "Mission Statement". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ "Hall of Famers: Selection Process FAQ". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ "Barry Sanders NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- ^ Platania, Joe. "Jamal Lewis To Be Inducted Into Ravens' Ring Of Honor". Press Bow. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
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