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Best Goal Line Runner You Ever Saw (1 Viewer)

I've seen them all in the last 40 years, and I'd have to say Bettis is the best goal line rusher I ever saw
:goodposting: Bettis was flat out remarkable. If I needed 2 yards and i had to pick one running back in history, I might well take Bettis. With one step he generated more power than most running backs could with 3, but somehow he still managed to find seams with that big frame.
No doubt about it. For a guy his size with that much power, he had remarkable vision and a knack for sliding his body in a way to get that extra yard. I think some people forget what he was like in his prime because they only consider what he was like in the end, and he was STILL a very good goal-line back last year. (Go ahead.. insert joke about the fumble against the Colts.)It's too bad that the Steelers' offenses during Bettis' prime years weren't productive enough to give him a ton of goal line opportunities, because if they had, his TD numbers would've been through the roof.

Sure, I'm biased, but I've never seen a RB who I would trust more in a short-yardage situation.

 
Sorry, but I am not drinking the Bettis Kool-Aid.

Shaun Alexander and Priest Holmes have DWARFED him! Both are $ inside the 5 yard line.

Shaun Alexander had a 45% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Shaun Alexander had a 56% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Shaun Alexander had a 70% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 57.8% success rate over the 3 years.

Priest Holmes had a 63% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Priest Holmes had a 56% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Priest Holmes had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 59.6% success rate over the 3 years.

Larry Johnson had a 100% success rate inside the 5 in 2003 [only 1 attempt].

Larry Johnson had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Larry Johnson had a 43% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 48.4% success rate over the 3 years.

Jerome Bettis had a 38% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Jerome Bettis had a 52% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Jerome Bettis had a 43% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 45.2% success rate over the 3 years.

Also, please note that LJ is not even close to the capability of Priest inside the 5 with the same personnel and system!

 
Sorry, but I am not drinking the Bettis Kool-Aid.

Shaun Alexander and Priest Holmes have DWARFED him! Both are $ inside the 5 yard line.

Shaun Alexander had a 45% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Shaun Alexander had a 56% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Shaun Alexander had a 70% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 57.8% success rate over the 3 years.

Priest Holmes had a 63% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Priest Holmes had a 56% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Priest Holmes had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 59.6% success rate over the 3 years.

Larry Johnson had a 100% success rate inside the 5 in 2003 [only 1 attempt].

Larry Johnson had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Larry Johnson had a 43% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 48.4% success rate over the 3 years.

Jerome Bettis had a 38% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

Jerome Bettis had a 52% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

Jerome Bettis had a 43% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 45.2% success rate over the 3 years.

Also, please note that LJ is not even close to the capability of Priest inside the 5 with the same personnel and system!
Curious why you're using the final 3 years of Bettis' career and comparing them to Alexander's prime years, LJ's first years in the league, and Priest's years running behind the kind of line he was. Not that I have the numbers from Bettis during the mid to late 90's, but I'd expect that it tells a different story.

 
Steelers4Life,

I used the past 3 years only because the data was readily available on the Footballguys.com website. I do not have access to any data further back ...

I did not intend to say that Bettis is a bad RB; only that two others in his era were better. If there is data which shows that Bettis is equivalent or better in his "prime" or during his earlier years, then I would graciously accept it and alter my observations and conclusions.

 
Steelers4Life,

I used the past 3 years only because the data was readily available on the Footballguys.com website. I do not have access to any data further back ...

I did not intend to say that Bettis is a bad RB; only that two others in his era were better. If there is data which shows that Bettis is equivalent or better in his "prime" or during his earlier years, then I would graciously accept it and alter my observations and conclusions.
LOL, no problem, and I knew you weren't saying Bettis is a bad RB.It just stood out to me that you chose the final 3 years of a very punishing career in order to compare Bettis to Alexander, LJ, and Priest, so I asked why. Bettis had obviously lost a step or two over the years. My contention is that if you take every RB you can think of and stick them, in their prime, behind the same OL and against the same defense, there isn't anyone who I'd trust to get the short yardage than Bettis. That's not a knock on anyone else, really.

I just don't know where to go to get short yardage info from those years.

 
Haven't seen/can't remember many of the older RBs, and therefore will say Holmes and Alexander.

I just remember watching KC and Seattle games and if the ball is in the 5 yard line, I just knew it was a TD by those guys without a doubt, and the thing is, they never disappointed.

 
It seems as though 95% of Preist's TDs were scored right at the pylon. With an average O-Line I doubt he is able to stretch that play and get to the edge. Bettis could make his own holes and when the pile cleared on Bettis he was almost always a yard or two further than I thought he'd be. Dude could tunnel.

 
Earl Campbell.
:goodposting: That dude was a horse. Thighs bigger than my midsection. That guy could drag half the secondary with him into the endzone and was deceptively fast for his size. Pure power....
Agreed. From the 1, or anywhere else on the on the field.
 
Sorry, but you cannot really be serious about LT ...

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 62% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 39% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 48.5% success rate over the 3 years. This is not even close to the performance of Priest Holmes and Shaun Alexander.

 
Sorry, but you cannot really be serious about LT ...

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 62% success rate inside the 5 in 2003.

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 39% success rate inside the 5 in 2004.

LaDanian Tomlinson had a 57% success rate inside the 5 in 2005.

A 48.5% success rate over the 3 years. This is not even close to the performance of Priest Holmes and Shaun Alexander.
Too bad he doesn't have the benefit of KC's OL.
 
Earl Campbell.
:goodposting: That dude was a horse. Thighs bigger than my midsection. That guy could drag half the secondary with him into the endzone and was deceptively fast for his size. Pure power....
Agreed. From the 1, or anywhere else on the on the field.
I'll never forget play where Jack Tatum came flying out of end zone & exploded into Campbell square on before the goalline. Campbell stumbles sideways but still gets into end zone. Ranks up there with Bo smoking the Boz.
 
cstu,

I think you have a point, but the thing is that you cannot take any of these guys out of their given situations ...

What if Barry Sanders had Dallas' O-Line?

This of course is only speculation, but IMHO if Barry Sanders had been in Dallas he would have flirted with 30,000 yards!

I wish I could snap my fingers and look at the average yards rushed before first contact for a RB. There is a reason why Barry would have a negative number here and a reason why Emmitt Smith's number would probably be around 3.

... we have to assess what they did with the situation they were given.

 
cstu,

I think you have a point, but the thing is that you cannot take any of these guys out of their given situations ...

What if Barry Sanders had Dallas' O-Line?

This of course is only speculation, but IMHO if Barry Sanders had been in Dallas he would have flirted with 30,000 yards!

I wish I could snap my fingers and look at the average yards rushed before first contact for a RB. There is a reason why Barry would have a negative number here and a reason why Emmitt Smith's number would probably be around 3.

... we have to assess what they did with the situation they were given.
No, I don't take anything away from guys like Priest. Regardless of the team, they got the job done. It's easy to say so-and-so would've done better on another team, but in reality you'll never know.As far as LT's goal-line ability, all I know if that when they are inside the 5 everyone knows he's getting the ball and even if it takes him 2 or 3 carries to do it, he's getting in.

 
I don't mean to consider Alstott among the best goal-line runners ever, but I would have to say the run where was stuffed three times at the line on the right side then proceeded to bounce back to the left and put it in has to be one of the greatest goal-line plays of all time.

I believe it was four years ago. Anyone remember the game?

 
Among all the other great things you could say about him, he was (and likely still is) the best "crease" runner I've ever seen. His ablity to exploit the slightest crack would make a cockroach envious.
Or a drunken womanizer like me.
 
He's not in the same league as these other runners overall, but I always liked the way Terry Allen handled himself at the goalline. His pads were always low and he found creases to pound through. And he's was not an enormous RB either.

I would NOT include Stephen Davis on this list. Too many fumbles inside the 5 yard line for me. :thumbdown:

 
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Is this the same Bettis that fumbled on the 2 against the Colts in the playoffs, in what could have cost Pittsburgh their season? I'm just curious, because I honestly can't recall Walter Peyton, Marcus Allen, or Emmitt Smith ever fumbling in a key goal line situation like that.

 
No, Zack Crockett may not have the sheer numbers, and I don't have his precise stats, but when he was given the ball at the goal line, he punched it in a pretty darn high percentage of those goal line series.

 
My vote is for priest based on the vault he took over the tackler trying to take him low 1-on-1 right at the goalline. It had nothing to do with his line and everything to do with his ability/desire. I saw him start to jump and was sure he was going to get caught around the waist/legs, and couldn't believe my eyes when he cleared the guy.

 
I don't mean to consider Alstott among the best goal-line runners ever, but I would have to say the run where was stuffed three times at the line on the right side then proceeded to bounce back to the left and put it in has to be one of the greatest goal-line plays of all time.

I believe it was four years ago.  Anyone remember the game?
1997 Bucs v Vikings in the Metrodome (28-14 Buc win).LINK

"From there, he provided one of the season's most amazing highlights, scoring on a third-effort one-yard TD run in which he bounced off a failed dive over the middle, faked out one Viking defender and bowled backwards over two more for the score. "

I've heard Chris Berman refer to that run as "The Greatest 1 yard run in NFL history".

:thumbup:

 
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Is this the same Bettis that fumbled on the 2 against the Colts in the playoffs, in what could have cost Pittsburgh their season? I'm just curious, because I honestly can't recall Walter Peyton, Marcus Allen, or Emmitt Smith ever fumbling in a key goal line situation like that.
Or remember when he crushed Ulracher when he rumbled in from the five in the win over CHI this past season? That was awesome and kept the Steelers championship run alive.Best I've ever personally watched at getting the tough short yard was Bettis. There are excellent backs from all eras that deserve this title however.

 
Bettis best ever ? give me a break. His fumble against Indy almost defined his career. lol

Most all mentioned on this page is worthy except Bettis!

Your only as god as the line in front of you. Most mentioned were blessed with a great offensive lines in their time.

Marquis Allen stands out to me because he dove over the line and didn't play with great lines in his ERA and didn't even need a line. Danceing Bears list is good as 4 of 5 were true crushers that plowed thru lines.

Alexander has a niche for goaline but still has a lot to define yet. Priest was special around that goaline but was blessed with a great line. Payton always found a way to get in. Alexander is starting to compare.

But Emmitt did it the longest and holds the record so he has to be the greatest!
Remember Bettis' 3 tds 1 yard game two seasons ago? That was pretty cool.
 
Not that I have the numbers from Bettis during the mid to late 90's, but I'd expect that it tells a different story.
They don't have "inside five" numbers, but sports.yahoo.com give career situational stats for players active in 2005. You can check TD conversions for "1st & Goal carries," "2nd & Goal carries," etc.For his career, Bettis converted about 28.5% of his "& goal" carries into TD's. The numbers for Holmes, Crocket, or Tomlinson, are all in the high 30%'s. For Alexander, it's well over 40%.Bettis looks the part of an all time great goal line runner, but he was actually kind of soft in that respect.
 
Not that I have the numbers from Bettis during the mid to late 90's, but I'd expect that it tells a different story.
They don't have "inside five" numbers, but sports.yahoo.com give career situational stats for players active in 2005. You can check TD conversions for "1st & Goal carries," "2nd & Goal carries," etc.For his career, Bettis converted about 28.5% of his "& goal" carries into TD's. The numbers for Holmes, Crocket, or Tomlinson, are all in the high 30%'s. For Alexander, it's well over 40%.

Bettis looks the part of an all time great goal line runner, but he was actually kind of soft in that respect.
Not going to go thru these post, but who said Bettis? Please.He couldn't even get in from the one yard line vs. The Colts. :shrug:

 
refrigerator perry...

seriously :)

marcus allen & priest holmes for me... marshall faulk was pretty good, too...

what made them great... probably a thousand things... but a big component in their success probably had to do with what we usually refer to as instincts, vision, sensing the right hole to attack & whether to go low or high, making a decision quickly & hitting the hole authoritatively...

one reason i opted for caddy over steven jackson in recent dynasty trade was because i was much more confident in caddy's instincts than jax's.

sometimes size/speed packages are overblown (is eric shelton a great instinctive runner?)... marcus wasn't the biggest, strongest or fastest RB around... same with priest (ditto for emmit smith, walter payton, etc)...

something to think about when parsing the incoming rookie talent at RB...
I really liked watching Marcus Allen. Always staying forward with great body lean. I think that is the most important thing they good body lean to get under and through tackles to be successful at the short yardage goal line runs.In my mind Cady has those same type of skills.

 
Best.. I'd say Bettis/Allen.

Underrated - Faulk and Sanders

Overrated - By a LONG margin Emmit Smith (also the most overrated rb period).
:fishing: :rolleyes: Give me a freakin break. I assume you were in a coma during the early 90's?

 
Even though I'm a life long Seattle fan, (and I do think that Shaun Alexander is awesome at the goal line) I must say that I remember John Riggins hitting the pile so hard you'd just think 'OW!'... and you'd be feeling bad for the entire defensive line :)

My vote is for Mr. Diesel. :)

 
I've seen them all in the last 40 years, and I'd have to say Bettis is the best goal line rusher I ever saw
:goodposting: Bettis was flat out remarkable. If I needed 2 yards and i had to pick one running back in history, I might well take Bettis. With one step he generated more power than most running backs could with 3, but somehow he still managed to find seams with that big frame.
No doubt about it. For a guy his size with that much power, he had remarkable vision and a knack for sliding his body in a way to get that extra yard. I think some people forget what he was like in his prime because they only consider what he was like in the end, and he was STILL a very good goal-line back last year. (Go ahead.. insert joke about the fumble against the Colts.)It's too bad that the Steelers' offenses during Bettis' prime years weren't productive enough to give him a ton of goal line opportunities, because if they had, his TD numbers would've been through the roof.

Sure, I'm biased, but I've never seen a RB who I would trust more in a short-yardage situation.
:goodposting: :thumbup:
 
i remember the bowl game where sam the bam scored like 4 TDs (but forget opponent... you could guess ohio state or michigan & be right more often than not regarding the Big 10 at that time... edit - guess it wasn't rose bowl)... most or all goal line plunges...

one of the most exciting plays in football is when the RB vaults, & a LB does, too, they have a mid-air collision & whoever gets best of it determines whether it is TD or not... :)

* here is game blurb (from top 100 college games of all time site)... forgot cunningham played pivotal role in integration of football teams in south... through his dominating performance)...

No. 94 - The Tide, they are a changing

USC 42 Alabama 21 September 12, 1970

It wasnt the greatest game of all-time as an average Trojan team beat Alabama at Birminghams Legion Field. The game was of historic significance as Bear Bryants Crimson Tide was, as they had always been, made up of all white players, as the University wasn't ready to integrate. When Trojan running back Sam Bam Cunningham, an African-American, ran wild on the Tide and black quarterback Jimmy Jones had a good game, the University of Alabama finally succumbed and realized that the times were actually changing and to compete, theyd have to integrate their teams. They did and Alabama rolled through the 1970s. As rumor has it, Bear Bryant asked USC head coach John McKay if he could see Cunningham after the game. Bryant took Cunningham into the Tide locker room and said to his team, This is Sam Cunningham. This is what a football player looks like."

Historical Significance: Many like to quip that Sam Cunningham did more in one game for integration in the South than Martin Luther King was able to accomplish in a decade. From a football perspective, this game helped to integrate many teams in the South

 
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Not that I have the numbers from Bettis during the mid to late 90's, but I'd expect that it tells a different story.
They don't have "inside five" numbers, but sports.yahoo.com give career situational stats for players active in 2005. You can check TD conversions for "1st & Goal carries," "2nd & Goal carries," etc.For his career, Bettis converted about 28.5% of his "& goal" carries into TD's. The numbers for Holmes, Crocket, or Tomlinson, are all in the high 30%'s. For Alexander, it's well over 40%.

Bettis looks the part of an all time great goal line runner, but he was actually kind of soft in that respect.
I'm glad someone else could pull up some numbers to back it up, because I honestly have never been all that impressed with Bettis as a goal line back. I think you said it best:
Bettis looks the part of an all time great goal line runner, but he was actually kind of soft in that respect.
 
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Even though I'm a life long Seattle fan, (and I do think that Shaun Alexander is awesome at the goal line) I must say that I remember John Riggins hitting the pile so hard you'd just think 'OW!'... and you'd be feeling bad for the entire defensive line :)

My vote is for Mr. Diesel. :)
If you tried to tackle him from the waist up, well . . . fuggedabouddit! And as someone else said, he was the best at being able to extend the ball across the goalline without losing control of it. I can't think of anyone even close who I've watched do it as successfully and as many times as he did.

 
gotta be Marcus Allen. It seems like the last 3 or 4 years, when his skills had declined, he was still virtually unstoppable at the endzone. Not because of power, but because he could see, and when he couldn't see, he could lean in and feel his way in. Truly and art to the goalline run.

Really, statistically, if Bo Jackson hadn't come along, and Marcus hadn't found himself in the Davis Doghouse for a time, he's have far better career stats. Probably not top 10 in talent, but a very good back, underrated because of his stats.

 

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