The following is a list of the NFL players who have rushed for 200 or more yards in a game the most number of times. The list includes an active player who has a decent shot to break the all-time record.
NFL Players Who Rushed for 200 Yards in a Game the Most Times
1. O.J. Simpson – 6
O.J. Simpson holds the NFL record for most games with 200 or more rushing yards with six. Simpson had games of 273, 250, 227, 219, 203, and 200 rushing yards during his career.
Three of his 200 yard games, 250, 219, and 200, came during the during the 1973 season. Simpson ran for 219 and 200 yards in the last two games of the 1973 season to become the first NFL running back to run for over 2,000 yards in a season.
O.J. Simpson holds the record for most 200 yard rushing games in a row. On two separate occasions, Simpson had consecutive games of 200 or more rushing yards. The first time was during the last two games in 1973. The second time was in the 12th and 13th games of the 1976 season, when he had 273 and 203 yard rushing games.
Simpson’s 273 yard rushing game in 1976 set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game. Walter Payton broke the record almost exactly one year later when he rushed for 275 yards in a game. The record has since been broken three more times.
2. Tiki Barber – 5
Tiki Barber had five 200 yard rushing games in his career, the second most in NFL history. Barber had three of his 200 yard games during the 2005 season, with games of 220, 206, and 203 rushing yards.
The other two 200 yard rushing games in Tiki Barber’s career came in 2002 (203 yard game), and in 2006 in his last regular season game when he had 234 rushing yards vs the Washington Redskins. How you retire after rushing for 234 yards in a game is beyond me, but that is what Tiki did after the 2006 season.
T-3. LaDainian Tomlinson – 4
LaDainian Tomlinson had four 200 yard rushing games in his great career. That is the third most 200 yard rushing games in NFL history. Tomlinson had rushing games of 243 (2003 season), 220 (2002), 217 (2002), and 200 (2003) yards during his career.
Some places, like the NFL’s own website, erroneously say that LaDainian Tomlinson had five 200 yard rushing games. I went through his career, and can only find four. He did have games of 199 and 198 rushing yards, but we don’t round off the numbers.
Sports Illustrated also only lists Tomlinson with four 200 yard games. If I missed a 200 yard game, then move him up into a tie with Tiki Barber for second.
LaDainian Tomlinson holds the FBS college football record for most rushing yards in a game.
T-3. Adrian Peterson – 4
So far in his NFL career, Adrian Peterson has four 200 yard rushing games. Peterson had two during the 2007 season, 224 yards, and the NFL single game rushing record of 296 yards. He also had two 200 yard rushing games during the 2012 season, with games of 210 and 212 yards.
I would say Adrian Peterson has a decent chance to catch or pass O.J. Simpson for the most 200 yard rushing games in NFL history. He is 28 years old entering the 2013 season.
T-3. Jim Brown – 4
The great Jim Brown had games of 237 (1957), 237 (1961), 232 (1962), and 223 (1962) rushing yards in his career.
T-3. Earl Campbell – 4
Earl Campbell had all four of his 200 yard rushing games during the 1980 season, which is the NFL record for most 200 yard rushing games in a season. Campbell had games of 206, 203, 203, and 202 rushing yards that season, including back-to-back games of 203 and 202 yards.
The two 200 yard rushing games in a row is tied with O.J. Simpson for the NFL record for most games in a row with 200 rushing yards.
T-3. Barry Sanders – 4
Barry Sanders had games of 237 (1994), 220 (1991), 216 (1997), and 215 (1997) rushing yards in his great career.