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  Besides usual suspects such as speed, power and quickness, NFL running backs need two other things to excel: youth and durability. No question, Razorback...

  Besides usual suspects such as speed, power and quickness, NFL running backs need two other things to excel: youth and durability. No question, Razorback demigod Darren McFadden has enough of the tangibles, and proved it by running at a pace that would have racked up 1,400 yards each of the last two seasons with the Oakland Raiders. But injury kept him from suiting up nearly 40% of his games in 2010 and 2011. In order to achieve the same level of success in Oakland as he had in Arkansas, he must play nearly all 16 regular-season games.

He’ll have plenty more seasons to prove his durability, but if he wants to start setting single-season NFL records, now is the time. McFadden, who turns 25 in August, is entering what is historically the most productive age for pro running backs. The best rushing seasons in NFL history have been churned out by men with an average age of 25.8 years:

Player (Age) Yards Year Games Played Team
1 Eric Dickerson (24) 2,105 1984 16 RAM
2 Jamal Lewis (24) 2,066 2003 16 BAL
3 Barry Sanders (29) 2,053 1997 16 DET
4 Terrell Davis (26) 2,008 1998 16 DEN
5 Chris Johnson (24) 2,006 2009 16 TEN
6 O.J. Simpson (26) 2,003 1973 14 BUF
7 Earl Campbell (25) 1,934 1980 15 HOU
8 Barry Sanders (26) 1,883 1994 16 DET
Ahman Green (26) 1,883 2003 16 GNB
10 Shaun Alexander (28) 1,880 2005 16 SEA

http://www.pro-football-reference.com

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