Over the years, the National Football League benchmark for a single-season rushing total was 1,000 yards. With the former 12-game schedule for the season, the 1,000-yard benchmark equated to 83.3 yards per game. The 1,000-yard benchmark was maintained for the present season schedule of 16 games, which necessitated an average of 62.5 yards per game to reach the target. With the 16-game season, therefore, the benchmark is met with approximately 24 percent less yardage per game.
Most of the media still set the benchmark at 1,000 yards in their reporting. A national sports publication noted that last season the NFL had 29 backs with a 1,000 yards or more in rushing.
Perhaps a new benchmark should be established to reflect the season increase of games from 12 to 16. A simple calculation reveals that the new benchmark should be 1,333 yards or even set at 1,500 yards, a high plateau for a worthy goal.
It would be interesting to determine how many of the aforementioned 29 backs exceeded the true benchmark of 1,333 yards.