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Where do Falcons past and present rank on the all-time rushing leaderboards?

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Michael Vick is untouchable and there are so many great backs who are only kept out of the top 25 by injury.

Atlanta Falcons vs Miami Dolphins Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

Yesterday, we took a closer look at where Falcons past and present ranked on the all-time NFL passing leaderboards. Matt Ryan is top 10 in most statistics at this point, while several other Falcons consistently showed up.

Today, we’re turning our eyes to rushing, where the Falcons have had some true greats like Jamal Anderson, William Andrews, Warrick Dunn, Gerald Riggs, and Michael Turner over the years, plus the immortal Michael Vick as the greatest running quarterback of all-time. Where do those guys rank in several key statistics?

Let’s get to it. As a reminder, I left off guys like Steven Jackson and Eric Dickerson, Hall of Fame caliber players who spent comparatively short stints in Atlanta.

Rushing Attempts

#20: Warrick Dunn, 2,669

#42: Gerald Riggs, 1,989

#67: Michael Turner, 1,639

Rushing Yards

#23: Warrick Dunn, 10,967

#45: Gerald Riggs, 8,188

#58: Michael Turner, 7,338

#85: Michael Vick, 6,109

#92: William Andrews, 5,986

Rushing Touchdowns

#32: Gerald Riggs, 69

#38: Michael Turner, 66

#80: Warrick Dunn, 49

#97: T.J. Duckett, 44

Yards Per Attempt

#1: Michael Vick, 7.0

#28: William Andrews, 4.6

#40: Michael Turner, 4.5

Yards Per Game

#45: William Andrews, 68.8

#67: Gerald Riggs, 63.5

#82: Jamal Anderson, 60.6

#82: Warrick Dunn, 60.6


A pretty familiar cast of characters here. From an efficiency standpoint, nobody is touching Michael Vick, who has the highest yards per attempt average in NFL history. William Andrews is one of the most efficient running backs in team and NFL history, however, and I maintain given his passing game value that a fully healthy 10 year career for him would’ve meant the Hall of Fame.

Michael Turner and Gerald Riggs show up again and again as two of the most productive backs in history, with Riggs ranking top 50 in attempts, yards, and touchdowns, while Turner is top 50 in yards per game, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. Again, both would’ve flirted with Canton had they had longer, healthier careers, but their standing on the all-time NFL leaderboards already speaks volumes about how good they were.

Dunn wasn’t as efficient but deserves his spot in history as a smooth, well-rounded back who did just about everything at an insanely high level, especially when you consider he had far more passing game value than Riggs and Turner.

Finally, we get a couple of guest appearances from Jamal Anderson (who has the best season in team history and ranks just outside the top 100 a few times here, and again owes his lack of a top 100 finish across the board to injury, not talent) and T.J. Duckett, a scoring machine who amusingly carved his way into the top 100 by powering into the end zone endlessly when Vick and Dunn were part of the famed DVD trio with him.

The Falcons have had some great backs, in other words, and by and large injury is the only thing that prevented those backs from being among the very, very greatest and most productive backs ever. As it stands, they’re impressively positioned on the all-time NFL leaderboards despite those injuries, and Vick holds an efficiency record that may never be broken.