Bills RB Fred Jackson is 32-years old. Most NFL executives and personnel men cast a wary eye upon any NFL back that’s on the wrong side of 28. That’s because history has shown a significant drop-off in production for backs once they pass their 28th birthday. There have been few exceptions, but Fred Jackson looks to be one of them.
On the advanced metrics site NumberFire, Jackson’s 2013 season was broken down to reveal he’s putting up production as good as almost any back in the league, several of whom are several years younger than Jackson.
Most significant however, is where Jackson’s production stands in NFL history among running backs 31-years old or older.
NumberFire listed all of the backs in league history who at age 31 or older had at least 800 rushing yards AND 300 receiving yards in a season. The grand total was nine… in NFL history! Walter Payton was responsible for two of those seasons, so there have been 10 such seasons by players 31 or older.
Jackson is now the 11th player after surpassing the 800-yard plateau last Sunday (now 836) with a game to play.
The list of players is obviously short, and it’s worth noting that it includes three Hall of Famers (Payton, Dorsett, Little) and a likely future Hall of Famer in LaDainian Tomlinson.
Here’s the chart courtesy of NumberFire.com, and it should be noted that Jackson and “Sweetness” were the only two to pull this off at age 32.
Player Year Age Team Rush yards Rec. yards
Tiki Barber 2006 31 NYG 1,662 465
Walter Payton 1985 31 CHI 1,551 483
Walter Payton 1986 32 CHI 1,333 382
Tony Dorsett 1985 31 DAL 1,307 449
Ricky Watters 2000 31 SEA 1,242 613
James Brooks 1989 31 CIN 1,239 306
James Stewart 2002 31 DET 1,021 333
Floyd Little 1973 31 DEN 979 423
Garrison Hearst 2002 31 SF 972 317
L. Tomlinson 2010 31 NYJ 914 368
Fred Jackson 2013 32 BUF 836 334
Tags: Fred Jackson, Walter Payton
Posted in Inside the Bills