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Most Dominant NFL Player Ever


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Babe Ruth is the most dominant professional athlete in major American sports history.  When he hit 54 homers in the 1920, the next best guy - a star in his own right - only hit 19.  Babe was hitting at another level: a staggering 184% better than the next greatest long ball hitter that year.  The next year, the story was pretty much the same: Babe was 146% better than the next biggest star.  

 

But what about football?  The NFL doesn't have a Babe Ruth.  Brady is great because he's been one of the top 5 QBs in the league since our own star QB, Josh Allen, was in kindergarten.  Yet Brady was never - statistically anyway - far and away the best QB in the league in any particular season.   Not the same way Babe was.  

 

There are, though, two NFL players who do come to mind when I think about dominance.  You've got to go back a few years back to the time when the best athletes became RBs and defenses were designed to stop & destroy those backs.  In 1973, OJ had 75% more yards than the next best RB.  Ten years earlier, Jim Brown had 70% more yards than the #2 guy.  Both these guys were transcendent, mind-boggling talents.  

 

In Brady's most dominant season, 2007, he only finished with 8.7% yards more than the next best guy.  Brady might be the GOAT.  But in their prime, OJ and Jim Brown were more dominant.  

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4 minutes ago, Starr Almighty said:

There's plenty of players you can pick from but since football is a contact sport, they usually don't dominate for an entire career.

 

Brady has.

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I almost think you have to go one for offense and one for defense.

 

Offense is Barry Sanders, hands down, in my book. His lowest yardage total for his career was 1,115 yards and he did that in 11 games that season, 1993. He was the entire Detroit Lions offense, people knew he was going to get the ball 20+ times a game, and they still couldn't stop him. He singlehandedly carried them to the Playoffs 5 times pretty much. He probably could have played at a high level another 4 years at least and would still be the all time leading rusher more than likely if he had done so. 

 

Defense, though this may hurt some feelings, to me is Reggie White. As a DE he eclipsed 100 tackles 4 times, with the highest total being 133 (those are LB #'s), and was 2 tackles away one season from a 5th. He could destroy your QB, blow up your running game, and would maul any OL'man you put in front of him. He was a true game wrecker, especially in his prime. 

 

 

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I would add OJ's 1973 season. 2,003 yards rushing in just 14 games is a record that will never be broken. 

2 minutes ago, Starr Almighty said:

Check his 2000 -2006 stats and get back to me. You are thinking Superbowls but not his stats as a player. He had decent stats his 1st 6v years he was nowhere near dominant

 

You got me on the stats but with Brady I am going off just winning games. He was the driving force behind the Pats dynasty.

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14 minutes ago, hondo in seattle said:

Babe Ruth is the most dominant professional athlete in major American sports history.  When he hit 54 homers in the 1920, the next best guy - a star in his own right - only hit 19.  Babe was hitting at another level: a staggering 184% better than the next greatest long ball hitter that year.  The next year, the story was pretty much the same: Babe was 146% better than the next biggest star.  

 

But what about football?  The NFL doesn't have a Babe Ruth.  Brady is great because he's been one of the top 5 QBs in the league since our own star QB, Josh Allen, was in kindergarten.  Yet Brady was never - statistically anyway - far and away the best QB in the league in any particular season.   Not the same way Babe was.  

 

There are, though, two NFL players who do come to mind when I think about dominance.  You've got to go back a few years back to the time when the best athletes became RBs and defenses were designed to stop & destroy those backs.  In 1973, OJ had 75% more yards than the next best RB.  Ten years earlier, Jim Brown had 70% more yards than the #2 guy.  Both these guys were transcendent, mind-boggling talents.  

 

In Brady's most dominant season, 2007, he only finished with 8.7% yards more than the next best guy.  Brady might be the GOAT.  But in their prime, OJ and Jim Brown were more dominant.  

 

Brady has had to compete agaisnt far better athletes all over the field, not just other QBs.  Yet he has dominated for many years, still well ahead of the field (in QB terms) at age 44 a year ago.

 

Ruth faced a bunch of ham and Eggers most of the time. He looks like he was taking BP in those old films.  A far superior athlete in Barry Bonds had to subsequently  get jacked on steroids to hit more HRs than Ruth because he was regularly facing far better starters and closers (didn't really exist in Ruth's day) than existed in Ruth's day. Ruth doesn't get 30 HR facing pitchers of Bonds's heyday.  Curt Schilling, Pedro, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz (on one team!), Clemens......Randy Johnson would have destroyed Ruth.  

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10 minutes ago, Starr Almighty said:

Check his 2000 -2006 stats and get back to me. You are thinking Superbowls but not his stats as a player. He had decent stats his 1st 6v years he was nowhere near dominant

 

 

how many NFL players "started" to dominate after 3 SBs/6 seasons-----and continued do so for 15 more years?

 

get back to me

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4 minutes ago, H2o said:

I almost think you have to go one for offense and one for defense.

 

Offense is Barry Sanders, hands down, in my book. His lowest yardage total for his career was 1,115 yards and he did that in 11 games that season, 1993. He was the entire Detroit Lions offense, people knew he was going to get the ball 20+ times a game, and they still couldn't stop him. He singlehandedly carried them to the Playoffs 5 times pretty much. He probably could have played at a high level another 4 years at least and would still be the all time leading rusher more than likely if he had done so. 

 

Defense, though this may hurt some feelings, to me is Reggie White. As a DE he eclipsed 100 tackles 4 times, with the highest total being 133 (those are LB #'s), and was 2 tackles away one season from a 5th. He could destroy your QB, blow up your running game, and would maul any OL'man you put in front of him. He was a true game wrecker, especially in his prime. 

 

 

 

Yeah, I love watching Barry's ankle-breaking moves.  He was an absolute freak of nature.


But, IMHO, he was not in the same category as Jim Brown and OJ.  In Barry's very best season, he finished with 22% more yards than the next-best back.  That's really good - but not as dominant as OJ's or Brown's peak seasons.   It's true that defenses knew he'd get the ball 20+ times a game and they still couldn't stop them - but that was true of OJ and Brown, too.  And Barry played in the 1990s when NFL defenses had evolved to stop the run more than the pass.  

 

Still, I think Barry would be a supernatural force in today's NFL.  

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5 minutes ago, Kaenon said:

Lawrence Taylor 

Post-season Von Miller

 

Offense:

Karlos Williams, scored a TD every game and only could stop himself, no one else could.

 


Yeah most feared has to be Lawrence Taylor. 

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5 minutes ago, ALLEN1QB said:

Babe Ruth = Tom Brady. The Goat is just that the Greatest of all time baby !!


Talent wise, I’m not convince Brady is better than Allen. Brady has had some very complete teams in his tenure. He is a great QB for sure, but I would not give him the GOAT title. 

When Allen throws the ball, your eyes pop off the screen. I never got that feeling watching Brady throw the ball. Brady was a surgeon, very good at his craft, but he never made you go wow, nobody can do that. 

I think even deep down, Brady knows that. Which is why he holds a lot of respect towards Josh, you can see that in the way he teases him. 

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2 minutes ago, IronMaidenBills said:

If Allen keeps piecing things together, I’m fairly confident he will be the GOAT. 

I feel bad for Josh already, he’s been screwed out of 1 super bowl already by bad coaching. 

He needs to learn that the key to winning 7 superbowls is playing mediocre in the playoffs and motivating your defense.

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Very different sports.  Ruth transformed baseball and in a way all of sports.  Sports position in society pre-Ruth was not the same as it was once he came along.  In that way he will never have a peer no matter how much the Pats fans regulars and others would like to say it.  
 

I’d say Ruth benefits from being “the first”, but he also was a major outlier from everyone else.  The fact that his anomalous nature holds up after a century is telling.  I’m not sure anyone modern sports can ever reach that.  Candidates are easier to find in sports outside of football and I feel Gretzky is by far the closest.  The hoops arguments are tougher due to the different positions,  I could see Russell, Jordan and some others making a case but all are debatable.  In football you’d have to consider Brown, Brady, LT and Rice IMO but the singular nature of their roles makes it tough to compare them to Ruth.

 

Others:  Joe Louis, Don Bradman, Bobby Jones, Mark Spitz.

 

Pele could be considered if soccer qualifies as a sport as could and Glenn Howard if curling is a sport.

Edited by 4merper4mer
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