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Most Dominant NFL Player Ever


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5 minutes ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

So by dominant you mean statistically prolific in one year?

 

Jerry Rice wouldn't be out of place on a list like that.  Rice's 1990 and 1993.

 

The guy who's often left out of these discussions is one of the ones who most belongs. Don Hutson. 

 

In 1936 he had 34 catches when the #2 was at 20. And 536 yards when the #2 was at 414, #3 at 358, the #4 at 325 and nobody else was above 268. Only four players got above HALF of is total that year, and that was Hutson's 2nd year in the league. Oh, and 8 TDs when the #2 was at 6 and the #3 only had 3 of them!!!!

 

Or look at his 1939 work. 846 yards when the #2 only managed 550 and the #3 only 437.

 

Or his 1941, [war years] when when he managed 738 yards while the 2nd best managed 362, less than half. 58 receptions when the next best managed 29, half. 10 TDs when the #2 managed 6 and the third-best only 4. Same kind of insane dominance for the next few years.

 

One of the all-time most dominant seasons and maybe players as well.

 

 

Good historical knowledge, Thurman#1!  I wouldn't personally choose Hudson as the most dominant ever but he certainly belongs in the conversation.  Twice named NFL MVP, he was by far the best WR of his era and among the very best players of any position.  The stats you cite are impressive.  

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7 minutes ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

So by dominant you mean statistically prolific in one year?

 

Jerry Rice wouldn't be out of place on a list like that.  Rice's 1990 and 1993.

 

The guy who's often left out of these discussions is one of the ones who most belongs. Don Hutson. 

 

In 1936 he had 34 catches when the #2 was at 20. And 536 yards when the #2 was at 414, #3 at 358, the #4 at 325 and nobody else was above 268. Only four players got above HALF of is total that year, and that was Hutson's 2nd year in the league. Oh, and 8 TDs when the #2 was at 6 and the #3 only had 3 of them!!!!

 

Or look at his 1939 work. 846 yards when the #2 only managed 550 and the #3 only 437.

 

Or his 1941, [war years] when when he managed 738 yards while the 2nd best managed 362, less than half. 58 receptions when the next best managed 29, half. 10 TDs when the #2 managed 6 and the third-best only 4. Same kind of insane dominance for the next few years.

 

One of the all-time most dominant seasons and maybe players as well.

 

You stopped right before getting to the really good stuff.  In 1942, Hutson, in 11 games, had 74 receptions over 1200 yards and 17 TD's. Respectable numbers in 2021.  In 1942, they were ridiculous numbers, dwarfing everyone else in the league, DOUBLING every else's numbers.  

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7 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

Pitchers have always scuffed the balls and doctored them with substances.  But I'm sure you knew that.

 

"Back then", baseball was completely white.   It wouldn't become brown until 1945--10 years after Ruth left the game.  Any suggestion that Ruth played against "the best athletes of his time" is plainly false.

 

 
You keep putting words in my mouth.  I did not say that.  I simply said give Ruth the advanced training of today’s athletes and who knows.  

 

Dude, the ball becomes brown once its used over and over again.  Let me ask you something.  Why do they use over 100 balls a game today?  Can you tell me why?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

 
You keep putting words in my mouth.  I did not say that.  I simply said give Ruth the advanced training of today’s athletes and who knows.  

 

Dude, the ball becomes brown once its used over and over again.  Let me ask you something.  Why do they use over 100 balls a game today?  Can you tell me why?

 

 

 

Dude;  the "Dead Ball Era" (dirty brown scuffed balls falling apart after being used for an entire game, which made it throw erratically, hard to see and hit) ended ion 1920 (prior to this, Ruth hit a max of 29 HR in a season), after a guy got killed by a pitch.

 

Thus began the Live Ball Era:

 

"Rather than change the construction of the balls, which remained consistent between the transition from the "dead-" to "live-ball eras",[1] rule changes were instituted around how the balls were treated. Starting in 1920, balls were replaced at the first sign of wear, resulting in a ball that was much brighter and easier for a hitter to see. Additionally, pitchers were no longer allowed to deface, scuff, or apply foreign substances to the ball.

 

The impact of the rule changes was felt almost immediately. In 1920, the game changed from typically low-scoring to high-scoring games, with a newfound reliance on the home run. That year, Babe Ruth set a record for slugging percentage and hit 54 home runs (smashing his old record of 29). Aiding in Ruth's success was the fact that he held the bat lower and swung with an uppercut, essentially trying to hit home runs. "

 

 

Soooo...... the very year the new ball rules (fresh and white!!), Babe Ruth gives from 29 to 54 HR!  

 

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On 6/20/2022 at 3:44 PM, 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. 

 

 

At some point longevity of dominance has to play a role in this, and while I love Barry, Sayers, even Calvin Johnson for that matter. They can't be in this conversation. they just didn't play long enough. I don't see how anybody outside of a Bills board can say anything but Tom Brady. He owns or will own every relevant statistics in NFL history at it's most important position. It's not just him, it's him in a landslide. 

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The gap between Jerry Rice and every other WR in the history of the NFL is greater than every other position.

 

Yes I do think Brady is best QB of all time but he doesn't even have all the all-time records. You can make legit arguments for Marino, Elway, Rodgers, Brees, and Manning in the best QB category.  Lastly Brady is not in my top 2 NFL players of all time - that would be Rice and LT.

I think the gap between Lawrence Taylor and all other linebackers is the second widest margin. 

 

Jim Brown is probably even a better argument than Brady. Though his records have been surpassed he was more physically dominant than any RB in NFL history.

 

 

As for overall athlete, it is Gretzky and there is no further discussion. Male or female there is no other athlete that was more superior in their respective sport across all eras. 

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13 hours ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

So by dominant you mean statistically prolific in one year?

 

Jerry Rice wouldn't be out of place on a list like that.  Rice's 1990 and 1993.

 

The guy who's often left out of these discussions is one of the ones who most belongs. Don Hutson. 

 

In 1936 he had 34 catches when the #2 was at 20. And 536 yards when the #2 was at 414, #3 at 358, the #4 at 325 and nobody else was above 268. Only four players got above HALF of is total that year, and that was Hutson's 2nd year in the league. Oh, and 8 TDs when the #2 was at 6 and the #3 only had 3 of them!!!!

 

Or look at his 1939 work. 846 yards when the #2 only managed 550 and the #3 only 437.

 

Or his 1941, [war years] when when he managed 738 yards while the 2nd best managed 362, less than half. 58 receptions when the next best managed 29, half. 10 TDs when the #2 managed 6 and the third-best only 4. Same kind of insane dominance for the next few years.

 

One of the all-time most dominant seasons and maybe players as well.

 

The problem with using one year for Jerry Rice (particularly in the early 90’s) is Sterling Sharpe. Rice wins handily if longevity is factored in though. 

Agree with Hutson 100% though. He’s sort of a forgotten relic at this point in time.
 

One could also throw Kelley Winslow into the discussion at TE as he changed offensive and defensive schemes forever, but he also had a relatively short career. 

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On 6/20/2022 at 9:56 PM, hondo in seattle said:

 

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.  


Had Barry Sanders played when OJ and Brown players he would have led the league in rushing by a mile every year.  
 

Barry did all that he did behind an atrocious OL with weak QBs and a bad defense.  He was the Detroit Lions.  Emit Smith wouldn’t have been very good had he played on Lions instead of the Cowboys.  Barry on the Cowboys might have averaged 2000 yards a season for most his career.  
 

So while I get the OJ and Brown love, and they are top 5 all time too, Barry was just better, and really the GOAT.  

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3 hours ago, Alphadawg7 said:


Had Barry Sanders played when OJ and Brown players he would have led the league in rushing by a mile every year.  
 

Barry did all that he did behind an atrocious OL with weak QBs and a bad defense.  He was the Detroit Lions.  Emit Smith wouldn’t have been very good had he played on Lions instead of the Cowboys.  Barry on the Cowboys might have averaged 2000 yards a season for most his career.  
 

So while I get the OJ and Brown love, and they are top 5 all time too, Barry was just better, and really the GOAT.  

 

Same could be said for Walter Payton although he did eventually win a Super Bowl in 85. 

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14 hours ago, KzooMike said:

At some point longevity of dominance has to play a role in this, and while I love Barry, Sayers, even Calvin Johnson for that matter. They can't be in this conversation. they just didn't play long enough. I don't see how anybody outside of a Bills board can say anything but Tom Brady. He owns or will own every relevant statistics in NFL history at it's most important position. It's not just him, it's him in a landslide. 

Barry Sanders, though his career only spanned 10 years, won an MVP, made 1st or 2nd Team All-Pro every single season, made the Pro Bowl every season, won OROY his first season, won OPOY twice, and is #3 all time in rushing yards. He averaged 1,527 yards per season on the ground. That's an average of 170 yds more per season than Jim Brown and the level of athletes in the game had completely changed if you compare the two eras. Barry also did pretty much on his own. Those Lions teams were awful outside of him. Tom, though he is likely the GOAT QB, is not the most dominant NFL player. I stick by my choice in Barry Sanders. 

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6 hours ago, Alphadawg7 said:


Had Barry Sanders played when OJ and Brown players he would have led the league in rushing by a mile every year.  
 

Barry did all that he did behind an atrocious OL with weak QBs and a bad defense.  He was the Detroit Lions.  Emit Smith wouldn’t have been very good had he played on Lions instead of the Cowboys.  Barry on the Cowboys might have averaged 2000 yards a season for most his career.  
 

So while I get the OJ and Brown love, and they are top 5 all time too, Barry was just better, and really the GOAT.  

Interesting topic for the offseason.

 

I in no way see Barry Sanders being anywhere near the top for the NFL. For most fun to watch, very possibly, but not as most dominant player of all time. He wasn't even the consensus most dominant RB of his era as discussions always included Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas. Thurman was always mentioned as the "best all around back" because of his receiving skills and blocking skills but was rarely called the best rusher. Barry had incredible moves but always led to either huge gains or being stopped for a loss (I still remember him getting the ball at the goal line against the Bills and being tackled for a safety). His moves where great but didn't have the power of Jim Brown (he was before my time but saw many clips of his) and OJ. OJ was incredible to watch. Once he made it past the first tackle he very frequently was gone. 

 

From the OP, the discussion is most dominant player. While impossible to compare eras, as he brought up, you can certainly compare to their peers of the same time. As others have said, football being such a team sport it's really hard to pick but I'd have to say it would be Jim Brown or OJ. For both of them there was no comparison to others at the time and while everyone knew what the play was (I'm assuming this to be true of Brown, it was absolutely true for OJ), they still were incredible.

 

For those saying the baseball was different when Babe was setting records, again when comparing to his contemporaries, he blew everyone else away. Comparing eras is next to impossible as are "what ifs". Here's a good article from Bleacher Report mentioning him as a dominant slugger, pure hitter, runner, fielder, and pitcher. It also mentions in passing that he was far more dominant in baseball than Wilt, Pele, or Gretzky were in their sports https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1508392-major-league-baseball-the-case-for-babe-ruth-as-the-best-ever 

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I kind of feel about Brady like way I feel about Emmit Smith.  Smith is the all-time rushing leader but there's no way in Hades I'd call him the greatest back ever.  He just hung around a long time.

 

Brady owns all the records but he hung around a long time to get them.   He isn't even inarguably the best QB of his generation.  I've heard people make good arguments for Manning, Brees, and Rogers.   When I watched Brady play, I never thought I was watching a guy who was head and shoulders above his peers.

 

When I watched OJ play, however, it was clear he was playing at higher level than any back in the league.  And everything I've read about Jim Brown says it was the same when he was around.   Domination.  

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20 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

Dude;  the "Dead Ball Era" (dirty brown scuffed balls falling apart after being used for an entire game, which made it throw erratically, hard to see and hit) ended ion 1920 (prior to this, Ruth hit a max of 29 HR in a season), after a guy got killed by a pitch.

 

Thus began the Live Ball Era:

 

"Rather than change the construction of the balls, which remained consistent between the transition from the "dead-" to "live-ball eras",[1] rule changes were instituted around how the balls were treated. Starting in 1920, balls were replaced at the first sign of wear, resulting in a ball that was much brighter and easier for a hitter to see. Additionally, pitchers were no longer allowed to deface, scuff, or apply foreign substances to the ball.

 

The impact of the rule changes was felt almost immediately. In 1920, the game changed from typically low-scoring to high-scoring games, with a newfound reliance on the home run. That year, Babe Ruth set a record for slugging percentage and hit 54 home runs (smashing his old record of 29). Aiding in Ruth's success was the fact that he held the bat lower and swung with an uppercut, essentially trying to hit home runs. "

 

 

Soooo...... the very year the new ball rules (fresh and white!!), Babe Ruth gives from 29 to 54 HR!  
 

 

 

This is the case you’re making that Ruth was not really all that dominant?  Because 54 home runs needs context due to baseball brightness and uppercut swings?

 

George Sisler finished 2nd in the HR standings in 1920.  He hit 19.  Adding Sisler’s total to the totals of the 3rd and 4th place finishers results in a sum of 51.  I believe that even back in 1920, 54 was a higher number than 51.  Sisler is still seen on all time top 100 lists 102 years later.

 

In 1919 Ruth in fact hit 29.  2nd place was 12.  Almost 2.5 times his nearest competitor one year and just over 2.5 the next.  This = not dominant?

 

The live ball era started in 1920 it is true.  Before anyone else hit 50, Hack Wilson in 1930, Ruth had done it four times.

 

To this day only three players have done this 4 times.  The other two are McGwire and Sosa.  I can’t remember anything notable about those two and their HR prowess…..oh wait, yes I can.

 

Your contention that Ruth only faced substandard opponents and seeming need for him to invent a time machine to prove himself because he was fat is a crutch you can use to convince yourself that you have an argument, but it just doesn’t hold up.

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34 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

This is the case you’re making that Ruth was not really all that dominant?  Because 54 home runs needs context due to baseball brightness and uppercut swings?

 

George Sisler finished 2nd in the HR standings in 1920.  He hit 19.  Adding Sisler’s total to the totals of the 3rd and 4th place finishers results in a sum of 51.  I believe that even back in 1920, 54 was a higher number than 51.  Sisler is still seen on all time top 100 lists 102 years later.

 

In 1919 Ruth in fact hit 29.  2nd place was 12.  Almost 2.5 times his nearest competitor one year and just over 2.5 the next.  This = not dominant?

 

The live ball era started in 1920 it is true.  Before anyone else hit 50, Hack Wilson in 1930, Ruth had done it four times.

 

To this day only three players have done this 4 times.  The other two are McGwire and Sosa.  I can’t remember anything notable about those two and their HR prowess…..oh wait, yes I can.

 

Your contention that Ruth only faced substandard opponents and seeming need for him to invent a time machine to prove himself because he was fat is a crutch you can use to convince yourself that you have an argument, but it just doesn’t hold up.


One more time….He dominated the players he faced.  
 

They weren’t the only n or necessarily the best pro baseball players of the era.  Pretty simple.

 

A time machine would likely allow us to see a presteroid Bonds hitting 100 HR a season against 1920s MLB pitchers and Ruth struggling to get 30 vs 1990s-2000s pitchers (for instance). 

 

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