Thurman Thomas was always a yard- and- point-producing monster during his time with the Buffalo Bills, but his 1991 season was especially awesome.
Football Outsiders has been running a cool retrospective series looking at the best teams, offenses, defenses, and player performances of the past 30 seasons.
Recently, they FO founder Aaron Schatz wrote on the 10 best running back seasons of the past three decades, and Bills legend Thurman Thomas made the list:
Here’s Schatz on Thomas’ 1991 campaign:
10. Thurman Thomas, 1991 Bills
Thomas won the MVP, carrying the ball for 1,407 yards at a league-leading 4.9 yards per carry with seven touchdowns and also catching 62 passes for 631 yards and five touchdowns with an 85 percent catch rate. This was one of only three seasons in the past 30 years in which the same back led the league in both rushing and receiving value. (The others: Marshall Faulk in 2000 and Brian Westbrook in 2007)
(DYAR is FO’s all-encompassing efficiency metric for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends.)
Thomas’ 1991 season was the first of back-to-back 2,000-yard-from-scrimmage efforts from the future Hall of Famer.
For perspective on that incredible campaign, Thomas averaged 5.82 yards per touch (2,038 yards on 350 touches). LeSean McCoy averaged 5.71 yards per touch in 2016 (1,623 yards on 284 touches).