In DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, we all know we have a pair of the best backs in the league. However, they could cement their '09 performance as one of the more dominant single-season compilations by any pair the NFL has ever seen. Below, you'll find the current standings.
EDIT: This list has been updated through the end of the 2009 Regular Season.
(key- *=two backs with 500+ yards, **=two backs with 750+yards, ***=two backs with 1000+ yards.
1. 1975-O.J. Simpson/Jim Braxton (BUF)-2640**
2. 1973-Simpson/Braxton (BUF)-2497
3. 1984-Eric Dickerson/Dwayne Crutchfield (LA)-2442
4. 1963-Jim Brown/Ernie Green (CLE)-2389*
5. 2008-Williams/Stewart (CAR)-2351**
6. 2003-Jamal Lewis/Chester Taylor (BAL)-2342
7. 2006-LaDanian Tomlinson/Darren Sproles (SD)-2317*
8. 1977-Walter Payton/Roland Harper (CHI)-2309
10. 1980-Earl Campbell/Rob Carpenter (HOU)-2293
11. 1986-Dickerson/Barry Redden (LA)-2288
12. 2009-Chris Johnson/Vince Young (TEN)-228
13. 1981-Tony Dorsett/Ron Springs (DAL)-2271*
14. 2009-Williams/Stewart (CAR)-2250***
15. 1997-Barry Sanders/Ron Rivers (DET)-2219
18. 1983-Dickerson/Redden (LA)-2180
21. 1998-Terrell Davis/Derek Loville (DEN)-2169
23. 1976-Franco Harris/Rocky Bleier (PIT)-2164***
24. 2008-Adrian Peterson/Chester Taylor (MIN)-2159
25. 1997-Jerome Bettis/Kordell Stewart (PIT)-2141
Also, the other 1000+ yard duos, who don't make this top 25:
1972-Larry Csonka/Mercury Morris (MIA)-2117
1985-Earnest Byer/Kevin Mack (CLE)-2106
Pretty impressive to note how few of these super "duos" had the backup even hit the 500-yard mark. Among the top 50 single-season rushers, I actually saw more than a few teams that didn't even have a single other player crack 100 yards. That goes to say something about the durability of those lead backs, but having the depth is never something to take for granted (even if I think the Panthers should definitely consider any good trade offers they get for either of their backs before one of them is priced out of Charlotte.) So how high do you think they can climb? Do you think Williams will have any chance of playing this week in a totally meaningless game? Can they catch and pass the Titans duo with Chris Johnson gunning for the single-season rushing record? As noted elsewhere, they'll become the top 1000+ yard duo with just 57 yards between them, and with 125 yards, they can get to 2250 and at least 14th on the list (depending on Johnson and Young.)
P.S.: Apologies in advance if I missed any duos. Let me know if you find one, and I'll update the list.
EDIT: P.P.S.: It's interesting to me that in a league many claim is "dominated by passing," 12 of these top 25 entries--which date as far back as 1963--have happened in the last six NFL seasons, five in the last two seasons alone.