Recently, the NFL announced the running backs that made the NFL 100th anniversary team. There were 24 finalists, and only 12 made the team. Former Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen was not on the team, and he should have been.
The Raiders drafted Marcus Allen in 1982 with the 10th overall pick. In a strike-shortened season, Allen rushed for 697 yards, and the Raiders had the best record at 8-1. Also, that season, Allen was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. The next season, Allen rushed for his first 1,000-yard season and en route to a Raiders Super Bowl title. In the Super Bowl, Allen rushed for 191 yards on 20 carries and had two touchdowns.
When the 1985 season came around, Allen was on the top of his game. He rushed 1,759 rushing yards and caught 67 passes for 555 receiving yards; an MVP season for Allen.
Allen went on to have a couple more solid seasons after that, but when the Raiders drafted Bo Jackson, it took away some of the carries away. When Jackson came in, Allen did not complain; he switched over to fullback and was useful as well. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Allen and owner Al Davis had a feud that resulted in Davis not wanting Allen on the field at all.
Maybe the committee held Allen only rushing for 1,000 yards three times in his career against him, but it shouldn’t have mattered. Allen was an all-around running back; he could run, catch, and block. When it was a big game, you could depend on Allen to show up and play big. He is one of the best short-yardage running backs in NFL history.
Allen was the first NFL player to rush for 10,000 yards and have 5,000 receiving yards. He finished his career with 12,243 rushing yards and 5,411 receiving yards. He also caught 587 passes and scored a total of 145 touchdowns. He was 1985 NFL MVP, Super Bowl XVIII MVP, and made six Pro Bowl teams. If the feud with Davis did not occur, his numbers could be far more.