In the wake of Adam Schein bringin' the love on Shaun Alexander, Aaron Schatz pulls the rug out from under his logic.
Since 1978, only six running backs lost more than 1.5 yards per carry off their rushing average, with a minimum 200 carries each season. Only two of these running backs were 26 or older: Alexander and Barry Sanders. Sanders dropped from 6.1 yards per carry in 1997 to 4.3 yards per carry in 1998, and then retired.
If we loosen the restrictions a bit in our search for historical comparables, we still don't find many older backs with a drop-off to match Alexander's fall in 2006. From 1978 through 2005, only eight running backs age 28 or older declined by more than 1 yard per carry with a minimum 150 carries each season. Sanders, Curtis Martin, and Randy McMillan never played again. James Brooks, Marion Butts, and Corey Dillon each retired after one more year. Mike Anderson and Jerome Bettis went through a period of ineffectiveness, although each eventually rebounded for at least one good season.
Shut up, bitch. Tell me what I want to hear.
This is intolerable.