Today in Sports History: October 7

In 1984, Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton passed Jim Brown as the NFL’s career rushing leader. Playing against the New Orlean Saints, the Bears won the contest (20-7). Payton dominated in the game, rushing for 154 yards and securing one touchdown. In his 13 season NFL career, Payton rushed a total of 16,726 yards. Remembered as a prolific rusher and versatile player, Payton held records for touchdowns, carry yards from scrimmage, and all-purpose yards. 

The no. 4 pick in the 1975 NFL Draft, Payton provided an immediate impact for his team. In 1976, Payton’s second season, he rushed for 1,390 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. The league’s leading scorer for the season, Payton went on to play in the 1977 Pro Bowl, where he won the Pro Bowl MVP. In 1977, Payton was the league’s leading scorer again as he rushed for 1,852 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Payton won both the NFL MVP and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1977. In 1985, Payton led the Chicago Bears to win their first and only franchise Super Bowl. While Payton only rushed for 61 yards in Super Bowl XX, he was targeted by multiple defenders each play. The Chicago Bears dominant win over the New England Patriots (46-10), can definitely be attributed to Payton’s presence on the field. A 9x Pro Bowler, Payton was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993.

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