Tennessee Titans: 15 best running backs in franchise history

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Heisman Trophy
Heisman Trophy. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

player. 148. . RB. (1960-63). Billy Cannon. 6

  • Best season: 1961
  • 948 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns
  • 586 receiving yards, nine receiving touchdowns

Ah yes, don’t we all remember waking up early to make sure we could get all our chores done in time to watch Billy Cannon star for the Oilers?

All joking aside, I never watched Cannon live, but his stats are insane. Also, he brought the Houston Oilers the AFL Championship in 1961, which is (heartbreakingly) the second and most recent championship in franchise history.

That isn’t all though, look at his complete list of accomplishments from that year:

  • Helped lead the Oilers to an AFL Championship
  • Led the league in rushing yards and yards per game
  • Fourth in rushing touchdowns
  • Led all running backs in receiving yards
  • Fourth in receiving touchdowns at any position
  • First in receiving touchdowns by a running backs
  • Led the league in all-purpose yards

That is an outstanding resume and he did all that in his second year out of college. He was one of the league’s best talents and ended up racking up accolades an honors throughout his career, as well as three titles.

The question is who were the “best” running backs in franchise history, so he couldn’t be kept off the list. While I think the league is much more difficult now, he is the best of the AFL era.

It was ultimately difficult to figure out exactly where to align that with the modern-day product, but I feel good about where he ended up as the last non-modern running back on this list, Pro Football Hall of Fame players excluded.