Longevity and Super Bowl hardware led the way.
In a surprising landslide, Marcus Allen crushed LaDainian Tomlinson in our poll, asking readers to name the best running back in AFC West history. As of 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, Allen received 64 percent of the vote, while Tomlinson received 36 percent.
I can easily see why Allen won. But it should have been closer.
Allen played 16 NFL seasons -- 11 with the Oakland Raiders and five with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is in the Hall of Fame.
Allen, who earned a Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP award with the Raiders, had 12,243 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. He had 123 rushing scores. He added 587 career receptions for 5,411 yards with 21 receiving touchdowns.
Tomlinson recently retired with the San Diego Chargers after re-signing with them. He played with San Diego from 2001-09 before playing the final two years of his career with the New York Jets.
Tomlinson had 13,684 yards in 11 NFL seasons and he averaged 4.3 yards per carry. He scored 145 rushing touchdowns. Tomlinson added 624 career catches for 4,772 yards with 17 receiving touchdowns. He should be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2017.
Tomlinson has several more dominant years than Allen did, but Allen played a lot longer and won the ultimate prizes. You could go either way and be happy with this one. Thanks to everyone who played along.
link: Poll results: Allen runs by Tomlinson - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
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