1990 Was a Terrible Season in Green Bay Packers Running Back History

      There were a lot of bad things about the 1990 Green Bay Packers team but the worst was their running game. They had a 6 headed monster, unfortunately none of the monsters were very good. They ran for a total of 1,369 yards that year and it was the worst Packers running team of the past 40 years. They only had roughly 300 yards more than the strike shortened 1982 team that only played 9 games. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the worst rushing offense in the league that year. The Browns (1,220) and Browns and Colts (1,282) were worse but at least they had good individual performances by Kevin Mack (702 yards) and Eric Dickerson (677 yards) respectively. 

      The Running Back Situation

      The lackadaisical running game shouldn’t have been due to a lack of talent either. The Packers had three former first round picks with Michael Haddix, Brent Fullwood, and Darrell Thompson, with Haddix and Fullwood being top 10 picks.

      Michael Haddix

      The story of Michael Haddix in this context is kind of incredible. He was drafted 8th overall by the Eagles in 1983. His rookie year, he had 91 carries for 220 yards (2.4 yards per carry). The next year he would only have 130 yards. In fact, 1990 was his best year with 311 yards. It was also his last year in the league. 

      Brent Fullwood

      Another former top ten pick, he was chosen by the Packers with the 4th overall pick in the 1987 draft. Similar to Haddix, he had a slow start to his career. Things started to look up when he ran for 821 yards in 1989. Things deteriorated quickly though and he became disinterested in playing in Green Bay. He was traded to the Browns (who, again, had the worst rushing offense in the league) midseason and 1990 was his final year in the league.

      Darrell Thompson

      Yet another first round pick, he was selected with the 19th pick of the 1990 draft out of Minnesota. There is a theme here because he also started out of the gate slowly amongst the crowded backfield and had only 264 yards in his rookie year.

      Keith Woodside

      He was chosen in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft but was primarily a pass catching back, which is also a similar theme around these players. He was out of the league after the 1991 season.

      Vince Workman

      The lowest draft pick of the group (5th round in 1989) had the best career. It spanned for 8 years and he ended up with 1,737 yards rushing.

      A Gif of Vince Workman's 31 yard run against the Rams in 1990

      Herman Fontenot

      I included Herman Fontenot on this list but he was technically more used as a hybrid running back/wide receiver. He was kind of Ty Montgomery before his time. 

      1990 Packers Rushing Stats

      Michael Haddix1612983110133.219.4
      Darrell Thompson160762641373.516.5
      Keith Woodside161346182121411.4
      Brent Fullwood54441241162.824.8
      Don Majkowski98291861246.420.7
      Anthony Dilweg97211140225.412.7
      Herman Fontenot14017760184.55.4
      Vince Workman1508510316.43.4
      Blair Kiel3159141.83
      Jeff Query160339018132.4
      Sterling Sharpe*161621401070.9
      Perry Kemp16161-10-1-1-0.1
      Courtesy of

      Sad Stats and Facts

      Here are figures that show just how bad that group was:

      • Had four games where the long run was under 10 yards
      • Had zero games with an individual rushing for more than 100 yards
      • The best single game rushing performance was by quarterback Don Majkowski when he had 88 yards against the Detroit Lions
      • Majkowski was the leading rusher in weeks 4 & 5 and backup quarterback Anthony Dilweg was the leading rusher in week 11
      • The had 13 yards rushing as a team versus the Seahawks in week 14
      • Brent Fullwood had the highest yards per game average of just 24.8

      Individual Game Rushing Performances

      WeekOpponentTotal Rushing YardsLeading RusherYardsLong RunYards
      1Los Angeles Rams95Vince Workman40Vince Workman31
      2Chicago Bears81Keith Woodside40Keith Woodside14
      3Kansas City Chiefs121Brent Fullwood47Brent Fullwood13
      4Detroit Lions143Don Majikowski88Don Majkowski24
      5Chicago Bears32Don Majikowski15Don Majkowski8
      6Tampa Bay Buccaneers36Michael Haddix21Michael Haddix7
      8Minnesota Vikings126Keith Woodside48Keith Woodside21
      9San Francisco 49ers70Michael Haddix31Don Majkowski9
      10Los Angeles Raiders101Michael Haddix69Michael Haddix13
      11Phoenix Cardinals125Anthony Dilweg50Anthony Dilweg16
      12Tampa Bay Buccaneers144Darrell Thompson59Darrell Thompson37
      13Minnesota Vikings59Darrell Thompson17Herman Fontenot11
      14Seattle Seahawks13Michael Haddix10Michael Haddix5
      15Philadelphia Eagles55Michael Haddix31Jeff Query18
      16Detroit Lions80Michael Haddix32Herman Fontenot18
      17Denver Broncos88Darrell Thompson63Darrell Thompson28

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