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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
|Week||Opponent||Total Rushing Yards||Leading Rusher||Yards||Long Run||Yards|
|1||Los Angeles Rams||95||Vince Workman||40||Vince Workman||31|
|2||Chicago Bears||81||Keith Woodside||40||Keith Woodside||14|
|3||Kansas City Chiefs||121||Brent Fullwood||47||Brent Fullwood||13|
|4||Detroit Lions||143||Don Majikowski||88||Don Majkowski||24|
|5||Chicago Bears||32||Don Majikowski||15||Don Majkowski||8|
|6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||36||Michael Haddix||21||Michael Haddix||7|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||126||Keith Woodside||48||Keith Woodside||21|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||70||Michael Haddix||31||Don Majkowski||9|
|10||Los Angeles Raiders||101||Michael Haddix||69||Michael Haddix||13|
|11||Phoenix Cardinals||125||Anthony Dilweg||50||Anthony Dilweg||16|
|12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||144||Darrell Thompson||59||Darrell Thompson||37|
|13||Minnesota Vikings||59||Darrell Thompson||17||Herman Fontenot||11|
|14||Seattle Seahawks||13||Michael Haddix||10||Michael Haddix||5|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles||55||Michael Haddix||31||Jeff Query||18|
|16||Detroit Lions||80||Michael Haddix||32||Herman Fontenot||18|
|17||Denver Broncos||88||Darrell Thompson||63||Darrell Thompson||28|