BOB GALBRAITH/Associated Press
Bo Jackson knows many things. The ability to exaggerate is one of them.
During Monday’s episode of the 21st & Prime podcast (h/t Caitlyn Holroyd of The Score), former Los Angeles Raiders running back Jackson lamented the tackling in today’s NFL and effectively said he’d be smashing rushing records every game.
“It’s like this—and I watch technique—I don’t see nobody hitting or wrapping up. Everybody’s running into each other and trying to use their shoulder pads to knock the ball carrier down. And I’m like, if I played during this era, man, I’d be averaging 350-400 yards a game … because nobody wraps up anymore. They run into each other with their pads.”
To put Jackson’s projection into perspective, he would be setting the NFL’s single-season passing mark in rushing yards. No running back in history has even averaged 150 yards per game, let alone 350.
His assertion that he’d seemingly bounce off would-be tacklers is somewhat suspect given he’s listed at 6’1″ and 227 pounds on Pro Football Reference. Derrick Henry is two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, yet he’s only managing to get 110.5 yards per game on the ground in 2020.
Jackson’s athleticism was almost unparalleled among his peers, and thanks to his hip injury, we still will never know what he could’ve accomplished as a two-sport star.
If he had played today, Jackson might have been a Pro Bowl running back just like he was in 1990. To say he could run for 400 yards in a single game is a bit of a stretch.