In 1934, Chicago Bears rookie running back Beattie Feathers became the NFL’s first-ever 1000-yard rusher. In 11 games he rushed for 1004 yards on only 119 carries (8.44 YPC!) and scored 9 TD’s. His rushing record stood for 13 years.
He played for 6 more seasons, 43 total games, yet he totaled fewer yards and TD’s in those 6 seasons than he did in his rookie season alone; just 976 yards on 259 carries (3.77 YPC) and 8 TD’s.
Huh? How could this guy have been so great in 1934 and so blah the rest of his career? Well, it's not like you can go talk to a whole lot of people who saw him play so who the hell knows. Some have speculated that the 8.44 YPC is a phony stat, artificially inflated by poor stat-keeping. Possibly some kick return yardage got mixed in there. Sounds plausible. Another explanation is the shoulder injury the Big Chief suffered late in '34. He had to wear a shoulder brace the rest of his career. That's probably not going to help you win any rushing records.
Whatever the answer, Beattie still owns the NFL record for yards per carry in a season and he'll always be the answer to the trivia question: Who was the NFL's first 1000-yard rusher? Remember that and amaze your friends.