Honorable Mention: Leroy Kelly, Ernie Green — Cleveland Browns 1966-1967
Like just about every duo that will be mentioned here, Leroy Kelly and Ernie Green played together much longer than the seasons mentioned, but in the 1966 and 1967 campaigns, they were unbelievable. In those years, Green put up 750 and 710 yards while Kelly was running for 1,205 yards and 1,239.
Kelly was clearly the lead back but Green was no slouch himself. Look for a similar situation in Cleveland this season as Nick Chubb will be the top back and Kareem Hunt will get the second carries — although there’s no doubt he can still put up big numbers.
Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris — Miami Dolphins 1972-1973
Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris were the first-ever running back duo to cross the 1,000-yard plateau at the same time. During the team’s undefeated season Csonka had 1,117 yards and Morris finished right at 1,000.
They followed that up with 1,003 yards for Csonka and 954 yards for Morris in 1973. This tandem was one of the best all-time but the only reason they’re an honorable mention and not one of the top-three comparisons is that Csonka was a more traditional fullback — and back in the day, fullbacks got more carries.
For Miami, he was the bruiser and the 190-pound Morris was the speedy back. In Cleveland, the two are both complete backs, even though they have lined up with Hunt as a fullback at times in their short career together.