Reggie Bush closes in on a dubious rushing record

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Bills running back Reggie Bush is closing in on one of the worst rushing seasons in NFL history.

Bush has 12 carries for minus-three yards so far this season. Via Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune, no running back in NFL history has finished a season with more than 10 carries and negative rushing yardage.

A search of Pro Football Reference confirms that: Although there have been players who finished the season with negative rushing yardage and more than 10 rushing attempts, they’re all either modern-era quarterbacks who lost yardage on kneeldowns, or 1930s and 1940s backs who were both runners and passers and lost yardage while attempting to pass. (Today sack yards do not count against a running back’s individual rushing yardage, but in the early days, before sacks were a statistic, they did.)

Although Bush insists that he still has a lot to offer, it sure doesn’t look that way. Bush looks like a guy who no longer has the speed and elusiveness to make people miss, but still tries to dance around behind the line of scrimmage, looking to break a big run.

What’s particularly noteworthy about Bush’s terrible season is that he’s doing it on a team that is otherwise outstanding running the ball. The Bills lead the NFL in total rushing yards, and they lead the league in rushing yards per carry by a huge margin: Buffalo averages 5.5 yards a carry in a league where no other team even averages 5.0 yards a carry.

If not for Bush, the Bills would be averaging 5.7 yards a carry. Bush’s 12 carries for minus-three yards are an enormous outlier and one of the worst rushing performances the NFL has ever seen.