Even though veteran Pittsburgh Steelers veteran running back DeAngelo Williams hates it when people reference his age, it’s hard not to, and thus it’s probably something that he’s going to have to get used to for the remainder of his career.
In the Steelers forthcoming Sunday road game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Williams has an opportunity to surpass one of the NFL’s all-time great running backs when it comes to rushing yards gained in the first three games of a regular season when it comes to his age.
According to NFL’s Director of Football Communications Randall Liu, Williams needs 63 rushing yards on Sunday against the Eagles in order to pass the late Walter Payton as the oldest player in NFL history to rush for 300 or more yards in a team’s first three regular season games.
In 1986 and at 32 years of age, Payton, who would go on to later being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, rushed for 347 yards in the Bears first three regular season games that year. Williams, who turned 33 this past April, has rushed for 237 yards in the Steelers first two regular season games this year.
In order to surpass Payton in the rushing yardage category when it comes to age, Williams will need 111 yards on the ground Sunday in Philadelphia. So far during his long career, Williams has exceeded that 111-yard rushing mark in a regular season game a total of 19 times and has done it four times since signing with the Steelers last year.
Williams’ best three-game rushing total at the start of a regular season came in 2013 as a member of the Carolina Panthers and at the age of 30 when he registered 291 yards on 62 carries.
The Eagles defense enters Sunday’s game against the Steelers having allowed a total of 184 rushing yards on 39 total carries for an average of 4.7 yards per carry, so one would think that 111 yards on the ground is certainly an obtainable goal for Williams.
While Williams could care less about this particular stat, it certainly will be something for the rest of us to keep an eye on during Sunday’s game. Hopefully he gets 111 yards or more Sunday as part of a Steelers win.