They called him “the greatest” for a reason.
Legendary NFL running back Jim Brown died at 87 on Thursday, his wife, Monique, announced Friday.
Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and earlier this year, at NFL Honors, the NFL announced it would name the league’s annual leading rusher award after him.
As a player, Brown dazzled with a combination of power and speed that made him one of the most formidable running back of all time. Brown retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher (12,312 yards), averaging 104.3 yards per game. He had 126 touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in his career.
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Below are a collection of his finest moments from his nine-year career:
Week 9 vs. Rams 1957
The sixth overall pick in the draft out of Syracuse, Brown made his presence felt immediately with the Browns by winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in 1957. His breakout game came against the original version of the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 24.
Brown carried the rock 31 times for 237 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-31 victory.
1958 vs. STL Cards
In a season in which Brown averaged 5.94 yards per carry, his Week 5 performance against the Cardinals stood out. He racked up 180 rushing yards on 24 carries and also found the end zone four times.
Brown again won the MVP that season.
1959 vs. Colts
Although the Baltimore Colts went on to claim their second straight title in 1959, Brown had his day with them a few months prior. On Nov. 1, Brown had his most productive day of the campaign in terms of touchdowns (five) and rushing yards (178).
1961 vs. Eagles
It took Brown until Week 6 of the 1961 season to surpass the 100-yard mark for a single game but he’d done it four times in a row heading into a Nov. 19 matchup against Philadelphia. Brown exploded against the Eagles, scoring four touchdowns and rushing 24 times for 237 yards.
He added three catches for 52 yards and one passing attempt (incomplete) for good measure.
Week 1 1963 vs. Washington
Brown’s 1962 season was the lone year he did not eclipse the 1,000-yard threshold (996) but he did have the most receiving touchdowns of his career (five).
He was quick to show that 1963 would not be more of the same story. In Week 1 against Washington, Brown scored an 80-yard rushing touchdown and took an 83-yard pass to the house in the same game.
1964 NFL championship
On Dec. 12, the Browns shut out the Colts 27-0 to claim the NFL championship. Brown rushed 27 times for 114 yards (three catches, 37 yards).
1965 Week 11 vs. Steelers
Brown had a trio of three-touchdown games during the final season of his career, the last coming on Nov. 28 at Pittsburgh. In the final multi-touchdown game of his career, Brown scored three rushing touchdowns and one receiving.
Brown retired after the season on top, having won his third MVP award and an All-Pro first team nod for the eighth time in nine seasons.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.