- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Longevity and Super Bowl hardware led the way.
In a surprising landslide, Marcus Allen crushed LaDainian Tomlinson in our poll, asking readers to name the best running back in AFC West history. As of 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, Allen received 64 percent of the vote, while Tomlinson received 36 percent.
I can easily see why Allen won. But it should have been closer.
Allen, who earned a Super Bowl ring and Super Bowl MVP award with the Raiders, had 12,243 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. He had 123 rushing scores. He added 587 career receptions for 5,411 yards with 21 receiving touchdowns.
Tomlinson had 13,684 yards in 11 NFL seasons and he averaged 4.3 yards per carry. He scored 145 rushing touchdowns. Tomlinson added 624 career catches for 4,772 yards with 17 receiving touchdowns. He should be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2017.
Tomlinson has several more dominant years than Allen did, but Allen played a lot longer and won the ultimate prizes. You could go either way and be happy with this one. Thanks to everyone who played along.