Friday, October 5, 2001
Updated: October 17, 4:29 PM ET
Payton breaks Jim Brown's NFL rushing record
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
Oct. 7, 1984
The play is "Toss 28 Weak." The Chicago Bears have run it countless times, but today Walter Payton runs into history on it. Taking the pitchout to his left behind fullback Matt Suhey and left guard Mark Bortz, Payton rushes for sx yards and past Jim Brown in the record book. Brown had gained 12,312 yards in his nine-year career, but Payton passes him as the NFL's all-time rushing leader.
Payton, in his 10th season, runs for 154 yards in the Bears' 20-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints, finishing the day with 12,400 yards in his career. Payton also breaks a record he shared with Brown, as this is his 59th game of running for at least 100 yards. After the game, Payton receives a call from President Ronald Reagan, who offers his congratulations from aboard Air Force One, flying him to Louisville for tonight's debate with Walter Mondale.
Payton will retire after the 1987 season, having run for 16,726 yards, still the NFL's rushing record.