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Numbers mean less in 16-game seasons

The NFL expanded from 14 games to 16 games 25 years ago and it changed the impact of some statistics.

Originally Published: December 17, 2003
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

NFL headquarters delights when offensive numbers are high. After all, in all sports offense sells.

The 2003 season hasn't been any different. Thanks in part to defenses using more Cover Two zones, running backs have had exceptional years, gashing defenders waiting to react to the pass. There have been 133 100-yard rushing game, 10 shy of the 1998 record of 143. The NFL record of four 1,500-yard runners is already tied, and three more backs -- Stephen Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson and Priest ...

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