Thanksgiving Day 1997: When Barry Sanders ran the Bears ragged in triple-TD display

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LIV - Day 1
SiriusXM At Super Bowl LIV - Day 1

Barry Sanders is currently fourth all-time on the NFL's career rushing leaderboards. Frank Gore recently passed him, but he remains one of history's most electric players. Whenever he was on television, there was a good chance he was going to do something special.

There may not be a better example of that than when he roasted the Chicago Bears defense on a Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is a big holiday for football as they're essentially the only sport on TV that day to capitalize on viewership.

Everyone loves watching football on Thanksgiving and when the stars on the field do something like what Sanders did in 1997, it's even more fun.

The running back ran roughshod over the Bears for one of the top Thanksgiving Day performances in NFL history. On November 27, 1997, the future Hall of Famer had a career day.

Scoring multiple touchdowns, let alone three, is hard for any offensive player who's not a quarterback. Not only that, but Sanders barely needed any carries to pull off the feat.


His rushing totals were 19 carries (which is far less than the average starting running back would have received then) for 167 yards and those three scores.

He averaged 8.8 yards per carry, which is just an astounding number. His scores went for 40, 25 and 15 yards en route to a dominating 55-20 win over their division rival.


Sanders had plenty of games like this in his career, which is why he's considered one of, if not the best, running back in history. This might have been one of his most iconic performances, though.

Will anyone have a Barry Sanders-like game on Thanksgiving 2022?

It's tough for running backs to put up numbers like that today. The majority of teams feature two running backs that get at least a few carries. There aren't as many true workhorses today.

However, the Detroit Lions' star did only need 19 carries, so it's possible for someone to have a very high yards per carry number like he did.

Houston Texans v New York Giants
Houston Texans v New York Giants

Saquon Barkley is arguably the best back playing today, so he's the favorite to put up video game numbers. Dalvin Cook could also have a huge day, though he's facing a tough defense. We will see if anyone can manage it this year.

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Edited by Zachary Roberts
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