LenDale White had a really strange NFL career. In 2007, in his second year in the league, White rushed for 1,110 yards and seven touchdowns for the Tennessee Titans. The next spring, the Titans selected Chris Johnson with the 24th pick in the draft. In 2008, White and Johnson formed an unholy combination of speed and power with Johnson rushing for 1,228 yards and nine touchdowns and White dropping to 773 yards, while upping his touchdown total to 15.
White’s best game came in Titans 34-10 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City on October 19, 2008. Leading 20-0, White peeled off a career-best 80-yard touchdown. The ball was snapped with 7:58 on the clock in the 4th quarter. By the time White crossed the goal line, the game was over. (That is a joke.) Chris Johnson added a 66-yarder a few minutes later and the duo combined for 317 yards on 35 carries.
At the time, White’s 80-yard run probably didn’t seem so insane – as amusing as it was. White was an effective back getting regular carries and was still just a few months short of his 24th birthday. Yet the 80-yard touchdown turned out to be an extreme outlier in White’s career. White would only score 24 total touchdowns in his brief 4-year career. With a 15-touchdown season and 1,000-rushing season, White’s NFL career was over by the time the 2010 season started. (His 2010 season ended with an ACL injury in the Broncos’ final preseason game and he was cut before the 2011 season.)
Reddit user chemicalxv posted the graph below, showing the length of White’s touchdown runs and if you look closely – or just glance briefly – you will notice a trend. Twenty-three of White’s 24 career touchdowns were 7-yards or shorter. Only four times did White unleash himself on the end zone from outside the 5 and literally half of his career scores came from the 1-yard line.
Just once did White – who weighed around 260-pounds for most of his short career – break a long one. That is the 80-yarder shown above. While White spent his best years as a touchdown vulture, there will always be that one time he flew like a big, fat, beautiful eagle.
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[Getty, Reddit, Pro Football Reference]