In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Corey Dillon of the Cincinnati Bengals has the game of his life, setting an NFL single-game rushing record. Dillon rushes for 278 yards on 22 carries to lead the winless Bengals to a 31-21 win over the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. Dillon tops the record of 275 yards that was set by Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears in 1977. Corey Dillon's record would stand for three seasons before it was topped by Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. Dillon would finish the 2000 season with 1,425 yards on the ground.
On November 20, 1977, Walter Payton topped O.J. Simpson's single-game record by rushing for 275 yards against the Minnesota Vikings. O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills had the first 250-yard game in 1973, he topped the mark again, rushing for 273 yards on Thanksgiving in 1976 at the Detroit Lions.
Corey Dillon was born on October 24, 1974, in Seattle, Washington. Raised in Seattle, Dillon attended the University of Washington. In 1997, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round. He had an outstanding rookie season, rushing for 1,129 yards as he broke the single-game rookie record with 246 yards against the Tennessee Oilers, topping a record that had been held by Jim Brown for 40 years.
The Cincinnati Bengals were off to a terrible start in 2000, holding a record of 0-6 for coach Dick Lebeau as they hosted the Denver Broncos. The Broncos entered the game with a 4-3 record for Mike Shanahan. The Broncos got off to a strong start, with a time-consuming drive that ended with a touchdown as Detron Smith caught a touchdown pass from Brian Griese. The Bengals got their first points as Neil Rackers kicked a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter. The drive was keyed by a 31-yard run by Corey Dillon. Dillon had a costly fumble in the second quarter, that led to a Denver touchdown, as the Broncos built a 14-3 lead with a three-yard run by Mike Anderson. The Bengals answered quickly as Peter Warrick had a 77-yard run that would be a career-best. Jason Elam missed a field goal as the Broncos led 14-10 at the half.
In the third quarter, Corey Dillon began to dominate with runs of 37 yards and 30 yards, as the Bengals took the lead on a 19-yard run by Brandon Bennett. Leading 17-14, the Bengals made a big defensive stop as Steve Foley stripped Brian Griese to stop the Broncos in field goal range. The first play from scrimmage would see Corey Dillon run 65 yards for a touchdown that shook Cincinnati. After Griese answered with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith. Dillon put the game away and set the record on a 41-yard touchdown run. The Bengals would win the game 31-21.