With that six-yard run on the second play of the second half in a 20-7 win over the New Orleans Saints, Payton became the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, eclipsing Jim Brown.
"When God said He would make a halfback or a fullback, He might have said Gale Sayers or He might have said Jim Brown," Bears coach Mike Ditka said after the game. "But when He said He would make the best football player who ever lived, He probably said two men: Jim Thorpe and Walter Payton."
Payton entered the game needing 67 yards to break the record. He rushed for 64 yards on 15 carries in the first half, and then inched even closer with a one-yard gain on the first play of the third quarter.
When Payton surpassed Brown on the next snap, cameramen and photographers dashed onto the field. Teammate Todd Bell met Payton at midfield, where they both leaped and exchanged high-fives.