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Visualize this: Walter Payton Career Statistics

To kick off our season series on data visualization, we start with the GOAT.

Walter Payton - Chicago Bears - File Photos Photo by James V. Biever/Getty Images

This season, I plan to bring some data visualization to this space each week. It might be something relevant to this season, a current player, or pulling something from the history books. Below you will find three data visualizations of Walter Payton to kick off the series. The numbers and images speak for themselves (I don’t need to sell anyone on the greatness of Walter Payton), but I wanted to try out help visualize his amazing career.

Walter Payton rushing yards game log vs opponent tree map (click to see image better)

Let’s start with a tree map to show Payton’s rushing yards game log by opponent. Payton saved many of his best games against division opponents and managed to accumulate over 2,000 rushing yards against both the Packers and the Vikings.

Walter Payton career TDs by yardage

Payton scored most of his career TDs on the ground (110) but added a few through the air - both passing *8) and receiving (15). The bottom line represents his first TD run - a 4 yard scamper against the Dolphins in 1975 - and the top line represents his final score against the Seahawks in 1987.

Walter Payton’s 100 yard games by opponent

Finally, a sunburst chart of all 77 100-yard rushing performances during Payton’s career, organized by division and opponent. Again, he really did save his best for the Packers and Vikings with a total of 25 100-yard games against those bitter rivals.

Thanks for checking in. Let me know if there’s anything you would like to see in this space over the season. Keep the conversation going on Twitter and find me @gridironborn.