"Nobody put the squeeze on O.J. in 1972. In game No. 2 of the regular season, he roared past his boyhood heroes, the San Francisco 49ers, for 138 yards on 29 carries.
'It was the best game I've ever played in the pros,' he said later. Simpson went on to gain 1,251 yards rushing. In fact, he passed 1,000 in his 11th game. O.J. had a 94-yard burst against Pittsburgh to set a team record, and topped 100 yards six times in 1972.
On everyone's All-NFL teams, Simpson averaged 4.3 yards a carry as he lugged the ball more than anyone in the AFC. Then for a finale, he won the MVP honor in the Pro Bowl game, his first.
'It was a fun game,' he said later. 'I haven't had too many of those in my pro career.' His turnabout in 1972 was attributed to two things: (1) he lost 11 pounds and (2) his new coach, Lou Saban, let him run more often."
-Jim Benagh, The Complete Handbook of Pro Football, 1973 Edition