Sep 27, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Andre Reed (left) and Terrell Davis at NFL Fan Forum at the Cafe Royal Hotel in advance of the International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Terrell Davis is one step closer to where he should already be.
As announced on NFL Network on Tuesday night, the former Denver Broncos running back is one of 26 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Davis is joined on that list by the face of the Broncos defense in the 1980s and early ’90s, linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, and one of the best safeties to ever play in the NFL, Steve Atwater. John Lynch is on the list but he’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but given how Hall of Fame voters have shunned and disrespected the Broncos organization for over 40 years, it is.
Denver has four players in the Hall of Fame. Chew on that for a few seconds. One of the best franchises in the history of sports, let alone the NFL, has four players enshrined in its Hall of Fame.
But we have to take small steps and take what we can get. We won’t mention Randy Gradishar, Louis Wright, Tom Jackson, Rick Upchurch, Dennis Smith, Rod Smith, Tom Nalen and on and on.
That doesn’t include one of the greatest owners in pro sports, Pat Bowlen, getting snubbed in the new contributors category.
The fact that Davis, Mecklenburg and Atwater are semifinalists is a great sign. At least there’s hope voters have their heads out of the mud.
Not to put a damper on the parade for Broncos Country, but given the history, I would be shocked if any get in. Broncos Country knows how vital Meck was to the Broncos in winning three AFC titles in four years, he won’t make it beyond this step. Atwater changed the safety position with his tenacious hits, cover ability and how he shutdown the run. He could do it all. He was Lynch before Lynch. He won’t make it beyond this step.
This is the same group of football “experts” who selected Curtis Martin over Davis.
Davis has to get in.
He should be the next to Broncos player to get in.
Davis is the only member of the 2,000-yard rushing club eligible for enshrinement not in the Hall of Fame.
He’s a former NFL MVP (something neither Martin nor Jerome Bettis can say), a Super Bowl MVP and two-time Super Bowl Champion.
Aug 20, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the historical monument pillars of former Denver Broncos players at the Ring of Fame plaza at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. From left: Tom Nalen (66), Rod Smith (80), Shannon Sharpe (84), Terrell Davis (30) and Steve Atwater (27). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Davis’ stats in the postseason that make this a no-brainer. Or should.
For his shortened career, he had 204 carries for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns. Simply put: Davis is the best postseason running back in history. And it’s not even close. Remember, he did what he did in eight playoff games.
Davis is tied for the most career 100-yard postseason games with seven. The guy he’s tied with, Emmit Smith, needed 17 games to get there.
Davis has the NFL record for consecutive games with 100 yards rushing in the playoffs with seven.
Davis has the NFL record for average yard per carry at 5.59.
Davis is tied for third in career postseason touchdowns. Smith is first with 19 (in 17 games); Franco Harris (19 games) and Thurman Thomas (21 games) are next with 16.
TD did what he did in eight games.
When you hear voters talk, all they focus on is the postseason. But since Davis had his career shortened due to a knee injury, he gets docked. He gets punished because he didn’t have “longevity.”
They forget a guy named Gale Sayers.
You cannot mention the decade of the 1990s without Davis.
He’s a Hall of Famer.
He should already be in.
He’s one of the greatest to ever play the game of football.
Davis and the Broncos will once again get shunned.
At least they made it this far.
Aug 20, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the historical monument pillars of former Denver Broncos players at the Ring of Fame plaza at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. From left: Karl Mecklenberg (77), John Elway (7), Louis Wright (20), Tom Jackson (57) and Randy Gradishar (53). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports