Aug 20, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of the historical monument pillar of former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis (30) at the Ring of Fame plaza at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
So today I will find out if I load up my Denver Broncos swagger wagon and head to Ohio over the first weekend of August, 2015. The inductions for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announced today at the site of the Super Bowl, Glendale, AZ. While every finalist is deserving of entry into the hallowed halls, I write for Predominantly Orange and I am focusing on our finalist, Terrell Davis.
From my perspective, there are far too many Davis detractors as it relates to the HOF. Their beef is the lack of longevity of Davis’ career (for which we can blame, in part on Brian Griese‘s INT v the Jets in week 4 of the 1999 season). The bottom line is that you can’t win. There are detractors of some, like Jerome Bettis, because some see him as a compiler of statistics due to the length of time he played in the league. For the record, I love Bettis so I am not one of them.
The 6th round (yes, 6th round) pick in the 1995 NFL draft is not a compiler, rather he put together the most impressive line of anybody with such a relatively short career. He squeezed more accomplishments into an 7 year career than most running backs fit into 10-12 years. Here is an example of just that:
- 1117 yards in 14 games for 4.7 yards per carry and 8 TDs (7 rush, 1 rec) as a rookie
- Rushed for 1000+ yards in his first four seasons, including becoming only the 4th player in NFL history to exceed 2000 yards (2008) in 1998 (the other three, O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson, & Barry Sanders are all in the HOF). By the way, the Broncos blew out so many opponents in 1998 that Head Coach, Mike Shanahan sat Davis for the equivalent of two whole games. That equates to an additional 49 carries, 250 yards (at his 1998 average of 5.1 yards per carry), and 2 touchdowns
- Super Bowl XXXII MVP: tied with 4 players for 3 TDs scored in a super bowl game. Davis is the last RB to be named SB MVP
- 1998 NFL MVP
- 3-time Pro Bowl selection
- 3-time first team All-Pro selection
- 3-time AFC rushing leader
- 2-time NFL offensive player of the year
- A member of the NFL’s all 1990’s team
- Davis’ 101.7 ypg ranks second in the history of the NFL to Jim Brown‘s 142.5. And by many accounts, Brown is the greatest RB in the history of the NFL
Below is a chart of some statistics which compares those of Davis against three hall of fame inductees at running back: Gayle Sayers, Larry Csonka, and Earl Campbell. You’ll see that Terrell Davis compares favorably to each.
|Terrell Davis||Gayle Sayers||Larry Czonka||Earl Campell|
|TDs per game||1.2||1.42||2.14||1.55|
|1st Team All-Pros||3||5||2||3|
|League Rush Leader||3||2||0||3|
|*Sayers nor Campbell never played in a Super Bowl or NFL Title game|
Additionally, I could have added our own, Floyd Little to the comparison. Floyd is rightfully in the Hall of fame and Terrell Davis is the greatest running back in Broncos history. So there’s another argument in favor of Davis.
Davis is also the greatest running back in post season history; which is spelled out in an article by my colleague here at Predominantly Orange, Ian St. Clair. This is yet further proof that T.D. must be enshrined! I REST MY CASE!!!!