When the 2017 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced, many said it was probably one of the weakest classes in a long time. Those guys that get to wear the yellow jacket, don’t care how people think. They know that they are finally in the hallowed halls. One guy that this is exceptionally true for is running back Terrell Davis.
Terrell Davis is finally going to get to don the yellow jacket after being overlooked in previous years. Many still believe that he is not yet worthy of being enshrined. You see, the length of his career was cut short due to injuries and headaches. Had he been able to stay the course this guy would have, by far, been a first ballot Hall of Famer. Instead, his attributes were questioned. Is he hall of fame worthy?
The statistics of this man’s accomplishments in such a short period of time are all you need to know in order to say yes.
His career only spanned 7 seasons. The first four of which were illustrious. He burst onto the NFL scene in 1995 as a 6th round draft pick of Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos. He would start 14 games that year and run for 1,117 yards and 7 TDs in his rookie season. He became the lowest drafted player to ever rush for 1,000 yards. The Broncos began to think they may have something special.
Davis’s second season was nothing short of where he left off in 1995. He played in all 16 games, ran for 1,538 yards, and 13 TDs. The 13 TDs would be a Broncos record. Davis would be selected as an All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl for his accomplishments.
1997, his 3rd season in the league would be very special for Terrell Davis. He would rush for 1750 yards and 15 TDs during the regular season. He would lead the league in both categories. And in his fourth and probably best season, Davis would break the 2,000 yards mark in rushing. He would finish the 1998 season with 2,008 yards and 21 TDs. His terrific season would earn him league MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, third straight AFC Rushing Title and his only NFL rushing title. The 2,008 yards were the 3rd highest in NFL history, at that time, behind Eric Dickerson and Barry Sanders. He now sits fifth.
It would be in the NFL postseason that Terrell Davis would become even more special. During the Super Bowl years of 1997 and 1998, Davis would shine. In the 1997 postseason, Davis would run for 581 yards on 112 carries. He would average 145 per game that postseason. This would include an 184 and 2 TD performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A revenge game from the previous postseason. He would also have 157 yards and 3 TDs in Super Bowl XXXII. All of this while having to sit out the second quarter with a migraine. This performance would lead to him being named the Super Bowl MVP.
The 1998 post season would be no different. Davis would have 468 rushing yards on only 78 carries that postseason. That is an average of 156 yards per game for the postseason. These are tremendous numbers. He would cap his incredible postseason with a 102-yard rushing performance in the super bowl.
Terrell Davis career would basically come to an end after 1998 season. Though he continued to play for 3 more years they would not be the same as his previous 4. He would be plagued by multiple knee injuries that would eventually bring an end to his stellar career. Davis would finish his career with 7,607 yards rushing and 60 TDs.
He is only one of six players to rush for 1,000 yards (1,140 yards) in the postseason and of those six, he is the only one to do it in a career that was less than 12 seasons. He is also the leading playoff rusher in NFL history with 142.5 yards per game.
Davis would retire during the 2002 preseason. He would take one last run through the tunnel with his teammates during a home game against the San Francisco 49ers. He would salute the fans and teammates for the final time.
It took 11 years for Terrell Davis to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a semi-finalist in 2007, his first year of eligibility. After that, he would be passed by 10 more years. Those 10 years were probably harder that seven he actually played. Now, his career is complete. Ladies and Gentleman I give to you RB Terrell Davis Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017!