FanPost

Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Terrell Davis's Future

Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Rookie Quarterbacks
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Rookie Wide Receivers
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Broncos Offense, a History
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Running Backs
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Time of Possession
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Coaches
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: The Challenges
Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: Coaches Part 2

Man that list is getting too long

With Shannon Sharpe entering the Hall of Fame soon, many Broncos fans look to who will likely next enter the Hall. Gradishar is the next best possibility, with a very outstanding career, and the next class is looking to be very defensive minded, with guys like Kennedy, Gradishar, Doleman and Haley, all gaining a lot of steam. But another Bronco, closer perhaps to younger fans, is Terrell Davis. Now Davis has been in the conversation since his career ended for the Hall, but the biggest critique is his short career. Defenders claim that it shouldn't be the length of the play, but the level. Both sides have valid points, but a key time if coming for TD, because with each passing season, the group of running backs entering Hall eligibility is growing, and rapidly.

This post will look at TD and his competition for the Hall, and we'll see how he stacks up.

Preview: The Competition:

The group of guys who are going to be available for induction in the next five years or are currently eligible, is more impressive then just their names:

- Jerome Bettis: Currently Eligible
- Terrell Davis: Currently Eligible
- Curtis Martin: Currently Eligible
- Ricky Watters: Currently Eligible
- Tiki Barber: Eligible 2012
- Corey Dillion: Eligible 2012
- Priest Holmes: Eligible 2013
- Shawn Alexander: Eligible 2014
- Edgerrin James: Eligible 2015

All have Super Bowl experience, all were on fairly prolific teams, and all are getting ready to compete for Hall of Fame ballots. Now many will claim that TD stands above the rest, either because they are Denver fans, which is fine, I'm often called one, or they may not know about the accomplishments of the other players. So this post will be looking at TD in comparison to these other backs. Lets get to the numbers.

The Tables:

So for this, I wanted to keep things as balanced as I could, I wanted to look at not just how long a back was successful, but how successful they were and whether they could be successful steadily. So to do this, I exclude total yardage, touchdowns and other career numbers in favor of averaging their career per season. This way a shorter career like TD's will be kept in perspective with guys who had longer careers like Bettis or Watters. By looking at averages for their careers, we see if their success was a fluke, or whether they were able to maintain success for long periods of time. To look at this perspective, here are the statistics I wanted to look at:

- Yards per season
- Touchdowns per season
- Yards per carry
- Reception yards per season
- Reception touchdowns per season
- Fumble ratio (fumble percentage per carry)

Some might be confused at the last three, but receiving is a key part in a number of offensive game plans and can't be overlooked when reviewing the careers of running backs. Fumbles are also a key part in how a running back is remembered, and while not hugely important, it should be taken into account.

The second area I wanted to look at in terms of these backs is career success as well as league acclaim. This will be reviewed in these areas:

- 1,000 yard seasons
- Percentage those total yard seasons make up of the whole career (for example three 1,000 yard seasons out of four total seasons is 75%)
- Pro Bowls
- Pro Bowls out of total seasons (see example of the second stat)
- 1st Team All Pro awards
- All Pro awards out of total seasons

Now it's important to note that people will say "TD had a shorter career so he'll have less Pro Bowls" so I took that into account with all three categories by including a percentage. This percentage keeps things in perspective. A back who has a eight year career, making four Pro Bowls, 50%, compared to a shorter career of four years with three Pro Bowls, 75%, can be kept in perspective.

So with that introduction out of the way, let's dive right in:

Name (Seasons)

Yards/Season

TD's/Season

YPC

Rec Yards/Season

Rec TD's/Season

Fmb ratio

Alexander (8)

1179

13

4.3

188

1.5

1.4%

Barber (10)

1045

6

4.7

518

1.2

2.4%

Bettis (13)

1051

7

3.9

112

0.2

1.2%

Davis (7)

1086

9

4.6

183

0.7

1.2%

Dillion (10)

1124

8

4.3

191

0.7

1.1%

Holmes (9)

908

10

4.6

329

0.9

0.7%

James (11)

1113

7

4

306

1

1.5%

Martin (11)

1282

8

4

303

0.9

0.5%

Watters (10)

1064

8

4.1

425

1.3

1.6%


1,000 Yard Seasons

% of Total Seasons

Pro Bowls

PB/Season Ratio

All Pros

AP/Season Ratio

Alexander (8)

5

63%

3

38%

1

13%

Barber (10)

6

60%

3

30%

1

10%

Bettis (13)

8

62%

6

46%

2

15%

Davis (7)

4

57%

3

43%

1

14%

Dillion (10)

7

70%

4

40%

0

0%

Holmes (9)

4

44%

3

33%

3

33%

James (11)

7

64%

4

36%

1

9%

Martin (11)

10

91%

5

45%

1

9%

Watters (10)

7

70%

5

50%

0

0%

 

Review:

So here is my comparison:

  • The best yards per season was Curtis Martin (1282), the worst was Priest Holmes (908).
  • The best touchdowns per season was Shawn Alexander (13), the worst was Tiki Barber (6).
  • The best yards per carry was Tiki Barber (4.7), the worst was Jerome Bettis (3.9).
  • The best reception yards per season was Tiki Barber (518), the worst was Jerome Bettis (112).
  • The best reception touchdowns per season was Shawn Alexander (1.5), the worst was Jerome Bettis (0.2).
  • The best fumble percentage was Curtis Martin (0.5%), the worst was Tiki Barber (2.4%).
  • The back with the best percentage of 1,000 yard seasons was Curtis Martin (91%) and the worst was Priest Holmes (44%).
  • The back with the best percentage of Pro Bowl seasons was Ricky Watters (50%) and the worst was Tiki Barber (30%).
  • The back with the best percentage of All Pro seasons was Priest Holmes (33%) and the worst was Corey Dillion and Ricky Watters (0%).
  • I'll leave the rest up to you, but even if you put TD in perspective and ignore his short career, a number of backs outperformed him, namely Shawn Alexander and Curtis Martin, both statistically and in terms of honors. Others like Dillion, Watters, and James all had better numbers while guys like Holmes and Bettis had better league acclaim.

P.S. staffers, if you could find a way to let us lowly members post sortable tables, I'd love that. The coding that normally works doesn't seem to.

Next time on Some Clarification is in Order - Off-Season Stats: I'm taking a break so no new ones for a while!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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