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Fixing The Hall Of Fame -- Broncos That Should Be In - #4 -- Terrell Davis

It's Time For The Hall To Salute T.D.

Time to continue our look at the 5 Denver Broncos that should be in the Hall of Fame.  We are counting down from the "longest shot" to the guy that should be a slam dunk.  In my honest opinion, all 5 of these guys should be in the Hall and it is sad that so many Broncos continue to get overlooked.  We started it all off yesterday with Steve Atwater at #5.  Today, we look at....

4.  Terrell Davis, Running Back (8 Seasons w/ Broncos, 1995-2002(final season on IR)) -- Drafted In the 6th round of Mike Shanahan's first draft as Broncos' Head Coach, Terrell Davis didn't take long to impress.  His crushing Special Team's hit (see below) in his first-ever Pre-Season game let Shanny, his teammates and fans know that T.D. was a solid football player.  Davis used that hit as a springboard to rocket up the Running Back depth chart, finishing his rookie season with 1,117 yards in only 14 games.  A guy no one had ever heard of was an unknown no longer.

Davis went on to have a three year run never seen in the National Football League before.  Davis amassed an incredible 5,296 yards (1785 yds/season) in 47 regular season games (112.6 yds/game).  In 1998, Davis became the 4th player ever to rush for 2000 yards in a season, and even now stands as one of only 5 runners to accomplish that feat.    When T.D. wasn't piling up the yards he was getting into the end-zone.  56 of his 60 rushing touchdowns came in the first four years of his career, when Davis averaged over 12 TD's a season.

While Davis was certainly impressive in the regular season, he was even better in the bright lights of the postseason.  In only 8 career playoff games, Davis rushed for 1140 yards on only 204 carries, a staggering 5.6 ypc.  Think about that.  Davis was on a 16 game pace to rush for 2280 yards, and it was against the best competition, NFL playoffs teams.  Add to that another 12 touchdowns, and there is no doubt that Davis, like all other Hall of Fame players, was at his best when the spotlight was the brightest.  That, for me is the determining factor, statistically, for getting T.D. in.  

While T.D.'s longevity might be a knock against enshrinement,  no one can argue what T.D. meant to John Elway and the Broncos Super Bowl runs. While it is easy to view Elway as the ultimate winner now, rewind back to 1997, after the Broncos had just be upset in the playoffs by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The big question was "Can Elway win the big one?".   Terrell Davis was a big part of answering that question with a Rocky Mountain thunderous "YES!".  Davis was the AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1996 and 1998, and completed the Triple Crown in '98 by being named the NFL MVP and Super Bowl XXXII MVP.  His performance against the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII remains, to me, one of the best performances by any player in any game ever.

To appreciate T.D. one needs to take a look back, watch the old games, a Monday Night in Kansas City when the Broncos ran up and down the field on the Chiefs.  The game against Seattle when Davis went over 2000 yards.  The playoff wins against Jacksonville, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Miami, New York and Atlanta.  Two Super Bowl Championships.  Davis was a huge part in enabling a beloved quarterback go out a legend.  On September 23, 2007, during a homegame against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Terrell Davis will take his place among the rest of Dever's Legends in the Broncos Ring of Fame.  Another marker on the road to the Hall for Davis.

I have been critical of Davis' chances.  Not because I don't want Davis to get in, but the length of his career would hinder his chances.  After going back, looking deeper at the stats, re-watching some of the games, I renewed my appreciation for Davis and just how damn good he was.  Davis was the best in the game, and while it might have been cut short by injury, it doesn't take away from how great he was.  I expect a huge under-swell of support for Davis, partly for the reasons above, partly because of the Broncos lack of members.  No matter the reason, Davis is 100% deserving.

My Odds - 8/1