As the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame committee votes on this year's class, they should be looking at the greatest single season a running back has ever had in NFL history and the greatest playoff running back in NFL History.
Those claims will probably be disputed, but from a statistical and playoff performance standpoint there is one man who stands well above all others.
That man is Terrell Davis.
There are two main reasons Davis must be voted into the Hall of Fame. Let's examine them.
In 1998, Terrell Davis rushed for 2,476 yards and 24 touchdowns, while adding 29 receptions for 286 yards and two more touchdowns. Statistically, that is one heck of a year.
It is also the greatest single season by a running back that has ever assembled.
Davis played in 19 games that year. He rushed for over 100 yards in 14 of them. He rushed for over 130 yards in 10 of them. He rushed for over 160 in seven of them.
In short, Davis was magnificent.
However, a single season does not a Hall of Fame make. Here is the real reason Terrell Davis deserves that gold jacket.
The Denver Broncos are 2-5 in the Super Bowl. The five losses were blowouts. The two wins are thanks largely to Terrell Davis, who was (and is) the greatest playoff running back in NFL History.
And it’s not even close.
When all the chips were on the table, Davis was a man among boys.
Davis averaged 142.5 yards per game in the postseason. Here is how that ranks among other Hall of Fame running backs.
|Steve Van Buren||91.3||1944-1951||phi|
That is nothing short of dominant. A full 30 yards per game more than the next closest Hall of Famer.
To say TD does not belong in that list is to say TD never impacted the NFL game at an historic level. What would the NFL look like today had Davis not put those Broncos on his back for three seasons?
Would there be a "This one's for John!"? Would John Elway have been able to entice an aging Peyton Manning to Denver in 2012 without the lure of "Hey Peyton, I've done this before."?
I could go on, but the fact is, the most important player from the greatest Broncos team in franchise history isn't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
That has got to change.
Times are a changin'
This year could be TD's best shot at getting the nod. Broncos fans on Facebook have taken to billboards in Canton and now will be flying banners across the San Francisco Bay to raise awareness with those who might have one of those final votes.
If you are in the Bay Area on Thursday, January 28, 2016 or Friday, January 29, 2016 look to the skies. There will be a sky banner in TD's honor. From the press release:
So, when the NFL told us No, that we could not have a display asking for the Selection Committee’s support of Terrell Davis, we checked around and the only thing we could find that the NFL did not have under contract was the sky! So we are aiming for a skybanner to fly either Thursday afternoon or Friday mid-morning it will circle each Marriot for forty minutes, again in support of Terrell Davis. It will say TD Deserves the Brotherhood and hopefully have a graphic of the Gold Jacket.
The fans driving this campaign do need donations.
As someone who took part in a fan committee to lobby for Floyd Little years ago, I know full well how much time and effort goes into these kinds of things. I also know that momentum and determination from fans tends to only arise when a player is totally deserving of the honor, but seems to keep getting overlooked by the people voting.
Hopefully this all culminates with TD donning that gold jacket he most definitely has earned by his play on the football field.