To kick off our 30-part series of why Terrell Davis should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we’ll start with the overview no-brainer - Terrell Davis is still the all-time rushing leader for the Denver Broncos.
Even 16 years after he retired from football, Davis’ 7,607 yards in seven seasons and 60 touchdowns is the best among all Broncos running backs in history. The second best in franchise history is Floyd Little - a Hall-of-Fame running back by the way - who amassed 1,284 fewer yards than Davis in eight seasons.
As a rookie in 1995, Davis ran for 1,117 yards and followed that up with 1,538 and 1,750 the next two years before rushing for a career-high 2,008 yards in 1998.
Most recall that the bulk of TD’s career yards came in those first four years before a knee injury kept him out of three-quarters of the next two seasons and half of his final season in 2001. Even in that year, Davis ran for more than 700 yards in just eight games.
As KRONK-00 so nicely extrapolated for us yesterday, if we just imagine the likely production from Davis in those injured years, it is not a stretch to figure Davis could have at least run for the same yards that different Broncos rookies did in that time - Olandis Gary ran for 1,159 in 1999 and Mike Anderson hit 1,487 in 2000; Clinton Portis added 1,508 in 2002, the year after Davis retired.
If we were hypothetically to give Davis those yards, his career total would be near 11,300 in eight years. Just for fun, when you compare that to LaDanian Tomlinson’s 13,700 in 11 years, Davis’ rushing again reveals his dominance.
And just as a side note to the above Broncos running backs noted - and to the critics who like to say it was “the system” and not “TD” - I would borrow a line from an NFL writer who said “when Clinton Portis ran, it was a very good offense, but when Terrell Davis ran, it was a transcendant, historic offense.”