Canton-bound? Curtis Martin

Previously, I discussed former quarterback Vinny Testaverde, questioning whether or not he has what it takes to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now, I will be doing the same with former running back Curtis Martin. I will not post whether I believe he should be elected; rather, I will post the positives and negatives of his career and let you decide.

Martin was one of the better running backs of the 1990s and 2000s, rushing for 14,101 yards in 11 seasons—that’s 1,282 yards a year—with a 4.0 yards-per-rush average and 90 touchdowns. On the all-time lists, he ranks fourth in career rushing yards and is tied with Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson for 12th in rushing touchdowns.

Martin has this going for him: of all the Hall of Fame-eligible running backs with at least 90 touchdowns, not one has gone unelected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Same thing with running backs with 12,000 or more rushing yards—every single eligible running back with at least 12,000 career rushing yards has a spot in Canton.

Furthermore, Martin has some accolades to go with his statistical accomplishments. For example, he was a five-time Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro once. In 1995 he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award after rushing for 1,487 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns. That would begin a streak of 10-straight seasons with 1,000 or more rushing yards.

Despite some impressive numbers, Martin’s career had some downsides as well. For example, he did not lead the league in many categories—in fact, he led the circuit in rushing attempts and rushing yards only once each. As well, his 4.0 yards per rush is not terrible, but it definitely is not up there with the all-time greats. It is in Olandis Gary and James Stewart territory, not Barry Sanders and Jim Brown territory.

Well, what do you think about Curtis Martin? Should he be in the Hall of Fame, or do his numbers not quite stack up?

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