When Terrell Davis produced for the Broncos during his time with them, there’s no question everyone had him ticketed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was mesmerizing when he had the football. He was a highlight reel in breaking tackles and running to the end zone.
Injuries cut short of what was a great career. He could have done this for 10 years. He was that good and strong. He was one of the top 10 football players when he played. He was up there with the great running backs such as Gale Sayers, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
It’s surprising to see Davis be denied again of going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s confusing to understand why he is not there. His body of work spoke for itself. Watching him in highlights should be a selling point. Without him, the Broncos would still be championship-less. Without him, John Elway and Mike Shanahan do not have a championship on their resume.
Elway will be the first to tell anyone that his legacy is nothing without Davis. He knew he needed his running back to help him get his elusive championship. As for Shanahan, his ego is so big that he will tell a sucker how he made his sixth-round draft pick considering his offense churned out many great running backs rather than credit his star running back.
The detractors point out two reasons Davis is not in the Hall of Fame. They point out he had a short career, and they mention he benefitted from playing in Shanahan’s offense.
That’s a bunch of bunk.
The longevity factor is a stupid argument. Either a player is great or he is not. Longevity only matters if an athlete improved as time went on like Jerome Bettis, class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductee. Plus, he shouldn’t be penalized for his career being cut short by injuries that he had no control over.
Davis does not need longevity to show he is a Hall of Famer. From watching him in an eye test, he is easily in the Hall of Fame. His stats back it up to sway voters.
He ran for 7,607 yards on 1,655 carries and scored 60 touchdowns in his successful career. He ran for 1,140 yards on 204 carries and scored 12 touchdowns in his postseason career. He averaged 97.5 yards per game in rushing in the regular season, and that’s good for fourth-highest total in league history among running backs that had rushing attempts in at least 75 games. His 142.5 yards rushing per game in the postseason is the highest average per game in league history for running backs that had rushing attempts in at least five playoff games.
He and Brown are the only two players in league history to average more than 100 yards rushing per game over their careers in regular-season and postseason games combined.
He is one of the rare non-quarterback players to win the regular season MVP and the Super Bowl MVP in 1998.
If that does not sway voters, what will?
This idea Davis did well because of Shanahan’s offense is insulting to what Davis accomplished. If that’s the case, how come Olandis Gary, C.J. Anderson, Clinton Portis and Reuben Droughns did not put the identical numbers Davis put out? How come those guys never stepped up in a big game when it mattered? That’s why that argument by the detractors never made sense.
Ask an average fan that watched Davis, and he or she will tell you he is a Hall of Famer. That’s all we have to know.
It’s confusing why voters don’t get it. They saw enough of him to come to a conclusion.
If Davis is not in the Hall, one has to wonder if he ever will. Granted, guys enter in the Hall of Fame very late as Andre Reed did, so all may not be lost. Still, it shouldn’t take this long, especially a player of TD’s ilk.
It’s understandable if voters wanted to take their time on Bettis and Curtis Martin. There was a debate whether both were or not. Both were borderline candidates. Davis is so much better than the both of them.
One has to wonder if Davis played in New York, New England, Dallas or Chicago, would he wait that long? It’s hard to believe he would.
Davis has to be surprised he is waiting this long. He didn’t think he would have to wait that long when he retired. It’s understandable if he wonders if he is ever going to be in.
Who can blame him?
If he is not in now, why would voters have an epiphany about him few years later?
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