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It’s Martin by a Yard for ’04 Rushing Title

Posted by Randy Lange on February 4, 2011 – 6:46 pm

Another career snapshot of Curtis Martin, who is in the running to be a first-year inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Dallas:

In 2004 Curtis Martin went the extra yard. And it won him his only NFL rushing title.

Martin had flirted with gaining the NFL’s most rushing yards in a season, a hallowed distinction in league annals. As a rookie with the Patriots in 1995, he finished third with 1,487 yards. In ’99 with the Jets he was second with 1,464 behind the Colts’ Edgerrin James. Two years later he rushed for 1,513 yards but still came in second by 42 yards to the Chiefs’ Priest Holmes.

Then in ’04 Martin was in a duel with the Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander for the top spot. It appeared Curt was headed for the silver medal again as he trailed Alexander by 72 yards heading into the final week of the regular season.

But Martin got first licks in a 1 p.m. ET game at St. Louis and he made the most of it, rushing for 153 yards in the 32-29 overtime loss to the Rams. That total, which included 24 yards on three OT carries, gave him a sparkling 1,697 yards for the season. It was, in fact, Martin’s career high. But would it be enough?

Yes, by that one yard in the closest rushing title in NFL history. Alexander managed 80 yards on 19 carries, and more than likely would have gotten the chance to gain those 2 yards he needed, except that the Falcons ran 15 plays and held the ball for the game’s final 4:28 en route to a touchdown on the last play of the game. Whew.

“Curtis approaches this game as his life,” said Chad Pennington, Martin’s quarterback in that game and for many others in the later years of his playing career. “He doesn’t approach it as a hobby or as something he does on weekends. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer one day because of it.”

HOF in Primetime

For the first time ever at night, the network will announce the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees, determined by the Hall’s selection committee earlier in the day, on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. “Road to Canton” will be hosted by Rich Eisen alongside Hall of Famers Steve Young, Rod Woodson and Michael Irvin, who will be joined by new inductees and current Hall members during the show.

Portions of the announcement ceremony will also be available live on NFL.com.

For the second consecutive year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed up with Van Heusen and JCPenney to allow fans to select whom they believe should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “It’s Martin by a Yard for ’04 Rushing Title”

  1. By IRA on Feb 4, 2011 | Reply

    Good Luck to Curtis tomorrow night. We are all hoping that he gets in. I just hope Bettis doesn’t get the nod because he was out there and not as low key as Curtis was. Faulk is a lock.

  2. By carl on Feb 5, 2011 | Reply

    CURTIS MARTIN CLASS ACT ALL THE WAY!!!!!Jet fans vote !

  3. By Woody English on Feb 5, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Curtis,
    Spirit and teamwork and ethics and results are what get you to The Hall.
    It’s YOUR TURN SIR and The NFL will not give it to you.
    You earned it.

  4. By Tom Spicer on Feb 5, 2011 | Reply

    Curtis Martin not in the hall of fame? This is a joke right? 10 years in a row with 1,000 yards rushing on teams with no passing game where the other team knew they were going to run every week! The 4th leading rusher in the history of the NFL! Not in the hall of fame YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Feb 6, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, it’s pretty weird, Spicer. But no weirder than Harrison knocking paint chips off Greene’s helmet with his own helmet and not getting flagged for it.

  6. By Row on Feb 6, 2011 | Reply

    It just goes to show you the quiet non-showboating guy like Curtis takes second to primetime and the talker Sharpe. They’re all hall of fame guys, but not over Curtis Martin. I don’t believe in luck, so I’ll see ya when you get in next year.. You’ll always be a Jet..

  7. By IRA on Feb 6, 2011 | Reply

    It is a joke that Curtis didn’t get in last night. He deserved to go in ahead of Sharpe. Its politics i guess. I wouldn’t be surprised if the HOF committee agreed to hold Curtis for 1 more year and let him and Parcells go in together.
    And to Randy, EA and Nick thanks for all the Curtis stories and stats these past 2 weeks. Really brought back a lot of great memories.
    This time next year we will be playing.
    GO JETS!!!!!

  8. By wayne on Feb 6, 2011 | Reply

    Curtis is a man of faith. I’m sure he in no ways sees it this as a sleight or an injustice. He sees it as a blessing to even be considered. To look at this differently would go against everything that has embodied Curtis Martin to this point. Knowing full well in due time his turn will come. It’s not the end of the world or an injustice. ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE THE LORD, TO THEM THAT ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE.

  9. By Mike Jet Vet on Feb 6, 2011 | Reply

    Curtis is and will be in my HOF no matter how Bias the committee may be ..as a long time suffering Jet fan what else is new reminds me of last weeks AFC championship game Jets called on at least 3 bogus calls and Steelers played a clean game HA… Maybe next year C-M maybe next year …have they no shame

  10. By 38 year fan on Feb 7, 2011 | Reply

    This is an OUTRAGE ….Another slap in the face to The Jets organization …

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