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The Day Curtis ‘Broke an Ankle’ (Not His)

Posted by Randy Lange on January 31, 2011 – 6:35 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 Feb. 5 in Dallas:

The best move of Martin’s Jets career? There were many but the one I remember best was the unkindest cut he put on Kansas City safety Greg Wesley at the old Meadowlands pitch on Nov. 11, 2001.

The Jets were playing the Chiefs, meaning that Herm Edwards was going up against his former Eagles boss, Dick Vermeil, for the first time as an NFL head coach. Call it the Oedipus Bowl.

Whatever, Coach Herm and coordinator Paul Hackett called the perfect play on fourth-and-1 at the Chiefs 25 with 30 seconds left in the first half and the Jets up, 7-0. Gutsy move.

And Martin made the move work, bursting off his left side, into the secondary, and whipping an ankle-breaker on Wesley before striding into the end zone unscathed for a 14-0 lead.

As J.P. Machado, making his second start for RG Randy Thomas, put it, “Curtis makes up for a lot of mistakes. A lot of times when you block a guy, even if it’s not the right guy or you’re not taking him to the right place, Curtis makes a lot of cuts and gets a lot of yards and makes you look good.”

That was the second of three Martin TD runs on the day. He opened the scoring with a 1-yarder (over Machado’s side) earlier in the second period, then closed with a 5-yarder that made it 24-0 en route to the Jets’ 27-7 victory.

The three rushing TDs were Martin’s second trifecta in two years and his only one at home. No Jet has ever rushed for four or more TDs in a game, and the only time a back has achieved that since then is Thomas Jones with three scoring runs vs. St. Louis in 2008.

“Getting the extra yard is a talent, a confidence I’ve been blessed with,” said Martin, who gained 113 yards on 20 carries in that highly productive day. “There’s something in me that just gravitates to the hole, to get every inch.”

Here are the five Jets who rushed for three touchdowns at home on six occasions in franchise history:

Jets Player Opp Date TDs
Billy Joe BOS 10.27.68 3
Emerson Boozer NE 10.29.72 3
Kevin Long BUF 10.08.78 3
Kevin Long DET 9.16.79 3
Curtis Martin KC 11.11.01 3
Thomas Jones STL 11.09.08 3

Watch Curtis Martin video (jump to 0:33)

Visit the Curtis Martin for Hall of Fame page

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