Curtis Martin: From third-round pick to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Former Jets (and Patriots) running back Curtis Martin will get his day in the sun today as he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
A third-round pick (the 74th pick overall) in the 1995 draft out of Pittsburgh, Martin had an NFL career that included 14,101 yards, good enough for fourth all-time. He also scored 100 touchdowns during his career, 90 via runs and 10 on pass receptions.
Martin was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and ranks third on the NFL all-time list with 3,518 career rushing attempts. Not one of the big-name running backs of his era, Martin climbed the ladder of the great running backs in the league with relative little fanfare, but a solid 11-year career that culminates in his Hall of Fame honor.
Here’s a look at three stats that help define Martin’s durability, flexibility and reliability as an NFL running back.
300 rushing attempts and 30 receptions in a season: Martin is one of 64 running backs in NFL history to have 300 or more rushing attempts in a season and catch 30 or more passes. Not only is he one of 64, but he is tied with Walter Payton for the most seasons with these numbers, eight. Here are the players who have had five or more seasons with 300+ rushing attempts and 30+ catches:
300+rushing attempts/30+ catches seasons, Player(s)
8: Curtis Martin, Walter Payton
7: LaDainian Tomlinson
6: Edgerrin James
5: Eddie George, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith
If we move the criteria to 300+ rushing attempts and 40+ receptions, Martin is still at the top of the list, tied with LaDainian Tomlinson with seven such seasons.
200 or more rushing attempts in a season: Emmitt Smith holds the NFL record with 14 seasons of 200 or more rushing attempts. Martin is second on the list with 11. Smith had 13 straight seasons with 200+ rushing attempts; Martin had 11 straight 200+ rushing attempt seasons. The pair rank 1-2 in that category. Only six players had 200 or more rushing attempts in 10 seasons or more in the NFL. The other four besides Smith and Martin: Jerome Bettis, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson.
1,400 yards rushing at age 30+: In 2002, Martin led the league in rushing with 1,697 yards. At age 31 that year, he became the oldest player ever to win a rushing title. He is one of only eight running backs to rush for over 1,400 yards in a season at age 30 or older. The list:
Player, Rushing Yards, Year (age)
Tiki Barber, 1,860, 2005 (30)
Curtis Martin, 1,697, 2004 (31)
Walter Payton, 1,684, 1984 (30)
Tiki Barber, 1,662, 2006 (31)
Corey Dillon, 1,635, 2004 (30)
Walter Payton, 1,551, 1985 (31)
Barry Sanders, 1,491, 1998 (30)
Priest Holmes, 1,420, 2003 (30)
Warrick Dunn, 1,416, 2005 (30)
Thomas Jones, 1,402, 2009 (31)
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