Often when an East Coast player in all sports is inducted into the Hall of Fame people are critical of the voting process because a majority of voters are sportswriters from the East, but the critisism is especially true when that player is from New York.
Next week the NY Jets (and Patriots) running back Curtis Martin gets enshrined in pro football's Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. He retired with the 4th most total yards rushed in NFL history, and also surpassed the 1,000 yards in 10 seasons (a feat only equaled by Barry Sanders).
Let's compare Curtis Martin against the recent 2011 inductee Marshall Faulk, and the almost certain future inductee Ladainian Tomlinson.
We starting off with total rushing yards per season:
Martin is the most consistent (and durable), but Tomlinson was more prolific.
Injuries can skew total rushing yards, especially at the running back position, here are the average running yards per attempt...
Martin was definitely the most consistent, but almost a full yard per carry behind Faulk and Tomlinson in each of their prime.
In the past 25 years, especially with growing popularity of the "West Coast Offense" and spread offenses the running back has become the 3rd and 4th receiver...
At the end of the day, a player's ability to get into the endzone is the ultimate determinant of success...
Again, Martin lagged behind.
He might not be the most prolific runningback of the last 20 years, but Curtis Martin ran the tough yards on Jets teams that lacked a top tier quarterback.