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Article:Showdown v2:Who is the Greatest NFL Running Back ever

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Showdownv2 ed1

It's Showdown time again. This time, FP and SSR are going at it. The Stakes are simple:

If FP wins: SSR has to add to the Marshall Faulk bio with info about Faulk's legacy/his part in the Greatest Show on Turf. SSR will add more general information to the Greatest Show on Turf page.

If SSR wins: FP will rewrite Jim Brown's bio.

Rules

  • Both Users will have 48 hours to make there case in rebuttals to either the other users opening statement, or to defend their Candidate against their opponents rebuttals.


  • No other users will be allowed to comment on the article until the 48 Hours is over. Please refrain from commenting in between the time it takes me to post this article, and then to edit it to prohibit other users from posting (I can't do it in the Create Article page).


  • A winner will be determined by a vote, format for which will be determined by the two users.

Let the Showdown begin:

Marshall Faulk (supported by FP)

So often we judge players either by their overall statistical body of work, or by their finest moment. We remember MJ's Flu Game, Vince Young's Rose Bowl. We remember Michael Phelps' domination at Athens, and we remember when Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady threw their 48th, 49th, and 50th TD pass of the season (respectively).

We also remember Hank Aaron's 755 Home Runs and Gretzky's 894 goals. We remember Cy Young's 511 Wins, and Brett Favre's 442 TDs. But this is not the greatest way to measure who the best is. Stats in one Era don't mean the same in another, and as some users have proved, the debates about comparing athletes between eras so rarely is resolved.

Hence, the sole metric I will use to evaluate Marshall Faulk will be his game changing ability. In other words, the effect Faulk made on his opponents gameplan. Specifically, I will examine his effect on what can be considered the defining game of the 21st Century NFL, Super Bowl XXXVI.

The Greatest Show on Turf is one of the greatest offenses in history. And within this great offense, there was one player who was the focal point. As David Halberstam[1] put it: "...the core of the Ram offense was [Faulk], so great a football player...he could control a game if you [didn't] control him" (p. 47). Kurt Warner said "His legs allow him to do what his instincts and eyes tell him to do...He thinks like a Quarterback...he's [always] aware of everyone..." (ibid 32). The patriots decided to take Faulk out of that game. They would hit him on every play, and use 7 DBs to compensate for the speed. Halberstam continues about the significance of Faulk in the epic offense "The Rams [relied] on timing and rhythm, but everyone [thought] that rhythm [ran] through Warner. [The Patriots] decided the...rhythm depended on Faulk. So they hit him and kept hitting him" (ibid, 51). It worked. Seventy-six yards for Faulk in that game, and all because the Patriots focused the game plan on him. In the game that started the Patriots Run/Era/Dynasty (whatever you call it), Faulk was the key player. He demanded not only a new type of focus for the defense, but also, the type of focus unrivaled by any other RB in the history of the NFL. Faulk redesigned the way teams think about both general Football Philosophy, but also how to play defense.

Faulk demanded a whole new gameplay unlike any other player. He was able to go from standing to full speed faster than anyone else, and had the hands of a WR. His vision allowed him to see the entire field, and to cut back almost instantly. He controlled the game, and with it, the game plan. He gained over 2,000 all-purpose yards in 7 seasons. He redefined the Running Back position. Players like Reggie Bush were drafted so early because they had blazing speed and were able to be so similar to Faulk in their College careers. However, there can only be one Marshall Faulk, and he was it. He's the only player to score over 100 TDs rushing and over 30 TDs Receiving in a career, and one of a select few who have over 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards Receiving. The guy had a HOF career solely as a rusher, but when you add in his abilities as a receiver, he is unrivaled. No other player could do what he did. In an Era where Passing was/is sexy, Faulk made rushing sexy, and was a great receiver. There was nothing that he could not do as a RB.

Q.E.D.

Jim Brown (Defended by SSR)

When you think of the top athletes in all of sports, Jim Brown comes to mind. Name a sport, Brown played it. He's in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, as a sophomore at his alma mater Syracuse, he was the team's 2nd leading scorer in basketball with 15 points per game.

In the Orange's regular season finale against Colgate, Brown's senior year, he rushed for 197 yards, 6 touchdowns, and kicked 7 extra points as Colgate was blasted 61-7. He was that good, he could play just about any position.

His impressive college career led him to be a 6th overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Many say that he is one of the best RB to ever play in the NFL. I'll take it a step further, I believe 100% that he is the greatest running back of all time.


Jim Brown: The Face of the Browns

Brown made an immediate impact with the Browns (I made that one up all by myself......), with the help of my friend Mr. Bulletpoint, here is a list of all of his professional accolades:

  • 9 time Pro Bowl selection.
  • 3 time Pro Bowl MVP.
  • 3 time NFL MVP.
  • 9 time All-Pro selection.
  • 3 time UPI NFL MVP.
  • The 1960s All-Decade Team.
  • The NFL's 75th year anniversary team.
  • 8th all time in the NFL rushing list.
  • 16th all time in all-purpose yards.
  • 7 seasons of rushing at least 1,000 yards.
  • 1964 NFL Champion.


Not bad for someone who did not play professionally after the age of 29.

What was special about Brown was not just his quickness, but he would not be brought down. No one should be able to break tackles so effortlessly like Brown did, sometimes he would break free from 4 tacklers in one shot. It's not that he wasn't big like Jerome Bettis, he was determined, he was strong, and in addition to that, he was still able to run 60 yards downfield, embarrassing any menacing defense by storming into the end zone.

He could go between the tackles, cut to the outside, run off tackle, you name it, he was nearly flawless. And I know this game will never see, with all due respect to guys like LT and Barry Sanders, a better open field RB than Jim Brown.

What is often overlooked in Jim Brown's career is his catching ability. He hauled in 262 passes for 2499 yards and 20 touchdowns, and only once did he not score from a passing play. His numbers may not have been nearly as consistent on the receiving end like someone with Marshall Faulk's talent, but he was still durable as a catcher, kinda like the Anti-Shaun Alexander

For my last part of this article, I will fudge with numbers. I will show you Brown's statistics, and then give you another table with what his numbers would've looked like in a 16 game season (by figuring out his average per game and adding on to the current total.


Rushing Stats

year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
1957 CLE NFL 12 202 942 4.7 9 69t
1958 CLE NFL 12 257 1527 5.9 17 65t
1959 CLE NFL 12 290 1329 4.6 14 70t
1960 CLE NFL 12 215 1257 5.8 9 71t
1961 CLE NFL 14 305 1408 4.6 8 38
1962 CLE NFL 14 230 996 4.3 13 31
1963 CLE NFL 14 291 1863 6.4 12 80t
1964 CLE NFL 14 280 1446 5.2 7 71
1965 CLE NFL 14 289 1544 5.3 17 67
9 year NFL career 118 2359 12312 5.2 106 0


Receiving Stats

year team league games REC YDS AVG TD LNG
1957 CLE NFL 12 16 55 3.4 1 12
1958 CLE NFL 12 16 138 8.6 1 46
1959 CLE NFL 12 24 190 7.9 0 25
1960 CLE NFL 12 19 204 10.7 2 37t
1961 CLE NFL 14 46 459 10 2 77t
1962 CLE NFL 14 47 517 11 5 53t
1963 CLE NFL 14 24 268 11.2 3 83t
1964 CLE NFL 14 36 340 9.4 2 40t
1965 CLE NFL 14 34 328 9.6 4 32t
9 year NFL career 118 262 2499 9.5 20 0


Projected Rushing Stats in a 16 Game Season

year team league games ATT YDS AVG TD LNG
1957 CLE NFL 16 269 1256 4.7 12 69t
1958 CLE NFL 16 343 2036 5.9 23 65t
1959 CLE NFL 16 387 1772 4.6 19 70t
1960 CLE NFL 16 287 1676 5.8 12 71t
1961 CLE NFL 16 348 1609 4.6 9 38
1962 CLE NFL 16 263 1138 4.3 15 31
1963 CLE NFL 16 333 2129 6.4 14 80t
1964 CLE NFL 16 320 1653 5.2 8 71
1965 CLE NFL 16 330 1765 5.3 19 67
9 year NFL career 144 2880 15034 5.2 131 0


Projected Receiving Stats

year team league games REC YDS AVG TD LNG
1957 CLE NFL 16 21 73 3.4 1 12
1958 CLE NFL 16 21 184 8.6 1 46
1959 CLE NFL 16 32 253 7.9 0 25
1960 CLE NFL 16 25 272 10.7 3 37t
1961 CLE NFL 16 52 525 10 2 77t
1962 CLE NFL 16 54 591 11 6 53t
1963 CLE NFL 16 27 306 11.2 3 83t
1964 CLE NFL 16 41 389 9.4 2 40t
1965 CLE NFL 16 39 375 9.6 5 32t
9 year NFL career 144 312 2968 9.5 23 0



With these projected stats, Brown would be 4th on the all-time rushing list, and would vault from 16th to 8th in all-purpose yards.

He did ALL of this in the span of 9 seasons, 118 games.

If this doesn't prove to you Jim Brown is not the greatest running back of all time, I don't know what will.

I rest my case.



Update: Okay, we're done, now it's your turn. You can comment now, and your vote decides who wins the Showdown.....


<pollembed title="Who Wins The Showdown?"></pollembed>




<pollembed title="Who is the better RB?"></pollembed>


Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found

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