[/quote]If he was so great though why did he only average 4 Y/A? [/quote]
Because he spent ten years as a feature back, and he got old. He had to carry the rock 300 times or more in 8 seasons out of his 10 in the league. McNeil never had to do that even once. When you carry the ball 300 times it's really hard to manage more than 4.0. Ladainian Tomlinson and Emmitt Smith have similar Y/A rates over their careers because they were workhorse backs.
What is the WAY more important statistic that's being overlooked? Yards per game. Martin had an absurd career average of 83.9, including a ludicrous 2004 season where he managed 106.1 y/g. McNeil's all time average is a mediocre 56.1. That means that per game, Martin was roughly 150% more effective than McNeil.
And that's just on the ground. Martin is one of the all time best receivers. Martin caught roughly 200 more passes in the same career span and nearly doubled McNeil's total yards from scrimmage. There is no way you can put McNeil ahead by stats. You are cherrypicking one half of one stat and overlooking the obvious, which is that Curtis Martin, Hall of Fame all world runningback, is the best runner in the history of the New York Jets.
edit: Martin scored 100 touchdowns in his career. McNeil scored 50. Checkmate.
Yet Curtis Martin is a Hall of Famer and McNeil has been pretty much been forgotten by fans in general. McNeil wasn't more "productive". He might have been more "effective" with less carries, but he was never as good or as talented as Martin. That much was clear. The fact that Martin was such a workhorse only adds to his legacy and be damned YPC (one of the most overrated stats IMO). He had 371 carries at 31 years old (which is ancient for a Running Back). His longevity and consistency at Running Back is second to none. You need to work on your analysis in these lists. You only go for stats and completely ignore legacy and Hall of Fame credentials regardless of the era that they played in.
What I'm saying is that Martin was over used almost abused and he might have had a longer career and been even more effective if he has been limited to around 300 carries per season instead of 330+
That doesn't belittle what he did. The fact that he had as many 300-330+ yard seasons and lasted as long as he did speaks to his work ethic and longevity. He is still a Hall of Famer, and like Juggs said, you cannot justify putting McNeil ahead of Martin no matter what stats you throw out.
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley
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Post by cantonhall34 on Nov 11, 2014 5:26:33 GMT -5
Love me some Freeman McNeil. LOVE him. Was a lot like Curt Warner of the Seahawks back in the day in that they were unstoppable at times.
HOWEVER - I do think Curtis Martin was the better back. Was a guy that could do it all, and didn't really need to share carries like Freeman did with Johnny Hector.
I agree with Craig on Namath, too. His stats look poor by today's standards, and the guarantee before SB3 gets played up a lot - sometimes to the detriment of his actual ability. He was a guy that watched the team deteriorate around him while he himself was fighting severe knee and leg issues. Without the injuries nobody would be saying he wasn't any good.
----------------------------------------- From the book AMERICA'S GAME:
"By the fall of 1964, the four years of intense work began to yield results. The Cowboys' executives were on hand for the first printout, as the IBM 7090-7094 computer produced its data on wide sheets of perforated paper. Among the myriad lists that were printed out for Dallas, after players were sorted according to a variety of criteria, was a list of the top fifteen prospects overall. At the top of the list was a cocksure quarterback from Alabama named Joe Namath.
In this case, Schramm knew the computer was working because it had confirmed the wisdom of the best scouts in the field. John Huarte of Notre Dame and Jerry Rhome of Tulsa had finished 1-2 in the Heisman voting in 1964, but in the fraternity of pro football, they were also-rans. Scouts and coaches had been buzzing about Joe Namath for years.
Al Davis was still an assistant with the Chargers in 1962. After an in-season scouting trip to watch an Alabama game in 1962, he came back sporting a sly, knowing grin. 'What did you see?' asked Gillman. 'I saw a guy that tips the field,' said Davis, a dose of portent added to his typical air of certitude. 'What do you mean?' 'This sonofabitch plays like he's going downhill,' said Davis. 'Who is it?' asked Gillman. 'A kid, Namath, out of Pennsylvania.'
At a Jets press luncheon in the fall of 1963, Werblin was raving about Miami quarterback George Mira, who'd just beaten Nebraska in the Gotham Bowl. A few minutes later, a writer asked Ewbank what he thought. 'Well, George Mira's really an exciting football player,' he said. 'But I've known for a long time that those great small guys don't win a championship for you. And they're great quarterbacks - Eddie LeBaron, Frankie Albert, Fran Tarkenton - they're great ball handlers and all that. But we're interested in a championship.' And then, almost as an afterthought, Ewbank added, 'The guy that would intrigue us is this junior quarterback at Alabama.'
What set the young Namath apart was a strong arm and one of the quickest releases in the history of the sport. The steelworker's son from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, also possessed an intuitive ability to read the defenses and 'see' the field, combined with - at the time, before a litany of knee operations - uncommon mobility that made him a dangerous running threat. Sonny Werblin divined something that had eluded the scouts and the computers. He realized that Namath had not only talent, but some ineffable added component of charisma and glamour that could make him something much more than just a skilled rookie quarterback with a big contract. 'No one actually knows what it is,' Werblin once said to a friend. 'But it's people like, when Joe DiMaggio walks into a room. I don't think anyone can put a finger on what exactly it is, but there's no doubt this guy's got it.'" ----------------------------------------
All the teams knew what Namath was capable of becoming. There was a great anticipation for what he could do once he got to the league, and if anything his is a story of untapped potential, due to his injury troubles. If you visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you can see one of his old knee braces.
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