Curtis Martin, Hall Of Famer

Curtis Martin, Hall Of Famer
by Larry Schmitt

Curtis Martin starred for two division rivals over an 11 season 168 game career, and is the only skill-position player of the Hall of Fame's 2012 class.

Martin was selected out of Pitt in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, where he immediately had an impact. In his first game, Martin ran for 102 yards and a touchdown - the first of a rookie record-tying nine 100-yard games (broken by Edgerin James in 1999). His 1,487 yards led the AFC and set a New England record (broken by Corey Dillon in 2004.)  Martin's 14 rushing touchdowns also set a club record that still stands (he tied it the following season).

Martin was rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl and won the NFL's Rookie of the Year Award.

In 1996 Martin set a Patriot record with seven consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. A strong performance served as a springboard in New England's run to Super Bowl XXXI, where he set a team post season records with 166 yards
and three touchdowns against the Pittsburgh in the Divisional Playoffs .

Following three season in New England, Martin signed as a free agent with AFC East rival the New York Jets.

Martins first season in New York was a huge success. He ran for 1,287 yards and caught 43 passes for 365 yards and another touchdown as he helped the Jets to a franchise best 12-4 mark and their first ever AFC East title. In the divisional playoffs Martin rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

In the 2001 season Martin set a new personal best with 1,513 yards and 10 touchdowns and had another strong post season showing as he ran for 106 yards in a Wild Card loss to Oakland.
Martin enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2004 at the age of 31. He led the NFL in rushing with 1,697 yards and added 12 touchdowns. He was rewarded with a spot on the All Pro Team and was voted to his fifth Pro Bowl.

A knee injury prematurely ended Martins' 2005 season, which he ended on the injured reserve list. Although it was the only season of his career in which he did not top the 1,000 yard plateau, he did still lead the Jets in rushing.

Martin is the Jets all time elading rusher with 10,302 yards and is fourth all time in NFL history with 14,101 yards. He had 56 games over 100 yards rushing and 90 touchdowns on the ground with an additional 10 receiving. The all round back's 17,421 yards rank 10th all time.


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