Stats & Info: Emmitt Smith


Al Bello/Getty ImagesOnly three players rushed for more yards in NFL history than Curtis Martin.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 consists of six members, the seventh consecutive year there have been at least six enshrinees. The Honor Roll for the Hall of Fame now stands at 273.

None of the six players made it in his first year of eligibility.

Running back Curtis Martin spent 11 seasons in the NFL and led his team in rushing each season. He ranks fourth in NFL history with 14,101 yards rushing.

Martin rushed for at least 1,000 yards in 10 of his 11 seasons -- only Emmitt Smith had more 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history (11). Martin will join Hall of Famer Barry Sanders as the only running backs to start their careers with 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Willie Roaf played 13 seasons for the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs (1993-2005). In his second season, Roaf was named to the first of his 11 Pro Bowls. Only three offensive lineman since 1970 have been named to more Pro Bowls than Roaf: Bruce Matthews (14), Will Shields and Randall McDaniel (12 each).

Center Dermontti Dawson spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1988-2000). He became Pittsburgh’s starting center in 1989, replacing future Hall of Famer Mike Webster. (He also doubled as team's long snapper from 1988-93.) Dawson was named first-team All-Pro six consecutive years (1993-98), selected to play in seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1993-99) and played in 170 consecutive games before his streak ended in 1999 with a hamstring injury.

On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Jack Butler -- like Dawson -- spent his entire career with the Steelers (1951-59). Butler is one of three players in NFL history with four touchdown receptions and four interceptions returned for touchdowns, along with Johnny McNally and Joe Golding. This was his first year as a finalist after having been eligible for 50 years.

Of the six players going into the Hall on Saturday, Chris Doleman is the only one who played for more than two teams during his career. Doleman played for the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers during his 15-year career. He’s one of five players to record at least 21.0 sacks in a season and his 150.5 sacks ranks fourth since 1982, the year sacks became an official statistic.

Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy spent his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks (1990-2000) and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times. Only offensive tackle Walter Jones (9) has been named to more in franchise history. Kennedy started a club record 100 straight games, and in 1992 was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. This despite the fact that Seahawks finished 2-14, tied with the New England Patriots for the worst record in the NFL.

Impact of Peterson's injury on power, speed

May, 9, 2012
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Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesAdrian Peterson continues to rehab from a knee injury he suffered in Week 16 against the Redskins.
The Minnesota stadium debate isn’t the only issue Vikings fans are monitoring closely this offseason.

Adrian Peterson is working to come back from a gruesome knee injury suffered late last season. Peterson worked out in front of the media on Wednesday, 137 days after tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee.

Peterson is the face of the Vikings franchise, and one of the most productive tailbacks in league history through his first five seasons.

Since his rookie year in 2007, Peterson leads the NFL with 6,752 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns. He has joined LaDainian Tomlinson and Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Eric Dickerson as the only players to ever amass 6,000 rushing yards and 60 rushing TD in their first five seasons.

Even if Peterson is able to return to the field early in 2012, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to run with the same strength and speed as in the past.

Running behind a porous offensive line in 2011, Peterson did some of his best work after getting hit, averaging 2.5 yards per rush after contact. Among the 31 running backs who carried the ball at least 150 times last season, only Ben Tate (2.9) averaged more yards per carry after contact than Peterson.

Peterson may not have the same type of wheels as when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine. Still, he has the speed to break the long run. Over the last three seasons, only Chris Johnson (34) and Michael Turner (21) have more rushes of at least 25 yards than Peterson’s 20.

His knee injury stands as an early-season obstacle, Peterson stands to benefit as much as anyone from Minnesota’s selection of USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick in last month’s draft. While Kalil’s pass protection is considered to be ahead of his run blocking, he’s sure to be an upgrade over the incumbent starter at left tackle, Charlie Johnson.

With Johnson starting all 16 games at left tackle in 2011, Peterson averaged just 3.8 yards per rush on his 30 carries around left tackle. Of the 27 players who rushed around left tackle at least 20 times last season, only three registered fewer yards per carry than Peterson.

In 2010, when Bryant McKinnie anchored the left side of the Vikings line, Peterson averaged 6.6 yards per rush on carries around left tackle, fifth most among NFL tailbacks.
Much of the talk this week surrounded the Oakland Raiders quarterbacking decision. On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs showed it didn't matter who lined up behind center, as Kansas City dismantled Oakland on the road, entering itself back in the thick of the AFC West race.

The Chiefs shut out the Raiders, the first road shut out for the franchise since 1973 against the Chargers. It marked just the sixth time in franchise history that the Raiders were shutout at home.

Kyle Boller got the start for the Raiders, but was largely ineffective throwing three interceptions before being replaced by Carson Palmer, including one returned 59 yards by Kendrick Lewis for a touchdown.

Palmer was equally ineffective for the Raiders, completing only eight of his 21 pass attempts, while throwing three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown as well.

This marked just the second time in Raiders team history that they had two interceptions returned for touchdowns against them at home. The only other time happened in 1998 against the Dolphins. That game also marked the last time the Raiders threw six interceptions.

However, Sunday's game was unique as this marked the first time in franchise history the Raiders threw six or more interceptions without throwing at least one touchdown. They are one of only two teams to accomplish the feat since 2000. The other was the 2009 New York Jets. One silver --and black -- lining for the Raiders, that Jets team went on to reach the AFC Championship Game.

The bigger story from this game could be the rebirth of the Chiefs, who have won three straight after starting the season with three consecutive losses. They entered the game last in the NFL in scoring defense and had just five takeaways. They surpassed that total today with the six interceptions, the first time since 1984 they had at least six picks.

DeMarco Murray's Record Day

Filling in for the injured Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray rushed for 253 yards, setting a new Dallas Cowboys franchise record in the teams victory over the St. Louis Rams.

The previous record of 237 was set by Emmitt Smith back during the 1993 season. The only other Cowboys player in franchise history to rush for more than 200 yards was Tony Dorsett who did so in 1977 against the Philadelphia Eagles. His 253 rushing yards were second-most all-time by a rookie running back. Only Adrian Peterson, who racked up 296 yards back in his rookie campaign in 2007 had more in a single game.

Murray also took a stab at another franchise mark, falling eight yards shy, as his 91-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was just the second Cowboys rushing touchdown of 90 or more yards in franchise history. Dorsett's 99-yard touchdown run in 1983 against the Vikings is the only longer touchdown run.
Randy Moss has called it a career after 13 seasons that saw him catch 954 passes for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns. Moss, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens are the only players to rank in the top five in NFL history in receiving yards, touchdown receptions and 100-yard games.
Randy Moss
Moss

The six-time Pro Bowler finished his career with 29 touchdowns of at least 50 yards. Only Rice (36) had more.

However, Moss’ regular-season success didn’t translate in the postseason. His teams were a combined 6-6 in playoff games he appeared in, including 1-3 in conference championship games and the Super Bowl. He recorded 47 receptions for 865 yards and 10 TD in 12 postseason games, including five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII -- his only Super Bowl appearance.

One of the lasting memories of Moss will be his final season. Playing for the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans in 2010, Moss finished with career lows in receptions (28) and receiving yards (393). Last season also was the only year in his career that he did not have a single 100-yard receiving game. He had no receptions in five games last season, compared to just four from 1998-2009.

Some other Moss memories:
• Owns the league’s single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 23 in 2007.

• Has the single-season rookie record for receiving TD, 17 in 1998.

• Only players in NFL history who have scored more touchdowns than Moss’ 154: Rice (205), Emmitt Smith (175), LaDainian Tomlinson (159) and Owens (156).

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