Friday, December 04, 2009

Is Jamal Lewis a Hall of Famer?

In 2003 Jamal Lewis became just the 5th back in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards (his 2,066 is second all time for a single season behind Eric Dickerson 2,105). He also ran for a then record 295 yards Week 2 (although it was against the Browns) - the current record is 296 yards. He cracked 200 yards twice (only three players have done that more in one season although one was Tiki Barber - who is close but not a Hall of Famer himself). Just 17 backs have has season with multiple 200 yard games (OJ and LT twice). Lewis only cracked 200 yards one other time. In 2003 he had 12 hundred yard games - only three other guys have done that (the best RB of all time had 14 in 1997 for the Lions and those were 14 in a row Weeks 3-16).

It was an amazing season.


The next year he missed four games and ran for 1,006 yards. 2003 was also Lewis's only Pro Bowl season. It was also his only season averaging more than 4.4 yards a carry, his only season with more than 1,400 yards, his only season averaging more than 90 yards a game, and his only season with more than 9 tds (rushing he had 11 combined in 2007).

Yes he was a key component on a Super Bowl team and one that was a rushing offense. But the defense won that title. If you take away 2003 there is no way this is even a conversation. And he wasn't much of a receiver either. So the real question is does one super season in an otherwise good, not great career make a Hall of Famer?

I'm leaning no, because save for 2003 there was never a season where if you asked most NFL fans, players, coaches to list the best RBs in league they would have mentioned Lewis.

Plus he was a drug dealer.


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