Terrell Davis or TD, as he is affectionately known in Denver, had what can be argued as the best 3-year stretch for a running back with the numbers he put up. It all started with being drafted in the 6th round as the 21st running back off the board in 1995.
Davis would earn the starting job in pre-season and had a stellar rookie season rushing for 1,117 yards and 7 TD. Davis became the lowest drafted player to ever rush for at least 1,000 yards. Davis would then take the NFL and Fantasy leagues by storm over the next 3 seasons.
In his second season in the league, Davis built on his rookie campaign and showed he was a force to be dealt with. Davis rushed for 1,538 yards and 13 TD and added 310 receiving yards and another 2 TD and was named the AP Offensive Player of the Year. There were many who projected that Davis would fall short in his second season and even fewer who believed he would accomplish what he did. For Davis, though, this was only the beginning and he would crush the NFL and Fantasy over the next 2 seasons.
Davis was coming off a monster second season and was being taken seriously by every defense in the league going into his 3rd season. Even with the added attention from opposing defenses and pressure from Broncos fans, Davis was able to overcome and overachieve. Davis rushed for 1,750 yards and 15 TD, while adding another 287 yards receiving and totaling 2,037 yards from scrimmage. This was an amazing regular season, but Davis would take it to another level that year in the post-season.
Davis opened the Playoffs in 1997 with 184 yards rushing and 2 TD against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game the Broncos won 42-17. The following week Davis would face the Kansas City Chiefs and their tough defense and ran for 101 yards and 2 TD in a 14-10 win. In the AFC Championship game the Broncos traveled to Pittsburgh and faced another tough defense. Davis was not fazed, rushing for 139 yards and TD in the 24-21 victory. Davis would really stand out in the Super Bowl.
The Broncos were a heavy underdog to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and John Elway was trying to get his first win in the big game, and he would do it, thanks to Davis. Davis was an absolute beast in this game, rushing for 157 yards and 3 TD, including the final score of the game, giving the Broncos their first Super Bowl title with a 31-24 victory. Davis was also named Super Bowl MVP. Davis now had huge expectations heading into 1998, and this was going to be a real tough act to follow.
Davis headed into the 1998 season very confident and started the season hot with 5 TD in his first 2 games. Starting in week 2, Davis rushed for 100 yards in 7 straight games and scored 12 TD. Davis finished the season with 2,008 yards, becoming the 4th player to rush for 2,000 yards, and added 21 rushing TD. Davis finished with 2,225 yards from scrimmage and 23 TD. Davis was named the NFL MVP and earned his 2nd AP Offensive Player of the year award. Davis then had the Playoffs to make his final impression.
In their first Playoff game the Broncos hosted the Miami Dolphins and Davis ran through them like they were a pop warner team, rushing for 199 yards and 2 TD on 21 carries, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. The Broncos crushed the Dolphins 38-3. In the AFC Championship game the Broncos hosted the NY Jets and Davis once again was the workhorse rushing for 167 yards and a TD in a 23-10 victory. In Super Bowl XXXIII, against the Atlanta Falcons, Davis would take a backseat to John Elway, as this game became the stamp on the great career of the Denver quarterback. Davis would still rush for 102 yards and added another 50 yards receiving on 2 catches. The Broncos would defeat the Falcons 34-19. Davis would find his career cut short due to injuries averaging only 5 games played over the next 3 seasons, the last of his short but glorious career.
This 3-year run was amazing. The final playoff stats that Davis put up may be the most staggering. Davis played in 8 playoff games and had seven 100-yard games and is the only player to have 7 straight 100-yard games in the Playoffs. Davis finished his playoff career with 1,140 yards, 12 TD with 5.6 yards per carry average. Davis was amazing and was the best player in Fantasy Football in 1997 and 1998, and even though his career was short, like Gale Sayers, it was an amazing sight to be seen.
BY HOUDINI (email me)