Ranking All 12 Seasons of Marshall Faulk's NFL Career
If you've been watching football for a while, you probably remember the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf."
From 1999 to 2001, iconoclastic coach Mike Martz built the team into an offensive battering ram (pun intended), both in the air and on the ground. At quarterback, Kurt Warner led the aerial attack, flanked by Pro Bowl wideouts Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, but without Marshall Faulk, it simply wouldn't have worked.
After spending the first five seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts -- with whom he won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1994 and rushed for 1,000 yards on four separate occasions -- Faulk was traded to the Rams in April of 1999 for a second rounder and fifth rounder in that year's draft.
Over the next seven years, the San Diego State alum tallied 11,030 yards and 85 touchdowns from scrimmage. He ran for 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons and was voted to the Pro Bowl four times as a Ram. In 1999, he won his one and only Super Bowl ring under coach Dick Vermeil, and each season from then until 2001, Faulk earned All-Pro honors, ultimately nabbing the NFL MVP in 2000.
As it stands today, Faulk ranks fourth all-time in yards from scrimmage (19,154) seventh in touchdowns (136) and rushing touchdowns (100), and 11th in career rushing yards (12,279). Little surprise that the well-decorated running back was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Faulk ranks as one of the NFL's 25 best players of all-time, according to a little something called career approximate value (CarAV). This CarAV is a metric used by Pro Football Reference to compare careers, but, broken down to single seasons, approximate value (AV) allows us to compare and contrast seasons across positions, players, seasons and eras. It stands as a single number representative of a player's value for a particular season based on several factors. In a nutshell, the higher the AV the better the season.
Employing AV, we'll determine which of Faulk's 12 seasons rise above the others (breaking any ties by total touchdowns accounted for), and which was truly the greatest of them all for this dynamic cornerstone of one of the best offenses we've ever seen.