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.193, The Best I Ever Saw, and Other Facts

By Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.

First, another quick word about the Designated Whiffer

Last week I asked the following question:

“How long are we going to have to watch a designated hitter who only bats .210?”

This week I need to update David Ortiz’ batting average. It is now .193.

“The best I ever saw”

This week marks the start of a new series that highlights the best players at each position in New England Patriots history. Every week I will focus on one premiere player. This week’s position is RB.

The best running back I ever saw in a Patriots uniform was (far and away) Curtis Martin. He may have only played in New England for three seasons, but his performance in those three years set the bar higher than anyone else who played before him…or after. Three years, three straight 1,000 yard rushing campaigns and an average of nearly 11 TDs per season. Throw in an average of about 300 receiving yards per year and it becomes clear that Martin truly was a special player while wearing Red, White, and Blue laundry. The scary part about Martin’s accomplishments is that even though he is clearly the best RB in Patriots history, he was even better in New Jersey while playing with the New York Jets.

It isn’t only Martin’s very large pile of regular season stats (only one of two players in NFL history to have 10 straight 1,000 yard seasons rushing) that make him a cut above, it’s also his prowess in the post season that set him apart. During the Super Bowl run in the ’96 playoffs, he completely destroyed the Pittsburgh Steelers with 166 yards rushing and three TDs. In Super Bowl XXXI that year, Martin rushed for an 18 yard TD, breaking through the dominant Green Bay Packer defensive line and literally running through 325 pound Gilbert Brown’s attempted tackle. For a guy who stands 5'11" and 210lbs, that's saying something.

One can only wonder what might have happened if Martin stayed in New England instead of following Bill Parcells to the Jets.

Interesting statistic I’ll bet you didn’t know

WR Stanley Morgan, who played 13 years for the Patriots, started his career with six straight seasons of averaging at least 20 yards per catch. He is the only player in the history of the NFL to do so.

Answer to last week’s question:

Pro-bowl TE Marv Cook told reporters that his understudy, Ben Coates, would completely overshadow his (Cook’s) accomplishments. He was correct.

Question of the week:

When did the Patriots replace the Astroturf surface with grass at the old Foxboro Stadium?

(Answer will be provided next week)


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