Jamaal Charles: My numbers should put me in the Hall of Fame

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Jamaal Charles hasn’t officially retired from the NFL, but at age 32, and after playing just two games in 2018, it seems unlikely he’ll play again. If he’s done, he’ll be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2024. He thinks he should get in.

“I mean, some of my numbers look way better than some people already in Canton,” Charles told TMZ.com.

One particular number is the reason Charles has a chance: He averaged 5.38 yards per carry over his career, the best for any running back in NFL history.

“That tells you what type of player I was,” Jamaal said. “I gave it my all. Every time I touched the ball, I averaged six yards a carry basically.”

Charles is, along with Jim Brown and Barry Sanders, one of just three players in NFL history to have five seasons with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry. But Charles only had five good seasons in his career; in his other six seasons he never even reached 400 rushing yards. Five seasons will probably not be enough to get him in Canton, as spectacular as those five seasons were.

107 responses to “Jamaal Charles: My numbers should put me in the Hall of Fame

  1. Wow. I didn’t realize his yards per carry were so high during his career but I agree it’s going to be tough getting into canton based on 5 years of high production. Good luck.

  2. He was fun to watch in those seasons but yards per carry won’t get him in nor will having only five 1,000 yard seasons. Still a team game and although he produced, the criteria for him is not the same as Gale Sayers (transcendent game breaker from different era) or Terrell Davis (won Super Bowl).

  3. Trying to work out who he is comparing himself to here? Surely not anyone who started their career before, say, 1970 because that’s just an apples vs oranges argument. So let’s go through the rest of the running backs in the Hall, and the stats that aren’t yards per carry, as we’ve established that he’s definitely got the lead in that…

    There are a few guys who he can’t really compare to, just in terms of counting stats/longevity… Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis (one of the weakest entries to the Hall IMO, sub 4.0ypc? Ouch!), Dickerson, Dorsett, Faulk, Martin, Payton, Riggins, Smith, Thurman Thomas (though he could point to their TD totals, certainly) and LaDainian Tomlinson. That just leaves a few…

    Earl Campbell? Actually a really interesting comparison. Games/yards pretty close. 10 more total TDs for Earl, but also 15 more fumbles. Both had 5 peak seasons. The team success thing is a wash, too. This is probably the comparison I’d use if I was in the room arguing for him, especially as he was a first year inductee.

    Terrell Davis? One of those borderline guys, so probably harder to use as a comparison than Earl Campbell. Funnily, his peak was even shorter but brighter than Jamaal’s, plus his team success would play into it.

    Barry Sanders? Absolutely not.

    So, my conclusion is that I don’t really think that Jamaal Charles is a Hall of Famer – more a Hall of Very Good type – there are certainly comparisons that you can make if you were tasked with trying to get him in there.

  4. The standard for running backs getting into the HOF has become very low.

    Jerome Bettis? Terrell Davis? If those guys are in, then sure, why not Charles?

    Really, I don’t think any of them are really HOF material. Close, but they’re not all-time greats like Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, etc.

  5. 5 seasons is one more than Terrel Davis and he’s in.
    In their career Davis rushed 1655 times for 7607 yards, Charles rushed 1407 times for 7563 yards, Davis averaged 4.6 ypc and had 60 Tds, Charles averaged 5.4 ypc and had 44 tds. Receiving wise Davis had 169 receptions for 1280 yards and 5 tds, Charles had 310 receptions for 2593 yard and 20 Tds as an added bonus Charles averaged 24.4 yards on 51 kickoff returns with 1 td.

  6. It was the O-Line of the KC Chiefs, and the system of Andy Reid that put those numbers up. You didnt do nothing once they punted you. And look at what your replacements have done in KC since they got rid of you…….Spencer Ware had a career year, then Kareem Hunt came in and set the league on fire till the Chiefs punted him too.
    Andy Reid and the entire Offensive Line should get a Gold Jacket before Jammal Charles

  7. Terrell Davis got in the HOF on only 4 seasons, so apparently it can be done. With that said, Jamaal Charles was very good for his time, but he is not a hall of Famer.

  8. Making arguments on decontextualized individual stats in the ultimate team game has always seemed a bad idea to me, as Churchill called it “lies, damned lies and statistics”.

    There’s some great stat-years in there, sure, but only 5 of them, and of which 2 were virtually entirely garbage, last-place years for the team. And within a division which was one of the weakest thru those 5yrs. And in the feeble total of 2 playoff games he played (both wildcard losses) and had good YPAs its very misleading – the first was mostly garbage in a huge loss and the other (just 3 carries!) in high scoring (44-45) loss. That’s not the mark of a HOFer.

    And in 4 of those 5 “great” years, Chiefs had a poor-to-awful defense – frankly, that means opponents will let you waste the clock running it, all day long. But Jamaal may get in as the league loves to hand out gongs to teams that otherwise achieve little, as a salve to their fans.

  9. One of the beautiful things about living in America, is that we all can hope for all things. We all can dream, wish, pretend and delude ourselves as grandiosely as we so choose. I vaguely remembered if you played football or basketball. I had to look at the article. Good luck with that dream.

  10. Charles has a case if compared to Terrell Davis. Davis had 1819 touches vs 1717 for Charles, yet Charles had 10,157 total yards to 8887 for Davis. Davis had 65 TD’s vs 64 for Charles. Charles averaged 5.4 per rush, Davis 4.6. Charles was a better receiver than Davis.

  11. Charles was great for that 5 period run. But there are plenty of guys who played in the NFL who should be in the Hall Of Fame and aren’t.
    I think the Hall Of Fame should be reserved for only the very best players of their era and I also think stats do not tell the whole story. There are other factors which should be considered such as how dominant was this player verses other players of his era, did he compile his stats because he played a very long time, and were his stats a byproduct of him playing for a great team. The one stat I don’t put all that much stock on is whether or not his teams won Super Bowls. There are great players who were not fortunate enough to have played on great teams and never even got to a Super Bowl that are better than guys who played in Super Bowls.
    Unfortunately, what hurts Charles is in 5 of his 11 years in the NFL, he had less than 400 yards rushing. Some of that was because of injuries, but the voters will make that an issue.

  12. I don’t think he’s even close, but mainly because he did have those injuries. One of the standards they go by is were you the best at your position for 5 years when you played. There were a lot good backs like Peterson and CJ2K. I don’t think he makes the cut.

  13. Charles is right. His numbers are better by a wide margin over many backs already in the HOF. Figure in 5.5 yards per carry and that makes him that much more worthy.

  14. That argument of not playing long enough no longer applies after Terrell Davis made it.

  15. Sure, put Charles in, Terrell Davis is in so why not? Just a couple of numbers:
    – Charles 9 years 7563 yards
    – Davis 7 years 7607 yards

    Then there’s Fred Taylor, NOT in the Hall of Fame:
    – Taylor 11 years 11,695 yards

    Davis, BTW, is the only one of the three to have taken money under the table to help his Super Bowl winning team circumvent the salary cap. Now that’s a Hall of Famer, eh?

  16. Well if he goes on to work at the NFL network he will be a shoe in to make the NFL hall of fame. Look at the 2 NFL network stooges Kurt warner and Terrell Davis in the NFL hall fame who shouldn’t be.

  17. Terrell Davis might have played the absolute bare minimum amount of seasons to qualify for Canton, but he WAS the MVP of the League, 3x All-Pro, Super Bowl MVP, and 2x Super Bowl Champion. Larry Johnson has 5 good seasons on some pretty bad teams. He shouldn’t even sniff a vote.

  18. SundaySwamiSaysDontDisagreeWithPftOrYourCommentWontBePosted says:
    April 7, 2019 at 7:26 am
    5 seasons is one more than Terrel Davis and he’s in.
    In their career Davis rushed 1655 times for 7607 yards, Charles rushed 1407 times for 7563 yards, Davis averaged 4.6 ypc and had 60 Tds, Charles averaged 5.4 ypc and had 44 tds. Receiving wise Davis had 169 receptions for 1280 yards and 5 tds, Charles had 310 receptions for 2593 yard and 20 Tds as an added bonus Charles averaged 24.4 yards on 51 kickoff returns with 1 td.

    ———

    Davis is in because he was the main reason the Broncos win two SBs

  19. Davis went in the same way Gale Sayers did…..brilliant peak of a career ended by knee injuries. Davis has a regular season MVP, Super Bowl MVP, 2000 yard season and averaged 140 rushing yards per game in the playoffs.

    John Elway and Mike Shanahan’s legacies much different because of him.

    If Jamal Charles had that kind of impact on the field or other people’s careers….but I don’t think he did.

  20. Those aren’t HOF numbers. ….but then again, the Hall has become the Hall of Pretty Good lately.

    Everyone seems to get in. And players are supported in their temper tantrums when they don’t on the 1st attempt.

  21. If Terrell Davis is in with only 4 good seasons, the Charles has a case with 5 good seasons. This is why you don’t put players like TD in the Hall. It opens it up for all other ‘short career’ players. Longevity isn’t the only factor of course, but it is a factor. Davis and Charles just didn’t do it long enough even though it was due to injury. Yes, they were on HOF trajectories, but they couldn’t sustain it. That’s all part of it. Why do we not talk about Shaun Alexander or Priest Holmes? I don’t consider either one a HOFer, but both had better careers than TD.

  22. Rocky Bleier should be in the HoF if Charles gets in.
    Rocky was a rarity in the NFL (a white RB) plus he is a military veteran.
    Those alone warrant inclusion.

  23. What the NFL really needs is a Hall of Pretty Darn Good for a Pretty Long Time. A place for receivers and running backs with multiple 1,000 yard seasons and defensive staples who aren’t quite hall of fame material. Santana Moss, Thomas Jones, and Haloti Ngata deserve recognition too. Don’t know where I pulled those names from, but you get my point. At very least it would cut down on some HoF arguing.

  24. Numbers can tell you a lot. Zero is the number of championships he won. That counts too. Sorry don’t think its gonna work out.

  25. You won me a lot of $$ in fantasy football so thanks – but you needed a couple more good/great seasons.

    NFL history is loaded with RB’s who had a few killer years.

  26. He may not get into Canton, but he’ll always be a Hall of Famer in my book. With that balance, vision, cutting and toughness he was so very fun to watch.

  27. tinye67 says:
    April 7, 2019 at 9:22 am
    Those aren’t HOF numbers.
    ————————————–

    5.38 YPC is epic, my friend. Only one has done it.

  28. 5.38 yards per carry shows that he wasn’t a short yardage back or used on the goal line. Sorry a short career with no Super Bowl rings just doesn’t get it done !!!

  29. Jamaal Charles:
    7,563 Yards Rushing
    44 Rushing TD’s
    2593 Receiving Yards
    20 Receiving TD’s

    Terrell Davis:
    7607 Yards Rushing
    60 Rushing TD’s
    1280 Receiving Yards
    5 Receiving TD’s

    Ricky Williams:
    10,009 Rushing Yards
    66 Rushing TD’s
    2606 Receiving Yards
    8 Receiving TD’s

  30. SWFLPC.INC says:
    April 7, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Davis is in because he was the main reason the Broncos win two SBs
    **********
    I think the main reason is b/c the Broncos paid Elway and Davis a lot of money under the table and flat out cheated when they won those two SBs. “Spygate” and “Deflategate” pale in comparison to this and it never got the attention it should’ve gotten.

    …and now there’s talk of putting the owner, Bowlen(?), in the HOF too. Or is he already in? Unbelievable. Don’t forget Mike Shanahan, he was in on it so he must be HOF material as well.

  31. “Jamaal Charles:
    7,563 Yards Rushing
    44 Rushing TD’s
    2593 Receiving Yards
    20 Receiving TD’s

    Terrell Davis:
    7607 Yards Rushing
    60 Rushing TD’s
    1280 Receiving Yards
    5 Receiving TD’s

    Ricky Williams:
    10,009 Rushing Yards
    66 Rushing TD’s
    2606 Receiving Yards
    8 Receiving TD’s”

    Now go ahead and list their career playoff and SB stats so we can compare.

  32. I hadn’t realized he had 6 years of 400 or fewer yards. That’s incredible injury punishment. He’s definitely borderline, but people who are saying no way I think aren’t giving him his due. His YPC might be higher than Jim and Barry but no one thinks he was nearly as good, but that shouldn’t be the criteria. He’s definitely in the Terrell Davis category and most think he deserves to be in.

  33. Terrell Davis is a bad comp for Jamaal Charles. If it was just on regular season accomplishments, Davis probably wouldn’t be in. Davis was integral to two Suoer Bowl wins, and ran for over 100 yards in 7 straight playoff games. His playoff stats:

    8 games
    1140 yards
    12 TD’s
    5.6 YPC

  34. Excellent player, but his health will keep him out. Davis and he are both out of the top 50 in total yards so a fair comparison. Davis still averaged more than a 1000 yards a season. Charles has 1 fewer total TDs but a 1000 more total yards. Without a SB win he just doesn’t have the juice to make hall of fame.

  35. Just because Terrell Davis was mistakenly put in doesn’t mean we should compound that mistake by letting Charles and everyone else in this category in.

  36. ummm, no

    terrell davis and frank gore should not go in either

    bettis is also a joke in there

    corey dillon was had a better resume than all of them
    and played on the god awful bungles

  37. I drafted this guy on my team his rookie year as a flyer in case Larry Johnson went down. Won me the championship! Swear he put up 30 points a game like clockwork. Too bad for all the injuries. This guy was a total monster when healthy.

  38. The 1st rule of the hall of fame is you don’t talk about the hall of fame..
    The 2nd rule of the hall of fame is you don’t talk about the hall of fame..
    The 3rd rule of the hall of fame is the hall of fame talks about you.
    The 4th rule of the hall of fame is don’t make it look like youre pleading your case, it just looks bad.
    The 5th rule of the hall of fame is let your numbers do all the talking.

  39. I happen to agree based on his yards-per-carry alone and the fact that he sustained it over many seasons. The Hall of Fame should not simply be a place for people who had long careers.

  40. I have actually made this argument many times that I would rather see guys like Jamaal Charles get in then guys like Frank Gore who simply put up serviceable numbers for a long long time. Jamaal Charles might have to wait for the veterans committee to even have a shot, but I completely see his argument. His yards-per-carry number is no fluke and he proved that. He really was that good.

  41. Comparing Davis Stats without comparing playoff numbers is skewed at best. Charles does not have H.O.F. numbers. I would however, put Shaun Alexander in.

  42. Charles is obviously not humble about a possible HOF selection. I don’t know why so many people are putting up stats. What you are leaving out are things like Offensive Player of the Year, SB MVP, etc…

  43. Amazing player and hall of fame caliber talent but I think his number of injuries will keep him out.

  44. This isn’t the NBA hall of fame where the above average get in no way Charles makes it to canton he had a good career not HOF worthy. So let’s stop comparing him to Davis who rushed for 2000 yards MVP of the league and super bowl 2x champ that’s the reason he’s in Canton I would put Corey Dillon in before Charles….

  45. If Terrell Davis got in, Jamaal should be a unanimous first ballot HOFer. I won’t even go into Bettis.

  46. Maybe a senior induction. Good player that never translated to playoff wins. The short career of Terell Davis was far more impacting.

  47. Davis had 3 seasons with more rushing yards than Charles best season.
    Davis gained 6400 of his 7600 yards in his first 4 seasons, then he blew his knee out.
    Davis in those first 4 years averaged 1600 yards and 14 tds, won 2 super bowls, was named league MVP, and SB MVP, and was all pro 3 times.

    If he didnt get hurt, hed be one of the all time greats

    He was quite a bit better than Charles…..

  48. Charles has a case if compared to Terrell Davis. Davis had 1819 touches vs 1717 for Charles, yet Charles had 10,157 total yards to 8887 for Davis. Davis had 65 TD’s vs 64 for Charles. Charles averaged 5.4 per rush, Davis 4.6. Charles was a better receiver than Davis.
    —————————————————————-

    Tell the whole story, Davis has a couple of superbowl victories in his arsenal.

  49. flipola says:

    April 7, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Matt Ryan is pretty high on the yardage list. Flacco, Stafford, Alex Smith. They deserve the Hall?
    ———
    There’s a huge difference in trying to compare a stat like ypc to yards thrown or even yards rushed. 1 is a cumulative stat the other an average which means just cause you have had more attempts it doesn’t put you any higher.

  50. It’s pretty sad when someone tries to vote themselves into the Hall of Fame. That act in itself probably disqualifies and tells you he doesn’t belong there. He just doesn’t have the numbers

  51. touchdownelvis says:
    April 7, 2019 at 6:55 am
    Trying to work out who he is comparing himself to here? Surely not anyone who started their career before, say, 1970 because that’s just an apples vs oranges argument. So let’s go through the rest of the running backs in the Hall, and the stats that aren’t yards per carry, as we’ve established that he’s definitely got the lead in that…

    There are a few guys who he can’t really compare to, just in terms of counting stats/longevity… Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis (one of the weakest entries to the Hall IMO, sub 4.0ypc? Ouch!), Dickerson, Dorsett, Faulk, Martin, Payton, Riggins, Smith, Thurman Thomas (though he could point to their TD totals, certainly) and LaDainian Tomlinson. That just leaves a few…

    Earl Campbell? Actually a really interesting comparison. Games/yards pretty close. 10 more total TDs for Earl, but also 15 more fumbles. Both had 5 peak seasons. The team success thing is a wash, too. This is probably the comparison I’d use if I was in the room arguing for him, especially as he was a first year inductee.

    Terrell Davis? One of those borderline guys, so probably harder to use as a comparison than Earl Campbell. Funnily, his peak was even shorter but brighter than Jamaal’s, plus his team success would play into it.

    Barry Sanders? Absolutely not.

    So, my conclusion is that I don’t really think that Jamaal Charles is a Hall of Famer – more a Hall of Very Good type – there are certainly comparisons that you can make if you were tasked with trying to get him in there.
    _________________

    Frank Gore, Tiki Barber, Edgerrin James, Warrick Dunn, Steven Jackson, Ricky Watters, Matt Forte, Lesean McCoy, Fred Taylor, Ottis Anderson, Corey DIllon, Roger Craig, Herschel Walker, and Earnest Byner are all top-50 scrimmage yds. None are in the HOF. None are likely going there either. Most if not all would be ahead of Charles if someone were to go.

    Here’s your comparison:

    Brian Westbrook (9 seasons)
    6335 rush yds
    3940 rec yds
    10275 scrimmage yds (96th all-time)
    71 td
    12 fumbles

    Jamaal Charles (11 seasons)
    7563 rush yds
    2592 rec yds
    10156 scrimmage yds (102nd all-time)
    64 td
    28 fumbles

  52. Gale Sayers is in the HOF, and he had a short career (2 years if IIRC). Earl Campbell only had five years with more than 1,000 yards rushing and only 1 season when he averaged over 5 yards per carry, and he is considered one of the best runnig backs in history.

  53. He is like Chris Johnson. Incredible player but for a really short stretch. His decline is like Stephen Alexander. From great to terrible the next year. Until his comeback last year AP was on the same decline. I mention AD because he & Gore are really the only other RB’s of this current era of almost retired stars that will make the HOF and even though he was probably a lock, the 1000 yds in his 30’s last yr pretty much sealed his ticket. Same with Gore playing decent in IND. Charles though, nobody even wants him.

    The RB that should be in the HOF and it is a shame he isn’t is Roger Craig.

  54. But for knee injuries he’d be a lock. His 2010 is a top 5 all-time year by a RB, IMO. 6.4 per carry and about 10 YPC receiving.

  55. No. Good back, but not H.O.F….
    It’d be like saying Chris Johnson should be in and he had one of the best seasons ever for a back with 2500 yds from scrimmage one year. Not knocking him as a player but not Hall of Fame…

  56. If he had a more consistent career, sure. Do I think he “could” get in? Sure. Do I think he belongs there? Heck no.

    HOFers are supposed to be the greatest of all time. Was Charles really the best in the NFL at any time in his career? Maybe for one year?

  57. The standard for running backs getting into the HOF has become very low.

    Jerome Bettis? Terrell Davis? If those guys are in, then sure, why not Charles?
    =====

    TD was the best back in football for 3 years WHILE Barry, Marshall and Emmitt were still on the field.

    .. I think it would have been smarter to let the Senior Committee put him in, but its easy to argue he belongs.

  58. If a better-than-average DT like Cortez Kennedy can be in Canton, a better-than-average RB like Charles should be a shoe-in.

    HoF standards have gone out the window.

  59. The entire HOF selection process is arbitrary. There are no written rules. Anyone can get in if there is enough support and anyone can be left out.

    According to the HOF mission statement it is “supposed” to “Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.”

    Clearly the selection committee has already ignored the mission statement numerous times but I digress.

    Look at the mission statement and ask yourself, is Charles a hero of the game? Did he promote values and celebrate excellence?

  60. Charles definitely should NOT be in the hall of fame. Apparently Charles is horrible at basic math to, he does not realize that an a career average of 5.4YDs per carry is not “averaging 6.0YDs per carry basically”. You averaged 5.4YDs per carry Charles and 5.4YDs per carry is closer to an AVG of 5.0YPC than it is 6.0YPC. Nice try though.

  61. Jamal Charles lack of playoff success is going to hurt him and his chances of getting into the Hall to. Charles only made the postseason a couple times in his career and doesn’t have any signature post season moments that immediately come to mind that people remember.He had some good years in KC but he also had some bad years to, only posting maybe 5 or so good seasons w/ another 6 seasons where he was horrible and did not do anything. Jamal Charles chances of getting into the Hall of Fame would be MUCH HIGHER if he had just walked away from the NFL after the 2015 season when he it was clear he did not have it anymore, instead he stayed around basically lingering around the NFL for 4-5 seasons where he did nothing, that will be Hall of Fame voters last memories of him.

    Does anyone think the Chiefs draft a RB high to replace Hunt in a couple weeks? They are in the perfect position to draft the explosive back out of Alabama in Josh Jacobs who also is a good pass catching back doubling as a receiver. I think he’d be a good fit in in Reids offense.

  62. If a better-than-average DT like Cortez Kennedy can be in Canton, a better-than-average RB like Charles should be a shoe-in.
    =====

    1992 NFL DPOY
    1990 NFL All-Decade Team
    5x All-Pro
    8x Pro Bowler in 11 seasons

    Guess you never saw him play??…

  63. Adrian Peterson
    Frank Gore
    Beast Mode
    Shady McCoy… does he fit in that group? No. And maybe only 2 of those guys get in.

    Thomas Jones
    Matt Forte
    DeAngelo Williams
    CJ2k/CJnoK.. he has less yards than all these guys, and none of them are getting in..

    He does fit with the 70s guys. But the game has changed infinitely since then. He doesn’t stack up against his peers. No chance he gets in.

  64. Sorry Charles – And Edge missed his 2nd & 3rd year basically from an ACL and then recovery

    Edgerrin James
    11 seasons – 12K + yards –
    4 YPC career
    3K + receiving yards –
    4 years over 1,500 yards
    7 years over 1k yards
    80 rushing td’s

  65. Terrell Davis got Elway rings and was a 2k rusher. Bettis, who probably was the weakest RB candidate was on a SB team and on a very popular team. Steelers get a lot favoritism in the Hall. KC is a running back machine; Larry Johnson, Charles, Kareem Hunt, and Priest Holmes all within the last 20 years.

  66. 5.4 yds per carry, Maybe…
    … but what about Ricky Waters, Jamal Lewis, and Steven Jackson?
    … all great, all tough, but also over a longer period of time.
    We’ll see, it may be a bit of a wait…

  67. Marshawn Lynch has a better case, playoff performer and Super Bowl winner (especially if he plays another year and adds some stats). There are too many RBs that have better stats and longevity despite less YPC. Gore, AP, Lynch, and Mccoy are all active RBs that have better cases that would likely overshadow Charles, not letting him in. Gore and AP are locks.

  68. Another player spouting off about how great he is and not giving credit to his teammates. I would say those offensive lines he ran behind deserve some of the credit.

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