October 28, 2011

MVP Profile: Marshall Faulk, 2000

Running Back, St. Louis Rams

Age: 27
7th season in pro football, 2nd with Rams
College: San Diego State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 211

Taken in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft (second overall) by the Indianapolis Colts, Faulk had a Rookie of the Year season with 1282 rushing yards and 52 catches for 522 more, establishing himself as an outstanding combination runner/receiver. He was selected to the Pro Bowl as well and was chosen again following a 1995 performance in which he rushed for 1078 yards and had 56 catches. Injuries, and a subpar offensive line, reduced his production significantly in 1996 and he ran for 1054 yards and caught 47 passes for a 3-13 team in ’97. Faulk returned to Pro Bowl form in 1998 as he rushed for 1319 yards and gained 908 yards on 86 pass receptions to lead the NFL with 2227 yards from scrimmage. He was traded to the Rams in the offseason for two draft picks and in 1999 became the key to a championship offense as he again led the league in yards from scrimmage (2429) with 1381 on the ground and 1048 through the air on 87 catches. Faulk thus became the second running back to gain a thousand yards both rushing and receiving in a season and, in addition to being chosen to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time, was a consensus first-team All-Pro.

2000 Season Summary
Appeared and started in 14 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 253 [19]
Most attempts, game - 32 (for 220 yds.) at New Orleans 12/24
Yards – 1359 [8]
Most yards, game – 220 yards (on 32 carries) at New Orleans 12/24
Average gain – 5.4 [3]
TDs – 18 [1]
200-yard rushing games – 2
100-yard rushing games – 4

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 81 [16, tied with Larry Centers]
Most receptions, game – 9 (for 85 yds.) at Seattle 9/10, (for 88 yds.) vs. Washington 11/20
Yards – 830
Most yards, game - 116 (on 6 catches) vs. San Diego 10/1
Average gain – 10.2
TDs – 8 [11, tied with six others]
100-yard receiving games – 2

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 1
Yards – 18
Average per return – 18.0
TDs – 0

All-Purpose Yards – 2207 [4]

TDs – 26 [1]
Points – 160 [1]

The 26 touchdowns set a then-NFL single-season record.

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at New Orleans)
Rushing attempts – 14
Rushing yards – 24
Average gain rushing – 1.7
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 7
Pass receiving yards - 99
Average yards per reception – 14.1
Pass Receiving TDs - 1

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, PFWA, NEA, Sporting News
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Rams went 10-6 to finish second in the NFC West and qualify for the postseason as a wild card while leading the NFL in total yards (7075), passing yards (5232), points scored (540), and touchdowns (67). Lost NFC Wild Card playoff to New Orleans Saints (31-28).

Faulk maintained his outstanding consistency for the Rams in 2001 as he rushed for a career-high 1382 yards (leading the league in yards-per-carry for the third straight year) and caught 83 passes for 765 yards while again leading the NFL with 21 TDs. He again received MVP recognition while also garnering first-team All-Pro honors for the third consecutive year and gaining another Pro Bowl selection. The Rams, still an offensive powerhouse, won the NFC Championship but were upset in the Super Bowl by the Patriots. Faulk had one last Pro Bowl season in ’02 (his 7th overall), but injuries and accumulated wear-and-tear were reducing his production. While he played until 2005, he never again gained over a thousand yards rushing or two thousand yards from scrimmage. For his career, he rushed for 12,279 yards and 100 touchdowns and caught 767 passes for 6875 yards and another 36 TDs. At the time, his 19,190 total yards ranked sixth all-time and 136 TDs placed fourth. Faulk was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2011.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/12/14]