Hall of Fame Experiences

By: Evan Chronis, HOF Experiences

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5 Moments that Defined Edgerrin James' Hall of Fame Career


Jun 01, 2020

 

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The greatest running back in Indianapolis Colts history is taking his place inside the halls of Canton this August.

As Edgerrin James prepares for his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020, we are looking back at the Top 5 moments of his legendary career.

5. James Selected By Colts in 1999 NFL Draft

When: April 17, 1999

It wasn’t an on-field accomplishment, but few draft night moments compare to when the Colts selected Edgerrin James.

After an impressive collegiate career at Miami, James entered the 1999 NFL Draft as one of the top two running back prospects along with Texas back Ricky Williams.

Many draft boards had Williams as the first tailback off the board, but the Colts opted for James with the fourth overall pick.

It turned out to be a perfect fit, as James’ rushing style immediately meshed with the Colts system, leading to immediate success.

4. James’ Indy Swan Song

When: 2005-06 Season

James’ final season in Indianapolis capped off a seven-year tenure in Indianapolis.

The running back did it all in the blue and white, helping the Colts win four AFC South titles and reach 10 wins in a season six times.

He left the franchise as its most prolific rusher in history, holding these Colts records:

  • Most career rushing yards ­– 9,226
  • Most rushing touchdowns – 64
  • Highest rushing yards per game average – 96.1
  • Most rushing yards in a single season – 1,709
  • Most seasons with at least 1,000 rushing yards – 5

3. James Sets Second-Year Record

When: 2000-01 Season

Spoiler alert – Edgerrin James had one of the greatest rookie campaigns ever… but we’ll get to that later down this list.

In his second season, James led the league with 1,709 rushing yards and scoring 13 touchdowns from the ground.

With those numbers, he became the third player since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to lead the league in rushing in their first two seasons.

2. James Helps Lead Cardinals to Super Bowl

When: 2008-09 Season

A career at the level of James’ deserves at least a Super Bowl appearance.

Unfortunately for James, the Colts marched back to the Super Bowl the season after he exited the franchise in free agency.

But the prolific back would finally reach the sport’s biggest game during his time with the Arizona Cardinals.

In his final season in Arizona, James rushed for 514 yards while splitting time in the backfield with Tim Hightower and J.J. Arrington.

The Cardinals finished the season 9-7 but had a memorable playoff run, leading them to a 2009 Super Bowl appearance against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While the Cardinals lost, 27-23, the game marked the first and only Super Bowl appearance of James’ Hall of Fame career.

1. James’ Historic Rookie Season

When: 1999-2000 Season

Most rookies use their first season to get their feet wet in the new environment of the NFL.

But for a player like James, there was no time to settle in.

The Miami running back immediately made an impression on the field for his new team, justifying their faith in selecting him as the first back in the 1999 NFL Draft. James exploded onto the scene in his first season with a league-leading 1,553 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The outburst of production immediately put James into the spotlight as one of the league’s best backs and set the groundwork for what would become a career worthy of Canton.  

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