Marshall Faulk: Career retrospective | Yardbarker


Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk was the mastermind behind “The Greatest Show on Turf.” His NFL MVP in 2000 was with St. Louis. He led the Rams to his two Super Bowls and won one in his three years. Let’s take a look at Fork’s legendary career.

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Growing up in New Orleans, packing up and heading to San Diego

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Marshall Falk grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. From an early age he was involved in sports. At Carver High School, Faulk was cornerback, running back, and running the track. When his high school career ended, he packed his bags and headed west after deciding to go to San Diego State.

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Falk’s second bout in college made him famous

Falk's second bout in college made him famous

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3/20

Heisman Trophy runner-up

Heisman Trophy runner-up

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Faulk tallied 1,630 yards and 15 touchdowns in his sophomore season. Falk’s phenomenal performance made him the talk of Heisman his trophy. When it came time for voters to vote, Faulk finished second, losing to Miami quarterback Gino Torretta. While Falk carried the team on his back, San Diego his Aztecs were 5-5-1 with him, and some voters looked no further. They thought the award should go to the best player on the best team.

4/20

west coast sensation

west coast sensation

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On the sunny campus of San Diego State University, Falk wrote the first passage of his poetic career. An Aztec stud, he tallied his 1,530 yards and his 21 touchdowns in the program’s final year. Folk was a West Coast sensation during the Aztec period. He is the best running his back in the history of the school and his jersey number (28) hangs in the rafters of his Aztec stadium. Faulk was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts

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Falk impressed NFL scouts his entire college career. At the NFL Combine, the 5-foot-10, 211-pound back ran a blistering 4.35-yard dash. From the start, Faulk was considered a top five player in the 1994 NFL Draft class. The Indianapolis Colts selected the San Diego State alum with the second overall pick on draft day. It’s official, Falk has joined the NFL!

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Rookie of the Year

Rookie of the Year

Fork at the 1995 Pro Bowl.
RVR Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Faulk made his NFL debut with 1,282 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He revived the Colts’ stagnant run game. He helped the Colts improve from four wins the previous year to eight wins in their rookie year. Ultimately, Faulk won the 1994 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. It was also his first Pro Bowl appearance. The future was bright for forks.

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Notable Playoff Runs of 1995

Notable Playoff Runs of 1995

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The 1995 Colts exceeded expectations and shocked the football world with a wild playoff. Led by quarterback Jim Harbaugh (yes, that Jim Harbaugh), the Colts won his 9-7 victory, leaving the energy in the tank for the playoffs. The Colts sprinted into the AFC Championship Game, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers after a failed second-last Hail Mary attempt by Harbaugh. Falk proved to be a rising star in his second year in the league.

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Remaining tenure at the Colts

Remaining tenure at the Colts

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In 1996, the versatile back had an off year when he totaled 3.0 yards per carry. The following season, he rushed and rebounded for 1,054 yards and 7 touchdowns. Falk’s efforts weren’t enough to impact the winning row as the Colts limped to 3-13.

Playing with Peyton Manning

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Never mind how the Colts lose. He was the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, earning the right to draft Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning. The quarterback prospect of a lifetime would turn the Colts’ fortunes upside down. Before leading the Colts to glory, Manning had a little help from his friend Falk.

Falk helped him overcome the rookie learning curve and became the team’s top offensive threat in 1998 with 10 touchdowns and a league-leading 2,227 scrimmage yards. The Colts went 3-13 in Manning’s rookie year.

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Traded to St. Louis Rams

Traded to St. Louis Rams

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The Colts traded their star running back to the St. Louis Rams for second- and fifth-round picks. A rebuilding team looking to rack up wins, the Rams brought in Faulk as the centerpiece of their offense. It would be one of the most lopsided deals in league history.

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Become the second player in NFL history to reach over 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season.

Become the second player in NFL history to reach over 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season.

Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams’ season got off to a rough start. A valuable offseason acquisition, Trent Green went down with injury. Unproven Kurt Warner played quarterback for the remainder of the Rams’ tenure. The rest is history. Falk became the second running back in league history to surpass 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Roger Craig joined the first generation in 1985, Christian McCaffrey joined in 2019, for StamuseIn total, Faulk rushed for a league-leading 2,429 yards of scrimmage and 12 touchdowns.

12/20

The Rams win the Super Bowl!

The Rams win the Super Bowl!

Allen Key – Contributor – Getty Images

The Rams went 13-3 in 1999, going from worst to best in the NFC. They defeated the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers en route to Super Bowl XXXIV. On football’s biggest stage, they defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 23-16. Faulk charged forward with 82 rushing yards and a touchdown during the playoffs. He caught 13 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown in the air.

Fork Wins MVP

Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports

Faulk was named the NFL MVP in 2000 after gaining 2,189 total yards from scrimmage and scoring a league-leading 26 touchdowns. Falk gained a ridiculous 6.6 yards per touch. The Rams offense became the first team in NFL history to get his 7,000 yards and scored 540 points. Unfortunately, the Rams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs thanks to injuries.

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2 Super Bowl appearances in 3 years

2 Super Bowl appearances in 3 years

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The Rams got back on track in 2001. Faulk caused a stir in just his 14 games with 2,147 scrimmage for his yardage and a league-leading 21 total touchdowns. Faulk won Offensive Player of the Year for the third year in a row and completed a three-peat. The Rams went on to win 14-2 and lost 20-17 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. The game gave impetus to his 20-year dynasty of the New England Patriots.

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“Best show on the lawn”

"The best show on the lawn"

POOL PHOTOS VIA USA TODAY SPORTS

From 1999 to 2001 Falk appeared on ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’. Regarded by fans and analysts as the greatest offense of all time, they revolutionized football and ushered in the era of football’s pass-first, spread-his offense. The offensive juggernaut had his four Hall of Famers in Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Orlando Pace. Their head coach, Dıck Vermeil, is also in the Hall of Fame. In his three years he has been to the Super Bowl twice and won once.

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run the ball in the 30s

run the ball in the 30s

Dilip Vishwanat-USA TODAYSports

“The Greatest Show on Turf” disbanded as soon as it was assembled. Most of its members retired or left for richer deals in free agency, Falk said, although he remained with the Rams until 2006. At age 32, the old back had 583 scrimmage for his yards and a touchdown. While he was in the “Last Call” phase of his career, Falk remained a great teammate and a respected player in the league. He also coached Stephen Jackson, who later became the Rams’ all-time leading rusher. Falk cut his cleats after the 2006 season.

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A Beloved St. Louis Athlete

A Beloved St. Louis Athlete

Dilip Vishwanat-USA TODAYSports

The city of St. Louis has been blessed with great athletes such as Albert Pujols, Bob Pettit, and Brett Hull. Faulk is arguably St. Louis’ finest player. He was a member of the franchise’s finest era.

18/20

deadly dual threat weapon

deadly dual threat weapon

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Offensive coordinators dream of having players like Falk. He was one of the most versatile Bucks in NFL history. The dual threatback can run at the best of them while possessing wide receiver hands, and Faulk finished his career with the most receiving his yards in NFL history. for StamuseHe is also fifth all-time in career scrimmage yards. for Stamuse.

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Inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first round

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first round

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Falk was inducted into Canton’s NFL Hall of Fame as a member of the 2011 Stacked Class. A constant threat in the passing game, he caught 767 receptions for 6,875 yards and his 36 touchdowns. Faulk’s Hall of Fame bust sits next to many of his teammates on “The Greatest Show on Turf.”

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life after retirement

life after retirement

Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

Falk is retired and enjoying the good life. He was his analyst on NFL Network’s series Football. NFL Total Access When NFL game day morningHe is married to Lindsey Stout and has five children. They divorced him in 2014. His son, Marshall Faulk Jr., was a former running back for him in Central Washington.

David J. Hunt is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He ran cross-country at Penn State University, became a volunteer firefighter during COVID-19, and became a self-taught journalist. He’s a hardcore Philadelphia sports fan. When he’s not watching sports, he enjoys working out, fishing and traveling. You can find more of his work at The Chestnut Hill Local and The Temple News. You can follow him on Twitter. @dave_hunt44.





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