March 22, 2014

Rookie of the Year: Marshall Faulk, 1994

Running Back, Indianapolis Colts

Age: 21
College: San Diego State
Height: 5’10” Weight: 200

Faulk was a three-time consensus first-team All-American, the first in San Diego State history, as he rushed for a total of 4589 yards, including 386 in a single game, and scored 62 touchdowns. Choosing to turn pro after his junior year, Faulk was taken in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft (second overall) by the Colts and quickly established himself as an outstanding combination runner/receiver.

1994 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 314 [7]
Most attempts, game - 27 (for 129 yds.) at Seattle 12/4
Yards – 1282 [5]
Most yards, game – 143 yards (on 23 carries) vs. Houston 9/4
Average gain – 4.1 [9]
TDs – 11 [3]
100-yard rushing games – 4

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 52      
Most receptions, game – 8 (for 127 yds.) vs. Washington 10/23
Yards – 522
Most yards, game - 127 (on 8 catches) vs. Washington 10/23
Average gain – 10.0
TDs – 1
100-yard receiving games – 1

All-Purpose Yards – 1804 [6]

TDs – 12 [4, tied with Natrone Means, 1st in AFC]
Points – 72

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

Colts went 8-8 to finish third in the AFC East.

Faulk was selected to the Pro Bowl 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. Traded to the Rams in the offseason for two draft picks, he was a key (along with unsung QB Kurt Warner) in lifting St. Louis to a NFL title as he again led the league in yards from scrimmage (2429), rushing for 1381 and catching 87 passes for 1048 more yards. He was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection and also received MVP honors for the first time. Faulk followed up with another strong season in 2000, again receiving MVP consideration while setting a new record for touchdowns (26) and gaining 1359 rushing yards plus 830 more on 81 catches for a total of 2189 yards from scrimmage. In 2001 he received MVP recognition for the third straight year as he gained 2147 yards overall, with 1382 rushing and 765 on 83 catches. He scored 21 touchdowns to lead the NFL in scoring for a second consecutive season with 128 points. Faulk was a consensus first-team All-Pro for a third straight year and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive time. He had one last Pro Bowl season in 2002 (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.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

[Updated 12/2/14]