Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2003

K.C.’s Hall sparks talk of possible MVP

Player’s impact is most important gauge

November 2, 2003


— Kansas City's Dante Hall is not merely the NFL's most exciting player with Michael Vick injured.

He is not merely the most explosive game-changing weapon on pro football's only unbeaten team.

He doesn't merely give Kansas City more ways to beat you than any team in the league. He also is the league's Most Valuable Player the first half of the season.

He's that good -- that he can have more impact as a specialist than most players do playing every down. If you believe the coaching motto that special teams is one-third of the game, just like offense and defense, then there is no one player in the league that makes his third of the game more dangerous than Hall.

You like Carolina's Stephen Davis? He has certainly been wonderful. But he has five touchdowns this season -- same as Hall -- and not a single play longer than 40 yards.

Hall, meanwhile, busts open games with 100-yard runs that change a game's entire dynamic. And, no, all touchdowns aren't created equal. You can't tell me that any Davis touchdown this year has been worth as much as the punt return Hall took 92 yards in the fourth quarter against Denver with his team down by six.

This is how much better Hall is than anyone returning punts and kicks: While Tampa Bay has never returned a kickoff for a touchdown in franchise history, Hall has two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season alone. By comparison, the NFL's next 39 top kickoff returners have combined for exactly zero TDs. Hall also has two punt return touchdowns. The next 39 leading punt returners have combined for one.

You say he has a lot of help? And Steve McNair doesn't?

There is no one in the NFL like Hall. We can argue about whether you'd rather have Clinton Portis, Ricky Williams or Edgerrin James, but the gap between them isn't as large as Hall and whomever you consider the game's second-best returner.

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