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Throwback Thursday: Bettis' best season


Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015. The Hall of Fame voters will hold their selection meeting on Saturday, January 31, and the Class of 2015 will be announced that night during the NFL Honors Show (NBC, 9 pm ET).1997 SeasonCareer-High 1,665 Yards Rushing**It was a year to remember for Jerome Bettis, who had his best statistical season in the NFL in 1997, carrying the ball a career-high 375 times for 1,665 yards while playing in only 15 games. Bettis was rewarded at the end of the season with a Pro Bowl selection and being voted MVP by his teammates for a second-straight year.

Early in the season Coach Bill Cowher said he tried to maintain how many carries Bettis was getting to make sure he had him down the stretch, something that would be a necessity.

Photos from the career of former Steelers running back and Hall of Fame finalist Jerome Bettis.

"He takes some hits," said Cowher early in 1997. "He's not the type of guy like Barry Sanders, who's going to get 14 yards and no one's going to touch him. Jerome's going to get 14 yards, but he's going to run over three people."

Bettis had a114 yards against Jacksonville, 137 yards in a come from behind win over Baltimore, 164 against Indianapolis and in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos carried the ball 24 times for 125 yards in a game that clinched a playoff spot for the Steelers.

"I knew it was going to be rough," said Bettis after the game. "I knew that they would come out and make a concerted effort to stop the run. I just took it upon myself to, once I got hit, not to stop my feet because we needed every single yard we could get out there."

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