There was little suspense when the Jets announced their team awards yesterday: Curtis Martin was voted MVP by his teammates.
Martin has been the dominant force on the offense this season. He enters tomorrow's game with 1,544 yards on 343 carries, good for third-most rushing yards in the NFL this season. He has also tied a club record for touchdowns in a season with 14.

"I think it speaks for itself," Herman Edwards said. "It started with the offseason he had and then into the preseason. What's great about these awards is it's voted on by your peers. ... It's a tribute to what he's done as a player."

Martin has moved from 11th on the NFL's all-time rushing list to sixth this season. He also joined Hall of Famer Barry Sanders as the only players in NFL history to begin his career with 10 consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

It was the fourth time in seven seasons he has won the award.

Linebacker Eric Barton was named the Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational Player. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Raiders and has played his way into a starting position. He's the club's leading tackler with 115. Tackle Kareem McKenzie and defensive tackle Jason Ferguson were named the Kyle Clifton Good Guy Award winners. Chad Pennington was given the Ed Block Courage Award for commitment and sportsmanship. McKenzie also earned the Marty Lyons Award for outstanding community service.

EXTRA EFFORT: With 14 playoff games under his belt, DB Terrell Buckley knows what this week is about. He said there is an extra intensity and he sees his teammates picking up on it.

"This is the time when you come in and do all the normal things and then you look for something else to do," Buckley said. "Like interviews. I hate doing interviews, but this week, you do what you have to do."

INJURIES: QB Quincy Carter came back to practice yesterday after missing Thursday with the flu. Carter practiced and was listed as probable. Edwards said he would wait before deciding on whether Carter or Brooks Bollinger would be the No.2 quarterback. DE John Abraham (knee) also practiced yesterday and is still listed as questionable.

Kristie Ackert

Originally published on January 1, 2005