George Blanda

George Frederick Blanda (September 17, 1927 – September 27, 2010) was an American football quarterback and placekicker who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Blanda played 26 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement. Blanda retired from pro football in 1976 as the oldest player to ever play at the age of 48. He was one of only two players to play in four different decades (John Carney, who played 1988–2010, is the other), and he holds the record for most extra points made (943) and attempted (959).[1] During his career, he played under head coaches Bear Bryant, George Halas, and John Madden.

George Blanda
refer to caption
Blanda on a 1955 Bowman football card
No. 64, 22, 16
Position:Quarterback, placekicker
Personal information
Born:September 17, 1927
Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Died:September 27, 2010 (aged 83)
Alameda, California
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Career information
High school:Youngwood (PA)
College:Kentucky
NFL Draft:1949 / Round: 12 / Pick: 119
Career history
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
Career professional statistics
TDINT:236–277
Passing yards:26,920
Completion percentage:47.7
Passer rating:60.6
Field goals:335/639 (52.4%)
Extra points:943/959 (98.3%)
Player stats at PFR

Collegiate career

Blanda was a quarterback and kicker at Kentucky. Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who later won fame and set countless records at Southeastern Conference rival Alabama, arrived in his sophomore year, following a 1–9 season. The Wildcats lost three games in each of the next three years.

Blanda was the starting quarterback his last two seasons at Kentucky (1947–1948), compiling 120 completions in 242 passes (49.6 percent completions), 1,451 yards and 12[2] touchdowns.

Professional career

Chicago Bears

Blanda was signed by the Chicago Bears for $600 in 1949, an amount owner George Halas demanded back when he made the team, as Blanda was given a lucrative contract for much more money. While primarily used as a quarterback and placekicker, Blanda also saw time on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker. It was not until 1953 that Blanda emerged as the Bears' top quarterback, but an injury the following year effectively ended his first-string status. For the next four years, he was used mostly in a kicking capacity. Later commenting on his testy relationship with Halas, Blanda noted, "he was too cheap to even buy me a kicking shoe."[1] Blanda later reflected that by the 1950s the pro game had moved beyond Halas, who seemed to lack the interest he had earlier.

Houston Oilers

Blanda retired after the 1958 NFL season because of Halas' insistence on only using him as a kicker, but returned in 1960 upon the formation of the American Football League. He signed with the Houston Oilers as both a quarterback and kicker. He was derided by the sports media as an "NFL Reject", but he went on to lead the Oilers to the first two league titles in AFL history, and he was the All-AFL quarterback and won AFL Player of the Year honors in 1961. During that season, he led the AFL in passing yards (3,330) and touchdown passes (36). His 36 touchdown passes in 1961 were the most ever thrown by any NFL/AFL quarterback in a single season, until matched by Y. A. Tittle of the NFL New York Giants two years later in 1963. Blanda's and Tittle's mark remained the record until surpassed by Dan Marino's 48 touchdown passes in 1984. Blanda's 42 interceptions thrown in 1962 is a record that still stands.

During 1962, he had two 400-yard passing days for the Oilers: a 464-yard effort against the Buffalo Bills on October 29, with four touchdown passes (winning 28–16); and 418 yards three weeks later against the Titans of New York, this time with seven touchdown passes in a 49–13 victory. Blanda passed for 36 touchdowns that season. On 13 occasions, he connected on four or more touchdown passes during a game, and on November 1, 1964, unleashed 68 passes for Houston against the Buffalo Bills.

From 1963 to 1965, Blanda led the AFL in passing attempts and completions, and ranked in the top ten for attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns during seven consecutive seasons. A four-time member of the American Football League All-Star team, Blanda's already-long career seemed over when he was released by the Oilers on March 18, 1967. However, the Oakland Raiders signed him that July, seeing his potential as a contributing backup passer and a dependable kicker.

In later years, Blanda remained a strong supporter of AFL heritage, saying: "That first year, the Houston Oilers or Los Angeles Chargers (24–16 losers to the Oilers in the title game) could have beaten the NFL champion (Philadelphia) in a Super Bowl." Blanda said further: "I think the AFL was capable of beating the NFL in a Super Bowl game as far back as 1960 or '61. I just regret we didn't get the chance to prove it."

Oakland Raiders

In 1967, during Blanda's first season with the Raiders, his kicking skills helped him lead the AFL in scoring with 116 points. In two instances, his leg helped play a role in Raider victories: a trio of field goals helped upset the defending league champion Kansas City Chiefs on October 1; in the closing weeks of the regular season, Blanda booted four field goals behind a hostile Houston crowd in a 19–7 victory over his former team, the Oilers, helping gain a measure of revenge.

The Raiders went on to compete in Super Bowl II, but lost the final two AFL Championship games in the 10-year history of the league.

In 1970, Blanda was released during the exhibition season, but bounced back to establish his 21st professional season. During that season, Blanda, at age 43, had a remarkable five-game run. Against the Steelers, Blanda threw for three touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal with three seconds remaining salvaged a 17–17 tie with the Kansas City Chiefs. On November 8, he again came off the bench to throw a touchdown pass to tie the Cleveland Browns with 1:34 remaining, then kicked a 53-yard field goal with 0:03 left for the 23–20 win. Immediately after the winning field goal, Raiders radio announcer Bill King excitedly declared, "George Blanda has just been elected King of the World!"[3] In the team's next game, Blanda replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter and connected with Fred Biletnikoff on a touchdown pass with 2:28 left in the game to defeat the Denver Broncos, 24–19. The following week, Blanda's 16-yard field goal in the closing seconds defeated the San Diego Chargers, 20–17.

In the AFC title game against the Baltimore Colts, Blanda again relieved an injured Lamonica, completing 17 of 32 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns while also kicking a 48-yard field goal and two extra points, keeping the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. Aged 43, he became the oldest quarterback ever to play in a championship game, and was one of the few remaining straight-ahead kickers in the NFL.

Blanda's achievements resulted in his winning the Bert Bell Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt said, "Why, this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." Although he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda served as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons.

He played in his last game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium on January 4, 1976, at age 48,[4] in the 1975 AFC Championship Game, in which he kicked a 41-yard field goal and made one extra point as the Raiders lost to the Steelers 16–10.

Records and honors

Blanda finished his 26 professional football seasons having completed 1,911 of 4,007 pass attempts for 26,920 yards and 236 touchdowns. Blanda also held the NFL record for most interceptions thrown with 277, until Brett Favre broke it on October 14, 2007. He rushed for 344 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground, kicked 335 of 641 field goals, and 943 of 959 extra points, giving him 2,002 total points. Additional stats include 1 interception, 2 kickoff returns for 19 yards, 22 punts for 809 yards, and 23 fumble recoveries.

Blanda holds the following professional football records:

  • Passing touchdowns in a game: 7 (Tied with 7 others[5]) November 19, 1961 vs. New York Titans[6]
  • Most seasons played: 26 (1949–58, 1960–75)
  • Most seasons scoring a point: 26
  • One of two players to play in 4 different decades (he played in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s)
  • Most PATs made (943) and attempted (959)
  • Most interceptions thrown, single season: 42 (1962)
  • Held record of most pass attempts in a single game: 68 (37 completions, vs. Buffalo Bills on January 11, 1964) until 1994 when Drew Bledsoe had 70
  • Oldest player to play in an NFL game: 48 years, 109 days
  • First player ever to score over 2,000 points
  • Oldest quarterback to start a title game
  • Most total points accounted for (including touchdown passes) in a career: 3,418 (not an official stat)

He is the placekicker on the All-Time All-AFL Team, and was one of only 20 players to play all ten years of the AFL, as well as one of only three who were in every AFL game their teams played. Blanda was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility, and also was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame.

Blanda held the record for most professional football games played with 340 until September 26, 2004, when it was broken by another placekicker, Morten Andersen as well as the record for most consecutive games played[7] until September 26, 1976 by defensive end Jim Marshall. He still holds the record for most games played by an AFL/NFL player who was not exclusively a kicker or punter. His 114 postseason points were an NFL record at the time of his retirement.

Blanda broke Lou Groza's career scoring record in 1971, a record he held until 2000 when it was broken by Gary Anderson.

U.S. Route 119 in Blanda's hometown of Youngwood, Pennsylvania was renamed George Blanda Boulevard in 1985.[8]

In 1999, Blanda was ranked number 98 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Blanda was the first ever recorded fantasy football draft pick when the game was first created in 1962 by The Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.[9]

Personal life

Blanda was the son of a Slovak-born Pittsburgh-area coal miner. Blanda was married to Betty Harris from December 17, 1949 until his death on September 27, 2010, ten days after his 83rd birthday. They had two children.

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Blanda died after a "short illness" on September 27, 2010.[10] He was 83 years old.[11] A moment of silence was held in Blanda's honor prior to the start of the September 27, 2010 game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, from Soldier Field.[12]

Legacy

The 1970s TV series Happy Days was set in 1950s Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the Season 3 episode "Football Frolics", Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) and Ralph Malph (Donny Most) are watching the November 9, 1956, Chicago Bears – Chicago Cardinals televised game. After Ed Brown's pass to Harlon Hill is intercepted by the Cardinals, Richie wants "the other quarterback" put in. Ralph says that that quarterback is "washed up. He's old. He's 30. He's got no future." Richie argues back, "George Blanda has two or three good years left." The joke was that Blanda, 19 years after the date depicted in the show, was still playing.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Frank Litsky; Bruce Weber (September 27, 2010). "George Blanda, Hall of Fame Football Player, Dies at 83". New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  2. ^ "Kentucky Football Retired Jerseys - UK Wildcats News". Archived from the original on August 10, 2013.
  3. ^ Ross, George (September 27, 2010). "Blanda's miracle season: Browns beaten by 52-yard field goal from 'King of the World'". The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "History: Players Who've Played in NFL at Age 40 or Older". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Nick Foles ties Peyton Manning with 7 touchdown passes, crushes Raiders". November 3, 2013.
  6. ^ ESPN Sports Almanac 2006, page 273. Sports Almanac, Inc. 2005.
  7. ^ "GEORGE BLANDA Career Highlights". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110409113817/http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/westmoreland/s_550009.html. Archived from the original on April 9, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Dickey, Glenn (January 8, 2011). "Fantasy Football: Craze's roots go back to Oakland". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ Richardson, Bill (September 27, 2010). "Ageless wonder George Blanda dies". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  11. ^ "Hall of Famer's longevity was legendary", Salt Lake Tribune, September 28, 2010
  12. ^ "Raiders Hall of Fame QB George Blanda dies at 83". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. September 27, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  13. ^ Monkovic, Toni. "The Fifth Down, The New York Times NFL Blog". New York Times. Archived from the original on February 8, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  • "George Blanda: The Old Man". (1999). In ESPN SportsCentury. Michael MacCambridge, Editor. New York: Hyperion ESPN Books. p. 228.

External links

Preceded by
Abner Haynes
American Football League MVP
1961
Succeeded by
Len Dawson & Cookie Gilchrist
Preceded by
Lou Groza
(1,608)
Career NFL points record holder
(2,002)

1971–2000
Succeeded by
Gary Anderson
1958 Baltimore Colts season

The 1958 Baltimore Colts season was the sixth season for the team in the National Football League. The Colts finished the 1958 season with a record of 9 wins and 3 losses to win their first Western Conference title. They won their first league title in the NFL championship game, which ended in overtime.

1958 Chicago Bears season

The 1958 Chicago Bears season was their 39th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–4 record under the regins of George Halas who took over for Paddy Driscoll, who was fired after a championship game debacle and a subpar season the following year. Halas's team improved to a respectable second place tie.

1960 American Football League Championship Game

The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2.The game matched the Eastern Division champion Houston Oilers (10–4), against the Western Division champion Los Angeles Chargers (10–4), in the first championship game of the new American Football League. The host Oilers were a 6½-point favorite.The AFL had established a format in which championship games would be alternated each year between the Western Division winners and the Eastern Division. The first game was originally scheduled to be played in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum but with the Chargers drawing less than 10,000 a game in the 100,000+ seat coliseum it was feared ABC would pull its contract because of empty seats so the game was moved to the smaller Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, where it drew 32,183. It rained the five days prior to the game.Oilers' quarterback George Blanda had retired after ten seasons in the NFL and did not play during the 1959 season; he threw three touchdown passes (and kicked a field goal and three extra points) to lead Houston to the first AFL title, 24–16.

1962 American Football League Championship Game

The 1962 American Football League Championship Game was played on December 23 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. The host Houston Oilers (11–3) of the Eastern Division were trying for their third consecutive AFL title, matched against the Western Division's Dallas Texans, also at 11–3.

1967 Oakland Raiders season

The 1967 Oakland Raiders season was the team's eighth in Oakland. Under the command of second-year head coach John Rauch, the Raiders went 13–1 (an AFL record) and captured their first Western Division title. The addition of strong-armed quarterback Daryle Lamonica greatly energized the Raiders' vertical passing game. Additionally, the Raiders added Gene Upshaw, Willie Brown, and George Blanda to their roster during the 1967 offseason. All three players would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.

The Raiders routed the Houston Oilers in the 1967 AFL Championship Game. The victory allowed them to advance to Super Bowl II, where they were soundly defeated by the NFL champion Green Bay Packers. The Raiders would ultimately finish the season with a record of 14–2.

The 1967 season was a massive breakthrough for the Raiders organization. Between 1967 and 1985, the team would go on win twelve division titles and three Super Bowl championships.

1968 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1968 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's first year in professional football.

Paul Brown, who left the Cleveland Browns following the 1962 season with National Football League (NFL) record of 115–49–6, seven conference titles, and three NFL championships, had the urge to get back into football. His son Mike Brown did a study on pro football expansion and recommended Cincinnati as a potential site. In 1965, Brown met with Ohio Governor James Rhodes and the two agreed the state could accommodate a second pro football team.

1966 – Fearful the Cincinnati Reds baseball team would leave town and feeling pressure from local businessmen pushing for a pro football franchise, Cincinnati's city council approved the construction of Riverfront Stadium.

1967 – Brown's group was awarded an American Football League (AFL) expansion franchise. Brown named the team the Bengals, the name of Cincinnati's pro teams in the old AFL of the late 1930s. The Bengals acquired their first player late in the year when they traded two draft picks to Miami for quarterback John Stofa.

1968 – The Bengals were awarded 40 veteran players in the allocation draft. In the college draft, they selected University of Tennessee center Bob Johnson as their first pick. The Bengals lost their first preseason game 38–14 to the Kansas City Chiefs before 21,682 fans at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. The Bengals upset the Denver Broncos 24–10 and the Buffalo Bills 34–23 in their first two regular-season home games. Halfback Paul Robinson led the AFL in rushing with 1,023 yards and was named Rookie of the Year.

1969 Oakland Raiders season

The 1969 Oakland Raiders season was the team's tenth as a franchise, and tenth in both Oakland and the American Football League. The campaign saw the team attempt to improve upon its 12–2 record from 1968. The season is notable for being the Raiders' last in the AFL (they would, along with all the other AFL teams, join the NFL in 1970).

The Raiders stormed to a 12–1–1 record in 1969. They led the league in wins for a third consecutive season; in doing so, they posted a staggering 37–4–1 record over their final three years of AFL play. The season would end with an upset loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the 1969 AFL Championship Game.

Additionally, the season marked the debut of Hall-of-Fame head coach John Madden. Madden would lead the Raiders to seven division titles, seven AFL/AFC Championship Games, and a Super Bowl championship before leaving in 1978. He would post a 112–39–7 regular season record over this span.

1970 Oakland Raiders season

The 1970 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 11th season in Oakland. It was also their first season as members of the NFL. The Raiders would ultimately win their fourth consecutive division title (as well as their first AFC West title). They advanced to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Baltimore Colts.

The Raiders' 1970 season is best remembered for a series of clutch performances by veteran placekicker/quarterback George Blanda. Blanda, despite being cut during the 1970 preseason, eventually re-joined the Raiders' roster. His ensuing season (the twenty-first of his professional career) would rank as one of the more dramatic comebacks in sports history. Over a span of five consecutive games, Blanda would come off the bench to spark a series of dramatic rallies. The Raiders went an impressive 4–0–1 over this span.

Blanda's five-game "streak" began on October 25, 1970. In an away game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Blanda threw for two touchdowns in relief of an injured Daryle Lamonica. One week later, his 48-yard field goal (with three seconds remaining on the clock) salvaged a 17–17 tie with the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. One week later, on November 8, Blanda would come off the bench against the Cleveland Browns. His late touchdown pass (with 1:34 remaining in the game) tied the game at 20–20. He would ultimately kick a 53-yard field goal, as time expired, to give the Raiders a stunning 23–20 victory. The following week, against the Denver Broncos, Blanda again replaced Lamonica in the fourth quarter. His touchdown pass to Fred Biletnikoff, with 2:28 left in the game, gave the Raiders an unlikely 24–19 win. The incredible streak concluded one week later against the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders managed to drive deep into Chargers territory in the game's final seconds. Blanda's last-minute 16-yard field goal would seal a dramatic 20–17 triumph.

Blanda's streak played a huge role in the Raiders' 1970 division title, as the team went a mediocre 4–4–1 in "non-streak" games. Indeed, their final record of 8–4–2 (itself a four-win drop from a 12–1–1 finish in 1969) placed them only one game ahead of the Chiefs at season's end.

The Raiders would ultimately advance to the 1970 AFC Championship Game, where they met the heavily favored 11–2–1 Baltimore Colts. During this game, Blanda again came off the bench in relief of an injured Lamonica. Blanda's solid play (17 of 32 passes for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and a 48-yard field goal) kept the Raiders in the game until the final quarter, when he was intercepted twice. At age 43, Blanda became the oldest quarterback to ever play in a championship game.

Blanda's eye-opening achievements resulted in his winning the Bert Bell Award. Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt quipped that "...this George Blanda is as good as his father, who used to play for Houston." While he never again played a major role at quarterback, Blanda would serve as the Raiders' kicker for five more seasons.

1971 Oakland Raiders season

The 1971 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 12th season. After winning the AFC West in 1970, the Raiders failed to make the playoffs as their main rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, would win the division title.

1972 Oakland Raiders season

The 1972 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 13th season. The Raiders won the AFC West for the second time in three seasons. They lost in the AFC Division Round to the Pittsburgh Steelers when Franco Harris scored the game-winning touchdown on the Immaculate Reception. The Raiders still dispute that this was a legal touchdown to this day.

1974 Oakland Raiders season

The 1974 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 15th season in Oakland and fifth in the National Football League. The team would post a superb 12–2 record; the campaign's two losses would be by a total of four points. The Raiders' record (the team's best since 1969) would ensure their fourth AFC West title in five years.

For the second straight campaign, the Raiders exacted revenge upon the team that had eliminated them in the prior year's playoffs. This time, Oakland toppled the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins, by a score of 28–26, in the playoffs' Divisional round. Quarterback Kenny Stabler threw a last-minute winning touchdown pass to running back Clarence Davis in what has come to be known as the "Sea of Hands" game.

For the second straight season, however, the Raiders lost in the AFC Championship Game. They were upset, 24–13, by the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Raiders led 10–3 at the end of the third quarter, a defensive meltdown would allow the Steelers to score 21 points in the final frame.

The 2006 edition of Pro Football Prospectus listed the 1974 Raiders as one of their "Heartbreak Seasons", in which teams "dominated the entire regular season only to falter in the playoffs, unable to close the deal." Pro Football Prospectus states, The John Madden Raiders were a consistently good regular season team, but the playoffs were a different story. The 1972 season came to an end with the painful Immaculate Reception game. The 1973 Raiders ended Miami's 18-game winning streak during the regular season but lost to the Dolphins in the AFC Championship game. In 1974, the Raiders seemed to finally have all the pieces."

Despite the disappointment at the end of the 1974 season, Pro Football Prospectus continues, "[t]he Raiders persevered, keeping the team's core together the next several seasons. In 1975, they again fell to the Steelers in the AFC title game, but caught a break in the 1976 AFC Championship, when they cruised to a 24–7 victory over Pittsburgh, who were without running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Finally, in the Super Bowl, they did not waste their opportunity, crushing the Vikings 32–14 behind Ken Stabler and Clarence Davis."

"The Autumn Wind", a poem written by former NFL Films President and co-founder Steve Sabol, became the unofficial team anthem of the Raiders, and was first used for the team's official team yearbook film in 1974. It was narrated by John Facenda, and dubbed "The Battle Hymn of the Raider Nation".

1975 Oakland Raiders season

The 1975 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 16th season, and 6th in the National Football League.

The 1975 season would be George Blanda's final season in the NFL. Blanda retired with two significant records: the most seasons in American professional football (26), and most games played (340). The Raiders would finish the season with an 11-3 record and won the AFC West for the 4th straight year. They also made the playoffs for the 4th straight season. In the playoffs, the Raiders stunned the Cincinnati Bengals 31-28 in the Divisional Round. In the AFC Championship game, their third straight, they lost to the Steelers for the second straight season 16-10.

Opposing quarterbacks had a passer-rating of 37.2 against Oakland in 1975, the second-lowest total of the Super Bowl era.

Fred Steinfort

Friedrich W. "Fred" Steinfort (born November 3, 1952) is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League who played for five different teams from (1976–1983). He played college football at Boston College.

When Steinfort won the Oakland Raiders' kicking job just before the start of the 1976 NFL season, he sent the NFL’s current all-time leading scorer, George Blanda with 2,002 points, into retirement. In 1979, when he assumed the same role with the Denver Broncos, it was Jim Turner, at that time the NFL’s third-leading scorer with 1,439 points that he displaced.

Great Lakes Bowl

The Great Lakes Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played only once, on December 6, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Villanova Wildcats. The game was played at Cleveland Stadium with attendance of 14,908.

Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference was in its second season under coach Bear Bryant. They brought a 7–3 record into the game, their losses coming to Ole Miss (ranked #13 in the final AP Poll of the season), Alabama (ranked #6 in the final AP Poll of the season) and Tennessee.

The Villanova Wildcats, coached by Jordan Olivar, brought a 6–2–1 record into the game, having lost to Army and Boston College. It was the first bowl appearance for Kentucky and the second for Villanova, which in 1936 tied Auburn, 7–7, in the Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba. Neither team was ranked entering the game, though Kentucky had spent three weeks in the AP top twenty in October, rising as high as #13.

Jack Spikes

Jack Erwin Spikes (born February 5, 1937) is a former American football running back and placekicker. He played in the American Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers, and the Buffalo Bills. He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU).

Spikes played a key role in professional football's longest championship game, the 1962 American Football League Championship game between the Texans and the Houston Oilers. Spikes' teammate Bill Hull intercepted the Oilers' George Blanda late in the first overtime. Hull's interception allowed the Texans to start the second overtime with two powerful runs by Spikes, to move the ball to the Oilers' 25-yard line, and Tommy Brooker kicked a field goal to give the Texans the win, 20–17.

Johnny Lujack

John Christopher Lujack Jr. (pronounced Lu' jack; born January 4, 1925) is a former American football quarterback and 1947 Heisman Trophy winner. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame, and professionally for the Chicago Bears. Lujack was the first of several successful quarterbacks who hailed from Western Pennsylvania. Others include Pro Football Hall of Fame members Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Joe Montana and George Blanda.

List of Chicago Bears starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Bears.

List of NFL quarterbacks with seven touchdown passes in a game

In the National Football League (NFL), eight quarterbacks share the record of having thrown seven touchdown passes in a single game. Sid Luckman was the first player to accomplish the feat, doing so on November 14, 1943, while playing for the Chicago Bears. The most recent seven-touchdown game occurred on November 1, 2015, when Drew Brees did so with the New Orleans Saints. During that game the two teams' quarterbacks combined for 13 passing touchdowns, setting another NFL record. Three quarterbacks on the list are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Luckman, George Blanda, and Y. A. Tittle. There was a 44-year gap between seven-touchdown games from Joe Kapp's in 1969 until 2013, when Peyton Manning and Nick Foles each did so just two months apart. Manning also holds the NFL records for touchdown passes in a season and in a career, with 55 and 539, respectively.

List of Tennessee Titans starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Titans.

Regular season statistics
Season Team (record) G GS QBrec Comp PAtt Comp % PYds PTD INT LNG QB Rate RAtt RYds RTD FGM FGA FG% XPM XPA XP% PTS
1949 Chicago Bears (9–3) 12 2 N/A 9 21 42.9 197 0 5 44 37.3 2 9 1 7 15 46.7 N/A N/A N/A 27
1950 Baltimore Colts (1–11) 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 N/A N/A N/A 0
1950 Chicago Bears (9–3) 11 0 0 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 39.6 0 0 0 6 15 40.0 N/A N/A N/A 18
1951 Chicago Bears (7–5) 12 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 17 35.3 26 26 100.0 44
1952 Chicago Bears (5–7) 12 2 1–1 47 131 35.9 664 8 11 59 38.5 20 104 1 6 25 24.0 30 30 100.0 54
1953 Chicago Bears (3–8–1) 12 12 3–8–1 169 362 46.7 2164 14 23 72 52.3 24 62 0 7 20 35.0 27 27 100.0 48
1954 Chicago Bears (8–4) 8 7 4–3 131 281 46.6 1929 15 17 76 62.1 19 41 0 8 16 50.0 23 23 100.0 47
1955 Chicago Bears (8–4) 12 0 42 97 43.3 459 4 7 51 41.6 15 54 2 11 16 68.8 37 37 100.0 82
1956 Chicago Bears (9–2–1) 12 0 37 69 53.6 439 7 4 69 82.9 6 47 0 12 28 42.9 45 47 95.7 81
1957 Chicago Bears (5–7) 12 0 8 19 42.1 65 0 3 13 11.8 5 −5 0 14 26 53.8 23 23 100.0 71
1958 Chicago Bears (8–4) 12 0 2 7 28.6 19 0 0 12 39.6 0 0 0 11 23 47.8 36 37 97.3 69
1960 Houston Oilers (10–4) 14 11 8–3 169 363 46.6 2413 24 22 88 65.4 16 16 4 15 33 45.5 46 47 97.9 115
1961 Houston Oilers (10–3–1) 14 11 9–2 187 362 51.7 3330 36 22 80 91.3 7 12 0 16 26 61.5 64 65 98.5 112
1962 Houston Oilers (11–3) 14 14 11–3 197 418 47.1 2810 27 42 78 51.3 3 6 0 11 26 42.3 48 49 98.0 81
1963 Houston Oilers (6–8) 14 13 6–7 224 423 53.0 3003 24 25 80 70.1 4 1 0 9 24 37.5 39 39 100.0 66
1964 Houston Oilers (4–10) 14 13 4–9 262 505 51.9 3287 17 27 80 61.4 4 −2 0 13 29 44.8 37 38 97.4 76
1965 Houston Oilers (4–10) 14 12 3–9 186 442 42.1 2542 20 30 95 47.9 4 −6 0 11 21 52.4 28 28 100.0 61
1966 Houston Oilers (3–11) 14 8 3–5 122 271 45.0 1764 17 21 79 55.3 3 1 0 16 30 53.3 39 40 97.5 87
1967 Oakland Raiders (13–1) 14 0 15 38 39.5 285 3 3 50 59.6 0 0 0 20 30 66.7 56 57 98.2 116
1968 Oakland Raiders (12–2) 14 1 1–0 30 49 61.2 522 6 2 94 120.1 0 0 0 21 34 61.8 54 54 100.0 117
1969 Oakland Raiders (12–1–1) 14 0 6 13 46.2 73 2 1 20 71.5 1 0 0 20 37 54.1 45 45 100.0 105
1970 Oakland Raiders (8–4–2) 14 0 29 55 52.7 461 6 5 44 79.4 2 4 0 16 29 55.2 36 36 100.0 84
1971 Oakland Raiders (8–4–2) 14 0 32 58 55.2 378 4 6 37 58.6 0 0 0 15 22 68.2 41 42 97.6 86
1972 Oakland Raiders (10–3–1) 14 0 5 15 33.3 77 1 0 26 73.5 0 0 0 17 26 65.4 44 44 100.0 95
1973 Oakland Raiders (9–4–1) 14 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 23 33 69.7 31 31 100.0 100
1974 Oakland Raiders (12–2) 14 0 1 4 25.0 28 1 0 28 95.8 0 0 0 11 17 64.7 44 46 95.7 77
1975 Oakland Raiders (11–3) 14 0 1 3 33.3 11 0 1 11 5.6 0 0 0 13 21 61.9 44 48 91.7 83
Career (26 seasons) 340 106 53–50–1 1911 4007 47.7 26920 236 277 95 60.6 135 344 9 335 639 52.4 943 959 98.3 2002
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers /
ends
Tight ends
Offensive
linemen
Pre-modern era
two-way players
Defensive
linemen
Linebackers
Defensive backs
Placekickers
and punters
Coaches
Contributors

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