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2. Johnny Unitas
Had it not been for the greatness of Manning, Johnny Unitas would easily be at the top of this list and certainly would be for over half of the NFL teams in existence.  

Unitas is considered by many (and include us in that category) as the games first modern Quarterback, an incredible accomplishment for someone who was not drafted in the top 100.

“Johnny U” took over the reigns full time in 1957 and promptly took the Colts to their first winning season.  The following season was even more magical.  Unitas took his team to the NFL Championship and won the game in what was then called “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, a win in overtime that cemented the National Football League as a television juggernaut.  

Unitas would top that in 1959, again winning the NFL Title and this time winning his first of three MVPs.  Four times Unitas would lead the NFL in Touchdown Passes and four times he would lead the league in Passing Yards.  The revolutionary pivot and five time First Team All-Pro selection was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility.  The Colts also retired his number 19.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Acquired: Selected in the 9th Round, 102nd Overall in the NFL Draft, 1/27/55.
  • Departed: Traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1973.
  • Games Played: 206
  • Notable Statistics: 181 Games Started
    2,796 Pass Completions
    5,110 Pass Attempts
    54.7% Pass Completion Percentage
    39,768 Passing Yards
    287 Touchdown Passes
    246 Interceptions
    78.8 Passer Rating
    450 Rushing Attempts
    1,777 Rushing Yards
    13 Rushing Touchdowns
    1 Reception
    1 Receiving Yard
    144 Approximate Value*

    0 Games Started
    120 Pass Completions
    226 Pass Attempts
    53.1% Pass Completion Percentage
    1,663 Passing Yards
    7 Touchdown Passes
    10 Interceptions
    68.9 Passer Rating
    21 Rushing Attempts
    92 Rushing Yards
    1 Rushing Touchdown

    *Approximate Value was not a stat until the 1960 Season.
  • Major Accolades and Awards: Super Bowl Champion (V)
    NFL Champion (1858, 1959 & 1968)
    AP MVP (1959, 1964 & 1967)
    Bert Bell Award (1959, 1964 & 1967)
    UPI MVP (1959, 1964 & 1967)
    The Sporting News Player of the Year (1959, 1964 & 1967)
    NEA MVP (1967)
    First Team All-Pro Selection (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965 & 1967)
    Second Team All-Pro Selection (1957 & 1963)
    Pro Bowl (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966 & 1967)
    Walter Payton Man of the Year (1970)
    Highest Approximate Value (1967)
    Most Completions (1959, 1960 & 1963)
    Most Attempts (1957, 1959, 1960 & 1961)
    Most Passing Yards (1957, 1959, 1960 & 1963)
    Most Touchdown Passes (1957, 1958, 1959 & 1960)
    Highest Passing Rating (1957, 1958 & 1965)
    Most Passing Yards per Game (1957, 1959, 1960 & 1963)
    Most Yards per Attempt (1957, 1964 & 1965)
    Most Yards per Completion (1964)
    Highest Pass Completion (1967)
Last modified on Wednesday, 20 July 2022 03:54

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