July 31, 2015

Highlighted Year: Mel Blount, 1981

Cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers


Age: 33
12th season in pro football & with Steelers
College: Southern
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 205

Prelude:
A third-round draft choice in 1970, Blount was most notable on kickoff returns as a rookie but worked his way into the lineup by his third year. A master of the bump-and-run, he became a key member of the vaunted defense as Pittsburgh won its first Super Bowl following the ’74 season. Blount led the league with 11 interceptions in 1975, receiving NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press as well as consensus first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl recognition. Blount followed up with three more Pro Bowl selections over the course of the next four seasons and received at least some first-team All-league honors in 1976 and ’77 and second-team in 1978 and ‘79.

1981 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 6 [14, tied with six others]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at New Orleans 10/4, vs. LA Rams 11/29
Int. return yards – 106
Most int. return yards, game – 58 (on 2 int.) at New Orleans 10/4
Int. TDs – 1 [5, tied with twenty others]
Fumble recoveries – 0

Scoring
TDs – 1
Points – 6

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Steelers went 8-8 to finish second in the AFC Central while leading the conference in interceptions (30).

Aftermath:
Having been chosen to a fifth (and last) Pro Bowl, Blount played two more seasons through 1983. Fast, physical, and durable, he lasted for 14 years, all with Pittsburgh, and missed only one game due to injury. Blount ended up intercepting a team-record 57 passes and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1989.

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Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970

July 30, 2015

1971: Morrall Tosses 3 TD Passes as Colts Sink College All-Stars


The 38th annual College All-Star Game in Chicago on July 30, 1971 featured the Baltimore Colts, defending champions of the NFL, against an All-Star squad coached by Blanton Collier, who had retired from the Cleveland Browns following eight years as head coach.

The Colts, under Head Coach Don McCafferty, started 37-year-old Earl Morrall (pictured at right) at quarterback due to the unavailability of long-time star QB Johnny Unitas, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury during the offseason. The offense was typically more effective through the air than on the ground while the tough defense featured DE Bubba Smith, linebackers Ted Hendricks and Mike Curtis, and safeties Rick Volk and Jerry Logan.

The All-Stars included quarterbacks Jim Plunkett, the Heisman Trophy winner out of Stanford, and Dan Pastorini of Santa Clara, FB John Brockington from Ohio State, Northwestern HB Mike Adamle, and WR J.D. Hill of Arizona State. The defense had hard hitters in DB Jack Tatum from Ohio State and DE Jack Youngblood of Florida, plus DT Julius Adams from Texas Southern, Grambling DE Richard Harris, and linebackers Jack Ham of Penn State and Isiah Robertson from Southern.

There were 52,289 fans in attendance for the Friday night game at Soldier Field, which had undergone renovation that included a new artificial surface. The contest’s initial score was set up thanks to a poor punt by Dan Pastorini in the first quarter. It gave the Colts good starting field position at the All-Star 45 to start their second possession of the game, and they made the most of it. Earl Morrall threw to FB Norm Bulaich on a swing pass that picked up 17 yards and to WR Ray Perkins, who outmaneuvered Kansas State CB Clarence Scott for a 24-yard touchdown. Jim O’Brien kicked the extra point.

On their next series, a holding penalty backed the Colts into their own territory and they were forced to punt. It looked as though the All-Stars would get nothing out of the ensuing possession when John Brockington was stopped for no gain on a third-and-one play at the Baltimore 40, but the Colts refused an offside penalty on the collegians, preferring to bring up fourth down. The All-Stars converted when Brockington ran for three yards to keep the series alive. Jim Plunkett connected with Mike Adamle for a 22-yard gain to the 15 and the collegians got another break when Plunkett threw for J.D. Hill and interference was called on CB Jim Duncan to move the ball to the one yard line. From there, on the third play of the second quarter, Brockington ran around right end for a touchdown. Pastorini added the point after to make it a 7-7 game.

The Colts responded on their ensuing possession with Morrall throwing to HB Tom Matte for a 15-yard TD. O’Brien again successfully converted. With Pastorini at quarterback, the All-Stars advanced from their own 30 into Baltimore territory and Bob Jacobs of Wyoming kicked a 40-yard field goal with just over two minutes remaining in the half. The Colts moved well in the remaining time as Morrall completed six of seven passes for 102 yards, but they came up empty when O’Brien missed a 26-yard field goal try. The score remained 14-10 at the intermission.

Baltimore’s lead was extended in the quiet third quarter when O’Brien was successful on a field goal attempt, this time from 22 yards. Early in the fourth quarter, the Colts appeared to take command when Morrall threw to TE Tom Mitchell for a 44-yard TD and O’Brien’s extra point put the pro champs ahead by 14.

Sam Havrilak, normally a halfback but being tried at quarterback, relieved Morrall and on his second play, he botched a handoff to FB Tom Nowatzke and Jack Ham recovered for the All-Stars and ran 47 yards for a touchdown. It narrowed the margin to seven points, but proved to be the last gasp for the collegians, who were kept in check offensively as Baltimore held on to win by a final score of 24-17.

The Colts had far more total yards than the All-Stars (403 to 150) and also had the edge in first downs (18 to 11). The collegians turned the ball over twice, to one suffered by the NFL champs.

Earl Morrall, who played for a full three quarters, completed 20 of 30 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns while giving up no interceptions. Norm Bulaich led Baltimore’s runners with 46 yards on 9 attempts. Tom Matte, who carried the ball 10 times for 18 yards, caught 5 passes for 63 yards and a TD, having great success on swing passes out of the backfield. WR Eddie Hinton also had 5 pass receptions, for 75 yards, and Tom Mitchell gained 95 yards on his four catches.

Jim Plunkett was successful on 6 of 15 throws for 65 yards and an interception and Dan Pastorini went two of nine for 13 yards and gave up an interception, although Pastorini led the All-Stars in rushing with 40 yards on two carries (Plunkett #16 and Pastorini #7 pictured below). John Brockington gained 27 yards on 12 rushing attempts that included a touchdown. Houston WR Elmo Wright, Mike Adamle, and J.D. Hill each had two receptions, for 25, 24, and 23 yards, respectively.



“They put a lot of pressure on me,” said Earl Morrall regarding the All-Star defense. “They were coming from a lot of directions. I couldn’t quite get a bead on what to do about it.”

The win for the Colts gave the pro champs a winning streak of eight games and a 27-9-2 edge in the series. It was the last of three College All-Star Game appearances for the club that reached the postseason again in 1971 as a 10-4 Wild Card but lost the AFC Championship to Miami.

July 28, 2015

Highlighted Year: Bill Bradley, 1971

Safety, Philadelphia Eagles



Age: 24
3rd season in pro football & with Eagles
College: Texas
Height: 5’11” Weight: 190

Prelude:
“Super Bill” played quarterback, wide receiver, and safety in college, once intercepting four passes in a game against Texas A & M. He was chosen by the Eagles in the third round of the 1969 NFL draft and backed up at free safety, returning an interception 56 yards for a touchdown, while punting for a 39.8-yard average and returning kicks. Slated to move into the starting lineup in ’70, Bradley was sidetracked by a preseason knee injury and, when he returned after six weeks, he reinjured the knee and was only able to punt. He had surgery following the season and came into 1971 as the starting free safety.

1971 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 11 [1]
Most interceptions, game – 2 vs. Dallas 9/26, vs. Denver 10/31, at Washington 11/7, at St. Louis 11/21
Int. return yards – 248 [1]
Most int. return yards, game – 51 (on 1 int.) at Detroit 12/5
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 2

Punt Returns
Returns – 18 [17, tied with Charlie West]
Yards – 118 [19, tied with Rick Volk]
Most yards, game – 45 (on 2 ret.) vs. NY Giants 10/24
Average per return – 6.6 [16]
TDs – 0
Longest return – 33 yards

Punting
Punts – 2
Yards – 76
Average – 38.0
Punts blocked – 0
Longest punt – 45 yards

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-NFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Eagles went 6-7-1 to finish third in the NFC East.

Aftermath:
Bradley held out along with LB Tim Rossovich during the 1972 preseason but went on to intercept 9 passes and become the first player to lead the NFL in interceptions in consecutive seasons. He was again a consensus first-team All-NFL selection and was chosen to the Pro Bowl. A ball hawk with great instincts and an aggressive defender, “Super Bill” had one more Pro Bowl year in ’73 when he added another four interceptions and was a second-team All-NFC selection by UPI in 1974. Injuries became a factor in ’75 and Bradley missed parts of the last four games, although he picked off another five passes. After one more year with the Eagles, he was traded to Minnesota in 1976, failed to make it to the regular season, and finished up with the St. Louis Cardinals in ’77. Overall, Bradley intercepted 34 passes, all with the Eagles, making him the franchise’s career leader (later tied by Eric Allen and Brian Dawkins). He also punted 213 times for a 39.0 average, returned 122 punts for a 7.8-yard average and 27 kickoffs for a 20.9 average. Bradley was twice a consensus first-team All-NFL selection and was chosen to three Pro Bowls.

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Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970

July 27, 2015

1973: Csonka’s 2 TDs Propel Dolphins to Win Over College All-Stars


The 40th annual College All-Star Game on July 27, 1973 featured the Miami Dolphins, undefeated NFL Champions of the 1972 season, against a group of All-Stars coached by John McKay of USC.

The Dolphins, under Head Coach Don Shula, featured a ball control offense led by power-running FB Larry Csonka (pictured at right), and QB Bob Griese was capable of throwing passes to good effect when necessary. The “No Name” defense was often overlooked but allowed few points. However, injuries were a problem coming into the All-Star Game. MLB Nick Buoniconti had just undergone surgery on his wrist a week earlier, but was forced to play the whole game because of injuries to linebackers Bob Matheson, Mike Kolen, and Doug Swift.

The All-Stars contained future NFL standouts in QB Bert Jones from LSU; running backs Chuck Foreman of Miami, Terry Metcalf from Long Beach State, and Oklahoma’s Greg Pruitt; TE Charle Young of USC, and Alabama G John Hannah on offense. The defense included ends Wally Chambers of Eastern Kentucky and John Matuszak from Tampa, Miami CB Burgess Owens, and LB Jim Youngblood of Tennessee Tech. Coach McKay took a relaxed approach to preparing for the game with one practice per day, instead of the usual two, and had few rules. The collegians alternated front lines and used many players on both platoons.

There were 54,103 fans in attendance at Chicago’s Soldier Field on a Friday night. Miami took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards in ten plays. Bob Griese threw just one pass along the way and Larry Csonka ran around right end for a three-yard touchdown to finish the series off. Garo Yepremian added the extra point.

The All-Stars had opportunities to score but failed to capitalize. They had a first down at the Miami 13 but Greg Pruitt fumbled and DT Manny Fernandez recovered for the Dolphins to snuff out the threat. In the second quarter, LB John Skorupan of Penn State intercepted a Griese pass and returned it 30 yards to the Miami 30. However, a 16-yard sack of Bert Jones moved the collegians out of scoring range and Ray Guy from Southern Mississippi was forced to punt.

Near the end of the first half, the All-Stars, starting from their 38 with Jones behind center, reached the Miami one yard line, but the Dolphins kept them out of the end zone and they settled for a 10-yard field goal by Guy. A key play occurred when injured FB Sam Cunningham of USC was sent in to attempt a leap into the end zone, but a five-yard penalty nullified the effort. The Dolphins maintained a 7-3 lead at the end of the half.

A heavy rain doused the stadium at halftime and the artificial surface was slick in the second half. The All-Stars had another break in the third quarter when Florida State DB James Thomas recovered a fumbled snap at the Miami eight. But the collegians again couldn’t punch the ball in and Guy’s 16-yard field goal try was missed.



On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jones fired a pass that traveled 60 yards and was intended for WR Barry Smith of Florida State, who had a step on his defender as he sprinted down the left sideline, but the ball went through his hands at the Miami 20. On the next Baltimore series, 39-year-old backup QB Earl Morrall (pictured at left) came into the game and directed a 55-yard scoring drive in seven plays. Morrall connected with TE Jim Mandich for two key completions and Csonka again finished off the possession with a seven-yard TD carry. Yepremian added the point after and, for all intents, the win was clinched for the Dolphins. Despite Miami’s sluggishness, the All-Stars failed to threaten again and the final score was 14-3.

“It wasn’t an emotional game for me or some of the other guys,” said Miami DT Manny Fernandez. “Actually, it was like a scrimmage.”

The Dolphins outgained the All-Stars (251 yards to 133) and had more first downs (16 to 9). Of the total for the All-Stars, only 13 yards and one first down came in the second half. Miami turned the ball over twice, to one suffered by the collegians.

Larry Csonka was the offensive star for the Dolphins, rushing for 76 yards on 17 carries and scoring both touchdowns. Bob Griese completed 6 of 9 passes for 75 yards and had one intercepted while Earl Morrall was three of four for 38 yards. HB Jim Kiick had four catches for 24 yards and Jim Mandich led the club with 35 yards on two receptions.

Bert Jones played most of the game at quarterback for the All-Stars and completed 9 of 17 throws for 79 yards. Purdue HB Otis Armstrong led the runners with 39 yards on 11 attempts. Ray Guy punted nine times for a 44.1-yard average and helped keep the Dolphins from getting good starting field position, in addition to scoring the only points for the collegians.

Miami’s win marked the tenth straight for the pro teams and put them ahead in the series by 29 to 9. The Dolphins repeated as NFL Champions in 1973, but failed to return to the College All-Star Game when it was cancelled due to a players’ strike during the ’74 preseason.

While Ray Guy both placekicked and punted for the All-Stars, he had been chosen by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the NFL draft strictly for his ability as a punter. He would go on to a 14-year career, all with Oakland, and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons (seven overall). In 2014, Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

July 24, 2015

Highlighted Year: Fred Biletnikoff, 1969

Wide Receiver, Oakland Raiders



Age: 26
5th season in pro football & with Raiders
College: Florida State
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 190

Prelude:
Biletnikoff caught 57 passes for 987 yards and 11 touchdowns as a college senior and added another 13 receptions for 192 yards and four TDs in the Gator Bowl. He was chosen in the second round of the 1965 AFL draft by the Raiders (and in the third round of the NFL draft by the Detroit Lions) and moved into the starting lineup at midseason. A quiet second season was followed by a breakout year in 1967 in which Biletnikoff had 40 catches for 876 yards (21.9 avg.) and was named to the AFL All-Star Game. He followed up with 61 receptions for a career-high 1037 yards (17.0 avg.) and six TDs in ’68.

1969 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 54 [2] 
Most receptions, game – 9 (for 132 yds.) vs. Miami 9/20, (for 119 yds.) at Miami 10/4
Yards – 837 [5]
Most yards, game – 132 (on 9 catches) vs. Miami 9/20
Average gain – 15.5 [15]
TDs – 12 [2]
100-yard receiving games – 3

Scoring
TDs – 12 [2]
Points – 72 [10]

Postseason: 2 G
Pass receptions – 3
Most pass receptions, game – 3 vs. Houston, AFL Divisional playoff
Pass receiving yards – 70
Most pass receiving yards, game – 70 vs. Houston, AFL Divisional playoff
Average yards per reception – 23.3
Pass Receiving TDs – 2

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-AFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, NY Daily News, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
2nd team All-AFL: Hall of Fame, UPI
AFL All-Star Game

Raiders went 12-1-1 to finish first in the AFL Western Division while leading the league in total yards (5036), passing yards (3271), touchdowns (45), and scoring (377 points). Won AFL Divisional playoff over Houston Oilers (56-7). Lost AFL Championship to Kansas City Chiefs (17-7).

Aftermath:
Biletnikoff spent another nine seasons with the Raiders. Lacking great speed and with a slight build, he had excellent hands (often covered with “stickum”) and a knack for getting open, and he was highly consistent, catching 40 or more passes 10 times. Biletnikoff led the NFL with 61 pass receptions in 1971 and was named to two AFL All-Star Games, four Pro Bowls, received at least some All-AFL or All-NFL honors after five seasons, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XI following the 1976 season. Overall with the Raiders, he caught 589 passes, the fourth most in league history at the time, for 8974 yards (15.2 avg.) and 76 touchdowns. He held NFL postseason records at the time of his retirement with 70 receptions for 1167 yards (16.7 avg.) and 10 TDs. Biletnikoff spent one final season (1979) in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes and capped his pro career with 38 catches for 470 yards and four TDs. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1988.

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Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970

July 21, 2015

1971: Eagles Acquire Ronnie Bull from Bears


On July 21, 1971 the Chicago Bears parted company with a player who had spent nine years with them, trading RB Ronnie Bull to the Philadelphia Eagles for an undisclosed draft choice that turned out to be a #5 pick in 1973 (it was used for DB Allan Ellis from UCLA).

Bull demonstrated all-purpose skills at Baylor and was the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 1962 NFL draft (third overall by the Dallas Texans of the AFL). He started his rookie season as a reserve defensive back until HB Willie Galimore suffered a knee injury. Bull rushed for 363 yards, caught 31 passes for another 331 yards, returned nine kickoffs for a 26.1-yard average, and received NFL Rookie of the Year honors from UPI and The Sporting News.

Bull split time with Galimore at halfback again in 1963, particularly early in the season when injuries were again a factor, and rushed for 404 yards on 117 carries as the Bears won the NFL Championship. Galimore was tragically killed in an auto accident during training camp in ’64 and veteran HB Jon Arnett was obtained from the Rams, again cutting into the playing time of Bull, who was hindered by a preseason injury. Bull lacked ideal speed for the halfback position and, while a good blocker, was small at 6’0” and 200 pounds to play fullback. The arrival of sensational rookie HB Gale Sayers in 1965 relegated Bull to fullback, and he ran for 417 yards while averaging a career-high 4.6 yards per carry.

The next two years were not so productive but, in 1968, Bull achieved a career high with 472 rushing yards on 107 attempts (4.4 avg.). Sayers suffered a season-ending knee injury in the ninth game and Bull and HB Brian Piccolo picked up the slack, to good effect. But Bull suffered a knee injury in 1969 that limited him to six games and required surgery. He rushed for just 214 yards on 68 carries in ’70 at age 30, and with running backs drafted in the first two rounds for 1971, the stage was set for his departure from Chicago.

As for the Eagles, coming off of four straight losing records, they had gotten fair production out of HB Cyril Pinder in 1970 and, while rookie FB Lee Bouggess averaged only 2.5 yards per carry, he caught 50 passes for 401 yards. But star FB Tom Woodeshick had gone down with a season-ending knee injury in the sixth week and there was little in the way of depth, and as a group the backs drew the ire of Head Coach Jerry Williams for not running well when getting into the open field – although they were not helped by the deficiencies of the offensive line.

But Pinder, who had indicated his intention to play out his option and was out of favor with Philadelphia’s front office, was traded to the Bears for two draft picks just prior to the regular season. The Eagles started the season with Bouggess and Woodeshick, but Bouggess proved to be no more adept as a runner from scrimmage than he had been as a rookie and missed six games due to injury while Woodeshick was only a shell of the Pro Bowl-caliber ball carrier that he had once been. The team as a whole got off to a woeful start and Coach Williams was fired after the third week and replaced by Ed Khayat.

Bull carried the ball just 11 times in the first five games before gaining 72 yards on 17 attempts against the Giants in a 23-7 Week 6 win, the club’s first of the year. He scored his only touchdown of the year two weeks later on a 12-yard pass reception at Washington, a game that ended in a 7-7 tie. Bull was most active in the last five games of the season, running 14 times for a season-high 73 yards in the rematch against the Redskins and totaling 52 carries for 223 yards (4.3 avg.) in all during those contests. The team won four of those games on the way to a 6-7-1 record. Bull finished with 351 rushing yards, a modest enough total but enough to lead the club.

It was a fitting end to a long, workmanlike career. Bull retired following the season, finishing with ten NFL seasons that resulted in 3222 yards on 881 carries (3.7 avg.), 172 catches for 1479 yards (8.6 avg.), seven completions out of 20 option pass attempts for 158 yards and a TD, and 18 kickoff returns for a 21.3-yard average. He scored a total of 14 touchdowns.  

July 19, 2015

Highlighted Year: Emerson Boozer, 1967

Halfback, New York Jets


Age: 24
2nd season in pro football & with Jets
College: Maryland State College (now Maryland Eastern Shore)
Height: 5’11” Weight: 207

Prelude:
Boozer rushed for 2537 yards and 22 touchdowns in college, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He was chosen by the Jets in the sixth round of the 1966 AFL draft (the Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the seventh round of the NFL draft) and, brought along slowly by Head Coach Weeb Ewbank and nagged early on by a foot injury, rushed for 455 yards on 97 carries (4.7 avg.). With his speed and outstanding balance, he proved to be a much-needed outside runner to complement FB Matt Snell and was chosen to the AFL All-Star Game. He got off to a sensational start in 1967 before being felled by a knee injury in the season’s eighth game.

1967 Season Summary
Appeared in 8 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing
Attempts – 119 [9]
Most attempts, game – 18 (for 44 yds.) at Denver 9/24, (for 98 yds.) vs. Oakland 10/7, (for 65 yds.) vs. Houston 10/15
Yards – 442 [11]
Most yards, game – 98 yards (on 18 carries) vs. Oakland 10/7
Average gain – 3.7 [12]
TDs – 10 [1]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 12
Most receptions, game – 5 (for 109 yds.) vs. Miami 10/1
Yards – 205
Most yards, game – 109 (on 5 catches) vs. Miami 10/1
Average gain – 17.1
TDs – 3 [18, tied with seven others]
100-yard receiving games – 1

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 11 [17, tied with Bobby Leo]
Yards – 213 [19]
Most yards, game – 74 (on 4 ret.) vs. Houston 10/15
Average per return – 19.4
TDs – 0
Longest return – 28 yards

Scoring
TDs – 13 [1]
Points – 78 [6]

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-AFL: Sporting News

Jets went 8-5-1 to finish second in the AFL Eastern Division while leading the league in total yards (5152) and passing yards (3845).

Aftermath:
Injuries would remain a chronic problem for Boozer. In 1968, after a slow start he came back to rush for 441 yards and gain AFL All-Star Game honors as the Jets won the AFL Championship. He played a total of ten seasons, all with the Jets, performing well when healthy and co-leading the NFL in touchdowns with 14 in 1972. Boozer, who became a capable blocker, had a high of 831 rushing yards in ’73 despite diminished speed. Overall, he rushed for a then-franchise record 5135 yards on 1291 carries (4.0 avg.) and caught 139 passes for 1488 yards (10.7 avg.), scoring a total of 65 TDs. Boozer was inducted into the Maryland Eastern Shore Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.

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Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970