March 1, 2011

MVP Profile: Frankie Albert, 1948

Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers



Age: 28
3rd season in pro football & with 49ers
College: Stanford
Height: 5’10” Weight: 166

Prelude:
After excelling as a T-formation quarterback at Stanford under Head Coach Clark Shaughnessy, Albert served four years in the Navy during World War II and then joined the 49ers of the new All-America Football Conference (he had also been drafted by the NFL Chicago Bears). What he lacked in height and arm strength, he made up for in ball-handling skill and passing accuracy, particularly on roll-outs. The 49ers went 17-9-2 in their first two seasons, and Albert established himself as one of the AAFC’s best quarterbacks.

1948 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 264 [5]
Completions – 154 [5]
Yards – 1990 [5]
Completion percentage – 58.3 [1]
Yards per attempt – 7.5 [5]
TD passes – 29 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 4 at Brooklyn 11/21
Interceptions – 10 [9]
Passer rating – 102.9 [1]

Rushing
Attempts – 69
Yards – 349 [18]
Yards per attempt – 5.1
TDs – 8 [4]

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 1
Yards – 1
Average gain – 1.0
TDs - 0

Punting
Punts – 35 [8]
Yards – 1568 [8]
Average – 44.8 [2]
Punts blocked – 0

Scoring
TDs – 8 [10, tied with Al Baldwin & Lou Tomasetti]
PATs - 1
Points - 49 [13]

Awards & Honors:
AAFC MVP: League (co-winner)
1st team All-NFL/AAFC: Sporting News
1st team All-AAFC: NY Daily News
2nd team All-AAFC: League, UPI

The 49ers went 12-2 to finish second in the AAFC Western Division, and were the league’s highest-scoring team (495 points).

Aftermath:
Albert again led the AAFC in TD passes in the league’s last season (1949) and was selected to the first Pro Bowl when the club moved over to the NFL in 1950. However, he also had his lowest-rated pro passing season in ’50 and his production dropped off in his last two years in San Francisco (1951 and ‘52). He played one year with Calgary of the CFL before retiring.

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MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/15/14]