April 15, 2011

MVP Profile: Y.A. Tittle, 1957

Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers



Age: 31 (Oct. 24)
10th season in pro football, 8th in NFL and 7th with 49ers
College: LSU
Height: 6’0” Weight: 190

Prelude:
While drafted by the NFL’s Detroit Lions in 1948, Tittle instead signed with the Baltimore Colts of the AAFC. He had an immediate impact, leading the league in yards per attempt (8.7) and throwing for 16 TDs against 9 interceptions. After another year in the AAFC, Tittle and the Colts joined the NFL in 1950, and he led the league in pass completions (161) although the team went a dismal 1-11 and folded. Picked up by the 49ers in ’51, he gradually took over from Frankie Albert as the starting quarterback and was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1953 and ’54 seasons.

1957 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Passing
Attempts – 279 [3]
Completions – 176 [1]
Yards – 2157 [2]
Completion percentage – 63.1 [1]
Yards per attempt – 7.7 [5]
TD passes – 13 [3]
Most TD passes, game – 3 vs. LA Rams 10/6
Interceptions – 15 [4, tied with Lamar McHan]
Passer rating – 80.0 [3]

Rushing
Attempts – 40
Yards – 220
Yards per attempt – 5.5
TDs – 6

Points
TDs - 6
Points – 36 [19, tied with ten others]

Postseason: 1 G (Western Conference playoff vs. Detroit)
Pass attempts – 31
Pass completions – 18
Passing yards – 248
TD passes – 3
Interceptions – 3

Rushing attempts – 3
Rushing yards – -12
Average gain rushing – -4.0
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: UPI
1st team All-NFL: AP, UPI, NY Daily News, Sporting News
2nd team All-NFL: NEA
Pro Bowl

49ers went 8-4 to tie for first place in the NFL Western Conference. Lost playoff to Detroit Lions (31-27).

Aftermath:
Tittle suffered through an injury-plagued season in 1958 and, and while he bounced back with a Pro Bowl year in ’59, by ’60 found himself in competition with the up-and-coming John Brodie. With Head Coach Red Hickey committing to a shotgun offense for 1961, Tittle was dealt to the New York Giants in the preseason. He revived his career in New York, receiving MVP, All-Pro, and Pro Bowl recognition after each of the next three seasons and tossing over 30 TDs (33 and 36) in back-to-back years in 1962 and ’63. The Giants won the Eastern Conference in all three, but came up short in the title games after each. The team collapsed in 1964, Tittle’s last season. He retired as NFL career leader in pass attempts (3817), completions (2118), and yards (28,339) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1971.

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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]