December 11, 2011

MVP Profile: Rich Gannon, 2000

Quarterback, Oakland Raiders

Age: 35 (Dec. 20)
13th season in pro football, 2nd with Raiders
College: Delaware
Height: 6’3” Weight: 210

It was a long road to stardom for Gannon. Quarterback in a wing-T offense in college, Gannon was taken in the 4th round of the 1987 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, who wanted to convert him into a running back. Unwilling to make the change, he was traded to Minnesota and sat on the bench for three years, throwing a total of 21 passes. Finally getting an opportunity to start in 1990, Gannon had limited success and was allowed to depart as a free agent following the ’92 season. He was a backup with the Redskins in 1993, missed all of ’94 due to a rotator cuff injury, and moved on to Kansas City, where he was a backup for four years and saw his most significant action in his last year with the club in 1998. Signed as a free agent by Oakland in ’99, Gannon finally blossomed as he ran Head Coach Jon Gruden’s version of the West Coast offense, passing for 3840 yards and 24 TDs and gaining selection to the Pro Bowl.

2000 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 473 [13]
Most attempts, game – 53 at Denver 11/13
Completions – 284 [12]
Most completions, game – 30 at Denver 11/13
Yards – 3430 [10]
Most yards, game – 382 at Denver 11/13
Completion percentage – 60.0 [15]
Yards per attempt – 7.3 [11]
TD passes – 28 [4, tied with Elvis Grbac]
Most TD passes, game – 5 vs. Carolina 12/24
Interceptions – 11
Most interceptions, game – 3 at Seattle 12/16
Passer rating – 92.4 [7]
300-yard passing games – 2
200-yard passing games – 8

Attempts – 89
Most attempts, game - 12 (for 85 yds.) at San Francisco 10/8
Yards – 529
Most yards, game – 85 yards (on 12 carries) at San Francisco 10/8
Yards per attempt – 5.9
TDs – 4

TDs – 4
2-point PAT – 1
Points - 26

Postseason: 2 G
Pass attempts – 39
Most attempts, game - 21 vs. Baltimore, AFC Championship
Pass completions – 23
Most completions, game - 12 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Passing yardage – 223
Most yards, game - 143 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
TD passes – 1
Most TD passes, game - 1 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 2
Most interceptions, game - 2 vs. Baltimore, AFC Championship

Rushing attempts – 6
Most rushing attempts, game - 5 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Rushing yards – 33
Most rushing yards, game - 31 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Average gain rushing – 5.5
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Player of the Year: Bert Bell Award
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Raiders went 12-4 to finish first in the AFC West and gain the second playoff seed in the conference while leading the NFL in rushing offense (2470 yards) and placing first in the AFC in touchdowns (58, tied with Denver), second in points scored (479), and third in total offense (5776 yards). Won AFC Divisional playoff over Miami Dolphins (27-0). Lost AFC Championship to Baltimore Ravens (16-3).

Gannon had a third straight Pro Bowl season in 2001, throwing for 3828 yards and 27 TDs against just 9 interceptions, and thus leading the NFL with a 1.6 INT percentage. He had another MVP year in 2002 as he led the league in pass attempts (618), completions (418), and yards (4689) while the Raiders advanced to the AFC Championship, although a poor Super Bowl performance in losing to the Buccaneers ended the fine season on a sour note. Injuries curtailed his season in 2003 and he appeared in a total of just 10 games in ’03 and ’04, after which he retired. A fiery leader and precision passer, Gannon ended up throwing for 28,743 yards and 180 TDs with 104 interceptions, and ranked in the Top 20 all-time at the end of his career with a passer rating of 84.7.


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 2/11/14]