February 19, 2012

MVP Profile: Warren Moon, 1990

Quarterback, Houston Oilers

Age: 34 (Nov. 18)
13th season in pro football, 7th in NFL & with Oilers
College: Washington
Height: 6’3” Weight: 210

Despite leading his college team to the Rose Bowl, NFL clubs showed little interest in giving Moon an opportunity at quarterback in 1978 and he signed with Edmonton of the CFL. He thrived in Canada, leading the Eskimos to five straight Gray Cup titles. Having gone undrafted by any NFL team, he signed with Houston in ’84, who had hired Hugh Campbell, his coach in Edmonton. Mobile and with a good arm, he still had difficulty in his first few seasons in the NFL, leading the league by throwing 26 interceptions in 1986. Campbell was replaced by Jerry Glanville, who switched to a run-and-shoot offense in 1987. Moon thrived in the pass-heavy scheme, the team made the playoffs in ’87, ’88, and ’89, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl following the latter two seasons.

1990 Season Summary
Appeared and started in 15 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 584 [1]
Most attempts, game – 52 at Atlanta 9/9
Completions – 362 [1]
Most completions, game – 31 at Atlanta 9/9
Yards – 4689 [1]
Most yards, game – 527 at Kansas City 12/16
Completion percentage – 62.0 [2]
Yards per attempt – 8.0 [3]
TD passes – 33 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 5 vs. Cincinnati 10/14, at Cleveland 11/18
Interceptions – 13 [14, tied with Randall Cunningham, Jeff George & Steve Walsh]
Most interceptions, game – 4 at Pittsburgh 9/16
Passer rating – 96.8 [2]
500-yard passing games – 1
300-yard passing games – 9
200-yard passing games – 13

Attempts – 55
Most attempts, game - 7 (for 25 yds.) at San Diego 9/30, (for 4 yds.) vs. Buffalo 11/26
Yards – 215
Most yards, game – 35 yards (on 5 carries) vs. San Francisco 10/7
Yards per attempt – 3.9
TDs – 2

TDs – 2
Points - 12

Awards & Honors:
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: Sporting News
2nd team All-NFL: AP
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Oilers went 9-7 to finish second in the AFC Central and qualified for the postseason as a wild card while leading the NFL in total offense (6222 yards) and passing yards (4805) and finishing second in points (405) and touchdowns (49). Lost AFC Wild Card playoff to Cincinnati Bengals (41-14), which Moon missed due to injury.

Moon had another big year in 1991, again leading the NFL in pass attempts (655), completions (404), and yards (4690), although also in INTs (21). He played another two seasons with the Oilers, always getting to the Pro Bowl, but the team came up short in the postseason. Moving on to Minnesota in 1994, he had two more 4000-yard seasons in three years and, in ’95, tied his career-high with 33 TD passes. 1995 also marked the last of eight straight Pro Bowl selections - he achieved one more with Seattle in ’97 where he had one last big year at age 41 with 3678 yards and 25 TD passes. After one more season with the Seahawks, he went to Kansas City as a backup for his last two years before retiring. Overall in the NFL he passed for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns, which ranked third and fourth, respectively, at the time – a testament to his productivity despite not reaching the league until he was 27. In the CFL, he threw for 21,228 yards and 144 TDs. His #1 was retired by the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans and he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2001, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2006.


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 2/9/14]

1 comment:

  1. I may receive flak for this, but I think Warren Moon is one of the most overrated players in the Hall of Fame. He put up gaudy numbers (mostly due to his longetivity and the run-and-shoot offense, but was never able to take any of his NFL teams very far in the postseason, and participated in one of the greatest meltdowns in NFL history against Buffalo in the playoffs (The Comeback game). Though that debacle was a team effort, I don't believe that a truly great quarterback would allow his team to lay down like that. Moon was an excellent passer, had good mobility, and had field presence, and he truly might have been great had he been able to stay with a more talented team. But personally I think his best years were played in Canada.